Category Archives: Food TV

“Soaring Plates” on Maui

Grilled lamb chops by Chef Jonathan Waxman.

Grilled lamb chops by Chef Jonathan Waxman.


MAUI, HAWAII — They came. They soared.

That’s just what six chefs did for “Soaring Plates,” the gala dinner held a week ago to culminate the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival’s celebration on Maui. I was lucky enough to join in on the fun as a guest of the Hawaii Tourism Bureau.

The dinner was held at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, on its the newly finished grass patio overlooking the ocean on Ka’anapali Beach. About 350 guests took their seats at boldly black-and-white striped tablecloths just in time for a dazzling sunset.

A festive night under the stars.

A festive night under the stars.

Chef Francois Payard with Chef Jose Garces.

Chef Francois Payard with Chef Jose Garces.

The six-course feast kicked off with a starter by the resort’s Chef Gregory Grohowski of miso-cold smoked Maguro tuna with salmon roe, flower petals and yuzu Japanese mayo that did taste a little like a kicked-up version of the mainstay Kewpie Japanese mayo.

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Take Five With Chefs Graham Elliot, Lincoln Carson, Michelle Karr-Ueoka, and Rory Hermann

Chef Graham Elliot, who is hilarious. Note the shirt.

Chef Graham Elliot, who is hilarious. Note the shirt.


MAUI, HAWAII — This year’s Maui portion of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival featured an impressive line-up of illustrious chefs.

I had a chance to sit down with four of them last week: Graham Elliott who’s become one of the most recognizable faces, thanks to his stints judging “MasterChef” and “Top Chef”; Rory Hermann, director of culinary operations for Sprout Restaurant Group in Los Angeles, which includes Otium, Bestia, Republique, Barrel & Ashes, and the Rose Cafe; Lincoln Carson, one of the nation’s premier pastry chefs who worked for eight years with the Michael Mina Group, and now has his own Lincoln Heavy Industries Pastry & Hospitality Consulting company in Los Angeles; and Pastry Chef Michelle Karr-Ueoka, who owns MW Restaurant in Honolulu with her husband, Wade Ueoka.

They were all part of the festival’s “A Chef’s Paradise. The walk-around evening repast, held on the lawn at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, featured cocktails, wines, and creative bites.

The chefs talked about their favorite Hawaiian ingredients, their guilty pleasures, and more. Carson and Karr-Ueoka also confirmed that they will be partnering with Michael Mina to open specialty food boutiques in his The Street, a gourmet food hall, in the newly transformed International Market Place in Honolulu. Look for The Street to open sometime in the first half of 2017. It will join Mina’s StripSteak, which opened its doors there earlier this summer.

Elliot's dish of Hawaiian Kajiki (blue marlin) crudo with toasted coconut, Maui lilikoi, and whipped avocado.

Elliot’s dish of Hawaiian Kajiki (blue marlin) crudo with toasted coconut, Maui lilikoi, and whipped avocado.

Graham Elliot

Q: What’s it been like for you to be on all of these TV cooking competition shows?

A: It’s super fun. I get to be myself on them. I want to educate people about cooking. If you have a contestant on “MasterChef,” the worst thing you can do is s–t on them about making something awful. Instead, I try to tell them how it could be better.

Q: Your favorite Hawaiian ingredient?

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Orange Beef That Raises The Bar

The orange beef of my dreams -- and yours.

The orange beef of my dreams — and yours.


Chef Dale Talde is a very talented chef, who became known as much for his fly-off-the-handle eruptions as his ferociously flavorful cooking when he appeared on “Top Chef.”

But it’s hard to blame a guy for getting emotional when good food is on the line.

Case in point: His no-holds bar feelings about the stand-by take-out Chinese classic of orange beef.

He laments to no end how this dish has been debased, turning into an evil concoction of cheap beef, battered and fried into oblivion, then tossed with a gloppy, over-cornstarched, candy sweet sauce.

It gives me shudders just thinking about it, too. I never order this dish at a restaurant. Exactly for those reasons.

But in the right hands, it could be a great dish. I mean, beef kissed with a deeply orange-y sauce and garnished with still-crunchy, bright green broccoli — how can that not be delicious?

In Talde’s hands, it actually is. “Orange Beef” finally gets its rightful treatment.


The recipe is from his cookbook, “Asian-American: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes From the Philippines to Brooklyn” (Grand Central Life & Style, 2015), of which I received a review copy, by Dale Talde with food writer JJ Goode.

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Join the Food Gal and Cookbook Author Katie Chin For A Macy’s Union Square Demo

AsianHM rev.inddJoin yours truly when I trek to Macy’s Cellar in San Francisco’s Union Square to host cookbook author and Asian foods expert Katie Chin for a cooking demo, 6 p.m. May 26

It’s all part of the salute to Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Los Angeles-based Chin is the author of “Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook” (Tuttle Publishing); and creator of the blog, The Sweet And Sour Chronicles. She’s also appeared as a judge on “Iron Chef America” and a contestant on “Cutthroat Kitchen.”

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Amanda Freitag’s Pop’s Beer-Braised Bold Beef Stew and Smashed Yukon Gold Potatoes

Freitag's favorite dishes growing up -- her father's beef stew.

One of Amanda Freitag’s favorite dishes growing up — her father’s beef stew.


In the winter, there are few things as comforting as tucking into a big bowl of beef stew and creamy mashed potatoes.

It’s a stick-to-your-ribs — and everywhere else — kind of dish that fortifies on a long, dark night like nothing else.

So when I spied “Pop’s Beer-Braised Bold Beef Stew,” I was game to give it a go, not only because of the two bottles of dark beer in it, but also the half bottle of red wine. How good does that sound, right?

The recipe is from “The Chef Next Door: A Pro Chef’s Recipes For Fun, Fearless Home Cooking” (William Morrow) by Amanda Freitag with writer Carrie King.


You probably know celebrated New York Chef Freitag from her many TV appearances as a judge on the Food Network’s “Chopped” and a competitor on “Iron Chef America.”

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