Category Archives: General

“Soup Nights” Part I: But First — Pumpkin Brownies with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting!

Pumpkin spice bars with a cloud of fluffy, marshmallow-y cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin spice bars with a cloud of fluffy, marshmallow-y cream cheese frosting.

 

Leave it to me to thumb through a soup cookbook, and end up making a dessert recipe first.

I may subscribe to the philosophy that “Life is short; eat dessert first.” But I’m usually too guilt-ridden to follow through on it.

So I did have a proper dinner beforehand, but my attention was always on what was to come.

Namely, “Pumpkin Brownies with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.”

soupnights

It’s from the new cookbook “Soup Nights” (Rizzoli) by food writer and cooking teacher Betty Rosbottom, of which I received a review copy.

Read more

Chowing Down at Honolulu’s Mahina & Sun’s and The Pig & The Lady

Chef Ed Kenney sporting the world's craziest mug at Mahaina & Sun's.

Chef Ed Kenney holding the world’s craziest mug at Mahaina & Sun’s.

Chef Ed Kenney’s New Mahina & Sun’s

OAHU, HAWAII — Chef Ed Kenney never in his wildest dreams thought he’d have a restaurant on Waikiki Beach.

The touristy scene just wasn’t his particular cup of tea. After all, his other restaurants — Town, Kaimuki Superette, and Mud Hen Water — are all mere steps from one other in the quieter, residential neighborhood of Kaimuki.

But when Aqua-Aston Hospitality got the idea for revamping an old motel in Waikiki, they wooed him for a year until he finally agreed to open Mahina & Sun’s there in the Surfjack Hotel.

When he first saw the property, it was deja vu. Kenney chuckled, remembering that he once was a regular at a punk rock club that was on the premises.

The social media-sensation of a swimming pool.

The social media-sensation of a swimming pool.

The fun artwork.

The fun artwork.

Movies pool-side at night.

Movies pool-side at night.

Call it fate. But Kenney’s forward-thinking, Hawaiian farm-to-table cuisine seems right at home in this super cool and funky fun space.

Read more

A Visit to Koko Head Cafe, Tin Roof, and the Huge Shirokiya Village Walk

Breakfast is served -- by Chef Lee Anne Wong at her Koko Head Cafe.

Breakfast is served — by Chef Lee Anne Wong at her Koko Head Cafe.

Honolulu’s Koko Head Cafe

OAHU, HAWAII — Even if you think you’re not a breakfast person, you will be after eating at Chef Lee Anne Wong’s Koko Head Cafe.

The down-home Hawaiian diner entices from the get-go, as I found when I was invited in as a guest two weeks ago.

Three years ago, the former “Top Chef” contestant made the big move to Hawaii from New York, after falling for a local farmer.

Shortly afterward, she opened her lively joint that serves only breakfast and brunch.

Whether you favor sweet or savory, you’re sure to find something to enjoy.

Fruit-topped bruschetta.

Fruit-topped bruschetta.

Each day, there is a different dumpling offered.

Each day, there is a different dumpling offered.

For us, that meant Breakfast Bruschetta ($6) — toasted bread slathered with macadamia yogurt and garnished with fresh tropical fruit. I’d eat this every morning quite happily.

Read more

“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.

Read more

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?

Read more

« Older Entries Recent Entries »