Archive for December, 2012

Ready for New Year detox?

December 31st, 2012
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green juicingDrink your way to good health in 2013.

By now, you're probably up to your ears in cookies, chocolates, mochi and other treats, which doesn't bode well for getting in shape in 2013. Too much holiday cheer means you need detoxing. Now.

Cleanse America is on mission to transform the health of the nation, and is aiming to inspire 1 million Americans to participate in its 10-day raw food cleanse, running Jan. 4 to 13. You can join the cleanse at www.cleanseamerica.com

Omega Juicers is on board for a 3-day cleanse ritual to help people eliminate harmful toxins, restore their internal system and reset their bodies through juicing.

I haven't tried it myself, but one of my friends was beginning to develop a rough, ruddy complexion due to stress, and the only change she made in her life was to start green juicing with spinach, kale and fruits, and her complexion cleared up in about a week of drinking her vegetables three times a day.

Here are Omega Juicers recipes for one day of cleansing:

Popeye-C
The vitamin C in oranges enhances the absorption of the iron in the spinach by 30 percent.
4 oranges
1 bunch of spinach

Juice and drink.

Bee Fruity
There are a thousand different variations of fruit salads. This one makes a great first meal of the day.
2 bananas
1 mango
2 cups of blueberries
2 tablespoons of bee pollen

Cut the banana and mango into bit sized pieces. Put into a bowl and add blueberries topped with bee pollen.

Get Rooted
Beets are powerful health foods, containing compounds that may reduce blood pressure, ease digestive disorders and control heart disease. They can also raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides, respectively, by 30 percent and 40 percent.
3 carrots
1 beet (palm size)
Thumb size of ginger

Juice and drink.

Green Machine
Blending produce makes the process of absorbing protein and minerals more efficient. If you are drinking the green machine after a workout, add double hemp seeds and a few more greens. When you drink a smoothie with a lot of protien 30 minutes after a workout, the protein synthesis is about 75 percent compared to only 30 percent beyond that time.
2 large kale leaves (or 2 handfuls of other leafy greens)
2 bananas (frozen)
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1-½ cups of hemp milk
1 tablespoon spirulina

Place all ingredients in a juicer or high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Top with hemp seeds.

Lemon Apple Blast
Apple and lemon contain a lot of vitamin C and citrus acids. This assists in dissolving gallstones which are deposits of a composite of calcium salts such as oxalates and carbonates.
2 small lemons
3 apples
2 inch piece of ginger

Juice and drink.

Celery Stalker
1 cup coconut water
3 celery stalks
1 handful of greens or 1 bunch of spinach
1 cucumber
1 apple

Juice and drink.

Make most of holiday leisure at The Veranda

December 26th, 2012
By



kteaNadine Kam photos
Tea service at the Kahal Hotel & Resort Dec. 19 included assorted sweets and savories served with dragon pearl jasmine tea.

The Kahala Hotel & Resort hosted a holiday tea event Dec. 19 to introduce the newly remodeled Veranda lounge and adjoining grand terrace lanai.

It was a great reminder that the open-air lounge is a perfect setting for entertaining out-of-town family and friends who tend to arrive in search of warm weather (and your company, of course) this time of year.

You can spend a relaxing morning or afternoon strolling the property and visiting the dolphins, before settling in for afternoon tea, which runs from 2 to 5:30 p.m. daily.

A single pot of loose leaf Harney & Sons tea is $8 per person. Simple tea service of a Harney & Sons tea and four sweets and fresh-baked scones, or a plate of four sandwiches, is $17 per person.

Classic tea service, at $28 per person, features a plate of four sweet treats, four savory sandwiches, scones, clotted cream and preserves, and a choice of a Harney & Sons tea.

The Royal tea service is $42 per person, includes all of the classic menu, plus a glass of champagne with a strawberry.

If you want to extend your stay, The Veranda is open for pupu from 5:30 to 10 p.m., and cocktails from 2 p.m. to midnight.

The new menu includes such dishes as fall roasted vegetable tart ($8); roasted Bussels sprouts with shredded duck, caper anchovy vinaigrette ($10); grilled South Pacific shrimp  ($10/$14); red wine-braised lamb shank ($24); grilled prime flatiron steak ($22); harissa roast chicken  ($18); and more. Or, order off the Hoku's menu.

You can view all the menus online at www.kahalaresort.com/dining

Find out how your photo memories of The Kahala can win you a two-night stay at the resort at my other blog, Fashion Tribe.

ktreeThere's still time to view the Kahala's 25-foot tall Noble fir.

kteasandA selection of traditional sandwiches at The Veranda's tea service. Clockwise from top left: smoked salmon on rye toast with parsley cream cheese; chicken salad with tarragon and grapes on toast; Hamakua Springs Farm mushroom turnover; ham and manchego cheese on multi-gram bread; and chicken tarragon and grape salad on endive.

kteadessertAfternoon tea treats clockwise from 10 p.m. spot: lilikoi Madeline; chocolate-raspberry tart; brown sugar shortbread; Kona coffee ganache pave; profiterole with pistachio cream; yuzu macaron.

StarChefs.com names its Hawaii 'Rising Stars'

December 8th, 2012
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rising starsNadine Kam photos
Fourteen of Hawaii's Rising Star chefs and their mentors share a stage at the Halekulani Ballroom before heading to the lawn to plate up their specialties.

Since 2003, StarChefs.com, the online magazine for culinary insiders, has criss-crossed the country with its StarChefs Rising Stars Revue, showcasing up-and-coming chefs.

Each year, StarChefs.com selects four American markets in which to name its Rising Stars. Candidates are nominated by the StarChefs.com Advisory Board, previous winners, local media,and the StarChefs.com website, as well as through editorial research. Winners are then chosen by the StarChefs.com editorial team.

On Dec. 4, StarChefs members descended on the Halekulani Hotel, where executive chef Vikram Garg had been instrumental in pitching Hawaii as home to dozens of up-and comers. And on stage, StarChefs.com CEO said, Hawaii chefs "blew our minds," as the website's advisory board sampled cooking of 60 candidates on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island, over what she told me was two 12-day trips over the summer, sampling from about five restaurants per day. The winner's list numbered 14, though the cutoff age to win an award is 40, and they couldn't find a winner for their sommelier award.

Also conspicously missing from the list, to me, was Christopher Kajioka, whose current home at Vintage Cave Honolulu was not yet open at the time of the sampling. But I'm sure there will be many other accolades ahead for the young chef.

During the gala tasting event at the Halekulani, hosted by Garg and co-hosted by Chai Chaowasaree of Chai’s Island Bistro, with beverage pairings from host sommelier Kevin Tomaya of Halekulani, each of the 14 winning chefs presented the dish that won them their award.

rwinAfter a night of noshing, diners at the event picked their favorite dishes, and the winners, with Michelle Karr-Ueoka, center, pastry chef for Alan Wong's restaurant, named the winner for her dessert of a quadruple-layered Hanaoka Farms Lilikoi Brûlée. StarChefs.com CEO Antoinette Bruno, left, said Michelle has the distinction of being the first pastry chef to win top honors at any of their annual Rising Stars competitions, held in different cities nationwide. The award was well deserved. Coming in second was Mark Noguchi, right, of Pili Hawaii Catering and Taste Table, and in third, next to him, was Andrew Le of the Pig and the Lady. Presenting the Jade's Best Dish Award is Lex Poulos, VP Sales and Marketing at Jade Range.

The 2012 Hawaii Rising Stars Award Winners are:

CHEFS
Christopher Kulis:
Capische? (Maui)
Featured dish: Australian Beef Carpaccio, Horseradish Aïoli, Radish, Lemon Oil, Fried Capers and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Andrew Le: The Pig and the Lady (Oahu)
Featured dish: Pho with Betelnut Leaf-wrapped Pork Sausages

Cameron Lewark: Spago (Maui)
Featured dish: Onaga Ceviche, Green Papaya Salad, Kaffir Lime, Coconut, and Passionfruit Flower

Nick Mastrascusa: Beach Tree at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai (Big Island)
Featured dish: Gnocchi with Oxtail Ragout

Wade Ueoka: Alan Wong’s (Oahu)
Featured dish: Oxtail “Soup” of Oxtail and Corned Beef Roulade, Boiled Peanuts, and Shiitake Mushrooms

Jojo Vasquez: The Plantation House Restaurant (Maui)
Featured dish: Australian Lamb Rack, Eggplant Purée, and Chickpea Cake

PASTRY CHEFS
Michelle Karr-Ueoka: Alan Wong’s (Oahu)
Featured dish: Lilikoi Brûlée

Elizabeth McDonald: Honu Seafood & Pizza (Maui)
Featured dish: Vegan Chocolate Mousse Cake

SUSTAINABILITY CHEF
Quinten Frye: SALT Kitchen & Tasting Bar (Oahu)
Featured dish: Octopus, Chorizo, Olives, Potatoes, Compressed Grape Tomatoes, Almonds, and Kahuku Corn Purée

ARTISAN
Doug Kocol: SALT Kitchen & Tasting Bar (Oahu) for excellence in charcuterie
Featured dish: Pork Rillette and Soppressata

CONCEPT CHEF
Sheldon Simeon: Star Noodle (Maui)
Featured dish: Hapa Ramen: Roast Pork, Poached Egg, Bamboo Shoots, Kamaboko, Bok Choi, Mayu, and Spicy Miso

COMMUNITY CHEF
Mark Noguchi: Pili Hawaii Catering (Oahu)
Featured dish: Ho’i’o Fiddlehead Ferns, Dried Cuttlefish, Kombu, Octopus, and Tomatoes

RESTAURATEUR
Ed Kenney: Town, Uptown Events (Oahu)
Featured dish: Cervena Venison Pipikaula with Bud Bucket Ice

MIXOLOGIST
David Newman: Pint + Jigger (Oahu)
Featured cocktail: The Whiskey Thatcher: Rye, Mint, Lime, and Flamed Pernod Rinse

In addition, Alan Wong, whose kitchen produced two winners, and countless other young chefs around town, won the StarChefs Mentor Award.

In StarChefs.com’s long-running tradition, guests at the event were given the opportunity to vote for their favorite dish of the night. As the favorite of the evening's tasters, Michelle Karr-Ueoka will receive a Jade Range 18” commercial plancha. Because she's a pastry chef, wondering if her boss Alan Wong has dibs on the range?

Tickets for the event were $95 to $125, and a portion of the evening’s tickets sales will be donated to the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapiolani Community College.

Next year, StarChefs.com will take their search for rising stars to Philadelphia in February, New York in April, the San Francisco Bay Area in June, and the Carolinas in December.

rkulisChristopher Kulis led his restaurant, Capische?, on Maui to win Steelite's Restaurant of Distinction Award. When I took this photo, I broke up the swarm of women around him, and they were like, "You have to be in the picture." I was like, "No, I can't be in my photos," and they were like, "Oh, you have to! He's so handsome!" Then they were all saying how good-looking he was and how he was the most handsome chef in the batch, then all the guys around started getting into it. Chris took it all with humor, and having set him up for that, I quietly slinked away.

risingHalekulani executive chef Vikram Garg was instrumental in bringing the Starchefs competition to Hawaii. To whet appetites prior to early award announcements, he prepared this Petrossian Royal Shassetra caviar and lemongrass panna cotta.

rlambDuring the tasting event that followed the award announcements, Vikram also served this spiced sumac-marinated Australian lamb chop over hummus. A favorite with many, but as host chef, his dish wasn't eligible for the Rising Stars vote.

rcarpaccioChristopher Kulis's Australian beef carpaccio with horseradish aioli, crisp radish, lemon oil, fried capers and Parmigiano-Reggiano. In addition to his work at Capische?, he recently started Stir, a personal chef company, and The Salt Box, a high-end picnic basket caterer.

rpigAndrew Le's phó ga with slow-poached farm egg and bo la lot. Sublime and so well-balanced.

rpaiaiAndrew also offered a refreshing chilled cucumber salad over paiai.

rlilikoiMichelle Karr-Ueoka's winning Hanaoka Farms Lilikoi Brûlée features layers of lilikoi crémeux, lilikoi sorbet, lilikoi brûlée and cap of tuile sealed over the martini glass rim with a blow torch. But that wasn't all she offered. Sweet lovers also found assorted cookies, vegan chocolate and truffles at her table.

roxtailMichelle's husband Wade Ueoka, also with Alan Wong's, presented a risotto-like "oxtail soupe" of boneless oxtail and corned beef roulade, with boiled peanuts, shiitake and ginger-scallion oil. Being Chinese, for me it brought together the best of two worlds, oxtail soup meets cold ginger chicken sauce. Yum!

rgnocchiNick Mastrascusa of Beach Tree at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai presented gnocchi with oxtail ragout below, with a display of the simple ingredients, above. It inspired me to try my own experiment with gnocchi for dinner today. I always enjoy it at restaurants, but never tried making it. The gnocchi has been shaped, and a beef ragout is simmering on the stove. Can't wait to see how it turns out in a few hours.

rragoutI had Nick's gnocchi at Beach Tree when I was at Hualalai for another event and it was so fabulous. Of course when you're at the restaurant, the plating is much more elegant than at a crowd event.

rsaltQuinten Frye of SALT Kitchen & Tasting Bar presented a fiery pupu of tako, chorizo, olives, potatoes, grape tomatoes, olives and Kahuku corn purée.

rstarSheldon Simeon of Star Noodle on Maui, offered his Hapa Ramen. Again, the presentation left something to be desired when compared to the actual dish, below, which I enjoyed at the restaurant in May. First of all, there's no clue as to why it's called hapa.

starnoodleStar Noodle's Hapa Ramen features one side black sesame mayu, one side white Star pork dashi topped with roast pork, kamaboko, bok choy, poached egg, bamboo shoots, Napa cabbage and spicy miso.

rvchocoPastry chef Elizabeth McDonald of Honu Seafood & Pizza on Maui shared her vegan chocolate mousse cake, made with garbanzo flour and potato starch, with mousse layers of chocolate and silken tofu.

Marathoners welcome to carb up at NM

December 5th, 2012
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With the 40th annual Honolulu Marathon taking place Dec. 9, Neiman Marcus is inviting runners and pasta lovers to "Carb Up" at any one of its three restaurants over "Pasta Weekend," Dec. 7 through Dec. 9.

Specials are:

Espresso Bar, Level 1
Grilled Vegetable Pasta: Penne with basil pesto and ricotta, served with grilled garlic bread; $12 per person. Offered 10 a. m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Mermaid Bar, Level 2
Mushroom Cannelloni: With spinach, ricotta, basil pesto and tomato sauce, served with grilled garlic bread; $12 per person. Offered 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Mariposa, Level 3
Lunch service, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Grilled Shrimp Puttanesca: With olives, capers, maui onions, anchovies and grilled tomatoes over fettuccine, $24

Chilled Seafood Pasta Salad: With baby green beans, fingerling potatoes, citrus olive oil,
North Shore ogo, fresh herbs and pennette pasta, $20.

Dinner service, 5 to 9 p.m.
Diver Scallops & Squid Ink Linguine: With roasted garlic, spinach and lobster-pumpkin sauce; $32.

Note: Menus subject to market availability of products. For reservations, call 951-3420.

A meal to remember at Vintage Cave

December 1st, 2012
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cave3Nadine Kam photos
The epic triptypch "Hiroshima," by Adron Mordecai, holds a place of honor at Vintage Cave, depicting the city in its glory, the tragedy and the aftermath of the atomic bomb's destruction.

A peek inside Vintage Cave Honolulu Oct. 23 made me eager to see what would be on the menu when it opens Dec. 10 with the ambitious goal of elevating art and cultivating pleasure in Honolulu.

Inspired by the anthropological and artful discoveries within the Lascaux and Altamira caves, Vintage Cave is in what was originally storage space and offices in Shirokiya. The 15,000 square foot space has been transformed by the laying of 150,000 bricks from the Pennsylvania Brick Co., custom Swarovski crystal chandelier crafted in Czechslovakia and assembled in Japan, installation of Neolithic to fine art by Picasso, Michelangelo, and glassware by Lalique and Daum.

It was envisioned as a private wine cellar and art society, before the decision was made to go public. But how public? Considering a prix fixe meal will cost $295 per person, throw in $100 more per person for wine pairings, tax and tip, and you're looking at a bill of about $1,000 for two.

What will this get you? On a test run Nov. 30, dinner comprised 26 amazing dishes with a light touch in quite a few combinations I had never tried before in more than 20 years of reviewing restaurants, presented in 16 courses over 3-1/2 to 4 hours. It's best suited to those who like the idea of dining as theater.

The menu won't be the same every time, and chef Christopher Kajioka, an alumnus of Roy's, New York's Per Se and San Francisco's Aziza, said he may present different dishes to each table on any given night.

During the actual food service, there will be wine pairings for each course, but on this preview night, two wines were served by beverage manager Randy Uyechi: La Follette Chardonnay, North Coast, 2010, and Raymond Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2010. And you will also see the familiar face of general manager Charly Yoshida, formerly with Alan Wong's and Stage restaurant.

You don't have to be a member to dine here, but members will have access to private wine cellars, priority reservations and wine discounts. Regular membership is $5,000, special membership is $50,000 and charter membership is $500,000.Visit vintagecave.com for more information.

cavediningroomOne of the semi-private dining rooms.

cave loungeOne of the lounges, with artwork by Picasso at left.

cavepicassoMore Picassos.

cavechefMaster chef Christopher Kajioka worked at Thomas Keller's highly praised Per Se in New York City, and with Mourad Lahlou at Aziza in San Francisco before coming home to Vintage Cave. Here's what he and his team, and executive pastry chef Rachel Murai put on the table:

Amuse bouches:

cave oysterOyster with hibiscus, shiso and ginger with sweet smoked pain au lait in the background.

cave1Fish skin cracker topped with black bean clam and lime. I didn't care for the cracker with the texture of a pork rind.

cave2Vanilla bean macaron with caviar center.

cave3These meringues were light and snappy meringue with the savory flavor of sun-dried tomato and basil. Amazing!

Courses:

cave6Sashimi platter featured, clockwise from top right, Kona kampachi topped with lemon, radish and shiso; amaebi with fennel; cold-smoked toro with red onion; aji with smoked onion and pear, and uni with ham film and black truffle.

cave7After failing to note that this dish featured a layer of Hakkurei turnip over Asian pear with yogurt sauce and eating them separately when they were made to be eaten together, we finally started paying more attention to chefs' recommendations on how best to enjoy the dishes.

cave8We were invited to mix the Golden Osetra caviar, smoked tuna gel and white turnip cream at right, to coat the wakame cracker.

cave9Hokkaido ikura over potato puree, green apple, and cress, topped with sliver of bonito.

cave10This dish was also amazing. I'd never seen cabbage given such respectful treatment before. It arrived looking like a potato gratin or potato lasagna. Poured into the dish holding the charred cabbage leaves  was a light konbu broth, and on the side was miso creme fraiche. An unbelievable, decadent combination. (more…)