How gold is Tucci’s touch?: Three HNL bartenders respond to his viral Negroni video

On April 20, actor Stanley Tucci posted on Instagram a video of him mixing that classic aperitif cocktail the Negroni. It went viral, with comments pouring in (people are especially fervent about shaking vs. stirring!) and publications from Hollywood Reporter to the UK’s The Guardian covered it. Cited for being soothing in the midst of a global pandemic, the video, shot by Tucci’s wife (Emily … Continue reading How gold is Tucci’s touch?: Three HNL bartenders respond to his viral Negroni video

Indie restaurants still need big help: Thanks to Oregon, we’re one step closer to it happening

Hallelujah for Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer. Today he unveiled a plan to establish the Independent Restaurant Stabilization Fund that the Independent Restaurant Coalition  has been fighting for, to help restaurants across the country—including in Hawai‘i, home to more than 3,500 food service locations that employ more than 90,000 people. Hopefully Hawai‘i’s representatives in Washington and the Hawai‘i Restaurant Association, whose mission includes legislation advocacy, will … Continue reading Indie restaurants still need big help: Thanks to Oregon, we’re one step closer to it happening

Senia team makes it to James Beard Awards final ballot

Every year a healthy handful of Hawai‘i chefs, restaurateurs and wine professionals make it as James Beard Award semifinalists. And every year the final ballot is announced, and we (or those who follow this kind of thing anyway) let out a collective sigh when we see none of our hometown heroes have made it. Not this year—the James Beard Foundation announced the 2020 nominees yesterday … Continue reading Senia team makes it to James Beard Awards final ballot

Save local restaurants: Help lobby Congress for stabilization fund

This morning, the Independent Restaurant Coalition sent a letter to Congress urging it to create a $120 billion restaurant stabilization fund, to save our struggling indie restaurant industry. Then at 11am (5am Hawai‘i time!) IRC leaders Naomi Pomeroy (Beast, Portland, pictured above), José Andrés (World Central Kitchen, Washington, DC), Andrew Zimmern (What’s Eating America) and Sam Kass (political advisor and former White House chef), along … Continue reading Save local restaurants: Help lobby Congress for stabilization fund

100 Sails offers a contemporary taste of Guam Nov 14

Lots of people on O‘ahu get cravings for the Chamorro dish kelaguen, the Mariana Islands’ equivalent of ceviche, but there aren’t many places to sate them. The Firehouse Food Truck closed, leaving the Chamorro Grindz Food Truck at the Waikele Outlet. The Prince Waikiki’s 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar steps into the breach for one night with Pacific Fiesta: Celebrating Chamorro Cuisine, part of its … Continue reading 100 Sails offers a contemporary taste of Guam Nov 14

Chris Kajioka, Shigeru Kobayashi and Mourad Lahlou at Café Miro, which will retain its name under its new owners.

Chris Kajioka teams with Mourad Lahlou to open Honolulu’s only French bistro

While interviewing Senia co-chef Chris Kajioka about his new project Bar Māze last month, I learned even bigger news: “I’m opening a French bistro with Mourad in the Café Miró space.” Mourad is Mourad Lahlou, chef-owner of his eponymous restaurant in San Francisco, and half of the city’s It Couple, with San Francisco Ballet principal dancer Mathilde Froustey. I think I just looked at Kajioka, … Continue reading Chris Kajioka teams with Mourad Lahlou to open Honolulu’s only French bistro

Taste Hawai‘i’s diverse heritage at Highway Inn’s Tūtū’s Kitchen series May 19

In February, Highway Inn’s Kaka‘ako location launched its Tūtūʻs Kitchen program—quarterly Sunday dinners featuring talented home cooks sharing hearty family recipes. Guests sit at communal tables and pass around family-style platters. It’s a great way to meet new people and learn about the islands’ multicultural culinary history. Highway Inn holds its second Sunday Dinner on May 19, starting at 5:30pm. For $35, you can dig … Continue reading Taste Hawai‘i’s diverse heritage at Highway Inn’s Tūtū’s Kitchen series May 19

James Beard Award Semifinalists include 6 Hawai‘i contenders

Hawai‘i chefs and establishments appear six times on the 2018 James Beard Award list of semifinalists, with a couple of surprises. They are: Best new restaurant: Maru Sushi, Honolulu, O‘ahu Outstanding baker: George Kanemitsu, Kanemitsu Bakery, Kaunakakai, Moloka‘i Outstanding bar program: Bar Leather Apron, Honolulu Outstanding restaurant: Mama’s Fish House, Pa‘ia, Maui Best chef, West: Chris Kajioka, Senia, Honolulu, O‘ahu Best chef, West: Ed Kenney, … Continue reading James Beard Award Semifinalists include 6 Hawai‘i contenders

Eater does Hawai‘i

Online food nexus and network Eater.com has some good travel-to-eat guides—Paris and Lisbon for example. For the first time it highlights a U.S. state, and it happens to be Hawai‘i. Particularly good is Lavonne Leongʻs meditation on Zippyʻs. She encapsulates what makes Zippyʻs Zippyʻs in one sentence: “Locals, especially ex-pats, walk into a Zippy’s and exhale, because they’re finally in a place where Hawai‘i isn’t … Continue reading Eater does Hawai‘i

Niki Nakayama: In the kitchen we are neither men nor women

Niki Nakayama became an international food name in 2015 when the Netflix series Chef’s Table dedicated a segment to the Los Angeles–based talent and her restaurant n/naka. In the show, her voice is soft, but her words are bold. Although it would seem she had a head start—her family business is the seafood distributor Unified Seafood Co., and relatives in Japan own a ryokan, where … Continue reading Niki Nakayama: In the kitchen we are neither men nor women