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

Eat tacos, help the ‘āina

For the past decade the fertile, historic area from He‘eia to Kahalu‘u on the Windward Side has been become a locus for agricultural activism. A standout organization is Kako‘o ‘Ōiwi, a nonprofit that secured a 38-year lease on more than 400 acres—known as the Hoi marshland—where it is restoring agricultural and ecological productivity. Every second Saturday of the month all kinds of people volunteer for … Continue reading Eat tacos, help the ‘āina

Gluten-free super Asian sauce

If you’re trying to eat wheat- or gluten-free (like me—I have a wheat sensitivity), you pretty much have to write off prepared Asian-style dressings or sauces because they usually contain shoyu, which contains wheat. Artizen by MW comes to the rescue with its yuzu kosho vinaigrette. Made with tamari (wheat-free shoyu), rice-wine vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, tons of sesame seeds and the spicy Japanese paste … Continue reading Gluten-free super Asian sauce

Bruce Bromberg: How he fell for Hawai‘i + the origin of his famed bone marrow

For a Modern Luxury Hawai‘i assignment, I was lucky to be able to interview three chefs participating in this year’s Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival, happening Oct. 14–30 on three islands and with more kitchen and bar talent than ever before. I figured most media would be mobbing the new names—especially returning local heroes Chung Chow of New York’s Noreetuh and Ravi Kapur of Liho Liho Yacht … Continue reading Bruce Bromberg: How he fell for Hawai‘i + the origin of his famed bone marrow

Pete Wells: Those are some poached cojones!

It takes a lot of poached cojones to take away a famed restaurant’s stars, as Pete Wells did to American food superstar Thomas Keller’s Per Se last week, revoking two of its four New York Times stars. And of course it was a seismic event that unleashed a tsunami of comments and editorials (I plead guilty!) on the Internet. No one wants to be disliked—respected food … Continue reading Pete Wells: Those are some poached cojones!

Make your mom feel really special at Kevin Lee’s pre-Mother’s Day dinner

You’ve left Mother’s Day reservations til the last minute—again. Do you really want to suffer through another buffet because your family for some reason goes kookoo bananas over dried-out crab legs? Take Mom to a dinner by a chef who’s worth splurging on. (I’ll take it for granted your Mom is worth splurging on too.) Tomorrow, May 9, Kevin Lee—with equally great chef Lindsey Ozawa … Continue reading Make your mom feel really special at Kevin Lee’s pre-Mother’s Day dinner

Tako dish at Vintage Cave Honolulu, May 10, 2014

Honolulu on Food + Wine Go List

Always a pleasure to work with the editors of Food + Wine magazine. Here’s Honolulu on their 2014 Go List. The hard part is culling down the list. Believe me, my initial report on what’s new in Honolulu included a lot more establishments. Another hard part is making a list that will be good for at least six months—just after this came out, Vintage Cave announced … Continue reading Honolulu on Food + Wine Go List

Cochon Island: Pig night out at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

“The pig is a magical animal,” said Brady Lowe, founder of Cochon555 at Taste in Kaka‘ako last Wednesday. “You sound like Homer Simpson,” chuckled Lee Anne Wong, who is one of five guest chefs who will cook at Cochon Island, the Hawai‘i version of Cochon 555, on Hawai‘i Island this Saturday. When Lowe launched Cochon 555 in 2008, his original concept was five chefs, five … Continue reading Cochon Island: Pig night out at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel