Monthly Archives: September 2011

Chef Alan Wong Cooking Demo at Williams-Sonoma

Chef Alan Wong will conduct a culinary technique demonstration, drawing from dishes in his newest cookbook, The Blue Tomato: The Inspirations Behind the Cuisine of Alan Wong, on Saturday, October 8 at the Williams-Sonoma store at Ala Moana Center. Chef Alan will discuss culinary principles from The Blue Tomato and demonstrate various techniques utilized in his recipes. The demonstration will last approximately 40 minutes and will be followed immediately by a book signing session; copies of The Blue Tomato will be available for purchase at Williams-Sonoma.

Culinary Technique Demonstration with Chef Alan Wong
Saturday, October 8
1pm – 2:30pm
Williams-Sonoma at Ala Moana Center
(808) 951-0088

100 Thousand Poets for Change

Frances Kakugawa (Mosaic Moon; Wordsworth the Poet; Wordsworth Dances the Waltz; and Teacher, You Look Like a Horse!) will participate in the 100 Thousand Poets for Change global event on September 24, 2011 from her current hometown of Sacramento, Calif. Frances will read a new poem she has crafted for the occasion at 4:30pm at the Fremont Park (16th and P Street) gathering, supported in part by the Sacramento Poetry Center, and hosted by Rebecca Moos and Bob Stanley.

For more information on the 100 Thousand Poets for Change organization, including how to host your own reading for the designated day, visit their website. The group is organizing 600 events in 450 cities and 95 countries in a demonstration and celebration of poetry to promote serious social, environmental, and political change.

Rice is So Nice…And so is Winning a Dinner for Two!

We had a really “rice” time at the 2011 Hawai‘i Rice Fest this past Sunday (Sept. 11, 2011)! We brought 11 chefs with us to make 12 different tasty rice dishes, all featured in Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi’s The Hawai‘i Book of Rice. Our new Rice Book Gift Sets proved so popular we sold out halfway through the festival! (Cane Haul Road is hard at working printing up more adorable “Ochazuke” dishtowels, so the sets will be back in stock at our online store soon — they’re perfect for gift-giving and a real steal at just $18 for the whole set.)

Congratulations to Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi of Tokkuri-Tei, the defending Rice-ipe Champion, who edged out (by one hundredth of a point!) Chef Wayne Hirabayashi of the Kahala Hotel & Resort, with his Unagi Donburi Risotto in the Professional Division of the Rice-ipe Cook-off. (Chef Santa’s winning recipe from last year, Seafood Risotto, can be found in our cookbook; this year’s recipe was a new creation for the contest.) In the Amateur Division, Loreen Matsushima took the top honors with her Hurry Curry Fried Rice.

Take a peek at all the cooking action in our slide show below (click on it to go to the full-size photo gallery), and be sure to take a good look at the 12 different recipes our contributors dished up in competition and demonstrations.

Leave us a comment here on the blog and tell us which of the “rice-ipes” you’d most like to try. We’ll pick a winner randomly from all the responses to win a great prize!*

What do you win? Well, Turtle Bay Resort has generously donated a Dinner for Two at Leonardo’s Italian Dining Experience. If you like  Italian food and sharing with your family and friends, this is the right venue for you, featuring house-made pastas, thin crust pizzas, meat and fish dishes, great appetizers and salads and for the finale, miniature “guilt free” desserts!

*Contest closes at 11:59PM on September 30, 2011. A winner will be selected at random from the valid comments posted prior to the contest closing time. To be counted as an entry, the comment must include an on-topic answer, stating which of the 12 dishes made by our chefs at Rice Fest  (featured in our slideshow; or see the list here) you would most like to try. One entry per e-mail. The winner will be notified via e-mail; in the event that we do not hear back from the winner within 48 hours to confirm acceptance of their prize, a new winner will be chosen. Winners who do not respond within the stated time frame forfeit their prize claim. Contributing chefs and their immediate families, as well as employees of aio LLC companies and their immediate families are ineligible to win.

Taste Hawaii with Chef Alan Wong & Arnold Hiura

In October and November, James Beard Award-winning chef Alan Wong and Hawai‘i food historian Arnold Hiura will bring a taste of the Islands to the San Francisco Bay Area with their “Taste Hawai‘i” Tour.

The duo will offer six events in San Francisco and San Jose between October 27 and November 2, all open to the public, sharing the cuisine and food culture of Hawai‘i. Attendees will learn about the evolution of the Islands’ unique culinary landscape and how it has inspired Chef Alan. Guests will also have the opportunity to taste Hawai‘i—literally! Chef Alan and Arnold, assisted by Hukilau Restaurants, will serve dishes from Chef’s newest cookbook, The Blue Tomato, and classic Hawai‘i fare featured in Arnold’s book, Kau Kau: Cuisine & Culture in the Hawaiian Islands.

Events range in price from free to $75 and include activities such as “talk-story” book signings, cooking demonstrations, culinary exercises and tasting events—culminating in a “Birthday Bash” celebration for Chef Alan with a trip to Hawai‘i giveaway. Visit www.thebluetomato.net/tastehawaiitour for full event information and ticket purchases.

Mahalo to the Hawai‘i Visitors & Convention Bureau, Hawaiian Airlines, HAWAI‘I Magazine, Hukilau Restaurants, the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Northern California and the Hawai‘i Chamber of Commerce of Northern California for making the Taste Hawai‘i Tour possible!

Kualoa Rice Bowl Art Contest Winners

The First Place winner in our Rice Bowl Art Contest at Kualoa, Grayson K. of Kalihi. We love how Grayson drew each grain of rice!

Our Rice Bowl Art Contest at Kualoa’s Keiki Arts & Reading Festival in August received over 80 entries from aspiring artists. Hawai‘i Book of Rice author Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi, who hosted the coloring activity for the children, loved seeing how creative the kids got with their artwork. We saw white rice, brown rice, red rice, blue rice and rainbow rice! And a handful of entries also featured veggies in their fried rice — who says kids don’t like eating healthy?

Our winners, by popular vote, are:

First Place: Grayson K., age 7, of Kalihi (Entry #41)
Second Place: Shane C., age 4, of Kaneohe (Entry #33)
Third Place: Shannon G., age 8, and Megan G., age 5, of Kaneohe (Entries #11 and #12); a tie between sisters, so their family wins all around!

Click on any image in the slide show to view the complete gallery of artwork.

And check out this photo gallery of our young artists, hard at work!

Kau Kau Class at UH

Arnold Hiura, in the center, holds an authentic kau kau tin — the actual lunch pail he used as a young man working in the fields. Students hold up copies of Arnold’s Kau Kau and Chef Alan Wong’s The Blue Tomato, plus “essential” local canned goods—SPAM, anyone?

Author Arnold Hiura (Kau Kau: Cuisine & Culture in the Hawaiian Islands; co-author, The Blue Tomato with Chef Alan Wong) shared this photo with us. He says:

For the second year, I accepted an invitation to participate in the Nihon University Summer Seminar, hosted by the Center for the Family at UH-Manoa. The students from Shizuoka, Japan, attend classes for about two weeks, studying food and nutrition, including a healthy dose of history and culture of Hawaii. All of the presentations are conducted in English, so the students also get credit for the language immersion experience. They even got to prepare loco moco with an instructor from KCC, visit the Farmers Market, and take a trip to the Big Island, where they vowed to visit Cafe 100, Two Ladies Kitchen and Big Island Candies after touring the Volcano.

Arnold is no stranger to the classroom; last year he visited the Leeward Community College M‘AO Farms Youth Leadership intern class. Check out the photo gallery from that visit here.

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