Chef Grant MacPherson Featured at Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

Scotch Myst Chef Grant MacPhersonInternationally known Chef Grant MacPherson will be a featured chef with Jade at this year’s Hawaii’s Food & Wine Festival. He will cook at the Corks & Forks event presented by Hawaiian Airlines on Saturday, September 6, 2014. The event will feature 20 celebrity chefs and 20 of Napa Valley’s Top Wine Estates.

Last year, MacPherson cooked his famous Wild Boar Scotch egg. At this year’s festival, he’ll treat clients to a seared Kahua Ranch lamb burger with pickled red beets and Big Island goat cheese.

MacPherson migrated to Australia in the late 1980s and it was always a dream of his to work in Hawaii. That dream was fulfilled when he was hired to be part of the opening team at the Ritz-Carlton on the Big Island as the Dining Room Chef in 1990. He returned in 1999 to work alongside one of his mentors Chef Philippe Padovani. He now lives in Vegas but returns each year for a small vacation. Recently, Grant has been cooking and travelling aboard HawaiiYachts.com with Global Ocean Club in the south of France and Italy.

“Coming to Hawaii is very magical for me because of the time I’ve spent here living and working,” said MacPherson. “It’s an honor to come back as a guest of Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong and to be working with my good buddies Hubert Keller and Dean Fearing from Dallas. It’s starting to become one of the elite food and wine festivals on the globe with chefs and friends from all over the world collaborating together to use Hawaiian products. I’m honored to be a part of this event.

A native Scotsman who grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and Alberta, Canada, MacPherson began his culinary journey in southern Ontario, Canada before it was fashionable. In the restaurant business now for more than 30 years, MacPherson has cooked adventurous five-star food, developing menus, designed and run kitchens, and built top-notch teams at iconic places including Raffles Hotel—the legendary “Grand Old Lady of Singapore;” the opening of Bellagio, Las Vegas; Wynn Las Vegas; Wynn Macau; Regent Hotels in Sydney and Kuala Lumpur; Maxim’s de Paris, Singapore; Four Seasons Hotels in Toronto, Vancouver, and London; Ritz Carlton, Big Island of Hawaii; and Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, West Indies.

MacPherson recently opened his global food and beverage consultancy Scotch Myst in Las Vegas, located upstairs at Granello Bakery. There, he develops, consults, and implements highly customized culinary solutions and services for restaurants and hotels worldwide. In addition to running Scotch Myst, MacPherson keeps a busy calendar touring the globe to cook at a wide variety of culinary events.

Posted in Events | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

State Launches Restaurant Rating System

Hawaii Restaurant Rating

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) is now posting color-coded placards at Oahu restaurants as part of the state’s new Food Safety Code, signed into law by Gov. Neil Abercrombie earlier this year. The new placards will be posted after each health inspection is completed at every food establishment that holds a DOH permit. The placards indicate whether a food establishment has passed its health inspection, received a conditional pass, or has been closed due to permit suspension.

“Hawaii consumers will have more peace of mind about being protected from foodborne illnesses and other health hazards when they’re eating out this summer,” said Gary Gill, deputy director of environmental health. “The new food safety rules let consumers know which food establishments have violations and may cause some to think twice about eating at locations where concerns are not being addressed.”

More than 10,000 food establishments statewide prepare or serve food and require a DOH permit to operate their business under the law. There are roughly 6,000 such establishments on Oahu, 1,800 on Hawaii Island, 1,600 on Maui, and 690 on Kauai. This includes restaurants, hotels, caterers, food warehouses, markets, convenience stores, lunch wagons, push carts, and institutional kitchens for healthcare facilities, preschools, elementary schools, adult and child day care centers, and prisons.

“The new law has a built-in incentive for self-policing among food facilities to correct their violations in a timely manner,” said Peter Oshiro, environmental health program manager in the Sanitation, Food and Drug and Vector Control Branch of DOH. “The resulting increased efficiency will free up our inspectors to devote more time to conduct inspections of all of our facilities, and less time on follow-up with the same establishments that do not address their violations in a timely manner.”

The new law follows what has already been occurring in other states across the nation. In anticipation of the rollout of the new law, DOH has been meeting with the boards and members of numerous industry trade associations to keep them fully informed of the pending rule change.

The law has received support and endorsement from the boards of directors of such groups as the Hawaii Restaurant Association, and has received no objections from the Hawaii Food Industry Association, Hawaii Food Manufacturing Association, Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association, and Hawaii Farmers markets.

“Food safety and sanitation are high priorities for all of our members,” said Roger Morey, executive director of the Hawaii Restaurant Association, which represents 3,500 locations in the restaurant, food service, hospitality and tourism industries that employ more than 82,000 people statewide. “We believe this new law is good for Hawaii residents and visitors to our Islands, and will help to demonstrate our members’ commitment to high standards in all aspects of food handling. A green placard represents a seal of approval from the Department of Health, which will further support the business of our members.”

The Color-Coded Placard System

The color-coded placard system is based on an award-winning environmental health program adopted from Sacramento County. After completion of an inspection, DOH will post a color-coded placard to indicate the compliance status of that food establishment, which will be visible to patrons who visit the establishment and to the general public.

A green card will be for those establishments with no more than one critical violation that must be corrected at the time of inspection; a yellow card will be used those with two or more critical violations; and a red will be used for those food establishments that need to be immediately closed because they pose an imminent health hazard to the community.

Three Risk Categories

Each food establishment is categorized into one of three risk levels for foodborne illnesses. Those at the highest risk levels are category 1 and those with the least risk are considered category 3. The number of food handling or preparation procedures determines the level of risk. Approximately one-third of the inventory of food establishments are in each risk category. A category 1 establishment is a full-service establishment that has six to eight different food procedures, including receiving, cold storage, hot storage, thermal processing, transportation, cooling, reheating and display. About one-third of Oahu food establishments fall into category 1. Regular inspections (not follow-up inspections) of Category 1 establishments will be conducted three times a year.

Category 2 establishments, typically fast food establishments, which have three to five procedures, will be inspected twice a year. Category 3 establishments, such as cookie or ice cream shops have up to two procedures and will be inspected annually.

The new risk-based inspection schedules began on July 21.

The Basics

The Hawaii Department of Health will post a color-coded placard after an initial inspection of a food service organization to indicate it compliance status. This placard will be visible to patrons who visit the establishment and to the general public. The law requires these placards to be posted in a display case outside on the outside wall of the establishment, within five feet of the main entry, or in an area readily visible to patrons when they enter the food establishment. The placard must remain in place until a new placard is issued.

  • Green: Food establishments receive a green placard if they have no more than one critical violation that was observed during an initial inspection, or that a violation was immediately corrected.
  • Yellow: A yellow placard is posted when a food establishment has a critical violation and it is not corrected, or when two or more critical violations are observed by a Department of Health inspector.
  • Red: Food establishments that pose a danger to health of the community are immediately closed. A red placard is posted if food establishments must close because there is an immediate health threat to the community. Some of these conditions can include: evidence of foodborne illnesses or disease transmission from food establishment, an employee has a communicable disease; hot or cold water are not available as required; no power is available to operate refrigeration or cooking equipment; and sewage overflow or flooding. In severe cases where corrections are not made, the department may suspend a permit to operate.

Hawaii Department of Health inspectors will typically conduct follow-up inspections within two days to determine if violations have been corrected. Under the new law, there is more incentive for establishments to correct their violations in a timely manner without the need for ongoing monitoring by inspectors. Establishments can receive a green placard if follow-up inspections verify that corrections have been made. A yellow placard functions as a condition use permit. If it is taken down before corrections are made, an establishment could face fines of $1,000 per day.

Increased Efficiency and Funding for DOH

DOH inspectors now spend 60 percent of their time on follow-up inspections. By encouraging self-policing and faster responses to violations, this will free up the inspectors to conduct three regular inspections on high-risk food establishments each year, and significantly reduce the number of follow-up inspections. On Oahu, there are currently 25 DOH inspectors in the field with six more to be hired this summer and fall for a total of 31; eight on Hawaii Island; four on Maui with up to 4 more to be hired this year; and three on Kauai.

“With the growing number of establishments, this new system allows us to be more efficient in conducting inspections,” Oshiro said.

As part of the new law, DOH also revamped its fee structure for permits, effective Feb. 24, 2014. Previously, the average permit fee paid by all food establishments was $46 in three different fee categories. There are now 49 different categories of food establishments and the average fee will be $200. Permit and renewal fees for permanent establishments range from $100 for a mobile hot dog cart to $600 for a hotel main kitchen preparing food for banquets and conventions. The increased permit fees are being used to help fund the additional inspectors and program enhancements such as web-based IT infrastructure and online inspection results.

Posted in News, Restaurants | Leave a comment

Liliha Bakery Opens on Nimitz Highway

Liliha Bakery Second Location

Every day, thousands of Honolulu commuters have driven past the old Sam Choy’s restaurant space on Nimitz Highway in Iwilei, dreaming of the day when they would be able to stop and pick up some sweet, delicious coco puffs on their way home. And while the original opening in May had to be postponed, today that day has come. Liliha Bakery, a local institution going back more than half a century, has finally opened its second location. In addition to a massive array of baked goods, the Nimitz Highway location also features a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. And compared to the cozy accommodations in Kalihi, the new space can seat over 100 hungry diners.

Read more >>>

Posted in News, Restaurants | Leave a comment

San Francisco Chef Anthony Yang to ‘Pop Up’ in Honolulu

Ante MeridianSan Francisco-based chef Anthony Yang, formerly of Per Se and Michael Mina, will headline ‘Ante Meridian’ later this month in Manoa.

‘Ante Meridian’ will offer a four-course prixe fixe brunch menu highlighting a mix of seasonal local ingredients and San Francisco flair.

The event will ‘pop up’ at an intimate location in Manoa at the corner of Lowery and East Manoa Road. There will be two seatings on Saturday, July 12 and one seating on Sunday, July 13. Tickets are $45 and each seating is limited to 30 diners, so chairs are expected to fill up fast.

Reservations are available on EventBrite. The menu, according to the reservation page, is as follows:

  1. Kona Coffee Flavored Granola, Local Organic Yogurt, Taro/Date Jam
  2. Macadamia Nut Brioche Bread Pudding, Brown Butter Roasted Pineapple, Vanilla Creme Fraiche
  3. Koshihikari Rice Porridge, Togarashi Braised Pork, Homemade Pickles, Poached Egg, Furikake
  4. Black Truffle Waffles, Maple Syrup

The pop up event is being promoted by Under My Umbrella and presented by The Pili Group.

Details:

  • Who: Anthony Yang & Pili Group
  • What: Ante Meridian 808 Brunch Pop-Up
  • When: Saturday, July 12 (10 am and 1 pm) and Sunday, July 13, 2014 (10 am)
  • Where: 2970 E. Manoa Road Honolulu, HI 96822
  • Cost: $45/person, tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite:

About Ante Meridian

Over a year ago, Anthony Yang began to host pop-up brunch events for his coworkers and friends while working at Michael Mina Restaurant in San Francisco. Keeping with the brunch concept, Yang used the Latin term, Ante Meridian (am), meaning “of, relating to, or taking place in the morning” as the name of his events.

As time went on he expanded his concept of serving an a la carte menu at a bar to a loaded four course menu in a Victorian house in the Mission District of San Francisco known as The Naked Kitchen. The event now takes place twice a month and sells out within hours of releasing the menu. The concept has been so successful Yang has launched an evening event call, you guess it, Post Meridian.

For more information on Ante Meridian and Chef Anthony Yang, visit his Facebook page Ante Meridian SF.

Posted in Events | Leave a comment

Hank’s Haute Dogs among nation’s best

Hank's Haute DogsProving that Hawaii is not just the state known for Pineapple and Spam, Hank’s Haute Dogs has been hailed by GAYOT.com — online worldwide authority on dining, travel and lifestyle — as one of the Top 10 Hot Dogs to eat in America.

Highlighted as one of the “exotic choices” of hot dogs on the menu, Hank’s Lobster Dog is seared in butter then dressed with garlic-relish aioli, lettuce tomato and pickled takuan radish. Also recommended is Hank’s famous Fat Boy.

“Cast all cares about calories aside and opt for the ‘Fat Boy,’” says GAYOT.com. The Fat Boy is Hank’s best dog wrapped in bacon, deep fried served with mayo, tomato and lettuce.

Hank’s Haute Dogs serves their nationally recognized haute dogs seven days a week at its 324 Coral Street location.

Posted in News, Restaurants | Leave a comment

Madre Chocolate wins ‘best bean-to-bar’ award at Big Island festival

Likao KulaMadre Chocolate has won again at the Big Island Chocolate Festival to add to its growing suite of awards, this time bringing home the best bean-to-bar chocolate award in a competitive field for a 70 percent dark chocolate bar crafted with cacao sourced from the Likao Kula Farm, Holualoa, Kona.

This award, which Madre has won for three years running, was judged by chocolate luminaries “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of the Chocolate Haven and former executive pastry chef at Le Cirque, chef Donald Wressell of Guittard, chef Vincent Bourdin of Valrhona USA, and chef Stanton Ho of Amoretti.

David Elliott and Nat Bletter, cofounders of Madre Chocolate, were ecstatic at the news of the win, and credit much of the chocolate’s exceptional flavor to the hard work of the cacao grower, Gini Choobua, with whom they have collaborated over the last few years to perfect a post-harvest fermentation technique that highlights exquisite gooseberry and brazil nut notes in the cacao her farm produces.

Choobua’s farm is located at 1600 ft. – extremely high altitude for cacao production. The cold nighttime temperatures at this altitude are considered by many to be an obstacle to producing premium quality cacao, but Choobua has combined innovative techniques and careful study to defy the odds and produce incomparable cacao with a beautiful complexity of flavor. And the cool temperatures at this latitude and altitude do give the cacao a highly desirable quality: it produces an exceedingly creamy chocolate with an incredibly luscious texture due to the unique qualities of the natural cocoa butter found in the high altitude cacao beans.

Madre Chocolate has won 11 awards in the past two years, including an International Chocolate Award in London, making it the only award-winning chocolate company to use U.S.-grown cacao and the first Hawaiian food producer to win two “Good Food Awards.”

“We’ve been fortunate to win national and international awards that help bring recognition for the world-class cacao and chocolate that’s now being produced in Hawaii,” said the company’s “Chocolate Flavormeister” Nat Bletter.

Bletter added that “the representation and quality of locally-made chocolate at the festival is really impressive and is growing every year.”

Madre strives to connect chocophiles with the roots of chocolate, leading a variety of delightful chocolate events on a weekly basis, from cacao farm and chocolate factory tours to bean-to-bar chocolate making classes, whiskey and chocolate pairings, traditional mole-making classes, and an intensive cacao boot camp aimed at training a new generation of chocolate makers. This is what makes Madre Chocolate one of the only U.S. grown chocolates that is exported around the world for everyone to enjoy.

Posted in News | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Whole Foods Hawaii backs taro documentary

I Am HaloaTwo Whole Foods Market Hawaii locations, at Kahala Mall and in Kailua, will be supporting the “I am Hāloa” film project in upcoming Community Support Days.

On Wednesday, May 21 at Whole Foods Kahala and Wednesday, June 11 at Whole Foods Kailua, shoppers are invited to shop in support of the project with five percent of the days’ net sales donated to Hawaii Maoli for “I am Hāloa,” the nonprofit fiscal sponsor of the independent film.

Whole Foods Market stores nationwide organize Community Support Days throughout the year.

On each of the two Community Support Days, Daniel Anthony, film documentary subjects Lahela Paresa, La’ahiahoaalohaokekaimalie Kekahuna and Taylor Anne Meali’i Fitzsimmons and other members of the pa`i`ai community will demonstrate the ancient practice of hand-pounding steamed taro into pa`i `ai and will offer samples to customers to taste.

“We are so pleased to support this important project and expand the partnership that began with Daniel as a supplier of pa`i`ai in our seafood departments,” said Dabney Gough, Marketing Team Leader at Whole Foods Market Kahala.

“Our team members are particularly excited to support the work of ‘I am Hāloa’ because their mission aligns well with our core values, and complements our own task force to bring Hawaiian staple foods such as kalo and ‘ulu into our Whole Foods Market kitchens. These projects inspire us not just to understand the culture of the community where we live and work, but to be active participants in improving the health of our friends and neighbors,” said Shannon Cardellina, Marketing Team Leader at Whole Foods Market Kailua.

“I am Hāloa” tells the story of three 17-year-old Kamehameha high school seniors, Lahela Paresa, La’ahiahoaalohaokekaimalie Kekahuna and Taylor Anne Meali’i Fitzsimmons, who embark on a 90-day journey of self-discovery under the guidance of their kumu and kalo ku’i practitioner, Daniel Anthony. Together they will travel throughout the Hawaiian Islands to better understand their ancestry and to re-establish a lifestyle link to the first Hawaiian, Hāloa. For 90-days they will commit to cultivating, harvesting and eating kalo (taro / poi) for three meals a day. During these 90-days the young women will travel from Oʻahu to Kauaʻi, Maui, Molokaʻi, Moku o Keawe, Kahoʻolawe, and Lānaʻi to learn from some of the most respected leaders in Hawaii about the past, the present, and the future role that Hāloa could play in guiding the people of Hawaii.

“I am Hāloa” will explore the inherent values and conflicts that come with incorporating Hāloa into modern lifestyles and the innovative, savory new ways this ancient, sacred food is revolutionizing global cuisine through a sustainable kalo culture. These three young women will work with several of Hawaii’s top slow-food-minded chefs who believe in cooking with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Chefs include Lee Anne Wong, Ed Kenney, Mark Noguchi and Andrew Le, who are committed to incorporating pa’i’ai into the menus of their progressive kitchens.

Production began on “I am Hāloa” on Tuesday, February 18, 2014. Its intensive shooting schedule continues for the next 90-days traveling throughout the islands with valued community, cultural and agricultural leaders. The public is welcome to track the documentary progress online at www.iamhaloa.org, on twitter and instagram at @iamhaloa and on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/iamhaloathemovie

Ongoing donations are welcome in order to help send the girls to Hawaiʻi Island, Kahoʻolawe, and Lanaʻi. All donations from the www.iamhaloa.org website are tax deductible and will be received by Hawaii Maoli a 501(c)3 Non-profit organization under the leadership of Executive Director, Maile Alau.

Whole Foods Market was founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, and is the leading natural and organic food retailer. As America’s first national certified organic grocer, Whole Foods Market’s company motto is “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet.” Thanks to the company’s more than 78,000 employees, Whole Foods Market has been ranked as one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” in America by FORTUNE magazine for 15 consecutive years. In fiscal year 2013, the company had sales of $12.9 billion and currently has more than 360 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Submitted by Whole Foods Market Kailua/E-PR.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Teddy’s Bigger Burgers breaks into Manila

Teddy'sTeddy’s Bigger Burgers is growing internationally, announcing nine locations in the Philippines. The Hawaii-born company confirmed its largest partnership to date, covering the next three years in Manila. The launch date of the first store is Friday, July 18, 2014, located at Greenbelt 3, Makati City.

A potential location for one of the remaining eight future Teddy’s is Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila.

Spearheaded by the High Jap Group, the Philippines opening of Teddy’s is expected to be a success with the local demographic, according to HJG’s Ricky Laudico.

“Opening in the Philippines is beyond anything we could have imagined when we started our first little burger joint,” said co-founder Rich Stula.

Other co-founder Ted Tsakiris adds, “The progress we are seeing with Teddy’s is excellent. We’re excited to launch Team Philippines!”

Eaters in the Philippines will soon taste Teddy’s handmade, 100-percent ground chuck patties, served in an iconic, lively ’50s-themed diner setting. Other classic Teddy’s menu options include turkey, chicken or veggie burgers, fish or pastrami sandwiches and salads, as well as extra thick shakes made with fresh ice cream.

Teddy’s currently operates 11 locations in Hawaii. On the mainland, Teddy’s recently opened locations in Washington and Iowa, and soon, California and Texas. Teddy’s also has a location in Japan, and will add to their international growth by breaking ground in the Philippines.

Teddy’s Bigger Burgers franchises are currently available in all territories domestic and select international markets. Territories are being awarded now to qualified franchise prospects. Please visit teddysbiggerburgers.com for information about opening a franchise in your neighborhood.

The Teddy’s brand is built on the premise of a fun, ’50s style, high-energy burger joint that features burgers, old-fashioned extra-thick shakes, excellent customer service, unique local flavors and custom concoctions in every franchise.

Submitted by Hawaii Pacific Entertainment.

Posted in News, Restaurants | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Cable Show Casting Would-Be Restaurateurs

Photo by Poiseon Bild & Text

A “major cable network” is looking for people who are moving from the hustle and bustle of a busy city to the Hawaiian tropics to open a restaurant.

The casting team is looking for people who have leased or purchased a restaurant (or are about to lease or purchase a restaurant) in Hawaii.

“We are searching for new restaurant owners to be featured on an episode of a brand new tropical TV series and we want you and your restaurant to be a part of it,” reads the casting call. “If you have moved from the contiguous U.S., are a new restaurant owner, or [are] about to close a sale or lease on a restaurant space in Hawaii and are interested in participating, please submit your information ASAP.”

Filming is scheduled to begin in January 2014.

To apply, email RestaurantBuyersWanted@gmail.com phone, email, city of residence, and the location of restaurant, along with photos of the restaurant and you and your family or you and your business partner.

Photo courtesy Poiseon Bild & Text/Flickr.

Posted in News | Leave a comment

‘Chefs for Hope’ to Raise Funds for Haiyan Relief

Chefs for Hope - Haiyan Relief FundraiserA group of local chefs, entertainers and food and beverage industry professionals will stage “Chefs For Hope,” a fundraiser for survivors of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

“The images of destruction are unbelievable,” says chef Chai Chaowasaree, who is leading the efforts, along with Pacific Rim Concepts’ Lee-Ann Choy. “People have lost everything and entire towns have been washed away.”

Confirmed participants include 12th Ave Grill, Alan Wong’s, the Beachhouse at the Moana, Cafe Laufer, Centerplate, d.k Steakhouse, HASR Bistro, Hawaiian Spring Water, Hiroshi’s, Japengo, JJ Bistro & French Pastry, Kakaako Kitchen, La Tour Cafe, Mariposa, Michel’s at the Colony Surf, Morimoto, Nico’s, Nori’s, Ola at the Turtle Bay Resort, Paradise Beverages, Poke Stop, Rakuen Sushi Bar/Mercury Pub, Roy’s, SALT, Sansei Sushi Bar & Restaurant, Side Street Inn, Southern Wine & Spirits, Tango Contemporary Cafe, The Pacific Club and World Sake Import Beverages.

The event will be held Monday, Nov. 25 at the Neal Blaisdell Center. VIP tables of 10 cost $5,000; reserved seating for 10 is priced at $1,500; and $100 for individual grazing tickets. One hundred percent of ticket sales will be donated to the Salvation Army. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for VIP and reserved seating, and 6:30 for general admission.

Tickets are available at the Neal Blaisdell Box Office Monday-Saturday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and at Chef Chai at Pacifica. For more information, call 585-0011.

Event sponsors include Accel Rentals, Current Affairs, Events International, Hon Graphics, Nursery Associates, Pacific Rim Concepts, LLC and Royal Party Rentals.

Ticket Value: Hard Tickets sales
6:30 P.M. (Public Entry)
$150.00 general seating
$100.00 for individual grazing tickets

Note:
*5:30 P.M. (VIP Entry)
*$500.00 VIP tickets sold by the Promoter
*Tickets also sold at Chef Chai at Pacifica
Ages: 21 years and up / No one under 21

Payment Accepted by cash, Visa, Master Card, Discover, and American Express. No feen selling Hard Tickets.

Source: Neil S. Blaisdell Center

Posted in Events | Leave a comment