Poke fans and the island’s best poke shops will converge on Ala Moana Center for the second annual Honolulu PokeFest on Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 4–8 p.m.
The Hibachi Poke
The event will take over the shaded parking section between Morton’s Steakhouse and Park Lane luxury condominium on the makai side of the mall. Poke lovers will feast on multiple poke selections from 15 poke shops including Alicia’s Market from Kalihi, Moiliili’s Ahi Assassins, The Hibachi from Kailua, Tanioka’s of Waipahu, downtown’s Aloha Poke Shop and Aloha Cones, Poke on Da Run from Pearl City, Kapahulu’s Hawaii Sushi and more.
Guests will vote on their favorite creation to determine the island’s best poke. The first-ever Poke Pound eating contest presented by nomnom, Hawaii’s newest convenience stores, will award a pair of round-trip tickets to Las Vegas to the fastest poke eater around.
A portion of event proceeds will benefit Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, a local nonprofit organization that educates and insipires communities to care for our coastlines through fun, hands-on beach cleanups. They will be onsite to offer information and education and provide waste management.
Honolulu PokeFest is presented by Frolic Hawaii. It is organized by Events International with support from Anela, AT Marketing and Luna Hawaii.
Kai Cowell of Kaiulani Spices has been chosen to represent Hawaii at Flavored Nation’s inaugural event, serving the state’s iconic plate lunch (with kalua pig and pineapple rice) to thousands of food enthusiasts – alongside chefs and restaurateurs from 49 other states.
Flavored Nation is a new national food experience, kicking off in the Midwest and bringing with it a nationwide selection tastes and talent.
Through extensive research conducted by a team of culinary experts and food entertainment veterans, Flavored Nation has identified the most iconic food from each of the 50 states. Those 50 dishes – as well as the restaurateurs or chefs who prepare them best – will travel to the St. Louis’ Dome at America’s Center, October 27-29, giving up to 12,000 attendees the chance to feast on “a taste of every state.”
Plate lunch comes from Hawaii’s immigrant culture of the 1880s, when plantation workers would make carb heavy lunches from leftovers to sustain them through the long days in the sugar and pineapple fields, Flavored Nation explains.
Cowell is originally from the Philippines and has lived in Hawaii since 1976. She was born into a family of cooks, attended culinary school and began creating her own spice blends ten years ago at her home on the side of a hill above Honolulu. Today, Cowell’s spice blends – which she uses in her plate lunch recipe – can be purchased online and in stores throughout Hawaii, as well as tasted in dishes at some of Waikiki’s most popular restaurants. Her first cookbook will come out this fall.
Flavored Nation is spearheaded by its executive producer Richard Gore, who has been developing live culinary entertainment since the mid-1990s (back when food events weren’t a thing). He served as president of live events at Food Network and led the development of “Food Network Live” and “Food University™ at Caesars Palace,” in addition to creating “eat-ertainment” marketing campaigns for brands like Heinz, P&G, Unilever, Ikea and Family Circle.
At Gore’s side are fellow food entertainment veterans, David Rosengarten, Jared Bobkin and Bobby Parrish. Rosengarten is a two-time James Beard award winning food writer and was one of the first on-air talents at Food Network. He hosted “Food News & Views” then created and hosted the program “Taste,” which ran for eight years. He’s now Flavored Nation’s head of content. Bobkin is a Detroit-area executive chef who made it to the final rounds of FOX’s “Hell’s Kitchen” season 15. He’s also Flavored Nation’s culinary director, conducting nationwide research with Rosengarten to determine the United States’ iconic foods and top eateries. Parrish, a Chicago native, is a home cook whose online brand FlavCity has a social following of more than 400K. He appeared on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen” in 2006 and is now the friendly face of Flavored Nation’s online video series.
“America is incredibly passionate about food, which has moved from our plates to our screens and become a core part of today’s pop culture” said Gore. “For cooks and non-cooks alike, how we speak about food today is not how we talked about it 15 years ago. Food is reviewed, read about and watched on TV; and our social lives often revolve around eating. However, in a nation of documented culinary diversity, most people’s personal food experience is still limited to local geography and some occasional travel. It’s why a Chicagoan can argue extensively about the city’s best deep dish but has never tried chislic or huddish… the iconic foods of South Dakota and Minnesota, respectively. This is the perfect time for Flavored Nation. We want to fuel debate about local favorites and at the same time spur discovery people crave, providing access to 49 other state dishes that, for most, will be brand new.”
The vendors who will be in attendance include chefs and restaurateurs almost as iconic as the state dishes they’ll represent.
“No one wrote a guidebook on how to authentically identify the United States’ most iconic foods,” said Rosengarten. “It’s been an amazing adventure and challenge. Some states, like Louisiana, California and New York, are well known for multiple dishes. For other states, like South Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska, I personally drew a blank. Through exhaustive research, consumer input via social media and conversations with state tourism boards, we’ve mapped it out. Now, we’re stacking our roster. Restaurants and chefs can’t buy their way in. This is invite only, and we’ll be bringing the best of the best for an unrivaled culinary experience this fall at Flavored Nation.”
For more information on Flavored Nation, and to purchase tickets, visit www.flavorednation.com. Also follow Flavored Nation on Facebook (facebook.com/flavorednation), Twitter and Instagram (@flavorednation), and share your iconic food passions by using the hashtag #flavorednation.
The Hawaii Restaurant Association is hosting its 10th annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Monday.
The inductees are select individuals who have “demonstrated dedication and commitment to the growth of the restaurant and food service industry in Hawaii, contributed to the enhancement of its quality and image, and demonstrated service through outreach.”
The Hall of Fame was the brainchild of then director Gail Ann Chew. Current Hall of Fame program chair Anne Lee said:
The Hall of Fame was to honor all of the old time restaurants. In the past, when you thought of Hawaii and food, you would always remember certain restaurants that you had gone to frequently. How can anyone forget local institutions like Columbia Inn, Flamingos, Kings Bakery, Wo Fat, Hamura Saimin, Manago Hotel, Tip Top, and the list goes on and on, or people like Lyle and Grace Guslander and so many more people who shaped Hawaii’s culinary landscape.
Many of these iconic restaurants are no longer here, this Hall of Fame was created to remember and honor the pioneers that have paved the way for many in our industry today. September 19th, 2016 marks a decade of honoring these leaders.
The event will feature a “Chefs of Aloha Dine-Around,” emceed by Kanoa Leahey and guest presenters Chef Alan Wong and Honolulu Magazine Food Editor Catherine Toth-Fox.
Proceeds will benefit the HRA Scholarship Program at the University of Hawaii Community Colleges.
The 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees:
Mark Shishido – Wine Director Alan Wong’s
Dr. John Morton – VP for UH Community Colleges
Edward Doty – Eagle Distributors/JMD Beverages
Alicia and Raymond Kam – Alicia’s Market
Mel and Lynn Tanioka – Tanioka’s Seafood and Catering
David Nagaishi – Ocean House, Pounders at PCC (Deceased)
Jacqueline Lau – Roy’s Hawaii
Bob and Christine French – Brennecke’s Beach Broiler
Aaron Placourakis – President / CEO Tri Star Restaurant Group, JAS Restaurants & AMP Restaurants, LTD.
Debra Ching Maiava and Ric Maiava – Ken’s House of Pancakes
Zippy’s (FCH Enterprises) – 50th Year Anniversary
Aloha Shoyu – 70th year Anniversary
The “Dine Around” will feature chefs from the past nine years:
2016 – Chef Mark Noguchi – MISSION Social Hall & Café
2015 – Chef Freddie Billena – Pōmaika’i Ballrooms
2014 – Chef James Aptakin – MAC 24/7
2014 – Chef Ken Mackenzie – Tommy Bahama
2014 – Chef Marc Anthony Freiberg – Mariposa
2013 – Chef Jesse Cruz – Lucky Belly and Livestock Tavern
2013 – Chef Cyrus Goo – Café Laufer
2012 – Chef Long – Prima
2011 – Chef Roger Dikon – Regency Culinary Services and HRC founding chef
2010 – Chef Goran Streng – Tango Contemporary Café
2009 – Chef Matt Young – Hula Grill
2009 – Chef Keith Kong – Duke’s Waikiki
2008 – Chef Chai Chaowasaree – Chef Chai’s
2007 – Chef Russell Siu – 3660 on the Rise / Kaka’ako kitchen
About The Hawaii Restaurant Association
The Hawaii Restaurant Association (HRA) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit trade organization, together with the National Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, is dedicated to representing, educating and promoting the restaurant, food service, hospitality and tourism industries. The HRA provides access to the support and resources that industry professionals need to maintain a thriving business and serves as a contributing member of the unique and diverse restaurant community here in Hawaii.
This Summer, the hugely popular Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will be crossing the Pacific Ocean to make its first-ever visit to Hawaii.
The special three-day appearance will take place from Friday, June 17 through Sunday, June 19 at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu. The “mobile vehicle of cuteness and sweets” will serve goodies from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily to Hello Kitty fans of all ages.
Treats on board the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will include a macaron box set with one surprise Sanrio character macaron inside, a delicious three-piece Hello Kitty cookie set in adorable packaging, a four-pack of mini cakes, and a pink bow-shaped water bottle. In addition to the goodies, a Hello Kitty Cafe mug, a supercute pink Hello Kitty Cafe T-shirt and the pop icon’s signature bow headband will also be available to purchase.
The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will be stationed in front of the Sanrio store, making it easy for fans to continue their experience by stopping by the retail location.
The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is the first-of-its-kind food service venture for Sanrio in the U.S. The cafe truck made its first official debut at Hello Kitty Con in October 2014 and has been rolling up to festivals & events ever since, spreading Sanrio’s message of happiness, friendship and fun while offering yummy goodies to Hello Kitty fans and foodies.
McDonald’s of Koapaka, located on the former Byron’s Drive In lot near the Honolulu International Airport, will celebrate its grand opening “pau hana” style on Friday, Jan. 9 from 3 to 8 p.m. The public is invited to attend festivities that will include Big Mac® sandwiches for only 99-cents from 5 to 8 p.m.
In addition, attendees will also enjoy a traditional Chinese Lion Dance, a Ronald McDonald meet and greet, live radio broadcast with Krey-Z Oshiro of Island 98.5, entertainment by Simple Souls and prize giveaways throughout the evening. Customers at McDonald’s of Koapaka will enjoy the new double lane drive-thru, dual-point order system (completed orders called out by number) interior décor and seating, as well as exterior patio seating.
The “Pau Hana” timeline is as follows:
3 to 6 p.m.: Island 98.5 Live Radio Broadcast with Krey-Z Oshiro
3 p.m.: Meet and Greet with Ronald McDonald
4 p.m.: Chinese Lion Dance
5 to 8 p.m.: 99-cent Big Mac Sandwich Deal
6 to 8 p.m.: Simple Souls
McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii has 86 restaurants and more than 5,200 employees in Hawaii, Guam and Saipan. In Hawaii alone, the company has 76 restaurants and more than 4,600 employees. McDonald’s total economic impact on the state yearly, directly and indirectly, is about $370 million in spending and nearly 12,000 jobs in the community. McDonald’s prides itself on offering career opportunities to employees, with most managers staying with the company for more than 18 years. Follow McDonald’s Restaurants of Hawaii on Twitter at @McDonaldsHawaii.
A Formal Grand Opening of Liliha Bakery’s second location on Nimitz Highway has been scheduled for Friday, October 17, with specials available through Thursday, October 23.
The restaurant opened on July 9 in what was planned to be a “soft opening,” but loyal Liliha Bakery patrons had other plans, showing up in droves and catching the restaurant off guard. Three months later, award-winning local restaurateur and Liliha Bakery owner Peter Kim extends a heartfelt apology to those who received unsatisfactory service while the restaurant worked out the food quality, service levels and entire dining experience, encouraging them to give the diner another chance to provide a quality experience.
To mark to the grand opening, customers can enjoy several special promotions that involve a Liliha Bakery favorite – the one and only Coco Puff – a chocolate cream puff topped with Chantilly icing. During the grand opening period, everyone who dines in the restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner will receive a free original-flavor Coco Puff. Or, customers who want to share the joy can take out a dozen Coco Puffs at the reduced, special celebration price of just $11.99 (regular price is $15.25 per dozen). These specials are exclusive to the new Liliha Bakery Nimitz location.
“This is just our way of saying Mahalo to everyone who came out early on to support Liliha Bakery on Nimitz and to apologize to those who experienced less than the top-quality service we aim to provide,” said owner Peter Kim. “We underestimated the popularity and were simply ill prepared for the crowds that arrived. We made mistakes, but hope that customers will give us a second chance as we’ve improved our service, food quality and we’re changed our entire computer system. We are prepared to earn their patronage,” he added.
Located at 580 N. Nimitz Highway across from City Mill in the building formerly occupied by Sam Choy’s Breakfast Lunch & Crab, the 10,000-square-foot eatery features 154 seats, including 130 in the dining room and 24 at the counter.
The extensive breakfast, lunch and dinner meal selections offer up old-fashioned favorites. The menu at the new location now mirrors that of the original location, featuring favorite entrees such as Hot Cakes and Waffles, as well as new dining selections of Roast Pork, Prime Rib and Spicy Baby Back Ribs. Beyond the collection of savory dishes is the unsurpassed assortment of bakery delights that includes the famous Liliha Bakery Coco Puffs, Chantilly cakes, pies, oven fresh pastries and more.
The Liliha Bakery brand has been an integral part of the community since Roy and Koo Takakuwa opened their first outlet on Liliha Street to sell loaves of bread in 1950. In 1961, the family moved the growing business to a new location on Kuakini Street and the rest is history, as Liliha Bakery today stands as a beloved landmark. Following the passing of Roy and retirement of Koo, Liliha Bakery was purchased by Kim and partners when it was in jeopardy of closing in 2008.
Kim is best known for his family business, Yummy’s Korean BBQ, which opened in 1986 and grew to eight locations on Oahu. Kim expanded with the addition of Lahaina Chicken Company, ChowMein Express and Mama’s Spaghetti House, among others. Most recently he opened Signature Prime Steak & Seafood on the 36th floor of the Ala Moana Hotel.
Liliha Bakery on Nimitz is located at 580 N. Nimitz Highway. The restaurant is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (last seating) for the Coffee Shop and 12:00 midnight for the Bakery. For further information call (808) 537-2488 or visit www.lilihabakeryhawaii.com.
Internationally 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.
San 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.
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.
A 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
*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.
Nat Bletter of Madre Chocolate has announced the first “Cacao Bootcamp” to show chocophiles, chocolate makers, and cacao growers the “seed to tree” and “bean to bar” process of chocolate that they rarely get to see.
The “Experience Hawaiian Cacao & Chocolate Bootcamp” will be held October 20-24 2013 across several cacao farms, research stations, and chocolate shops on Oahu.
Join us for 5-days in paradise on a journey for chocolate. Practice farm skills in cacao orchards, visit with cacao researchers and farmers, learn about fermentation and drying for cacao, get hands on with bean to bar chocolate.
Do you love chocolate and thirst to learn more about how cacao is grown and made into chocolate? Never tasted the delicious lychee or mangosteen-flavored pulp of the cacao fruit? Want to see how the days-long process of fermenting cacao affects the micro-terroir of the chocolate flavor? This is the perfect tour for you! We’re having a cacao boot camp with everyone from Hawaii, mainland, European, and beyond chocolate makers and chocophiles coming out here to experience and learn cacao planting, cultivation, harvest, and fermentation and chocolate making for 5-7 days.
We’ll introduce you to the cacao growers and fermenters throughout Oahu, an area we call the Napa Valley of cacao due to the amazing diversity of cacao flavors and microclimates in each valley up and down Windward Oahu and the North Shore. Each day we’ll visit, learn, and participate in a different aspect of cacao growing and processing with expert farmers, fermenters, agroforesters, university researchers, and chocolate makers in Hawaii’s burgeoning chocolate industry. In the only place in the US where cacao grows, you’ll have beautiful accommodations near the beaches of Lani Kai and Kailua or famous Waikiki, and you’ll be driven between each of the spots each day, with time off in the evenings to enjoy all the amazing local food that Kailua and Honolulu has to offer.
Dr. Nat Bletter, Madre Chocolate
Dave Elliott, Madre Chocolate
Brian Cisneros, Northwest Chocolate Festival
Seneca Klassen, Lonohana Chocolate
Dan O’Doherty, Cacao Services/University of Hawai’i Manoa
Dr. HC “Skip” Bittenbender, University of Hawai’i Manoa
Nick Dudley, HARC Maunawili
Charlie & Paul Reppun, Reppun Farm
Kylie Matsuda, Kahuku Farms
Judah Lum, Kahuku Farms
The cost of the “Inclusive Boot Camp Package” is $1,952. It includes:
All Ground Transportation – Field Trip, Farm Trips, Sunset Beach Trip, Airport Pick-‐Up and Departure Drop-‐Off, Scheduled Program Activities. For best transportation we request that participants stay with our lodging partners.
Breakfast Daily at lodging partner and Lunch Daily with group. Options for vegetarian, vegan and special dietary needs are available upon request.
Raw Materials for Chocolate Making in Program, Field Note Book for Farm Trips, Chocolate for Tasting Sessions and Cacao Pods for fermentation practice.
Workshops, Farm Tours, Facilitators and Instructors, Private Group Transportation and a real fun time.
The cost does not include the dinner meal, extracurricular tours or side trips, or lodging. For more information, visit: