Archive for the ‘cooking’ Category

Food-safety during the summer season

July 3rd, 2015

Many are getting together for potlucks with family, friends and co-workers this holiday weekend. It is also a time for a potential increase in food-borne illnesses as a result of improper food handling, according to Peter Oshiro, environmental health program manager in the Hawaii Department of Health's Sanitation Branch.

Peter Oshiro, DOH

Peter Oshiro, DOH

"As consumers, we're all concerned about eating at restaurants with proper food-handling procedures. The Department of Health holds restaurants to high standards and they are motivated to correct any violations and make any improvements to retain customers," said Oshiro, who oversees the restaurant placard program that was launched in Hawaii six months ago. "However, many people do not realize that many food-borne illnesses are not from restaurants, but from the home."

Oshiro said his group holds public facilities accountable for food safety, but in the home, it is the individual's own responsibility to adhere to safe-handling practices. Whether you're hosting a buffet party or bringing a dish to a potluck, here are 10 holiday food safety tips to have safe holiday celebrations and prevent giving friends and family a case of food poisoning.

Food left out for long periods of time leaves the door open for uninvited guests - bacteria that cause foodborne illness. This makes foods at potlucks and buffets especially vulnerable.


1. Shop and Store Food Properly

Safe food handling starts when you're buying the ingredients. Shop for your groceries last and do not leave perishable foods in your vehicle. Bring a cooler with ice or ice substitute to store your milk and other perishables, if you have a long drive home, or if you have other stops to make. Make sure all perishables are placed in your refrigerator or freezer as soon as you get home.

2. Wash Your Hands / Make Sure the Cook is Healthy

Always wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling any food. Be sure to wash your hands after handling any raw meats or poultry because they may be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Do not prepare food if you are not feeling well -- especially if you have experienced any vomiting or diarrhea in the last 72 hours. You do not want to share your illness with friends and family. Ill food handlers are one of the major causes of food illnesses.

3. Prevent Cross-Contamination

Make sure that both you and the grocery store bag all raw meats and poultry separate from each other, and all other foods to prevent blood and other raw meat juices from contaminating any other foods. Arrange or plate ready-to-eat foods, like salads, poke, and, baked goods first. Poultry should be prepared separately if possible from other raw meats. Thoroughly wash and clean all surfaces between poultry and raw meat preparation so you don't cross contaminate ready to eat foods or other food items during their preparation.

You should also keep your kitchen, dishes and utensils clean.  Always serve food on clean plates, trays, or platters - never re-use containers or plates that were previously used to hold or prepare raw poultry or meats.  Bacteria that may have been present in raw meat blood and juices can cross-contaminate the food to be served.  Prepare ready to eat foods or foods that do not require cooking on separate cutting boards from the ones you use for raw meats and poultry.

4. Cook Meats and Poultry Thoroughly - Use a Cooking Thermometer

If you are cooking foods before your party, cook foods thoroughly to safe temperatures. When taking temperatures, make sure that the tip of the probe is in the center of the thickest portion of meat. Cook beef, veal, lamb, pork, fish and other seafood to at least 145°F.  Roast whole poultry to 165°F, and ground turkey and all other poultry to 165°F.  Hamburger, meat loafs, and other should be cooked to 155°F. Using a cooking thermometer not only ensures safe temperatures; it also prevents overcooking your meats, so you can always have that perfectly done, moist cut of poultry or meat.

5. Proper Food Cooling and Heating

Cook no more food than your kitchen's refrigerator/freezer and oven can handle.  Most home refrigerators cannot safely cool large quantities of food. Keep cooking in advance to a minimum. If you must cook large quantities in advance, place food in large re-sealable bags, squeeze out the air and bury completely in ice to chill a few hours prior to placing in your refrigerator or freezer. Reheat chilled foods rapidly to 165°F for serving. Keep the rest of the food hot in the oven (set at 200-250°F), or cold in the refrigerator until serving time.

6. Maintaining Foods at Proper Temperatures

Foods that have been cooked to the proper temperatures should be held at 135°F or warmer by using the oven, chaffing dishes, slow cookers or warming trays. Cold foods should be held at 41°F or below. Keep foods cold by nesting dishes in bowls of ice, otherwise use small serving trays and replace every two hours.

7. Thoroughly Wash Fruits and Vegetables

Always thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables prior to preparation and serving. Rinse all fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten.

8. The Two-Hour Rule

Foods left out for long periods at potlucks and buffets are especially vulnerable to uninvited guests - bacteria that cause foodborne illness. Perishable foods should not sit at room temperature for more than two hours. Keep track of how long foods have been sitting out on the table and immediately refrigerate or discard anything that was left out for more than two hours.

9. Storing Leftovers

After the meal is over, put away all leftovers promptly, remembering the two-hour rule. All meats should be cut off the bone and placed in re-sealable bags and buried in ice to chill quickly. If ice is not available, place in shallow containers (less than 2" deep) to chill and store in the refrigerator. This same quick-chill method should be used for all other perishable foods that need cooling. If ice is not available, use shallow containers to refrigerate or freeze promptly. Don't forget to refrigerate the noodles and rice, too!

10. Preparing Leftovers

Use leftover meats, turkey, stuffing and other perishable cooked foods within three to four days. If you do not plan to use these foods in this time frame, consider dividing them up and freezing them for later use. Always reheat all foods rapidly to 165°F prior to eating.

Half & half

June 26th, 2015

I cook and I bake, and I'm decent at both. I wanted to make a coconut creme pie with whipped cream frosting (from scratch), so I went to the store and looked for whipping creme as part of the ingredients.

Toasted Coconut Cream Pie with Lime Whipped Cream. Recipe: Flour, by Joanne Chang.

Toasted Coconut Cream Pie with Lime Whipped Cream. Recipe: Flour, by Joanne Chang.

The grocery store was out of whipping creme so I bought Half & Half, thinking I could make a substitution work. I know baking is a precise art, but I was also tired and lazy to drive to another store.

I had never made this recipe, so I didn't consider the whipping creme was for actually whipping into frosting. I made the custard and it turned out delicious.

When it was time for the frosting, I - still on auto-pilot- poured my Half & Half into the bowl and set it to whip. Nothing happened.

Claus, who once wanted to be a chef and likes the culinary arts even more than I do, researched it online and pronounced, "It might be because the dairy is at room temperature. Let's chill it."

I had to get somewhere so I said, "I need to take a shower. Can you take over?" He's a kitchen god so I know my stuff's in good hands with my husband.

I love a hot shower. Love it, love it, love it. There ain't nothing a hot shower can't fix, I believe, including an addled brain.

Suddenly, when I got out of the shower, I realized: It's because it's Half & Half! D'oh!

I ran to the kitchen laughing. I could hear the Kitchen Aid whirring the entire time. "Honey! It's Half & Half!"

He looked at me pseudo-disdainfully. I saw a big bowl of ice which he'd just used to chill the dairy, and saw the blender, which had been working overtime for 15 minutes to try to whip something that would never whip.

"Um, hey. Did you realize Half & Half is half milk, half whipping creme?" I joked. He rolled his eyes.

I used the failed frosting for the rest of the week in my coffee, and later that day he drove us to the store to get actual whipping creme - that he insisted on finishing himself.

The pie, by the way, was wonderful. Team effort.

Hey, did you know Half & Half won't whip up not matter how hard you try?

Hawaii Food & Wine Festival celebrates fifth anniversary this year

May 6th, 2015

The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival, presented by First Hawaiian Bank and MasterCard, announces tickets are now on sale for the fifth annual event on the islands of Hawai‘i, Maui, and O‘ahu, set for August 29 – September 13. Preferred access to select events will be provided to ticket purchasers when using their First Hawaiian Bank Personal Credit MasterCard.

It's amazing to me that this festival is already five years old! I was involved from the very first one because I was working at Halekulani at the time, and it was a fun event from the start. It's nice to see it grow into a Pacific Rim destination event.

2012- setting up before Halekulani's dinner

2012- setting up before Halekulani's dinner

At the 2013 event with (L-R) my GM Ulrich Krauer, the Maharajah of India, and my corporate SR VP Yoshinori Maeda

At the 2013 event with (L-R) my GM Ulrich Krauer, the Maharajah of India, and my corporate SR VP Yoshinori Maeda

2013 - Chef Grant Achatz and PR person Sean Morris

2013 - Chef Grant Achatz and the festival's Asia PR person Sean Morris


The festival also announces Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival Kā‘anapali with the expansion of the festival to a total of three days on the island of Maui. With this addition, over 10,000 attendees are expected to participate in events on Hawai‘i Island, Maui, and O‘ahu for a two-week celebration of sustainable cuisine.

Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival showcases the bounty of fresh ingredients and produce – sourced from local farmers, fishermen, and purveyors – available in the state of Hawai‘i through interactive dining experiences, cooking demonstrations, industry panels and hands-on events.

More than 100 internationally-renowned chefs and personalities will participate in the 2015 Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival, including: Cat Cora (Cat Cora Inc., Los Angeles), Dean Fearing (Fearing’s, Dallas), Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka (MW Restaurant, Honolulu), Ed Kenney (TOWN, Honolulu), David LeFevre (MB Post, Manhattan Beach), Michael Meredith (Meredith’s Restaurant, Auckland, New Zealand), Michael Mina (Mina), Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto Waikiki, Honolulu), Mark Noguchi (LUNCHBOX, Honolulu), Nancy Oakes (Boulevard, San Francisco), Charles Phan (The Slanted Door, San Francisco), Paul Qui (qui, Austin), Nancy Silverton (Mozza, Los Angeles), Christina Tosi (Momofuku Milk Bar, New York), Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger), Yuji Wakiya (Wakiya, Tokyo, Japan), Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto, New York), Lee Anne Wong (Koko Head Café, Honolulu), and Sang Yoon (Lukshon, Los Angeles).

“The expansion of the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival on Maui gives visitors the opportunity to participate in an entire weekend of new and immersive culinary activities, including a golf tournament hosted by celebrity chefs and winemakers,” says the festival’s Executive Director Denise Yamaguchi. “Our goal is to have an extensive roster of culinary events in every location so that travelers can plan their vacations to different islands and still have access to a full range of festival experiences.”

Festival proceeds will benefit the Hawai‘i Agriculture Foundation, Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Hawaii Community College Culinary Arts Program, Hawai‘i Farm Bureau, Hawaii Seafood Council, Honolulu Zoo Society, Leeward Community College Culinary Program, Maui County Farm Bureau, Maui Culinary Academy, Paepae o He‘eia, and Papahana Kuaola.

Signature events for the 2015 festival include:

Saturday, August 29
Seven Chefs, One Big Island
Location: Hilton Waikoloa Village – Waikoloa Village, HI
Time: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Ticket Price: $250/VIP $500

Go big with a culinary adventure on the largest island in the Hawaiian chain, where seven chefs prepare a six-course menu prepared with Hawai‘i Island’s bounty under the Hawaiian skies at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Featured chefs include:
· Floyd Cardoz (White Street, New York)
· Jayson Kanekoa (Waikoloa Beach Marriot, Waikoloa)
· Hans Lentz (Hilton Waikoloa Village, Waikoloa)
· Michael Meredith (Meredith’s Restaurant, Auckland, NZ)
· Paul Qui (qui, Austin)
· Richard Rosendale (Rosendale Collective, Leeseburg)
· Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger, Wellesley)

Friday, September 4
Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival Roy’s Annual Golf Classic
Location: Kaanapali Golf Course – Kā‘anapali, HI
Time: 12 p.m.
Ticket Price: Starting at $600

Tee off with celebrity chefs, winemakers and golf pros at the 18th Annual Roy’s Golf Classic. As part of a new Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival Kā‘anapali, the Roy’s Golf Classic will feature gourmet food, beer and cocktails throughout the world-class Kā‘anapali Golf Course. The 19th hole will feature a dinner prepared by Roy’s Kaanapali. Space is limited to 138 players.

Featured chefs include:
· Henry Adaniya (Hank’s Haute Dogs, Kā‘anapali)
· Tom Muromoto (Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Kā‘anapali)
· Bernardo Salazar (Royal Lahaina Resort, Kā‘anapali)
· Sheldon Simeon (MiGrant, Wailea)
· Roy Yamaguchi (Roy’s Hawaii)

Saturday, September 5
Maui on my Mind
Location: Sheraton Maui – Lahaina, HI
Time: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Ticket Price: $200/VIP $300

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa’s Black Rock lawn is the backdrop to an evening of gourmet delights created by eight renowned chefs. Maui on My Mind will reflect the best of what Maui has to offer - its beauty, bounty of locally grown, raised, and caught products, as well as its talent.

Featured chefs include:
· Nick Anderer (Maialino, New York)
· Stephen Durfee (Culinary Institute of America, Saint Helena)
· Beverly Gannon (Bev Gannon Restaurants, Wailea)
· Gregory Gaspar (Sheraton, Kaanapali)
· Colin Hazama (Sheraton Waikiki, Honolulu)
· David LeFevre (MB Post, Manhattan Beach)
· Nancy Oakes (Boulevard, San Francisco)
· Art Smith (Table Fifty-Two, Chicago)
· Marcel Vigneron (Modern Global Tasting Inc., Los Angeles)

Sunday, September 6
Hawaiian Airlines Presents Legend of Shep Gordon
Location: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa – Lahaina, HI
Time: 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Ticket Price: $250/VIP $500

From managing the careers of prominent musicians such as Alice Cooper to celebrity chef, Emeril Lagasse, Shep Gordon has more than earned a documentary movie about himself. Supermensch: Legend of Shep Gordon was produced in 2013 by Mike Meyers to honor a kind and gentle soul who  coached, counseled, supported and helped many of his friends in the entertainment business. To celebrate his life and achievements, the Festival honors Shep with a six-course dinner created by six of his chef friends at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa.

Featured chefs include:
· Robert Del Grande (RDG + Bar Annie, Houston)
· Celestino Drago (Drago Restaurant Group, Los Angeles)
· Dean Fearing (Fearing’s, Dallas)
· Greg Grohowski (Hyatt Maui, Lahaina)
· Nancy Silverton (Mozza, Los Angeles)
· Mark Tarbell (Tarbell’s, Phoenix)

Thursday, September 10
Chopstix & Cocktails
Location: THE MODERN HONOLULU – Honolulu, HI
Time: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Ticket Price: $225-$325/VIP $500

Cocktails take center stage at Chopstix & Cocktails as 13 of the world’s most esteemed international chefs will present dishes inspired by Asian countries that use chopsticks.

Featured chefs include:
· Kenichi and Kentaro Chen (Shisen Hanten, Akasaka, Japan)
· Bobby Chinn (Restaurant Bobby Chin, Vietnam)
· Elizabeth Falkner (New York)
· Michelle Karr-Ueoka (MW Restaurant, Honolulu)
· Masaharu Morimoto (Morimoto Waikiki, Honolulu)
· Charles Phan (The Slanted Door, San Francisco)
· Thierry Rautureau (Luc Restaurant, Seattle)
· Sarah and Evan Rich (Rich Table, San Francisco)
· Celina Tio (Julian, Kansas City)
· Scott Toner (THE MODERN Honolulu, Honolulu)
· Christina Tosi (Momofuku Milk Bar, New York)
· Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto, New York)
· Sang Yoon (Lukshon, Los Angeles)

Friday, September 11
Fifth Annual Halekulani Culinary Masters Gala Series: Indulge
Location: Halekulani – Honolulu, HI
Time: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Ticket Price: $1,000

This epicurean journey features the gourmet delicacies created by five master chefs. The finest wines will be selected and paired with premium ingredients including caviar, foie gras, wagyu and even gold.

Featured chefs include:
· Vikram Garg (Halekulani, Honolulu)
· Michael Ginor (Hudson Valley Foie Gras, New York)
· Jun Kurogi (Kurogi, Bukyo, Japan)
· Michael Mina (Mina)
· Janice Wong (2am:dessertbar, Singapore)

Saturday, September 12
HMAA Presents Keiki in the Kitchen: Food, Fitness & Fun
Location: Honolulu Zoo – Honolulu, HI
Time: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Ticket Price: $5

HMAA Presents Keiki in the Kitchen: Food, Fitness & Fun is a family outing for everyone. At this all-day event, keiki will have an opportunity to meet and take photos with celebrity chefs, watch live chefs demonstrations, interact with finalists of the Kellogg’s and Foodland Healthy Lunchtime Challenge, enjoy foods from Hawai‘i’s best food trucks, participate in fitness and friendly physical challenges, shop at the Made in Hawai‘i Marketplace and enjoy live entertainment.

Featured chefs include:
· William Chen (fresh BOX, Honolulu)
· Sheldon Simeon (MiGrant, Wailea)

Hawaiian Airlines Presents Corks & Forks Pacific Coast
Location: Hawaii Convention Center – Honolulu, HI
Time: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Ticket Price: $225-$325/VIP $500

This event features 20 of the most coveted red wines from the Pacific Coast on the rooftop of the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Twenty celebrity chefs will also be featuring gourmet tastings created with Hawai‘i’s bounty from the land and sea. Craft cocktails, specialty beers and white wines will also be available for ample tastings of everything your stomach desires. There is also a silent auction and art exhibit.

Featured chefs include:
· Keoni Chang (Foodland Super Markets, Honolulu)
· Chai Chaowasaree (Chef Chai, Honolulu)
· Josiah Citrin (Mélisse, Santa Monica)
· Cat Cora (Cat Cora Inc., Los Angeles)
· Graham Elliot (Graham Elliot Bistro, Chicago)
· Mark Freischmidt (Halekulani, Honolulu)
· Johnny Iuzzini (Sugar Fueled Inc., New York)
· Ed Kenney (TOWN, Honolulu)
· Raphael Lunetta (JiRaffe, Santa Monica)
· Gary Matsumoto (Hawai’i Convention Center, Honolulu)
· Jun Peng (Shanghai Xinhaung Jinpin Hotel, Shanghai)
· Alan Takasaki (Le Bistro, Honolulu)
· Kent Torrey (The Cheese Shop, Carmel)
· Yuki Wakiya (Wakiya, Tokyo)
· Takashi Yagihashi (Takashi, Chicago)
· Sherry Yard (Helms Bakery, Los Angeles)
· Martin Yan (Yan Can Cook, San Mateo)

Sunday, September 13
Battle of the Brunch Showdown II
Location: Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa – Honolulu, HI
Time: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Ticket Price: $115

Reining showdown winners, Chefs Lee Anne Wong and Sven Ullrich are back to defend their title as they duke it out at Round II of Battle of the Brunch Showdown. Three teams will be asked to use the highest quality local products to create the most innovative and delicious brunch dish. Guests will vote for their favorite. Morning cocktails will be served courtesy of Southern Wine & Spirits Hawaii.

Featured chefs include:
· Chris Kajioka (CK Restaurant, Honolulu)
· Jackie Lau (Roy’s Hawaii, Honolulu)
· Raphael Lunetta (JiRaffe, Santa Monica)
· Sven Ullrich (Hyatt Waikiki, Honolulu)
· Lee Anne Wong (Koko Head Café, Honolulu)
· Sherry Yard (Helms Bakery, Los Angeles)

Beauty & the Feast
Location: Ko Olina Resort with Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa – Ko Olina, HI
Time: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Ticket Price: $250-$350/VIP $500

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa is the site of the finale, Beauty & the Feast. The show starts with a craft cocktail, specialty beer, and wine by renowned vintners, before 12 celebrity chefs cook up a feast fit for a king.

Featured chefs include:
· Michelle Bernstein (Michy’s, Miami)
· Jose Garces (Garces Group, Philadelphia)
· Hubert Keller (Fleur de Lys, San Francisco)
· Mourad Lahlou (Aziza, San Francisco)
· George Mavrothalassitis (Mavro, Honolulu)
· Tory McPhail (Commander’s Place, New Orleans)
· Zach Pollack (Alimento, Los Angeles)
· Andrew Sutton (Napa Rose, Anaheim)
· Tetsuya Wakuda (Tetsuya, Sydney)
· Jen Yee (Lafayette Grand Café & Bakery, New York)
· Kevin Chong (‘Ama’Ama at Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Ko Olina)

For more information and to purchase tickets,  visit

Cafeteria food on Kaho`olawe

January 7th, 2015

Most of us went over not expecting to be so well fed on Kaho`olawe, and we were happily surprised that in the mess hall, a real chef spends the day cooking us 11 course meals. Gerald worked in food and beverage at hotels before opening his own cafe, and now goes over to cook for the Kaho`olawe Island Reserve Commission staff and volunteers when called upon.

IMG_3952 IMG_3953 IMG_3961 IMG_3951

We guessed that the idea is to reward you for hard work and give you an incentive to risk your life; after all, most of the island is not cleared of bombs, and a good percentage are unexploded ordnance. The days start early and end late, and we appreciated two hot meals a day at the mess hall (lunch was usually sandwiches on the road).

IMG_3956 IMG_3957

So whatever calories I worked off during the day came right back on by nightfall!

More in this video:

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Chef Ed Kenney's new restaurant, Mud Hen Water

November 21st, 2014

Chef Ed Kenney has a lot on his metaphoric plate. The award-winning, telegenic, seemingly ubiquitous culinary figure recently opened Kaimuki Superette, is still managing Town, and is in the planning stages of his latest restaurant, named after the area of town its located in.

Me with Chef Ed Kenney

Me with Chef Ed Kenney

"This is going to be an evening restaurant. We're calling it Mud Hen Water. It's the English translation of Waialae; wai is water, and alae is the native mud hen. The legend goes that there used to be a spring here that the alae frequented and it was only for royalty. It was literally a watering hole. This is going to be a watering hole," he exclaims with what I'm starting to understand is his trademark charismatic enthusiasm. He pointed to a section of the wall and indicated that he'd like to open up the wall and add an outdoors dining section there.

Site of the future Mud Hen Water

Site of the future Mud Hen Water

Kenney kindly took time out of his schedule to continue showing me around the property at the corner of Waialae and 9th Avenue. He gestures to a small shed attached to the two-story building. "This whole property, we're calling it Food Shed. It's because this shed was here, but it's also based on a watershed - the flow of food from producer to consumer. We look at everything we want to put in this property as kind of food or health and wellness oriented. Upstairs we have acupuncture, Eastern medicine," he continues.

He's excited about the venture, and tireless - and I'm sure Oahu gourmands will be just as excited to see what he comes up with next!