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The Future of Hawaii Restaurants


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#31 KarenS

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 10:33 PM

Caroline, I grew up in Berkeley Ca (which is I am sure one of the reasons that I am so obsessed with food, art, literature, and poilitics). I am so anti fast food- it is a waste of health and money, not to mention the beauty of food.
I see Hawaii as a place where this is so important, meaning learning to eat healthy- and that crap from the fifties is not part of their heritage.(I have lived here for 19 years totally ,with absences to CA and Europe to explain my age!).
Hawaii is at a crossroads- HRC chefs have not done a lot for the general eating population of HI- plus their rep as employers has not helped in terms of eating awareness. I don't work with transient cooks. They all are from here and work here. Most people in HI don't understand nutrition, that you need fruit and vegetables- you can't live on protein and rice alone. They are cooking food that they don't feel about. I am doing my small part to try to change that.

#32 trillium

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 10:16 AM

A suggestion for posting... if the articles are online it would be less cumbersome just to post the url, instead of cutting and pasting the whole text. I think that's the policy on posting copywrited work on eGullet anyway.

regards,
trillium

#33 wesza

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 03:58 PM

Irwin, Your insights and experience continue to amaze me.  Here's another topic perhaps you could expand on a little.  You mention food service personnel.  Would you care to comment on the problems of getting good personnel at resort hotels particularly on the outer islands.  These are often remote from centers of population and have to be housed specially around the hotels.  Or else they have to be shifted from other jobs into restaurant work as happened when the Lanai hotels opened.  Did you encounter this in your time in Hawaii?

Many thanks,

Rachel

KAREN: I was involved, wearing my Consultant's Hat, with the Staffing of many Hotels in "Oahu', and all the neighbor Island's as well as most areas in Asia, Polynesia, Australia and New Zeland.

That was why at that time i became involved with the Community colleges, High Schools and the UH. Even to the extent of going from High School to High School, on the premise of introducing, with a cooking and tasting section the then new products at that time of, "Turkey Hot Dogs", and "Tuna Hot Dogs" to High School Home Economic's Classes. We kept our eyes out for the Students who paid attention and we were able to get interested in the topic. During the questions and answer segements we alway's introduced the topic of pursuing careers in the Hotel and Restaurant Industry. We'd try to get names and info from the interested kids. Then we'd follow up often with summer internships or part time jobs with 100% success in at least getting them started.

I also became involved at "Kapolani Community College's', wonderfull program of teaching developedly disabled youth or young adults in training them for suitable positions of employment in the Service Industy.

My most redeeming contribution was proving that by taking the time and effort to provide a type of apprentice program would become beneficial to all involved. This was so successfull that many of our local youths succeeded to the top of the profession at various Island Operations, even to Executive Chef or as Multi-unit Operation Principals. I've always felt that the best was right in Hawaii, and personel imports were more difficult, expensive nor rarely remained long enough to benefit the community.

All I have to do is open any 'Islands Guide Book", and look at the various Hotel and Restaurant operations Reviewed to know that my efforts were beneficial to the community. I wish there was some way that I could return, as in many way's I feel that Oahu is home. It's surprising that almost everywhere i've visited in the mainland, i've come across people who got started in the food business in Hawaii, and are so successfull where ever they've wound up. It seems like Hawaii's exporting something more important then 'pineapples". Irwin
I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

#34 skchai

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 11:08 PM

I also became involved at "Kapolani Community College's', wonderfull program of teaching developedly disabled youth or young adults in training them for suitable positions of employment in the Service Industy.

My most redeeming contribution was proving that by taking the time and effort to provide a type of apprentice program would become beneficial to all involved. This was so successfull that many of our local youths succeeded to the top of the profession at various Island Operations, even to Executive Chef or as Multi-unit Operation Principals. I've always felt that the best was right in Hawaii, and personel imports were more difficult, expensive nor rarely remained long enough to benefit the community.

All I have to do is open any 'Islands Guide Book", and look at the various Hotel and Restaurant operations Reviewed to know that my efforts were beneficial to the community. I wish there was some way that I could return, as in many way's I feel that Oahu is home. It's surprising that almost everywhere i've visited in the mainland, i've come across people who got started in the food business in Hawaii, and are so successfull where ever they've wound up. It seems like Hawaii's exporting something more important then 'pineapples". Irwin

It's certaintly no exaggeration that KCC, and more recently, the other community colleges, have been the vital force in bringing forward many of our current top chefs. Alan Wong is probably the most illustrious of the KCC graduates, but there are many more who are working in top positions at all the hotels and stand-along restaurants both here and on the mainland. Given that we don't have much in the way of fancy private culinary academies here, the community colleges have been the unsung heroes in making HRC a reality. Kudoes to you for your part in setting up this (as well as so much else).

We'd love to have you back here in the islands. Unfortunately I have zero connections in the local food industry. But it would seem that your experience and knowledge would make you invaluable as a consultant or partner in new openings, as much of what is lacking in the current HRC movement is a knowledge of its history. Anyone one in this forum have any ideas about how we can bring Irwin home?

Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host


#35 wesza

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 09:13 PM

I also became involved at "Kapolani Community College's', wonderfull program of teaching developedly disabled youth or young adults in training them for suitable positions of employment in the Service Industy.

My most redeeming contribution was proving that by taking the time and effort to provide a type of apprentice program would become beneficial to all involved. This was so successfull that many of our local youths succeeded to the top of the profession at various Island Operations, even to Executive Chef or as Multi-unit Operation Principals. I've always felt that the best was right in Hawaii, and personel imports were more difficult, expensive nor rarely remained long enough to benefit the community.

All I have to do is open any 'Islands Guide Book", and look at the various Hotel and Restaurant operations Reviewed to know that my efforts were beneficial to the community. I wish there was some way that I could return, as in many way's I feel that Oahu is home. It's surprising that almost everywhere i've visited in the mainland, i've come across people who got started in the food business in Hawaii, and are so successfull where ever they've wound up. It seems like Hawaii's exporting something more important then 'pineapples". Irwin

It's certaintly no exaggeration that KCC, and more recently, the other community colleges, have been the vital force in bringing forward many of our current top chefs. Alan Wong is probably the most illustrious of the KCC graduates, but there are many more who are working in top positions at all the hotels and stand-along restaurants both here and on the mainland. Given that we don't have much in the way of fancy private culinary academies here, the community colleges have been the unsung heroes in making HRC a reality. Kudoes to you for your part in setting up this (as well as so much else).

We'd love to have you back here in the islands. Unfortunately I have zero connections in the local food industry. But it would seem that your experience and knowledge would make you invaluable as a consultant or partner in new openings, as much of what is lacking in the current HRC movement is a knowledge of its history. Anyone one in this forum have any ideas about how we can bring Irwin home?

skChai: In your posts you often mention, "HRC", im not familiar with this term or what it signifies. Please clearify.

Since i'm not longer bound by confidential restraints I feel free to respond and express my self in open forum. It's interesting to be able to answer questions or provide suggestions, comments or advice Probono. I am still available for challenging projects either as a consultant or as a principal. My dormer protoges whom operate the business often call me at all hours for advice from all over the world. It's very difficult to not be involved, i'm not sure if I'm capable of being inactive. Only time will tell. But as you're aware the Island's are very special to me, i've had the opportunity to study all aspects regarding food, as before I enter personally into any venture I attempt to learn as much as possable. During Trouble Shooting many operations we'd spend several weeks investigating the trash, before we even entered the operations and introduced ourselves to the Management. It was likely we'd have several of my staff employed at various positions from the date we accepted the contract. We generally were hired several months before becoming known. That's part of why we were so effective in resolving problems. We always tried our best, weather it was with new products or whatever.

There are few things more satisfying then making someone proud of themselves, or seeing a satisfied customer, even thru serving and pleasing someone thru a crisis. Even though I haven't been able to visit as much as i'd like, at least I communicate with friends, and vicariously thru my Children who Graduated from UH, as well as attended HSG, SECO and St. Andrews who visit often. Irwin
I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

#36 skchai

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Posted 11 October 2003 - 03:38 AM

skChai: In your posts you often mention, "HRC", im not familiar with this term or what it signifies. Please clearify.


Sorry! HRC refers to "Hawaiian Regional Cuisine", a movement that arose among Hawai`i chefs in the late 1980s that sought to create a genuine haute cuisine out of local ingredients, a cuisine that match up with any of the great cuisines of the world. Until then, as you know, most of the food offered in the top-drawer dining establishments of Honolulu, particularly the hotel restaurants, was based upon "continental" cooking. Furthermore, the most prized ingredients were often flown in from the mainland, not procured locally.

In 1991, twelve of the members of this movement banded together to create something called Hawaiian Regional Cuisine, Inc., an organization devoted to furthering their cause and spreading their ideas about cuisine. The original members included Sam Choy, George Mavrothalassitis, Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi, and eight others, who still in many ways form the core of the high-end culinary power establishment in the state. HRC chefs urged local agricultural producers to provide higher-quality and more varied ingredients, and were willing to pay prices to match. Like Alice Waters and other pioneers of California Cuisine, they sometimes went out of their way to nurture these producers and prominently feature the producers' names on their menus.

From the very beginning, HRC dishes took influences from around the Pacific Rim, most notably Japan, China, Korea, and Thailand. Hence much of HRC cuisine consists of "East-West Fusion". Indeed, it's reasonable to say that the HRC chefs were the main reason for the "fusion" boom nationwide in fine dining during the 1990s (sorry Wolfgang and Vong). They are also the reason you began to see dishes like "Seared Ahi" on menus of restaurants nowhere near Hawai`i. These fusion tendencies, while they in some way reflect the ethnic diversity of the islands, did not really build upon the everyday dining habits of the local people. Perhaps in some ways this is inevitable, as any haute cuisine must in some way separate from itself from ordinary cooking. However, it does raise the question of just how "local" HRC really is, despite its undeniable championing of locally-produced ingredients.

Another criticism of HRC has been its exclusiveness, starting from the decision to limit the membership of HRC Inc. to the twelve original members. This has caused some resentment among certain chefs who were not invited to join. It has also generated criticism that HRC is somewhat contrived, that it is as much a marketing campaign as it is a culinary movement. Of course, the same might have been said about California Cuisine or French Nouvelle Cuisine in earlier times as well.

Whatever the final judgement, there is no question that HRC has greatly expanded the national and international visibility of Hawai`i as a fine dining destination.

Anyway, that's making a long story fairly short!

Since i'm not longer bound by confidential restraints I feel free to respond and express my self in open forum. It's interesting to be able to answer questions or provide suggestions, comments or advice Probono. I am still available for challenging projects either as a consultant or as a principal. My dormer protoges whom operate the business often call me at all hours for advice from all over the world. It's very difficult to not be involved, i'm not sure if I'm capable of being inactive. Only time will tell. But as you're aware the Island's are very special to me, i've had the opportunity to study all aspects regarding food, as before I enter personally into any venture I attempt to learn as much as possable. During Trouble Shooting many operations we'd spend several weeks investigating the trash, before we even entered the operations and introduced ourselves to the Management. It was likely we'd have several of my staff employed at various positions from the date we accepted the contract. We generally were hired several months before becoming known. That's part of why we were so effective in resolving problems. We always tried our best, weather it was with new products or whatever.

There are few things more satisfying then making someone proud of themselves, or seeing a satisfied customer, even thru serving and pleasing someone thru a crisis. Even though I haven't been able to visit as much as i'd like, at least I communicate with friends, and vicariously thru my Children who Graduated from UH, as well as attended HSG, SECO and St. Andrews who visit often. Irwin


Again, we truly appreciate your past accomplishments and continuing devotion to the islands. I'm sure the food community here will continue to find many ways to make use of your great expertise.

Just curious, are any of your children involved in the food industry?

Mahalo,

Sun-Ki

Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host


#37 wesza

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Posted 11 October 2003 - 01:32 PM

skChai: In your posts you often mention, "HRC", im not familiar with this term or what it signifies. Please clearify.


Sorry! HRC refers to "Hawaiian Regional Cuisine", a movement that arose among Hawai`i chefs in the late 1980s that sought to create a genuine haute cuisine out of local ingredients, a cuisine that match up with any of the great cuisines of the world. Until then, as you know, most of the food offered in the top-drawer dining establishments of Honolulu, particularly the hotel restaurants, was based upon "continental" cooking. Furthermore, the most prized ingredients were often flown in from the mainland, not procured locally.

In 1991, twelve of the members of this movement banded together to create something called Hawaiian Regional Cuisine, Inc., an organization devoted to furthering their cause and spreading their ideas about cuisine. The original members included Sam Choy, George Mavrothalassitis, Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi, and eight others, who still in many ways form the core of the high-end culinary power establishment in the state. HRC chefs urged local agricultural producers to provide higher-quality and more varied ingredients, and were willing to pay prices to match. Like Alice Waters and other pioneers of California Cuisine, they sometimes went out of their way to nurture these producers and prominently feature the producers' names on their menus.

From the very beginning, HRC dishes took influences from around the Pacific Rim, most notably Japan, China, Korea, and Thailand. Hence much of HRC cuisine consists of "East-West Fusion". Indeed, it's reasonable to say that the HRC chefs were the main reason for the "fusion" boom nationwide in fine dining during the 1990s (sorry Wolfgang and Vong). They are also the reason you began to see dishes like "Seared Ahi" on menus of restaurants nowhere near Hawai`i. These fusion tendencies, while they in some way reflect the ethnic diversity of the islands, did not really build upon the everyday dining habits of the local people. Perhaps in some ways this is inevitable, as any haute cuisine must in some way separate from itself from ordinary cooking. However, it does raise the question of just how "local" HRC really is, despite its undeniable championing of locally-produced ingredients.

Another criticism of HRC has been its exclusiveness, starting from the decision to limit the membership of HRC Inc. to the twelve original members. This has caused some resentment among certain chefs who were not invited to join. It has also generated criticism that HRC is somewhat contrived, that it is as much a marketing campaign as it is a culinary movement. Of course, the same might have been said about California Cuisine or French Nouvelle Cuisine in earlier times as well.

Whatever the final judgement, there is no question that HRC has greatly expanded the national and international visibility of Hawai`i as a fine dining destination.

Anyway, that's making a long story fairly short!

Since i'm not longer bound by confidential restraints I feel free to respond and express my self in open forum. It's interesting to be able to answer questions or provide suggestions, comments or advice Probono. I am still available for challenging projects either as a consultant or as a principal. My dormer protoges whom operate the business often call me at all hours for advice from all over the world. It's very difficult to not be involved, i'm not sure if I'm capable of being inactive. Only time will tell. But as you're aware the Island's are very special to me, i've had the opportunity to study all aspects regarding food, as before I enter personally into any venture I attempt to learn as much as possable. During Trouble Shooting many operations we'd spend several weeks investigating the trash, before we even entered the operations and introduced ourselves to the Management. It was likely we'd have several of my staff employed at various positions from the date we accepted the contract. We generally were hired several months before becoming known. That's part of why we were so effective in resolving problems. We always tried our best, weather it was with new products or whatever.

There are few things more satisfying then making someone proud of themselves, or seeing a satisfied customer, even thru serving and pleasing someone thru a crisis. Even though I haven't been able to visit as much as i'd like, at least I communicate with friends, and vicariously thru my Children who Graduated from UH, as well as attended HSG, SECO and St. Andrews who visit often. Irwin


Again, we truly appreciate your past accomplishments and continuing devotion to the islands. I'm sure the food community here will continue to find many ways to make use of your great expertise.

Just curious, are any of your children involved in the food industry?

Mahalo,

Sun-Ki

Aloha Sun-Ki: Thanks for the one up about the "HRC".

Contrary to what most people think, we were serving reguarly at "Lisboa", selections of seafood from various local sources. Such as:

Squilla
Opi
Gopy
Pipi Pipi
Sting Ray or Skate
Periwinkeles
Whelk
Sea Cucumber
Many under Utilized Fish Species

We also served only Island Pork and Beef
We imported Portugese Sausage and Morrcella from San Jose and Newark because the quality was required for our menu.
We even had sources for local Goats and Rabbit.
The majority of our Herbs, were from local asian growers or from Kaui.
We purchased local free range Chickens

If you cared and tried to get the best local merchants were very supportative. We even provided the seeds for some herb varieties.
Where else were you able to get a bounty of Squash, Zuccinni and Pumpkin Blossoms year round

We even had growers providing us with many of the hottest chili's in the world. Thai, Phillipine, even Jamacian Scotch Bonnet's.

There's Bounty available for the taking, you've only have to be willing to nurture it's development.

My children all worked in Food Service while attending school in Hawaii.
Oldest daughter worked at the, Kahala Mall, "Yum Yum Tree", as a waitress along with Pat Saki's daughter. Then worked while attending UH at the "Third Floor Restaurant", at the Hawiian Regent Hotel until earning her MBA before attending Law School.
Second Daughter also worked initaly managing the ,"Old and New" Shop and waitress at the "Bistro Restaurant" on Kapiolani BLvd. While at UH she instructed in Diving and provided the Ski Reports on the Radio. After graduating UH majoring in Enviorment, she Recieved her Masters from Havard, MIT, and TUFTS in Enviormental Studies one of the only 25 provided yearly by a combined program.
My son worked BOH at various Restaurants and at the Ilikai Hotel.
All three kids pitched in working at Lisboa. None are currently working inFood Service.

Irwin
I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

#38 KarenS

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Posted 11 October 2003 - 06:49 PM

About HRC; certainly the group gained PR for Hawaii. They also voted to never include others, thus making it an exclusive organization (and never having to share the limelight with others). There have been many reunions and "patting on the backs" for the past ten years. The new group (which must be labeled differently- because HRC only encompasses the original group, are labeled "Hawaiian Island Chefs". I really think that all this labeling is silly. It seems to be more about PR, money, and egos.

#39 KarenS

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Posted 11 October 2003 - 06:59 PM

also, Chinois (Wolfgang Puck's Chinese/ French "fusion" restaurant opened in 1983. Almost all of the HRC chefs were not in Hawaii then (except Sam Choy). Mike Nevin first served blackened ahi at Il Fresco. He is not an HRC chef. He owned Il Fresco from 1983-90. Before Roy opened Roys, he used to eat there all the time (he moved from LA).

#40 HonoluluEater

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Posted 13 October 2003 - 06:22 PM

I have yet to have good bread in Hawaii. But has anyone else run into any information on The Little Blue House? I stumbled on the web page this morning at http://mysite.verizon.net/res7h4vq/

It talks about Artisan Natural Levain Bread in Honolulu. Has anyone else tried it?

-HonoluluEater

#41 KarenS

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Posted 13 October 2003 - 09:44 PM

Comparing HRC Chefs to Alice Waters is funny. In Hawaii it is not about passion- it is more about money. Ice cream base, best foods"aioli", imitation "crab" frozen bobolis, pre-made creme anglaise (purchased). soup bases, chicken "broth", frozen seafood, opihi out of a jar. These are not fresh driven kitchens. They are in a step to evolving there. One of the problems seems to be that everyone wants to be a celebrity and not cook in their own kitchen. They now all have Chefs of their own and don't venture much into their kitchens.

#42 skchai

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 01:33 AM

I have yet to have good bread in Hawaii.  But has anyone else run into any information on The Little Blue House?  I stumbled on the web page this morning at http://mysite.verizon.net/res7h4vq/

It talks about Artisan Natural Levain Bread in Honolulu.  Has anyone else tried it?

-HonoluluEater

The folks at The Little Blue House have now put up a sample menu on their web site. To wit:

White Truffle Custard, Black Truffle Ragout
Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin Brut NV

Chilled Carrot Soup

Pan-fried Hawaiian Moi with Balsamic Glaze, Confit Tomatoes, Basil and Garlic
Prince Poniatowski, Aigle Blanc, Vouvray 1989

Slow Roasted Salmon with Clams, Couscous and Fennel Three Ways
Domaine Darnat ,Clos Richemont, Meursault 1er Cru Monopole 1997

Saddle of Colorado Lamb with Potato Gnocchi, Japanese Mushrooms and Rosemary-Infused Lamb Jus
Chateaux Raussan-Segla Margaux 1993

Grapefruit Granita with Basil Consomme and Radishes

Molten Chocolate Birthday Cake


How about that?

Christopher Sy, one of the partners (the other is Emily B. Hunt), was a former Chef de Partie at Trio with Grant Achatz - who BTW posts frequently to egullet, before working at Chef Mavro's. Now he's out on his own. I emailed them, and it turns out that the site has only been up for a few days (how did you manage to find it, Mr./Ms. HonoluluEater?)

According to Emily, the natural levain bread came about because Chris once staged at a high-end boulangerie in Tours, France for three months while getting his English degree from the University of Chicago! They are currently trying to find retail distributors for the bread. . .

Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host


#43 The Little Blue House

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Posted 16 October 2003 - 04:33 PM

skchai - thanks for letting us know that this was here.
----------------------------------------------
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#44 skchai

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 12:48 AM

LBH - welcome to Egullet and hope to hear more from you!

Irwin, looks like you were creating what HRC is supposed to be about, long before the term even existed! Your use of local ingredients in a way was far more true to sources that current HRC chefs, who not only cultivate local vendors but also to some extent dictate what they should produce. You, on the other hand, did more to raise the profile of foods that have always been available in different parts of the island for generations.

Karen - I guess it's absolutely clear how you stand on HRC! I'm not an insider regarding the politics of the HRC Inc. chefs, am certainly in no position to make any statements regarding their assistance or lack thereof towards other chefs. I did read Sam Choy claiming once that he had been against the idea of limiting the membership of the organization, but he didn't say who it was that insisted on it.

Nor am I claiming that HRC Inc. chefs invented East-West fusion cooking. As you mention, Chinois existed from 1983. In addition, Rick Fennelly's ahead-its-time Santacafe in Santa Fe started about the same time as Roy's (BTW is it true that Fennelly is now working in Hawai`i?). Of course, long before any of them, there was Irwin's old friend Trader Vic Bergeron (though that's an entire genre in and of itself). On the other hand, I still think it is fair to say that HRC in general as a movement, and people like Yamaguchi, Choy et al. in particular, played the major role in making East-West fusion a national trend in the 1990s.

Regarding your allegation that they use instant or preprepared products - that would be pretty horrible given the image that HRC seeks to project of freshness and creativity. Do you have some specifics - who among the these chefs uses ice cream base, Best Foods, and imitation crab? And for what?

Perhaps we need to think of a new name for HRC to separate the concept of high-end Hawai`i cuisine based on local ingredients from the Hawaiian Regional Chefs, Inc., Hawaiian Island Chefs, Inc., Fish and Poi Chefs, etc. and the alphabet-soup of organizations that has sprung up around the business. This may allow us to to take this discussion away from one about individual chefs and more towards one about the food itself. Any suggestions? "Hawai`i Cuisine" is the most obvious, though perhaps a bit too obvious. . .

Mahalo!

Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host


#45 KarenS

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Posted 20 October 2003 - 10:30 PM

Oh yes, I have many specifics. I am not willing at this time to share them. I work in Hawaii you know. I have worked for Beverly Gannon, Phillipe Padovani, Alan Wong, and with Mark Ellman and others. Does "housemade" ice cream just mean stirring in flavoring to prepared (full of crap) base? HRC could also mean "pull the wool over your f****ing eyes".

#46 caroline

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 04:21 PM

Hi Karen, You've clearly had years of experience in Hawaii. Would you care to share what you're doing now? and why you've stuck it out in Hawaii in spite of what seem to have been many trials and tribulations?

Rachel
Rachel Caroline Laudan

#47 KarenS

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 07:59 PM

I love Hawaii- the fact that I can go home from work and go swimming at a beautiful beach. The people are very nice, and so is the climate.
I am the Pastry Chef for Neiman Marcus Honolulu. We have three busy restaurants (and a nice view too).

#48 skchai

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 02:47 PM

Wow - Karen. We often go into Ala Moana Neiman Marcus and have looked longingly at many of your wonderful pastries, and even tasted some of them on occasion.

Admittedly, the usual objective for going is so our kids can use the amazing lavoratories, since we're not in any position to afford many of the products on display. However, we sometimes get waylaid at the pastry counters on the way in or out. Have never had a chance to make it Mariposa, but have heard great things about Doug Lum's East-West cuisine. I assume you would not classify him as part of HRC, though!

Edited by skchai, 23 October 2003 - 02:48 PM.

Sun-Ki Chai
http://www2.hawaii.edu/~sunki/

Former Hawaii Forum Host


#49 KarenS

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 07:40 PM

skchai, Thank you, I am glad you like the pastries :smile: . Doug Lum is a long time friend of mine (his wife is a retired pastry chef). Doug belongs to the group "Hawaiian Island Chefs".
Even with a discount- I can't afford Neiman Marcus either!

#50 caroline

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Posted 24 October 2003 - 04:05 AM

Karen, That sounds like a wonderful position. Neiman Marcus was still just a planner's dream when I left Hawaii. But when I get back there I'll have to sample your work.

Rachel
Rachel Caroline Laudan

#51 skchai

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Posted 27 October 2003 - 06:52 AM

Just wanted to let you know that I had a chance to sample the LittleBlueHouse's Natural Levain Bread the other day. . .

Natural levain has always been somewhat mysterious or even magical to me, and it was quite an experience to see how beautifully the loaf turned out. I mean that literally - my wife and I were both commenting on how aesthetically pleasing the appearance of the loaf itself was with its handsome markings, roundness, etc. The taste was wonderful too - just the right level of springiness without the stodginess one often gets in otherwise good "rustic" loaves. Amazing how much control they achieved using yeasts picked out of the air!

Emily and Chris are now looking around for retail distributers for their breads while continuing their private dining service. Best of luck to them. . .

Sun-Ki Chai
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Former Hawaii Forum Host


#52 KarenS

KarenS
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Posted 27 October 2003 - 02:28 PM

Tell them to bring me some -or call me! We could use good bread at Neiman Marcus (until we get more ovens baking more bread would be impossible - what with popovers, desserts, monkey bread, meat, bacon, salmon, etc... No, I don't have dedicated ovens!

#53 KarenS

KarenS
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Posted 27 October 2003 - 02:36 PM

Oh, and about levain. This is how all bread used to be made. Commercial yeast was not available until the 20's. Yeast is naturally occuring- I have my grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great- grandmothers recipes for yeast/ bread. Starters were precious things carried acrss the country, and passed on to family and friends. Hawaii is not the best climate for bread baking. You need to be careful with your starter- other not such great things can grow in there if you are not careful about temp control!