Roy's 15th Anniversary Event
Posted 26 February 2004 - 01:06 PM
Tom and Warren Matsuda scholarship hosted by Roy Yamaguchi? It was also the celebration
of Roy's 15th anniversary. The participating chefs were amazing, the food phenomenal. I can't
imagine ever seeing an event of this manitude again for a long long time. What a wonderful
thing to do and hats off to the staff from Roy's and all who assisted in a smooth event.
Ervin D. Williams 9/1/1921 - 6/8/2004
Posted 26 February 2004 - 09:14 PM
Posted 26 February 2004 - 10:17 PM
Truly wish I could have been there - but I've always seen those kind events as above my station! Also, my wife was out of town and I couldn't exactly drag my 4 and 8-year old kids there. But it sounded like an almost transcendently star-studded event.
Here was the guest list, according to the Star-Bulletin:
Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu's and Matsuhisa; Tetsuya Wakuda of Tetsuya's, Sydney; Alessandro Stratta of Renoir, Las Vegas; Lee Hefter of Spago, Beverly Hills, Rick Tramonto of Tru, Chicago; Ron Siegel of Masa's, San Francisco; Rafih Benjelloun, Imperial Fez, Atlanta; Floyd Cardoz of Tabla, New York; Richard Sandoval of Maya, New York, and Tamayo, Colorado; Yuji Wakiya of Turandot, Tokyo; Stephan Pyles of Star Canyon, Dallas; and Tony Liu of Babbo, New York. Not mention to mention local chefs Alan Wong and Hiroshi Fukui, as well as a large contingent of executive chefs from the 32-restaurant Roy's empire. Here's another story about the difficulties the chefs had in shipping all their ingredients over from the mainland. Tom Matsuda was the executive sous chef at the Sheraton Waikiki, while Warren, his son, was a runner at Roy's Hawai`i Kai flagship restaurant. Tom was murdered by one of his own employees in 2000, and Warren died in an accident in 2002.
You'd be hard put to find a similar collection of superstar chefs anywhere in the world at one point in time. Can you describe the food and how it was served? What were your favorite bites there? Any other impressions? Thanks again for the report!
Former Hawaii Forum Host
Posted 27 February 2004 - 06:04 PM
First, I think everyone who attends things like this has a great time, I like the fact that there are never any sort of "dress codes" to attend. I notice in other cities unless you own black tie or have a suit it can be awkward to go to some events.
For me, after waiting since November to attend this it was much like a wedding. You look forward to it for months and all of a sudden the night comes and before you know it, it is over! We'd heard interviews with Roy on the radio, talked to staff from there and kept hearing as the weeks/days went on the spiraling numbers of tickets being sold. That in mind
we left our house about 4 to trek over the hill toward KCC. We imagined parking to be full and a long wait in line to check in. True, to park took some doing - but the KCC lots are big
and a bit of walking was fine. Upon arrival we saw an old friend who has moved to CA to work at a Roy's location there and caught up with him and were offered a glass of champagne during our wait. The line started to form for the 'grazing' section (I really don't like that term) and to it we went. The 5 of us got our little pink bracelets and went through
toward the scents that carried us along like a magic carpet.
As always there were some tall tables set up to perch food and wine upon and this always makes for a good home base for everyone. It was hard to decide what to eat first!!!! I tried to eat something from everyone. The sushi cones from Lee Hefter were just fabulous, the combination of the ahi and the crisp little cones is such a great texture to bit into. I don't know if there is sugar in the cones but they almost have a carmelized taste, I ate 4 of these.
The ahi from Nobu was something not to miss, his ability to layer flavors is unreal. Having tasted Rick Tramonto's food at Cuisines of the Sun in 2000 and then dining at Tru afterward
I was looking forward to trying his creation. Generally I don't care for foam dishes maybe because while the tastes are there the lack of texture does not appeal to me. I make an exception here as his lobster foam soup packed so much flavor, had a beautiful color and
surprised me so much - I downed 6 of them throughout the night. He was very nice to talk to about dining at Tru and his excitement at being part of the evening.
I also enjoyed the soup of Floyd Cardoz - probably I'll never make it to NY to Tabla but am grateful to have had his food Sunday and last summer and Manele Bay on Lana'i. The tomato flavor and his spices (although some lost in transit) were so cool and refreshing.
I felt that it was so great to talk to all these chefs who were so happy to be a part of this night. Everyone was so open and accessible, they signed autographs, posed for photos, took
time to meet people, the celebration of life and aloha was just filling the air. I was wondering who was manning any of the restaurants in town as so many managers, chefs,
wait staff and support personnel were present.
Although not announced it was great to hear Roy, Hiroshi and the rest of Manua play their
particular brand of rock and roll, people were dancing and singing along, this really made the night even more special.
Last but certainly not least, the wines were fabulous, so great to be able to chat with the winemakers and learn more about their craft. I almost didn't recognize Jim Clendenen with his new haircut but there is no mistaking his treasures from Au Bon Climat. I know this is long and maybe doesn't answer some of your questions but I hope that it conveys just what a really wonderful evening everyone contributed to - thank you all for a most memorable
night!!!!!!! If I didn't mention all the foods it wasn't meant to slight - just keep it somewhat short!!!!!!!! A hui ho
Ervin D. Williams 9/1/1921 - 6/8/2004
Posted 28 February 2004 - 12:25 PM
How easy was it to graze at the event? You cruised to different booths and took your goodies to scattered tables? Then went back for more?
Posted 29 February 2004 - 10:02 PM
come through layer by layer. The spice mix is fairly simple but in use comes out rich and a feast for
the palate, even though this is a cold soup the flavor rocks. Floyd is truly a master in addition to being a really friendly person willing to share his culture, philosphy of food and aloha.
Well I go from station to station, sometimes making it back to the table, sometimes not. By having the table you meet other people who need a place to perch and have some good conversations as the night progresses. I did spend lots of the time just roaming around talking and taking pictures.
watching the event go by while the other members of our group went back and forth to the table.
This is how we go to all events and it always works well.If the trend continues for events to be held at places like the Coral Ballroom at the Hilton I may never get back as it is like trekking across a football field to return and by that time either the food is cold or you share with whoever you meet and know along the way which is a good thing too!That probably didn't really answer your question as to how easy it is to 'graze' it was very easy, I didn't have any long waits in lines at any of the places maybe a minute or two at most, it was so well run - other events should have taken notes!!!!! Great job keeping the masses fed and happy.
One thing I noticed from talking to participating chefs was their pleasure and confidence that Hawaii
has everything they could need for an event like this especially produce and seafood. A few years ago Lee Hefter told me he was impressed with the "impeccable ingredients full of freshness and
diversity" found in the islands and it is a pleasure to create foods here, I think by his influence at the Spago in Wailea that is true.
Something I always notice is seeing the same familiar faces at these events, for us it is like being able to go on tour with the Dead shows, we weren't able to do that when it was possible so now we
go to these sorts of things and were we able to tape like the tapers we would keep tastes of the food on hand for remembrance, instead we are content to keep programs and the extra pounds
we might incur..........
Ervin D. Williams 9/1/1921 - 6/8/2004