Celebrated chef shares his story

Credit: Honolulu Star Advertiser The hottest food trend on the mainland right now is something we in Hawaii have taken for granted for generations: poke. Chef Sam Choy hopes it’s not just a flash in the pan, he told culinary educators at a workshop. Not because he just opened Sam Choy’s Poke to the Max in Seattle after finding success with food trucks there, but because, as he said, “it’s a true taste of Hawaii.” His Seattle restaurant brings in 1,000 pounds of ahi each week from Hawaii, Choy said. The Hawai‘i Culinary Education Foundation staged the workshop at ChefZone on Thursday to give high school and community college culinary teachers insights into Choy’s career journey. The educators got to see a demonstration of classic and contemporary poke dishes, and watched the chef prepare a dish from a box of mystery ingredients, among other things.

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Before Captain Cook Poke

Recipe Credit: Chef Sam Choy

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Golf tournament to benefit culinary non-profit

The eighteenth Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation Charity Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, April 11, 2016 at the Kapolei Golf Course. Tournament proceeds benefit the culinary nonprofit dedicated to culinary education in Hawaii.

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Let’s Talk Food: Chef with Hilo roots

Chef Jon Matsubara, culinary executive director for Bloomingdale’s at Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, has roots in Hilo.

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Tom Douglas at Kapiolani Community College, February 29, 2016

Coal Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sake Braised Kale Seared Big Island Sirloin Yield: 8 tasting portions Coal Roasted Sweet Potatoes 1 pound sweet potatoes, about 2 medium sweet potatoes Bake the sweet potatoes until soft enough to eat, but firm to touch. Place sweet potatoes in the coals to char the outside all over. Wipe off the coal ash. Split the sweet potatoes in half, then cut each half into chunks. Honey Butter

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Seattle chef – Tom Douglas puts veggies front and center

What’s the difference between “hard char” and “burnt”? Burnt is a mistake, while a nicely charred vegetable is the product of a deliberate act that caramelizes the natural sugars to produce a bittersweetness. A vegetable like that can take the center of a $15 plate in a restaurant like Tom Douglas’ new Carlile Room in downtown Seattle. “It’s hard to get the idea of ‘hard char’ across so you don’t feel freaky about it,” Douglas said Monday as he showed off a slice of pineapple bearing a solid charred crust. Read More >>

Chef Jackie Lau Poultry Maui Culinary Academy program

Whole Chicken Technique Brine and Roast

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Dumpling making, All Day Wong

Chef Lee Anne Wong said cooks are just craftsmen. Television makes them famous. One of the stars on the public television series, “Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking,” spent Tuesday morning with Kauai Community College culinary arts students. “It’s really good to have some of these (well-known) chefs to come and teach us,” said Angelito Roslin, a KCC student. “It shows us that we can achieve things we never would have thought we could.” Read more >>

Street-dish recipes provide head start on annual event

Take your taste buds on a tantalizing adventure through the streets of India at the Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation’s annual benefit

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Chef Garg to prepare a lineup of Indian street fare

The four regions of India each have their own version of classic street foods, and within those regions the various states present their own variations, with individual cooks and families adding their own touches to the dishes, chef Vikram Garg said.

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Cooking Indian cuisine requires know-how about spices

In India, people eat four meals a day, said Vikram Garg, executive chef of the Halekulani, who was born and raised in India. “Breakfast is eaten early, lunch is served by noon and in the evening there’s a huge culture of going out and eating. Then there’s a late-night supper,” he said. All this chowing down has created a long tradition of street food, presented at open stands that offer one or two quick-prep items, ideal for snacking, a grab-and-go lunch for a busy businessman, or that late supper. These are the specialty of the cook, who’s often executing a family recipe passed down generationally, or after apprenticing with a master cook. Amazingly, “nothing is written down,” said Garg. “In fact, many of these cooks don’t read or write.” The chef is presenting some of those delicious morsels — from kebabs and chaat to vindaloo and uttapam (see the sidebar for descriptions) of various regions of India— at a benefit dinner Jan. 31 for the Hawaii Culinary Education Foundation. The grazing dinner, with separate food stations offering dishes, will reflect the concept of street food in India. Garg, 45, spent some 20 years creating gourmet food across the globe, in such locales as Dubai and the Caribbean as well as both coasts of the U.S., before arriving in Hawaii. Yet he is not formally trained in Indian cooking. “There is no school in the world that teaches Indian cuisine,” he said. After training to become a chef, “in Indian kitchens I cooked French cuisine.” In contrast, with no recipes to guide a student, learning to cook Indian food means paying close attention, with both eyes and taste buds. “You learn by technique and tasting. You watch and taste and taste,” said Garg. A steep level of knowledge of spices is required for the successful Indian cook, from quality and varieties of individual spices to blending them. This involves particular proportions and cooking temperatures to achieve specific scents, flavors and textures. “It’s like choosing a perfume and how it interacts with your body chemistry,” said the chef. “It’s about how the mixed spices interact with your palate.” The operative word here is balance. “There’s a misconception that Indian food is spicy. It is, sometimes, but it still must be balanced. The tongue should be able to taste each spice,” he said. “It’s not about the heat, but about the nose and the palate.” Read More >>