Posts Tagged ‘Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi’

Today’s 2012 Rice Fest Schedule of Events (from 11am-7pm)

September 29, 2012

Rice Fest countdown =
0 days
!
8)

I posted something similar yesterday, but in case you missed it, here are all the details for the Common Grains 3rd Annual Rice Fest, taking place TODAY from 11am-7pm at Ward Warehouse. Hope to see y’all there!


Common Grains & JRE 3rd Annual Hawaii Rice Festival
Ward Warehouse
TODAY from @ 11am-7pm

11am – Rice Fest (at Ward Warehouse) starts, hosted by 94.7 KUMU’s Bruddah Bryan

Bruddah Bryan
Our Emcee: 94.7 KUMU’s Bruddah Bryan

12:15pm-12:35pm – 1st Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum & Shawn Ching)

Chef MavroStephanie LumShawn Ching
Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum & Shawn Ching

12:45pm-1:15pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Contest with returning champ Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi from Tokkuri Tei, Chef Eric Goodhew from Kincaid’s Restaurant, Chef Jonathan Mack from Caribbean Spice, and Chef Andy Dalan from YogurStory).

Hideaki 'Santa' MiyoshiEric Goodhew
Jonathan MackAndy Dalan
“Riceipe” Cooking Contest Competitors: Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi (Tokkuri Tei), Chef Eric Goodhew (Kincaid’s Restaurant), Chef Jonathan Mack (Caribbean Spice), and Chef Andy Dalan (YogurStory)

1:15pm-1:45pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Contest Judging – Food experts Nadine Kam from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and Melissa Chang & Mari Taketa from Nonstop Honolulu, and Katie Ka’anapu from Ward Centers

Nadine KamMelissa Chang
Mari TaketaKatie Kaanapu
“Riceipe” Cooking Contest Judges: Nadine Kam (Honolulu Star-Advertiser), Melissa Chang (Nonstop Honolulu), Mari Taketa (Nonstop Honolulu), and Katie Ka’anapu (Ward Centers)

2pm-2:50pm – Ukulele performances by Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

Jody Kamisato & Uke's Rising Stars
Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

3pm-3:20pm – 2nd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Hawaiian Grown Kitchen’s Chef Grant Kawasaki and KHON2’s Justin Cruz)

Chef Grant KawasakiJustin Cruz
Chef Grant Kawasaki (Hawaiian Grown Kitchen) & Justin Cruz (KHON2)

3:30pm-4pm – Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii
Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

4pm-4:30pm – Basketball Freestyle demo by former America’s Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad

Basketball Freestyle demo by former America's Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad
Basketball Freestyle demo by former America’s Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad

4:30pm-5pm – Musical performance by Jon Yamasato

Jon Yamasato
Jon Yamasato

6pm-6:10pm – 3rd Annual SPAM® Musubi Eating Contest – with two-time defending champ “Uncle Rodney”

Uncle Rodney
SPAM® Musubi Eating Contest two-time defending champ “Uncle Rodney”

6:15pm-6:30pm – Guinness World Record™ for Largest SPAM® Musubi – Official Weigh-In

Guinness World Record™ for Largest SPAM® Musubi
Guinness World Record™ for Largest SPAM® Musubi

6:30pm-7pm – Contest Winner Announcements and closing remarks

7pm – 2012 Rice Fest concludes

All Day (11am-7pm)
* Brown Rice Donation Center – Brown Rice and monetary donations accepted for Lanakila Meals on Wheels at the Lanakila Pacific / Info booth, Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth, Channel808 booth, and VH07V booth
* Guinness World Record™ attempt – Construction of the world’s Largest SPAM® Musubi in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record™ of 286 lbs!
* Live Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt – Compete in this Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win great prizes!
* Rice Education Booth – Learn all about Rice from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Professor of Nutrition Dr. Maria Stewart

And let’s not forget about all of the participating vendors & food trucks:

  • Camille’s On Wheels
    • Menu: Latin Fare w/ Cilantro Rice, Quinoa-Rice-Black Beans Salad
  • Channel808
    • *** Brown Rice donations accepted here
  • Common Grains
    • Menu: Hot Omusubi: Made to order with new crop rice from Japan; Any one vegetable filling ume or takuan, Meat filling; Japanese Curry Rice
  • Curry King
    • Menu: Curry & Rice; Mochi Fried Rice; Katsu Musubi
  • Dr. Maria Stewart, Professor of Nutrition
  • Ev’ryting Taste Betta Wit, LLC
  • Genki Sushi Ward Centers
    • Menu: Inari (2pcs), California Roll (2pcs), Spicy Tuna Handroll, California Handroll, Spicy Tuna Bowl
  • The Girls Who Bake Next Door
    • Menu: Mochi: bod-bod butter mochi (butter mochi on top, mochi rice on the bottom), butter mochi, and poi mochi; Cupcakes: chocolate toffee peanut butter, red velvet, and pumpkin; Cookies: chocolate chip with macadamia nuts, oatmeal raisin, and oatmeal coconut chocolate chip
  • Hawaii Panel
  • Hawaii’s Fried Musubi
    • Menu: Fried Spam Musubis, Mama’s Fried Chicken Combo, Fried Hawaiian Style Ahi, Fried desserts (oreos, red velvet cupcakes, twinkies), Specialty drinks (home-made plantation iced-tea, and pineapple infused iced tea)
  • Kakaako Kitchen
    • Menu: Famous Kaka’ako Kitchen Fried Rice w/ Korean Style Beef, Coconut Scented Black Rice with Lemongrass Chicken
  • Kinkaid’s Ward
    • Menu: Salmon Risotto: Hearts of palm, crimini mushrooms, parmesan cheese, parsley, red wine gastrique; Pinapple Fried Rice with Pork Belly: Peas carrots, celery, sambal, green onion
  • Lanakila Pacific
    • * Brown Rice and monetary donations accepted here
  • Lundberg Family Farms / Aloha Natural Brokers
    • Menu: Single-serve Rice Chips
  • Ninja Sushi
    • Menu: Shoyu Ahi Poke w/ Rice, Spicy Ahi Poke w/ Rice
  • Oceanic Time Warner Cable
    • *** Brown Rice donations accepted here
  • Ono Pops
    • Menu: Fresh local handmade Hawaiian popsicles
  • Shigalicious
    • Menu: Spam Musubi, Shave Ice, Gotterbi, Gotter Balls
  • Shogunai Tacos
    • Menu: Osaka Jo, Japanese Pork Taco; Zeus’ Glory, Greek Lamb Taco; Salad de Casbah, Rice, with Tuna, Corn, Cumin, and Spicy Bacon; Damascus, Vegetarian Hummus Tacos; South of the Border, Mexican Ground Beef Taco; Ceylon, Spicy Sri Lankan, beef taco; Curry spiced beef with jalapeno, kimchee, and grilled onion; Moroccan Pomme Frites
  • SolarCity
  • Summer’s LavaDogs
  • Tango Market
    • Menu: Fried Rice w/ Braised Beef; Risotto w/ Garlic Shrimp; Danish Rice Pudding w/ Berry Compote; Hawaii Book of Rice
  • VH07V Apparel
    • Menu: Official 2012 Rice Fest Shirt. *** Brown Rice donations accepted here.

Rice Fest 2012 T-Shirts
For sale at the VH07V booth: The official 2012 Rice Fest T-Shirts

Hope you can make it down to experience another long year of my blood, sweat and tears for this event… See y’all there! 🙂

Today’s 2012 Rice Fest Schedule of Events (from 11am-7pm)

September 29, 2012

Rice Fest countdown =
0 days
!
8)

I posted something similar yesterday, but in case you missed it, here are all the details for the Common Grains 3rd Annual Rice Fest, taking place TODAY from 11am-7pm at Ward Warehouse. Hope to see y’all there!


Common Grains & JRE 3rd Annual Hawaii Rice Festival
Ward Warehouse
TODAY from @ 11am-7pm

11am – Rice Fest (at Ward Warehouse) starts, hosted by 94.7 KUMU’s Bruddah Bryan

Bruddah Bryan
Our Emcee: 94.7 KUMU’s Bruddah Bryan

12:15pm-12:35pm – 1st Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum & Shawn Ching)

Chef MavroStephanie LumShawn Ching
Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum & Shawn Ching

12:45pm-1:15pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Contest with returning champ Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi from Tokkuri Tei, Chef Eric Goodhew from Kincaid’s Restaurant, Chef Jonathan Mack from Caribbean Spice, and Chef Andy Dalan from YogurStory).

Hideaki 'Santa' MiyoshiEric Goodhew
Jonathan MackAndy Dalan
“Riceipe” Cooking Contest Competitors: Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi (Tokkuri Tei), Chef Eric Goodhew (Kincaid’s Restaurant), Chef Jonathan Mack (Caribbean Spice), and Chef Andy Dalan (YogurStory)

1:15pm-1:45pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Contest Judging – Food experts Nadine Kam from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and Melissa Chang & Mari Taketa from Nonstop Honolulu, and Katie Ka’anapu from Ward Centers

Nadine KamMelissa Chang
Mari TaketaKatie Kaanapu
“Riceipe” Cooking Contest Judges: Nadine Kam (Honolulu Star-Advertiser), Melissa Chang (Nonstop Honolulu), Mari Taketa (Nonstop Honolulu), and Katie Ka’anapu (Ward Centers)

2pm-2:50pm – Ukulele performances by Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

Jody Kamisato & Uke's Rising Stars
Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

3pm-3:20pm – 2nd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Hawaiian Grown Kitchen’s Chef Grant Kawasaki and KHON2’s Justin Cruz)

Chef Grant KawasakiJustin Cruz
Chef Grant Kawasaki (Hawaiian Grown Kitchen) & Justin Cruz (KHON2)

3:30pm-4pm – Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii
Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

4pm-4:30pm – Basketball Freestyle demo by former America’s Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad

Basketball Freestyle demo by former America's Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad
Basketball Freestyle demo by former America’s Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad

4:30pm-5pm – Musical performance by Jon Yamasato

Jon Yamasato
Jon Yamasato

6pm-6:10pm – 3rd Annual SPAM® Musubi Eating Contest – with two-time defending champ “Uncle Rodney”

Uncle Rodney
SPAM® Musubi Eating Contest two-time defending champ “Uncle Rodney”

6:15pm-6:30pm – Guinness World Record™ for Largest SPAM® Musubi – Official Weigh-In

Guinness World Record™ for Largest SPAM® Musubi
Guinness World Record™ for Largest SPAM® Musubi

6:30pm-7pm – Contest Winner Announcements and closing remarks

7pm – 2012 Rice Fest concludes

All Day (11am-7pm)
* Brown Rice Donation Center – Brown Rice and monetary donations accepted for Lanakila Meals on Wheels at the Lanakila Pacific / Info booth, Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth, Channel808 booth, and VH07V booth
* Guinness World Record™ attempt – Construction of the world’s Largest SPAM® Musubi in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record™ of 286 lbs!
* Live Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt – Compete in this Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win great prizes!
* Rice Education Booth – Learn all about Rice from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Professor of Nutrition Dr. Maria Stewart

And let’s not forget about all of the participating vendors & food trucks:

  • Camille’s On Wheels
    • Menu: Latin Fare w/ Cilantro Rice, Quinoa-Rice-Black Beans Salad
  • Channel808
    • *** Brown Rice donations accepted here
  • Common Grains
    • Menu: Hot Omusubi: Made to order with new crop rice from Japan; Any one vegetable filling ume or takuan, Meat filling; Japanese Curry Rice
  • Curry King
    • Menu: Curry & Rice; Mochi Fried Rice; Katsu Musubi
  • Dr. Maria Stewart, Professor of Nutrition
  • Ev’ryting Taste Betta Wit, LLC
  • Genki Sushi Ward Centers
    • Menu: Inari (2pcs), California Roll (2pcs), Spicy Tuna Handroll, California Handroll, Spicy Tuna Bowl
  • The Girls Who Bake Next Door
    • Menu: Mochi: bod-bod butter mochi (butter mochi on top, mochi rice on the bottom), butter mochi, and poi mochi; Cupcakes: chocolate toffee peanut butter, red velvet, and pumpkin; Cookies: chocolate chip with macadamia nuts, oatmeal raisin, and oatmeal coconut chocolate chip
  • Hawaii Panel
  • Hawaii’s Fried Musubi
    • Menu: Fried Spam Musubis, Mama’s Fried Chicken Combo, Fried Hawaiian Style Ahi, Fried desserts (oreos, red velvet cupcakes, twinkies), Specialty drinks (home-made plantation iced-tea, and pineapple infused iced tea)
  • Kakaako Kitchen
    • Menu: Famous Kaka’ako Kitchen Fried Rice w/ Korean Style Beef, Coconut Scented Black Rice with Lemongrass Chicken
  • Kinkaid’s Ward
    • Menu: Salmon Risotto: Hearts of palm, crimini mushrooms, parmesan cheese, parsley, red wine gastrique; Pinapple Fried Rice with Pork Belly: Peas carrots, celery, sambal, green onion
  • Lanakila Pacific
    • * Brown Rice and monetary donations accepted here
  • Lundberg Family Farms / Aloha Natural Brokers
    • Menu: Single-serve Rice Chips
  • Ninja Sushi
    • Menu: Shoyu Ahi Poke w/ Rice, Spicy Ahi Poke w/ Rice
  • Oceanic Time Warner Cable
    • *** Brown Rice donations accepted here
  • Ono Pops
    • Menu: Fresh local handmade Hawaiian popsicles
  • Shigalicious
    • Menu: Spam Musubi, Shave Ice, Gotterbi, Gotter Balls
  • Shogunai Tacos
    • Menu: Osaka Jo, Japanese Pork Taco; Zeus’ Glory, Greek Lamb Taco; Salad de Casbah, Rice, with Tuna, Corn, Cumin, and Spicy Bacon; Damascus, Vegetarian Hummus Tacos; South of the Border, Mexican Ground Beef Taco; Ceylon, Spicy Sri Lankan, beef taco; Curry spiced beef with jalapeno, kimchee, and grilled onion; Moroccan Pomme Frites
  • SolarCity
  • Summer’s LavaDogs
  • Tango Market
    • Menu: Fried Rice w/ Braised Beef; Risotto w/ Garlic Shrimp; Danish Rice Pudding w/ Berry Compote; Hawaii Book of Rice
  • VH07V Apparel
    • Menu: Official 2012 Rice Fest Shirt. *** Brown Rice donations accepted here.

Rice Fest 2012 T-Shirts
For sale at the VH07V booth: The official 2012 Rice Fest T-Shirts

Hope you can make it down to experience another long year of my blood, sweat and tears for this event… See y’all there! 🙂

2012 Rice Fest is TOMORROW!

September 28, 2012

Rice Fest countdown =
1 day
!
8)

Wow, I can’t believe Rice Fest 2012 is finally here! Tomorrow, from 11am-7pm, Hawaii’s only rice inspired food festival takes place at Ward Centers in Honolulu. Amongst the day’s food and festivities, there will be celebrity & chef cooking demonstrations, a “Riceipe” cooking competition, live entertainment by Jody Kamisato, and Jon Yamasato and a Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii, a SPAM® Musubi Eating Contest, and a Guinness World Record™ attempt to create the Largest SPAM® Musubi in the world!

Below is the commercial and an an hour by hour breakdown of the day’s events. Hope you can join us!


Common Grains & JRE 3rd Annual Hawaii Rice Festival
Ward Warehouse
TOMORROW from @ 11am-7pm

11am – Rice Fest (at Ward Warehouse) starts, hosted by 94.7 KUMU’s Bruddah Bryan

Bruddah Bryan
Our Emcee: 94.7 KUMU’s Bruddah Bryan

12:15pm-12:35pm – 1st Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum & Shawn Ching)

Chef MavroStephanie LumShawn Ching
Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum & Shawn Ching

12:45pm-1:15pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Contest with returning champ Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi from Tokkuri Tei, Chef Eric Goodhew from Kincaid’s Restaurant, Chef Jonathan Mack from Caribbean Spice, and Chef Andy Dalan from YogurStory).

Hideaki 'Santa' MiyoshiEric Goodhew
Jonathan MackAndy Dalan
“Riceipe” Cooking Contest Competitors: Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi (Tokkuri Tei), Chef Eric Goodhew (Kincaid’s Restaurant), Chef Jonathan Mack (Caribbean Spice), and Chef Andy Dalan (YogurStory)

1:15pm-1:45pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Contest Judging – Food experts Nadine Kam from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and Melissa Chang & Mari Taketa from Nonstop Honolulu, and Katie Ka’anapu from Ward Centers

Nadine KamMelissa Chang
Mari TaketaKatie Kaanapu
“Riceipe” Cooking Contest Judges: Nadine Kam (Honolulu Star-Advertiser), Melissa Chang (Nonstop Honolulu), Mari Taketa (Nonstop Honolulu), and Katie Ka’anapu (Ward Centers)

2pm-2:50pm – Ukulele performances by Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

Jody Kamisato & Uke's Rising Stars
Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

3pm-3:20pm – 2nd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Hawaiian Grown Kitchen’s Chef Grant Kawasaki and KHON2’s Justin Cruz)

Chef Grant KawasakiJustin Cruz
Chef Grant Kawasaki (Hawaiian Grown Kitchen) & Justin Cruz (KHON2)

3:30pm-4pm – Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii
Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

4pm-4:30pm – Basketball Freestyle demo by former America’s Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad

Basketball Freestyle demo by former America's Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad
Basketball Freestyle demo by former America’s Got Talent contestant Kalani Ahmad

4:30pm-5pm – Musical performance by Jon Yamasato

Jon Yamasato
Jon Yamasato

6pm-6:10pm – 3rd Annual SPAM® Musubi Eating Contest – with two-time defending champ “Uncle Rodney”

Uncle Rodney
SPAM® Musubi Eating Contest two-time defending champ “Uncle Rodney”

6:15pm-6:30pm – Guinness World Record™ for Largest SPAM® Musubi – Official Weigh-In

Guinness World Record™ for Largest SPAM® Musubi
Guinness World Record™ for Largest SPAM® Musubi

6:30pm-7pm – Contest Winner Announcements and closing remarks

7pm – 2012 Rice Fest concludes

All Day (11am-7pm)
* Brown Rice Donation Center – Brown Rice and monetary donations accepted for Lanakila Meals on Wheels at the Lanakila Pacific / Info booth, Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth, Channel808 booth, and VH07V booth
* Guinness World Record™ attempt – Construction of the world’s Largest SPAM® Musubi in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record™ of 286 lbs!
* Live Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt – Compete in this Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win great prizes!
* Rice Education Booth – Learn all about Rice from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Professor of Nutrition Dr. Maria Stewart

And let’s not forget about all of the participating vendors & food trucks:

  • Camille’s On Wheels
    • Menu: Latin Fare w/ Cilantro Rice, Quinoa-Rice-Black Beans Salad
  • Channel808
    • *** Brown Rice donations accepted here
  • Common Grains
    • Menu: Hot Omusubi: Made to order with new crop rice from Japan; Any one vegetable filling ume or takuan, Meat filling; Japanese Curry Rice
  • Curry King
    • Menu: Curry & Rice; Mochi Fried Rice; Katsu Musubi
  • Dr. Maria Stewart, Professor of Nutrition
  • Ev’ryting Taste Betta Wit, LLC
  • Genki Sushi Ward Centers
    • Menu: Inari (2pcs), California Roll (2pcs), Spicy Tuna Handroll, California Handroll, Spicy Tuna Bowl
  • The Girls Who Bake Next Door
    • Menu: Mochi: bod-bod butter mochi (butter mochi on top, mochi rice on the bottom), butter mochi, and poi mochi; Cupcakes: chocolate toffee peanut butter, red velvet, and pumpkin; Cookies: chocolate chip with macadamia nuts, oatmeal raisin, and oatmeal coconut chocolate chip
  • Hawaii Panel
  • Hawaii’s Fried Musubi
    • Menu: Fried Spam Musubis, Mama’s Fried Chicken Combo, Fried Hawaiian Style Ahi, Fried desserts (oreos, red velvet cupcakes, twinkies), Specialty drinks (home-made plantation iced-tea, and pineapple infused iced tea)
  • Kakaako Kitchen
    • Menu: Famous Kaka’ako Kitchen Fried Rice w/ Korean Style Beef, Coconut Scented Black Rice with Lemongrass Chicken
  • Kinkaid’s Ward
    • Menu: Salmon Risotto: Hearts of palm, crimini mushrooms, parmesan cheese, parsley, red wine gastrique; Pinapple Fried Rice with Pork Belly: Peas carrots, celery, sambal, green onion
  • Lanakila Pacific
    • * Brown Rice and monetary donations accepted here
  • Lundberg Family Farms / Aloha Natural Brokers
    • Menu: Single-serve Rice Chips
  • Ninja Sushi
    • Menu: Shoyu Ahi Poke w/ Rice, Spicy Ahi Poke w/ Rice
  • Oceanic Time Warner Cable
    • *** Brown Rice donations accepted here
  • Ono Pops
    • Menu: Fresh local handmade Hawaiian popsicles
  • Shigalicious
    • Menu: Spam Musubi, Shave Ice, Gotterbi, Gotter Balls
  • Shogunai Tacos
    • Menu: Osaka Jo, Japanese Pork Taco; Zeus’ Glory, Greek Lamb Taco; Salad de Casbah, Rice, with Tuna, Corn, Cumin, and Spicy Bacon; Damascus, Vegetarian Hummus Tacos; South of the Border, Mexican Ground Beef Taco; Ceylon, Spicy Sri Lankan, beef taco; Curry spiced beef with jalapeno, kimchee, and grilled onion; Moroccan Pomme Frites
  • SolarCity
  • Summer’s LavaDogs
  • Tango Market
    • Menu: Fried Rice w/ Braised Beef; Risotto w/ Garlic Shrimp; Danish Rice Pudding w/ Berry Compote; Hawaii Book of Rice
  • VH07V Apparel
    • Menu: Official 2012 Rice Fest Shirt (See below). *** Brown Rice donations accepted here.

Rice Fest 2012 T-Shirts
For sale at the VH07V booth: The official 2012 Rice Fest T-Shirts

Hope you can make it down to experience another long year of my blood, sweat and tears for this event… See y’all there! 🙂

2011 Rice Fest is TODAY (Schedule of Events from 10am-6pm)

September 11, 2011

Well, my baby has finally arrived. It took 1 whole year (again), but I pushed and I pushed and am ready to deliver it to you today. Hope you can make it down to Rice Fest at Ala Moana’s Magic Island today between 10am-6pm.

Check out the below for an hour by hour breakdown of the day’s festivities including celebrity & chef cooking demonstrations, “Riceipe” cooking competitions, live entertainment by Jody Kamisato, Bruce Shimabukuro and a Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii, a SPAM® Musubi Eating Contest, and a Guinness World Record™ attempt to create the Largest SPAM® Musubi in the world!

2nd Annual Hawaii Rice Fest
2nd Annual Hawaii Rice Festival

Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park
TODAY from @ 10am-6pm

10am – Rice Fest (at Ala Moana’s Magic Island) starts, hosted by 102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan

Bruddah Bryan
102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan

10:15am-10:45am – Ukulele performances by Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

Bruddah Bryan
Jody Kamisato & Uke’s Rising Stars

11am-11:20am – 1st Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Chef Kent Thompson and Hawaii News Now’s Minna Sugimoto)

Kent ThompsonMinna Sugimoto
Chef Kent Thompson and Hawaii News Now’s Minna Sugimoto

11:30am-12:30pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Competition – Amateur Division (including Leticia Buhr, Cathy Nobriga Kim, Loreen Matsushima, Mao Moeng, and Joan Murata).

Leticia BuhrCathy Nobriga Kim
Loreen MatsushimaMao MoengJoan Murata
“Riceipe” Competition Amateurs: Leticia Buhr, Cathy Nobriga Kim, Loreen Matsushima, Mao Moeng, and Joan Murata

12:30pm-1:30pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Competition – Professional Division (including returning champ Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi from Tokkuri Tei, Executive Chef Wayne Hirabayashi from the Kahala Hotel & Resort, Executive Chef Hector Morales from the Turtle Bay Resort, and retired chef Kent Thompson).

Hideaki 'Santa' MiyoshiWayne Hirabayashi
Hector MoralesKent Thompson
“Riceipe” Competition Professionals: Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi (Tokkuri Tei), Executive Chef Wayne Hirabayashi (Kahala Hotel & Resort), Executive Chef Hector Morales (Turtle Bay Resort), Chef Kent Thompson (retired)

“Riceipe” Cooking Competition – Judges (11:30pm-1:30pm) – Food experts John Heckathorn from Honolulu Magazine, Nadine Kam from the Honolulu Star Advertiser and Melissa Chang and Mari Taketa from Nonstop Honolulu.

John HeckathornNadine Kam
Melissa ChangMari Taketa
Judges John Heckathorn, Nadine Kam, Melissa Chang Mari Taketa

2pm-2:20pm – 2nd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Chef Mavro’s George Mavrothalassitis and The Cat Dish’s Catherine Toth)

Chef George MavrothalassitisCatherine Toth
Chef/Proprietor George Mavrothalassitis (Chef Mavro) & Catherine Toth (Cat Dish)

2:30pm-3pm – Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii
Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii

3pm-3:30pm – Ukulele performance by Bruce Shimabukuro

Bruce Shimabukuro
Bruce Shimabukuro

4pm-4:20pm – 3rd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Maui’s Sea House Restaurant’s Executive Chef Craig Erickson and KHON2’s Justin Cruz)

Executive Chef Craig EricksonJustin Cruz
Executive Chef Craig Erickson (Maui’s Sea House Restaurant) & Justin Cruz (KHON2)

4:30pm-5pm – Guinness World Record™ for Largest SPAM® Musubi – Official Weigh-In

5pm-5:30pm – 2nd Annual SPAM® Musubi Eating Contest

5:30pm-6pm – Contest winner announcements

6pm – Rice Fest concludes

All Day (10am-6pm)
* Rice Donation Center – Donate your brown rice to Lanakila Meals on Wheels and white rice to Hawaii Foodbank
* Guinness World Record™ attempt to create the Largest SPAM® Musubi
* Live Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt – Compete in this Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win great prizes!
* Rice Education Booth – Learn all about Rice from the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Professor of Nutrition Dr. Maria Stewart, and
* The Keiki Zone – coloring contest hosted by members of the 2011 Narcissus Festival Court from 10am-2pm, bouncies, balloons and fun from Douglas Odani, Crystal Face Painting & Tattoos by Lei Crystal Tattoos, and games from JMJ Gaming.

2011 Narcissus Festival Court
2011 Narcissus Festival Court

And let’s not forget about all of the participating vendors & booths:

  • Bruce Shimabukuro / The Ukebox
  • Douglas Odani – Balloon Twister
  • Dr. Maria Stewart – University of Hawaii at Manoa Professor of Nutrition
  • Grandma G’s Kitchen
  • Hawaii Book of Rice / Watermark Publishing
  • Hawaii Foodbank
  • Hawaiian Style Chili Co.
  • Island Fruits
  • JMJ Gaming
  • Kat’s Sushi
  • The Keiki Zone
  • Lanakila Meals on Wheels
  • Lei Crystal Tattoos
  • Oceanic Time Warner Cable
  • Ono Local Foods
  • Ono Pops
  • Project Grad
  • Raised on Rice
  • Sam’s Kitchen
  • Shiga’licious
  • SNOW |F|A|C|T|O|R|Y|
  • Taste & See Delights

Hope you can make it down to experience another long year of my blood, sweat and tears for this event… See y’all there! 🙂

Tokkuri Tei – Revisited

January 1, 2011
Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For | Tokkuri Tei – Revisited

Whenever anybody asks me where my favorite restaurant is, I always say “Tokkuri Tei” without any hesitation. Some will nod in approval because they’ve been, while others are curious because they haven’t. For the latter, I usually like to send them a link to an article I wrote about them several years ago: Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For because it contains the food “pr0n” that everybody gets excited over.

Recently, I was re-skimming the article and noticed that there were only 8 photos in it and I asked myself “Is that it!? Just 8 photos!?”

I’ve been to both of Tokkuri Tei’s locations dozens of times. Heck a single search for “Tokkuri Tei” on my computer box thing yields 296 items! Almost three hunny, and all I could muster up for that article was 8 measly photos? Must’ve been my rookie food blogging days. LOL!

Tokkuri Tei - The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For
Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For

Needless to say, an update was long overdue… So when co-owner Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi informed me that they would be moving to a new location (their 3rd in almost 22 years), I thought it would be the perfect time to update their story (and my photo count).

On Tuesday, December 21st, I answered Santa san’s call. They needed help moving the “heavy stuff” after spending the entire previous day moving the “small stuff” over (guess he knew about the “gun” show *grin*). The plan was to move the entire Tokkuri Tei operation from their 611 Kapahulu location to their new 449 Kapahulu location and be ready to launch in one week! Whaaaat? One week!? Fo real? No can! Can! Although just 0.2 miles away, moving an entire restaurant, enormous refrigerators and all, is not an easy task as I was about to find out.

I arrived that morning to this:

Dining area inside the old Tokkuri Tei
Dining area inside the old Tokkuri Tei

Kitchen and sushi bar at the old Tokkuri Tei
Kitchen and sushi bar at the old Tokkuri Tei

I gotta admit, I got a little misty. OK, not really, but there were so many memories made there!

Then, it was time to move one of the HUMONGOID refrigerators. Lucky thing this one had wheels!

Moving the refrigerator. Why am I not helping? :P
Moving the refrigerator. Why am I not helping? 😛

With the “heavy stuff” loaded up, we headed over to the new spot (the old Sam Choy’s/Sergio’s/Ranch House above Hee Hing). I’ve honestly never been here since it was Sam Choy’s Restaurant, so I was particularly interested to see what kind of space we were working with.

Partially furnished dining area inside the new Tokkuri Tei
Partially furnished dining area inside the new Tokkuri Tei

Tokkuri Tei's other owner Kazu "Kaz" Mitake checks out his kitchen with Santa
Tokkuri Tei’s other owner Kazu “Kaz” Mitake checks out his kitchen with Santa

As you can see, it’s a fairly large blank canvas for which to paint. Thankfully, some familiar izakaya trimmings were brought in to spruce up the joint.

Japanese lanterns (chochin) waiting to be put up
Japanese lanterns (chochin) waiting to be put up

Santa went right to work putting them up.

Santa putting up the lanterns
Santa putting up the lanterns

Less than a week later (Sunday, the 26th), Santa invited me to their soft-launch party. The guest list was only around 20, but we had a very important role. We were there so that the staff could get their bearings and do a dry run before going live to the public the very next day. Here are some shots from that night.

The sign is up!
The sign is up!

Tokkuri-Tei's new interior
Tokkuri-Tei’s new interior

Hilarious display. Great photo opp location!
Hilarious display. Great photo opp location!

Most of the shikishi (signed cards) are back up!
Most of the shikishi (signed cards) are back up!

The new sushi bar. So colorful!
The new sushi bar. So colorful!

And then came the food. There was no ordering involved. It was a set menu as decided upon by the kitchen.

Enoki Bata (Enoki mushrooms sautéed in butter)
Enoki Bata (Enoki mushrooms sautéed in butter)

Yaki Tori Kushi Yaki (chicken skewers), Geso Kara Age (deep fried squid legs), and the Enoki Bata
Yaki Tori Kushi Yaki (chicken skewers), Geso Kara Age (deep fried squid legs), and the Enoki Bata

Samples of the California Roll, Unagi Cali Roll, and Baked Alaska Roll
Samples of the California Roll, Unagi Cali Roll, and Baked Alaska Roll

Asupara Bata (Butter asparagus)
Asupara Bata (Butter asparagus)

Shake (salmon) sushi
Shake (salmon) sushi

Chicken Kara Age (fried chicken)
Chicken Kara Age (fried chicken)

Bintoro Tataki (flash seared albacore tuna)
Bintoro Tataki (flash seared albacore tuna)

Ebi (shrimp) sushi
Ebi (shrimp) sushi

Yaki Nasu (Eggplant)
Yaki Nasu (Eggplant)

I gotta be honest. At first, I was a little worried. With a space that much bigger, I wasn’t sure if they would be able to keep the “hole-in-the-wall” izakaya vibe/feel. I also thought that the taste might change. Well, I’m happy to report that neither has occurred. You still feel at home in their new digs and the YUM factor was still alive and well. The true test was when I went home and shmall kine kanak attacked! All pau!

The next day (Monday, the 27th), the Official Grand Re-Opening was set to happen, but it didn’t come without some drama. Santa and crew had to wait for the health inspector to come and deliver their health permit and that didn’t happen until around 2pm, just a few hours before opening! Yikes!

But with that outta the way, Tokkuri Tei was ready for lift off! I invited a bunch of (new and old) friends to join me. Here are some sights from that night.

Well hello again Enoki Bata! :P
Well hello again Enoki Bata! 😛

There's a Spider in Da Poke
There’s a Spider in Da Poke

(Off the menu) Sugimoto Risotto, er, Seafood Risotto 8)
(Off the menu) Sugimoto Risotto, er, Seafood Risotto 8)

Note: This is my all-time favorite dish from Tokkuri Tei, hands down (it even took First Place in the “Rice-ipe” Contest – Professional Division, at the Rice Fest this past year). Problem is, it’s not on the regular menu to order. In fact, Santa is the only one who knows how to make it! With that said, I have been petitioning (ok, begging) Santa to rename it from the mundane “Seafood Risotto” to the more catchy, and, dare I say, exciting “Sugimoto Risotto“! Ahahaha! While we’re at it, maybe we can convince him to make it a regular item on the menu. Muhahahaha! A fella can dream right? But fo’ real, I think this one would seriously sell like hotcakes! Or should I say Sugimoto Hotcakes? 😛 Guess that doesn’t have the same ring to it…

Stuffed Portobello
Stuffed Portobello

Packed house
Packed house


Here’s an artsy panoramic video Clayton Wakida shot from his iPhone

Group shot: Jason Kim (@turkeyboy808), Lee Kojima, Leanne Nakamura, Matt Duffy (@Shogunai_Tacos), Mai Sugimoto, me, Santa Miyoshi, Kelli Nakama, Rick Nakama (@RickNakama), Clayton Wakida (@jarofclay73) and Mari Taketa (@NonStopMari)
Group shot: Jason Kim (@turkeyboy808), Lee Kojima, Leanne Nakamura, Matt Duffy (@Shogunai_Tacos), Mai Sugimoto, me, Santa Miyoshi, Kelli Nakama, Rick Nakama (@RickNakama), Clayton Wakida (@jarofclay73) and Mari Taketa (@NonStopMari)

What an awesome night with great friends and ono eats…

But wait! *screeeeech* You think it’s ova don’tcha? No way Jose! I still get choke photos fo’ share! 🙂

Teriyaki Cream Tofu
Teriyaki Cream Tofu

Ama Ebi (raw shrimp) with deep fried head
Ama Ebi (raw shrimp) with deep fried head

Cajun Ahi Salad
Cajun Ahi Salad

Salmon Skin Salad
Salmon Skin Salad

Sunagimo Kara Age (Deep Fried Chicken Gizzards)
Sunagimo Kara Age (Deep Fried Chicken Gizzards)

(Off the menu) Lilipuna Poke
(Off the menu) Lilipuna Poke

Ika Yaki (Squid Pancake)
Ika Yaki (Squid Pancake)

Ahi Tempura Poke
Ahi Tempura Poke

Nori-chos (Nori Nachos)
Nori-chos (Nori Nachos)

Soft Shell Crab Kara Age
Soft Shell Crab Kara Age

Salmon Dynamite
Salmon Dynamite

Hideaki Santa Miyoshi invites you to visit their new location
Hideaki Santa Miyoshi invites you to visit their new location

Wow! 40 photos this time around… Take that 8 photos! 🙂

Tokkuri-Tei Restaurant
449 Kapahulu (the old Sam Choy’s/Sergio’s/Ranch House, above Hee Hing)
Honolulu, HI. 96815 (Street View)
(808) 732-6480 <— NEW Telephone Number!

P.S. Happy New Year Everyone!
P.P.S. Omedetou Santa san!

Tokkuri Tei – The Izaka-ya to Die-ya For | Tokkuri Tei – Revisited

Scenes from the Rice Fest

September 20, 2010

(Warning: *CHOKE* Photos)

Yeah, I know. Dis post is more than a week overdue, but bruddah ova hea had to sift through 635 photos from all ova da creation (Twitter/Twitpic, flickr, Facebook, etc.) from like 20 different peeps. Finally whittled it down to a little over a hunny in the hopes of giving you a little glimpse into the event that absolutely consumed my life for the last year or so.

For those who don’t know, I am the co-founder of an event called Rice Fest , an event that I am very passionate about, and one that I can honestly say Hawaii wants/needs. Let’s face it. We love our rice here in Hawaii. The plan is to put the Rice Fest on every September (in line with National Rice Month), which we started at our inaugural event last week Saturday (September 11, 2010) at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace. Below are the scenes from that day. Mahalo to everyone for the support!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Our Rice Fest sign on the morning of… Exciting!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The line waits in anticipation (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Scenic shot of Aloha Tower (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Our Sponsor Diamond G Rice (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

(A big mahaloz to our sponsors/partners: Diamond G Rice, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Lanakila Pacific, Vacations Hawaii, HPE Live, and the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace!)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Diamond G Rice gave away free rice to patrons every half hour! (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Stephen aka @PHOTOluluTV won free rice and quickly donated it to our non-profit partner Lanakila Pacific. So thoughtful!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Stephen donating his rice to Lanakila Pacific. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Still early in the day, I had some down time to visit each booth to capture the sights.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Bruddah Kalani Miller and his niece(?) at their Mobile Gamer Guys’ booth.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Some keiki having fun playing video games inside the posh Mobile Gamer Guys’ van. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Valen Ahlo posing with the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court (Princess Kimberly Fujinaka, Princess Cori Hanagami, Queen Marissa Machida, and Miss Congeniality Andrea Hiura). (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Due to a tent mix-up, the ladies of the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court were out in the hot sun for part of the day. A big mahalo to all of them for being such troopers!

Also in the Keiki Zone, University of Hawaii at Manoa’s Department of Human Nutrition, Food, and Animal Science educator Dr. Maria Stewart shared her current research in an interactive and educational display entitled “Nutrition for Everybody: Learn How Rice Promotes a Healthy Body”.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Dr. Maria Stewart’s Rice Education booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The fellas from the Snow F|A|C|T|O|R|Y (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Russ aka @ParkRat enjoying his treat from Snow F|A|C|T|O|R|Y. (Photo Courtesy @Melissa808)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The early scene from above. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Pacific Soul’s Sean Priester and his staff. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Pacific Soul’s offerings at the Rice Fest. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Pelekunu’s booth. They won the Most Creative Booth Award! (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Grilled Teri Chicken plate from Pelekunu’s. (Photo Courtesy @Melissa808)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The Thai Kitchen booth

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The Mixed Plate from Thai Kitchen

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Slowly starting to pick up (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Don Ho’s Island Grill booth

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Kats Sushi booth. They won the “Best of Show” award as voted on by the visitors. (Photo Courtesy @bitachu)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Spicy Tuna temaki (handroll) from Kats Sushi. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Himalayan Kitchen’s booth.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Eastern Food Center’s booth.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Various rice offerings (including jung, mochi and SPAM musubis) from Eastern Food Center. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Primo Sushi’s booth. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Big City Diner’s booth. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Island Taste’s booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Arturo’s Hot Sauce booth. (Photo Courtesy @LanakilaPacific)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Julia, Chimaine, Umma and Mai at the Scrip booth. (Photo Courtesy Umma Kayvalyam)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Sweet Charlotte’s booth.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Sweet Charlotte’s offerings. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Hawaiian Kine Seasonings’ booth.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Offerings from Hawaiian Kine Seasonings. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Yelp booth. (Photo Courtesy @Melissa808)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Leonard Jr.’s malasada van. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Our friends at the Lanakila Pacific booth. (Photo Courtesy @Melissa808)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
One of @LanakilaPacific’s tweets during the day. (Photo Courtesy @LanakilaPacific)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The guys from Oishi-Genmai GIC Japan. Look for their products next year!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The Admission/Volunteer Check-In/Twitter #RICEHUNT booth. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Goodie bags for all Twitter #RICEHUNT participants. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

And then the #RICEHUNT Twitter Scavenger hunt began! Here are the list of items the participants had to find and Twitpic out in order to win:

  • A member of the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court
  • A pair of chopsticks
  • A picture of Bruddah Bryan from 102.7 Da Bomb
  • A picture of both Chef Barry “Cutty” Cutler and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum at the Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo at 1PM
  • A scenic picture of Aloha Tower
  • A food dish with rice
  • A food booth at Rice Fest
  • Maribel with the new IntelliGo (at the Oceanic sponsor booth)
  • A close-up of The Mobile Gamer Guys’ Bus
  • A Rice Fest volunteer / staff – They must be wearing the Rice Fest shirt

Below are some of the images from the #RICEHUNT.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A member of the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court” (Photo Courtesy @biznaz)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A pair of chopsticks” (Photo Courtesy @princesstara459)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A picture of Bruddah Bryan from 102.7 Da Bomb” (Photo Courtesy @bitachu)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A picture of both Chef Barry “Cutty” Cutler and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum at the Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo at 1PM” (Photo Courtesy @tweetpea)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A scenic picture of Aloha Tower” (Photo Courtesy @bitachu)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A food dish with rice” (Photo Courtesy @princesstara459)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A food booth at Rice Fest” (Photo Courtesy @emichan58)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“Maribel with the new IntelliGo (at the Oceanic sponsor booth)” (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A close-up of The Mobile Gamer Guys’ Bus” (Photo Courtesy @bitachu)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“A Rice Fest volunteer / staff – They must be wearing the Rice Fest shirt” (Photo Courtesy @LaurieCicotello)

Mahaloz to all of our #RICEHUNT participants: @amisan34 (and friend), @bitachu (and friend), @biznaz, @photolulutv, @princesstara459 (and friend), @emichan58 (and friend), and @lauriecicotello, and congratulations to @bitachu for winning the grand prize that included gifts from VG Addict, OhanaPCS, TNBLive, and Oceanic Time Warner Cable. Special thanks to @octobersoldier for coordinating the game and prizes! Awesome job!

And then, it was time for the Rice Fest to officially begin! 102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan gets us started…

Scenes from the Rice Fest
102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan giving away a skateboard from Oceanic Time Warner Cable (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Cookin’ With Cutty’s Barry “Cutty” Cutler and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum put on their Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Cutty and Stephanie’s “Healthy Fried Rice” dish. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Ingredients for Cutty and Stephanie’s “Healthy Fried Rice”:

  • Brown Rice
  • Olive/Grapeseed Oil
  • Turkey Bacon/Turkey Sausage
  • Organic Eggs (whites only)
  • Carrots
  • Maui Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Seasonings
  • Lettuce Leaves
  • Cilantro
  • Braggs Liquid Aminos

Serve on a fresh butter lettuce leaf

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Stephen (@PhotoluluTV), Sara (@sarakata) and Melissa (@Melissa808) enjoying themselves at the Rice Fest (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Russ (@ParkRat), Melissa (@Melissa808), and Rick (@RickNakama) take time to pose at the Rice Fest (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

And before you knew it, it was time for the 2nd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo, featuring Kai Market’s Chef Darren Demaya and KITV4’s Lara Yamada.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Kai Market’s Chef Darren Demaya cooking with KITV4’s Lara Yamada

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Darren and Lara’s dish (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Soon it was time for the Lung Kong Physical Culture Club to bless our event with good luck via a traditional lion dance. I was told to stand in front while the lions start on me. Love love LOVE this cool shot from @PhotoluluTV that totally captured the moment!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Getting blessed from the Lung Kong Physical Culture Club Lion Dancers (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The drummers from the Lung Kong Physical Culture Club (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Up close on one of the lions. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The lion dances through the crowd and all over the premises for good luck. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Next up: The Ukulele Hale keiki and Jody Kamisato & Chris Salvador, aka Heart and Soul!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Jody Kamisato introducing his band Heart & Soul (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Heart & Soul with their special guest Kalei Gamiao (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

I gotta say, I was REALLY impressed with young Chris Salvador’s voice. Wow!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Kalei Gamiao, Heart & Soul, and the Ukulele Hale keiki jammin’ it up! (Photo Courtesy Jody Kamisato)

One of my favorite events of the day was the “Riceipe” Cooking contest that pitted 5 professional chefs against each other to see who could make the best dish that incorporated rice. Fun, adrenaline pumpin’, exciting stuffs!

The participating chefs were Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi from Tokkuri-Tei, Chef Kendall Uyehara from HMSHost, Chef Robert Denis from Don Ho’s Island Grill, Chef Matthew Naula from RumFire, and Chef Colin Hazama from Kauai Grill.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi, Chef Kendall Uyehara, Chef Robert Denis, Chef Matthew Naula, and Chef Colin Hazama line up as Bruddah Bryan introduces them. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

3-2-1… Go!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Kauai Grill’s Chef Colin Hazama goes at it. (Photo Courtesy @Mel808)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Colin’s Hanalei Squid Luau Risotto (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
RumFire’s Chef Matthew Naula tosses rice in his pan. (Photo Courtesy Todd Masui)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Matt’s dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The crowd gathers as the chefs hurry to complete their dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Don Ho’s Island Grill’s Chef Robert Denis preps his dish.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Robert’s Lomilomi Salmon Risotto Lollipops w/ Sweet Chili Glaze dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
HMSHost’s Chef Kendall Uyehara works on his gravy. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Kendall’s Loco Moco a la Francaise dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Tokkuri-Tei’s Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi just cruisin’. (Photo Courtesy @Mel808)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Santa kicks it into high gear. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Santa’s Seafood Risotto. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

I’m still trying to convince him that “Sugimoto Risotto” has a much better ring to it. 😉

Meanwhile the judges took their places on stage and prepared to feast on some ono kine (rice) grindz! Our judges were Star-Advertiser Food Critic Nadine Kam, Twitter Goddess and all around foodie Melissa Chang (@Melissa808), Professional Baker Ed Morita (@NctrnlBst), and Diamond G Rice’s Harrison Wong.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Harrison, Ed, Nadine, and Melissa get interviewed by Bruddah Bryan. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Melissa taking a shot of Chef Matthew Naula’s dish. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

And then it was time to announce the winner… I’ll just let the next four photos tell the (funny) story.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Santa asks, “Who me!?” (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Santa in shock. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Santa finally cracks a smile. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Santa still in shock. (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Chef Santa’s Seafood Risotto as seen from Nadine Kam’s perspective. (Photo Courtesy @fashiontribe)

Congratulations Santa-san!

Next up was an amazing Taiko Drum performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii under the direction of Sensei Akemi Martin.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Taiko Drum performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Taiko Drum performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii (Photo Courtesy @PHOTOluluTV)


@NctrnlBst’s Youtube video (for Nonstop Honolulu) with footage/images from the Rice Fest

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Crowd shot. (Photo Courtesy Tyson Yamada)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Mel (@Mel808), Chris (@ChrisHall78) and Randi (@randi808) pose during the Rice Fest. (Photo Courtesy @ParkRat)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Hawaii News Now’s Minna Sugimoto and Kauai Grill’s Chef Colin Hazama put on their Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo

I was unfortunately running around so I was unable to capture the dish, but FYI, it was “Slow cooked New Zealand King Salmon” with miso yuzu broth, young ginger, soft tofu, and crispy jasmine rice… A dish Chef Colin serves at his Kauai Grill restaurant.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Now that’s a good lookin’ couple! 😛 Ron and Sherry pose during the Rice Fest. (Photo Courtesy Tyson Yamada)

And then Kapena takes the stage!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Kapena / De Lima `Ohana serenading the audience at Rice Fest. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Kelly Boy, Kalena, and Lilo!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Scenic shot of Aloha Tower as nightfall sets in. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The crowd enjoys the music of Kapena. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Kelly Boy spontaneously calls on a girl from the Pelekunu booth to dance hula during a song. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Walter and Lincoln hanging out at the Vacations Hawaii booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Maude and Travis working the Oceanic Time Warner Cable booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Harrison holding things down at the Diamond G Rice booth. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

And then came the hilarious and entertaining SPAM Musubi eating contest. The contestants had 3 minutes to eat as many SPAM Musubis as possible!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Bruddah Bryan counts down to the start of the SPAM Musubi Eating Contest.

Scenes from the Rice Fest
And… they’re off! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The look of pain (or concentration)! One of the two. 😉 (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Still going! … As the audience captures footage. (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Keep it going! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
Time’s running out! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
And Rodney’s the winnah! He ate an amazing 8 out of 10 SPAM musubis within the 3 minute period! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Scenes from the Rice Fest
“Uncle Rodney” gets mobbed by his adoring fans/family! (Photo Courtesy Kiman Wong)

Why do I call him “Uncle Rodney”? Check out the video! LOL!


SPAM Musubi Eating Contest at the 2010 Rice Fest

And then it was a wrap!

Scenes from the Rice Fest
The 2010 Rice Fest is in the books! See you next year!

A big mahalo to everyone who came out to support our first event. Thank you to our hard working staff and volunteers (especially Lincoln Jacobe and my day-to-day partners in crime: Umma Kayvalyam, Harold Su and my wife Mai). Thank you to the media for all of your coverage, including Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Hawaii News Now’s Sunrise, KITV4 This Morning, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, The Nikkan Sun, KUMU, Nonstop Honolulu and all those who talked/blogged about us in Hawaii’s Social Media space (@Melissa808, @ParkRat, @Mel808, @RickNakama, @sarakata, @PhotoluluTV, @fashiontribe, @octobersoldier, @LanakilaPacific, @randi808, @pacificsoul, @Nctrnlbst, @amisan34, @bitachu, @biznaz, @princesstara459, @emichan58, @lauriecicotello, @tweetpea, @haboolani, @HawaiiIRL, @hnlmark, @strobie, @SSquire, @MikeSumida, @ChrisHall78, @JKuroiwa, @atmarketing, @Living2Shop, @theodene, and more! Sorry, I know I’m missing a lot!). Mahaloz to @PhotoluluTV, @ParkRat, Kiman Wong, Todd Masui, Tyson Yamada, and more, for taking photos and letting me “borrow” some for this blog. 😛

Mahalo to our sponsors and partners Diamond G Rice, Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Lanakila Pacific, Vacations Hawaii, HPE Live, the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace, and Rob Yunich and the rest of the USA Rice Federation team. Thank you to all of our vendors: Arturo’s Hot Sauce in Hawaii, Big City Diner, Don Ho’s Island Grill, Dr. Maria Stewart (University of Hawaii at Manoa Professor of Nutrition), Eastern Food Center, Hawaiian Kine Seasonings, Himalayan Kitchen, Island Taste, KATS SUSHI, Lanakila Pacific, Leonard’s Malasadas, Mobile Gamer Guys, OISHI-GENMAI – GIC JAPAN, Pelekunu’s Teri Sauces, Primo Sushi, Thai Kitchen, Soul Patrol, SNOW |F|A|C|T|O|R|Y|, and Sweet Charlotte, and our entertainers: 102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan, Cookin’ With Cutty’s Chef Barry “Cutty” Cutler, Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum, Kai Market’s Darren Demaya, KITV4’s Lara Yamada, Kauai Grill’s Chef Colin Hazama, Hawaii News Now’s Minna Sugimoto, Ernie Loo and the Lung Kong Physical Culture Club, Heart & Soul (and Kalei Gamiao), the Ukulele Hale Keiki, Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii under the direction of Sensei Akemi Martin, Kapena (Kelly Boy, Kalena, and Lilo De Lima), Jonathan Murai and the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court, and Bubbles Duh Clown.

Thank you to our SPAM musubi eating contestants and our “Riceipe” Cooking contestants: Don Ho’s Island Grill’s Chef Robert Denis, Kauai Grill’s Chef Colin Hazama (again!), Tokkuri-Tei’s Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi, RumFire’s Chef Matthew Naula, and HMSHost’s Chef Kendall Uyehara. Mahalo also to our Starwood contacts: Candice Lee Kraughto, Jocelyn Elfstrom, Joanie Matsumoto, and Chaunce Lovett, among others. Mahaloz to the “World Wide Ed” community for reading this far and always showing your support in whatever I do. I know I’m forgetting a lot more, so thank you to anyone and everyone who helped make the inaugural Rice Fest a reality. See you guys next year! 🙂


Video highlights from the 2010 Hawaii Rice Fest

Fave Friday: Rice Fest Tomorrow!

September 10, 2010

Lookin’ for something to do this weekend? How about a fun, food, family festival on Saturday called… wait for it…

1st Annual Hawaii Rice Fest
The Rice Fest???

I know, I know, I’ve been pimpin’ this event out for the last month or so, and you’re probably tired of hearing about it, but for those who haven’t heard about it yet (or for those who ignored my last uku million or so notices), I figgah one last push wouldn’t hurt right? Hehe!

Anyway, rather than doing something standard like simply asking you to come and support a brutha and check it out, I thought that giving you the details of the event (with photos!) might be an easier sell. LOL! So without further ado… Here ya go!

12:00pm – Rice Fest (at the Waterfront at Aloha Tower Marketplace) starts, hosted by 102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan

Bruddah Bryan
102.7 Da Bomb’s Bruddah Bryan

1:00pm-1:30pm – 1st Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Cookin’ With Cutty’s Chef Barry “Cutty” Cutler and Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum)

Barry 'Cutty' CutlerStephanie Lum
Barry “Cutty” Cutler (Cookin’ With Cutty) & Stephanie Lum (Hawaii News Now)

2:00pm-2:30pm – 2nd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Kai Market’s Chef Darren Demaya and KITV4’s Lara Yamada)

Chef Darren DemayaLara Yamada
Chef Darren Demaya (Kai Market) & Lara Yamada (KITV4)

2:30pm-3:00pm – Lion Dance Performance by Lung Kong Physical Culture Club

Bruddah Bryan
Lion Dance Performance by Lung Kong Physical Culture Club

3:00pm-3:30pm – Live Entertainment by Heart & Soul, and the Ukulele Hale Keiki

Heart & Soul
Heart & Soul, and the Ukulele Hale Keiki

3:00pm-4:00pm – “Riceipe” Cooking Competition – Professional Division (including Don Ho’s Island Grill’s Robert Denis, Kauai Grill’s Colin Hazama, Tokkuri-Tei’s Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi, RumFire’s Matthew Naula, and HMS Host’s Kendall Uyehara).

Chef Robert DenisChef Colin HazamaChef Hideaki 'Santa' MiyoshiChef Matthew NaulaChef Kendall Uyehara
Chef Robert Denis (Don Ho’s Island Grill), Chef Colin Hazama (Kauai Grill), Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi (Tokkuri-Tei), Chef Matthew Naula (RumFire) & Chef Kendall Uyehara (HMS Host)

4:30pm-5:00pm – Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii under the direction of Sensei Akemi Martin

Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii under the direction of Sensei Akemi Martin
Taiko Drum Performance by Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko Hawaii under the direction of Sensei Akemi Martin

5:00pm-5:30pm – 3rd Celebrity/Chef Cooking Demo (with Kauai Grill’s Chef Colin Hazama and Hawaii News Now’s Minna Sugimoto)

Chef Colin HazamaMinna Sugimoto
Chef Colin Hazama (Kauai Grill) & Minna Sugimoto (Hawaii News Now)

6:00pm-6:20pm – SPAM Musubi Eating Contest

6:30pm-7:30pm – Live Entertainment by Kapena / De Lima Ohana

Kapena / De Lima Ohana
Kapena / De Lima Ohana

7:30pm-8:00pm – Contest Winner Announcements

8:00pm – Rice Fest Concludes

All Day (12pm-8pm)
* Live Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt – Compete in this Tweetup/Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win great prizes!
* Rice Passport Game – Complete the Rice Fest Passport for your chance to Win a trip to Vegas!
* Rice Education Booth – Learn all about Rice in our educational booth
* Rice Donation Center – Donate your rice to Lanakila Pacific’s Meals on Wheels program and
* The Keiki Zone – coloring contest hosted by members of the 58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court from 12pm-4pm, balloons and fun from Bubbles Duh Clown, and games from the Mobile Gamer Guys!

58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court
58th Cherry Blossom Festival Court

And let’s not forget about all of the participating vendors:

  • Arturo’s Hot Sauce in Hawaii
  • Big City Diner
  • Bubbles Duh Clown
  • Don Ho’s Island Grill
  • Dr. Maria Stewart (University of Hawaii at Manoa Professor of Nutrition)
  • Eastern Food Center
  • Hawaiian Kine Seasonings
  • Himalayan Kitchen
  • KATS SUSHI
  • Lanakila Pacific
  • Leonard’s Malasadas
  • Mobile Gamer Guys
  • OISHI-GENMAI
    GIC JAPAN
  • Pelekunu’s Teri Sauces
  • Primo Sushi
  • Thai Kitchen
  • Soul Patrol
  • SNOW |F|A|C|T|O|R|Y|
  • Sweet Charlotte

So wot? Sold? Come on down gang! Hope to see y’all there!

Poke Paradise – Experiencing the Best Poke Around Hawaii – Part V

May 1, 2010
Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V

Local band Island Rhythms pretty much summed it up in their classic hit, “Is This the End?

Is this the end?
Are you my friend?
It seems to me
We are to be free…

Over the last 4 months, we’ve been poke-ing it up across our great state. We’ve visited some great institutions like Yama’s Fish Market, Tanioka’s, the Honolulu Fish Auction, Haili’s, and Tamashiro Market, and have met with some interesting folks in the industry like Sam Choy, Mel and Justin Tanioka, Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi, Alan Wong, Jed Inouye, Brooks Takenaka, Rachel Haili, Guy Tamashiro, and Hilo’s Uncle Solomon.

And though we’ve still got a loooooong way to go, we’re going to (temporarily) wrap things up this month in the 5th part in the Poke Paradise series with Kahuku Superette, JJ’s Seafood, Off the Wall, Paina Café, Ono’s Seafood, and poke’s new kid on the block Reno Henriques and his shop Fresh Catch.

Reno Henriques – Fresh Catch

Chef/Owner Reno Henriques grew up next to Kaneohe Bay and spent much of his childhood fishing, diving, and trolling in the ocean. After graduating from St. Louis School, he attended Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, where he honed his culinary skills. Reno returned to Hawaii to help with his family’s businesses (brother Dominic Henriques owns RRR Recycling Services and parents Linda and Robert Henriques own Rolloffs Hawaii), until an opportunity presented itself to open his own place. Fresh Catch was born.

Fresh Catch on Waialae Ave
Fresh Catch on Waialae Ave

Customer response has been tremendous thus far, bringing in tourists and locals alike, even eliciting a visit from UFC Fighter, and Hilo native, BJ Penn.

http://static.ning.com/socialnetworkmain/widgets/video/flvplayer/flvplayer.swf?v=201004131104
BJ Penn Visits Fresh Catch

Wanna learn more about Fresh Catch? Here’s a recent interview I did with owner, Bruddah Reno Henriques.


Reno Henriques Interview

[Edward Sugimoto] Give us a little history about yourself.

[Reno Henriques] I was born and raised in Kaneohe, fished my whole life, went to high school, St. Louis High School, and then after I graduated St. Louis, I went to Western Culinary Institute in Portland Oregon and did a lot of culinary up there. And then, when I came back, my parents own Rolloffs Hawaii, a rubbish company, and my brother does Triple R, I was working for them for about maybe 10 years. Then, my brother started a recycle thing in Kaimuki, so he asked me… ’cause the place was available and it’s too big for him… if I would like to do poke with him. I mean do a poke thing, and then he do his recycling in the parking lot. At first I was like ah, might as well. I didn’t cook for about maybe 10-15 years, but I figured, ah, I’ll give it a shot, I always cook at home. So I came in, prior to that, about a year, I was helping somebody else in Kaneohe, used to be called Slow Poke, it was a fish market. I was just helping him after work, you know, mix poke. One day he got real busy, he was like, “Reno go back there and make your own poke.” So I started mixing and next thing you know, people was telling me, “Oh I wanna try that one, try that one.” So I started making for him, and then, next thing you know, he was like, “You know what. Come over, help me, and you can work off your bill.” *laughs* Free poke and beer. And then he just helped me work couple hours a day, during the rush hour. So that’s how I kinda got into it, and then he taught me a lot of things, and then he retired about 8 months ago and I took over that business also. So now I have two stores, the Kaimuki store and then the Kaneohe store.

[Edward Sugimoto] How many different types of poke do you have and what are some of your more popular ones?

[Reno Henriques] Huuu. Probably got maybe over, I’d say about, between 30-35 different types of poke.

Fresh Catch's wide poke selection [Photo Credit: Arthur Betts]
Fresh Catch’s wide poke selection [Photo Credit: Arthur Betts]

[Reno Henriques] The most popular one is up to you. I don’t know everybody has their flavor.

Close-up of one of my favorites: the Smoked Tako Poke
Close-up of one of my favorites: the Smoked Tako Poke

[Reno Henriques] You know, shoyu’s a good one. Everybody likes shoyu poke.

Shoyu Poke from Fresh Catch [Photo Credit: Arthur Betts]
Shoyu Poke from Fresh Catch [Photo Credit: Arthur Betts]

[Reno Henriques] I started a new one, it’s called the Spicy Hawaiian. It’s kinda like an Ahi Limu Poke with spicy sauce inside. Different, but the thing is good, plus with the crunch with the limu.

Spicy Hawaiian Poke from Fresh Catch
Spicy Hawaiian Poke from Fresh Catch

[Reno Henriques] And the salmon poke is one of my popular ones. Teri Furikake Salmon Poke, da buggah’s ono.

Furikake Salmon Poke from Fresh Catch
Furikake Salmon Poke from Fresh Catch

[Edward Sugimoto] How about some of your personal favorites?

[Reno Henriques] My personal favorites is, you know the old school Hawaiian stuff like ake (liver), lomi oio…

Lomi Oio  [Photo Credit: Arthur Betts]
Lomi Oio [Photo Credit: Arthur Betts]

[Reno Henriques] … Dry aku, a real popular one too is our taegu dry aku. It’s like dry aku, we cut it up, and then, got my grandma’s special taegu sauce. Everybody’s trying to get that one outta me, but cannot part with that one. *laughs*

Reno mixing up a batch of Taegu Dry Aku Poke [Photo Credit: Arthur Betts]
Reno mixing up a batch of Taegu Dry Aku Poke [Photo Credit: Arthur Betts]

[Edward Sugimoto] And you don’t just have poke. You have plate lunches, marinated meats (party platters, and Red Velvet Cupcakes from Divine Desserts, etc.)…

[Reno Henriques] Yeah, we have all the different plate lunches. Our most popular plate lunch is the Teri Furikake Baked Salmon. That thing is deadly. Moist, juicy…

Teri Furikake Baked Salmon from Fresh Catch
Teri Furikake Baked Salmon from Fresh Catch

[Reno Henriques] Then we got like local favorites like a Deep Fried Ahi Belly with a butter garlic heavy cream sauce.

Deep Fried Ahi Belly from Fresh Catch
Deep Fried Ahi Belly from Fresh Catch

[Reno Henriques] We got grandma’s fatty beef stew. Plenny gravy. And then we got pateles, lau lau, we make smoked meat, chopped steak, just all kine local styles. We also sell marinated meats for the barbeque grill, you know tailgate time?

Marinated Meats from Fresh Catch
Marinated Meats from Fresh Catch

[Reno Henriques] And then we have some cold beverages. My wife and my cousins make red velvet cupcakes. It’s the best on the island I’m tellin’ you. *smiles* It’s the cream cheese frosting with chocolate chips. Mmm.

Red Velvet Cupcake from Divine Desserts (at Fresh Catch)
Red Velvet Cupcake from Divine Desserts (at Fresh Catch)

[Edward Sugimoto] So it’s a whole family affair over here.

[Reno Henriques] Oh yeah, everybody’s involved. Free labor ah? *laughs* Payback time!

[Edward Sugimoto] What’s in store for Fresh Catch?

[Reno Henriques] You know like everybody else, become famous and rich. Nah! *laughs* I’m trying to bottle my sauces right now. So I’ve been going to the mainland. I went to Boston’s seafood show, got some ideas. I want to start bottling a couple of my sauces and maybe one day, you know selling it throughout the world hopefully.

[Edward Sugimoto] Anything else to add to your current or future customers?

[Reno Henriques] Thank you everybody for your awesome business and your support. Fresh Catch will be coming up with a new special very shortly. I can’t tell you guys too much but yeah.

[Edward Sugimoto] Plate lunch or Poke special?

[Reno Henriques] Plate lunch.

[Edward Sugimoto] Shoots, thanks ah?

Fresh Catch
3109 Waialae Ave
Honolulu, HI 96816 (map)
(808) 735-7653
Tue-Fri: 10am-7:30pm
Sat: 8am-7:30pm
Sun: 8am-5pm

Note: Fresh Catch will be holding their 2nd Annual Father’s Day “Up In Smoke” Cooking Contest and “Nobody Cares” Hawaiian Style Car Show on Sunday, June 20, 2010 at the Aloha Stadium Nimitz Parking Lot. Click here for more details.

Ono Seafood Products, Inc.

Through one of my many blogs/tweets/status updates (I don’t remember which), I asked where the best poke place in town was. One of the names that came up regularly was Ono Seafood on Kapahulu.

Ono Seafood Products, Inc
Ono Seafood Products, Inc

Self-proclaimed as “The Best Poke in Honolulu,” this “Ono’s” should not be confused with the Hawaiian Food restaurant “Ono’s” with the same/similar name: Ono Hawaiian Food.

Outside Ono Hawaiian Food
Outside Ono Hawaiian Food

The Hawaiian Food “Ono’s” also resides on Kapahulu, and, to make things even more confusing, they serve poke as well.

Hawaiian Style Poke at Ono Hawaiian Food
Hawaiian Style Poke at Ono Hawaiian Food

But getting back to Ono Seafood Products, Inc… Here’s a quote from my friend Dean Shimamoto, who teaches us what and how to order:

“Every order of poke is made in front of you… You have the option to pick what you want, but I usually get ‘everything’ which means fish, onions, ogo, some kind of chili sauce thing, inamona (i think) and their special sauces. Ogo is fresh and their sauce is mean (haven’t tasted anything like it). How to order… ‘One pound Ahi with Everything’. You can also specify the spiciness, but if you don’t say anything it’s assumed to be mild. I’ve gone enough to know not to go on Tuesdays before 2pm when they get their shipment of fresh ogo.”
-Dean Shimamoto

As you may’ve noticed in the picture above, I arrived at Ono Seafood a tad early and was greeted with their delightful “Closed” sign. After killing an hour or so, I was the first, excitable patron through door. An older woman, whom I could only assume was the reverent “Judy,” took my order.

A confused Aunty Judy takes my order
A confused Aunty Judy takes my order

Though Ono’s has a reasonable variety of products beyond poke like dried goods (ahi, aku, squid jerkey, smoked tako, taegu, etc.) sashimi, party platters, boiled peanuts, and pickled products (kinilau, pickle onion, cucumber kim chee, lomi salmon, etc.), they’re primarily known for their poke and poke bowls.

Poke options at Ono Seafood
Poke options at Ono Seafood

On this occasion, I picked up a half pound of shoyu poke (ahi)…

Shoyu Ahi Poke from Ono Seafood ($14/lb)
Shoyu Ahi Poke from Ono Seafood ($14/lb)

… and a half pound of miso ahi.

Miso Ahi Poke from Ono Seafood ($14/lb)
Miso Ahi Poke from Ono Seafood ($14/lb)

As mentioned by Dean-o, my orders were made to order. And though I didn’t say anything about my spiciness preference, the Shoyu Ahi actually had some pretty good kick to it. If you no can handle (Randall), you should ask for mild regardless.

I don’t know if I’d go as far as naming them “The Best Poke in Honolulu” but it was tasty. Made to order care using only fresh fish is tough to beat.

Ono Seafood Products, Inc.
747 Kapahulu Ave, Apt 4
Honolulu, HI 96816 (map)
(808) 732-4806
Mon-Sat: 9am-6pm
Sun: 10am-3pm

Pa`ina Café

A couple years ago, I broke the story about a place opening up in Ward called The Poke Bowl. Well since that time, brothers Derek and Craig Uyehara, along with their partners, moved shop across the street to the Ward Warehouse area. With the move came a larger property and menu (PDF), as well as a name change to Pa`ina Café.

The line outside Pa`ina Café [Photo Credit: Ryan Ozawa]
The line outside Pa`ina Café [Photo Credit: Ryan Ozawa]

If the Poke Bowl is what you’re after, there is actually a science as to how to order. First you choose your size (small or large or extra large), rice (white or brown) and sauce (hot or mild). Then you pick your poke (Spicy Tuna, Shoyu Ahi, Hot Shoyu Ahi, or Limu Ahi), and cover it with one of 10 toppings at 50 cents a piece: Natto, Taegu, Kim Chee, Takuan, Shredded Nori, Fukujinzuke, Pickled Onions, Furikake, Green Onions, or Seaweed Salad.

Small Hot Shoyu Ahi Poke Bowl with Furikake and Seaweed Salad on White Rice
Small Hot Shoyu Ahi Poke Bowl with Furikake and Seaweed Salad on White Rice

Since there are so many options, you can literally go several times and never get the same thing.

One Small Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl with Shredded Nori, Seaweed Salad and Green Onion on White Rice, and one Small Shoyu Ahi Poke Bowl with Pickled Onions and Seaweed Salad on Brown Rice
One Small Spicy Tuna Poke Bowl with Shredded Nori, Seaweed Salad and Green Onion on White Rice, and one Small Shoyu Ahi Poke Bowl with Pickled Onions and Seaweed Salad on Brown Rice

Derek has informed me that they will actually be moving again in August to the nearby location formerly occupied by the Chowder House. Even more space and seating for their loyal and growing following.

Pa`ina Café
1200 Ala Moana Blvd #24
Honolulu, HI 96814 (map)
(808) 356-2829
Mon-Sat: 10am-8pm
Sun: 10am-6pm

Off the Wall

The brother in law told us about this unique, Okinawan joint sitting in the middle of Pearl Kai Shopping Center. Wifey and I checked it out one day and were pleasantly surprised with their eclectic dishes, especially their andagi options: the Shoyu Pork Andagi…

Shoyu Pork Andagi - Crispy andagi batter surrounding a shoyu pork filling. Served with a shoyu pork sauce and yuzu beurre blanc. $3 each
Shoyu Pork Andagi – Crispy andagi batter surrounding a shoyu pork filling. Served with a shoyu pork sauce and yuzu beurre blanc. $3 each

… and their house specialty: the Chocolate Filled Andagi…

Chocolate Filled Andagi $2 each
Chocolate Filled Andagi $2 each

Some notes from their menu regarding the Chocolate Filled Andagi FYI: “Absolutely made nowhere else! Warning: After eating our Andagi we are NOT responsible for any uncontrollable cravings to eat more than one! We cook our andagi to order and it does take some time to make (approx 20-30 min). Please order your andagi at the beginning of your meal.”

Off the Wall also featured many izakaya-type dishes, including a poke one called the “Naked” Spicy Ahi Poke Musubi.


“Naked” Spicy Ahi Poke Musubi – Our poke layered on a bed of furikake rice and drizzled with a spicy aioli. – $8

Off the Wall
Pearl Kai Shopping Center
98-199 Kamehameha Hwy, B-10
Aiea, HI 96701 (map)
(808) 486-9255
Wed, Thu, Fri: 11am-2pm (take out lunch)
Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun: 5pm-9:30pm (dinner and drinks)
Fri: 5pm-2am (dinner and drinks)
Mon, Tue: Closed

JJ Seafoods

Another name mentioned in my informal survey was a place in Kaneohe called JJ Seafoods. Since I don’t spend nearly as much time on the Windward side as I should, I wasn’t exactly familiar with this place. I did though, remember driving by their very unique looking pink building many a time.

JJ Seafoods in Kaneohe
JJ Seafoods in Kaneohe

It’s not a large place in the slightest. Very mom and pops-ish, which I love.

Inside JJ Seafoods
Inside JJ Seafoods

We were off to a party in the ‘hood so we had to pick up at least two pounds. Unfortunately, we were strolling in just as they were closing and they were all out of their Shoyu Ahi. To our delight, they were willing to mix a fresh batch just for us to go along with our Tako Poke.

Tako Poke from JJ Seafoods ($11.99/lb)
Tako Poke from JJ Seafoods ($11.99/lb)

Ahi Shoyu Poke from JJ Seafoods ($11.99/lb)
Ahi Shoyu Poke from JJ Seafoods ($11.99/lb)

Go and support small, family-run businesses like JJ Seafoods k?

JJ Seafoods
45-726 Kamehameha Highway
Kaneohe, HI 96744
(808) 236-4987

Kahuku Superette

Back in high school, I used to dread seeing “Kahuku” on our basketball schedule. Not only were they good and likely to wipe the floor with us, the bus ride over was a killer in itself. (There’s only so many times one can listen to Boyz II Men on the Walkman. 😛 ) Now that I live somewhat closer to the north shore of Oahu and, more importantly, have my own car, taking that drive, like Rocky says, “ain’t so bad!”

Outside Kahuku Superette
Outside Kahuku Superette

Inside you’ll find your typical superette, complete with groceries and various knickknacks, but head to the back of the store and you’ll find a setup that’s uber popular.

Inside Kahuku Superette
Inside Kahuku Superette

In addition to poke, Kahuku Superette also sells boiled peanuts, seafood salad, and various meats (like kalbi, teriyaki pork chop, chicken bbq and Korean cooked beef), by the pound. You can purchase your poke by the pound, on its own ($9.99/lb), or in a bowl ($9.99/lb + $1, $1.50, or $1.75 for the small, medium or large sizes).

Small Ahi Shoyu Poke Bowl from Kahuku Superette ($9.99/lb + $1)
Small Ahi Shoyu Poke Bowl from Kahuku Superette ($9.99/lb + $1)

(Ed’s Tip: If you can help it, I would recommend eating right away if you get the bowl version. Reason being, the rice is mega hot, so it actually cooks the cold poke on top just a tad.)

Here’s a cross section of the poke bowl.

Side view of the small Ahi Shoyu Poke Bowl from Kahuku Superette ($9.99/lb + $1)
Side view of the small Ahi Shoyu Poke Bowl from Kahuku Superette ($9.99/lb + $1)

Wifey was particularly impressed with the meticulousness of their system. They actually took the weight of the container itself (before anything was in it), and subtracted that from the weight of the entire dish. Although, miniscule, I commend them for being that honest and fair about their pricing.

We also got half a pound of their Ahi Limu Poke.

Ahi Limu Poke ($9.99/lb)
Ahi Limu Poke ($9.99/lb)

Oddly enough, ther Ahi Limu Poke tasted pre-frozen, though their Ahi Shoyu (on the rice) did not. Not sure if it was just a time of day situation or if their Ahi Limu is always pre-frozen (or they serve fresh fish in the bowls only?), but just a head’s up.

Kahuku Superette
56-505 Kamehameha Hwy
Kahuku, HI 96731 (map)
(808) 293-9878

And that’s it! Five amazing months of meeting and eating everything and everyone poke. When we return, I’m hoping to hit up other popular places like Alicia’s, Ruger Market, Tamura’s, Marujyu Market, Monarch Seafoods, Inc., Masa & Joyce, Young’s Fish Market, and Da Pokeman, among others, but until then, kick back, relax and poke it up brah! Hope you enjoyed the series up until this point! Wow, I think I might get a little emotional here. Queue Island Rhythms…

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V

Poke Paradise – Experiencing the Best Poke Around Hawaii – Part II

February 1, 2010
Part I |  Part II  | Part III | Part IV | Part V

Wow! What an unbelievable month! I guess y’all really love your poke eh?

Last month, we struck gold when I introduced a topic that was near and dear to my heart. She went by the name of Poke. 8) Your feedback and comments were amazing and, as a result, I was able to make contact with some of the “giants” of the industry.

This month, we’ve got a very special treat for you with a star-studded lineup of exclusive interviews from the likes of Sam Choy (Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch, Crab & Big Island Brewery), Mel and Justin Tanioka (Tanioka’s Seafoods & Catering), Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi (Tokkuri-Tei) and Alan Wong (Alan Wong’s Restaurants)! Normally, an interview with these living legends, would each merit its own column, but this is Poke Paradise and this is how we roll, 😉 so strap on your seatbelts and get ready to go go go!

Sam Choy

What’s a special on poke without some words of wisdom from Hawaii’s poke authority Sam Choy? Yep, my thoughts exactly. That’s why it was imperative that I get a few soundbites from bruddah Sam.

Hawaii's Poke Authority: Sam Choy
Hawaii’s Poke Authority: Sam Choy

[Edward Sugimoto] You are often looked to as THE preeminent expert/authority in poke. It’s even been said that the popularity of poke in Hawaii can be traced back to you. How does that make you feel?

[Sam Choy] It is an honor for people to trace the popularity back to me. My love for poke has made me want to make poke recognized as much as sashimi and sushi.


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[Edward Sugimoto] Your poke contests/festivals are legend. Are you still doing them and if/so, when can we expect the next one?

[Sam Choy] We are working with Turtle Bay to have our Poke Contest there again later this year.

[Edward Sugimoto] What are your top 3 favorite pokes and where are they from?

[Sam Choy] My top three pokes are traditional ahi poke with Hawaiian salt, limu kohu and inamona, kole or opelu poke and oio poke which I make at home.

[Edward Sugimoto] Where is your “go to” poke place (besides your own kitchen)? 😉

[Sam Choy] Besides my own kitchen, Tanioka’s is my “go to” poke place. How can you go wrong with poke and one of Mel’s famous cone sushis? Try the alae poke! Have you ever tried the mochiko chicken? I was there doing a book signing with Mel in December and got to have it right out of the fryer… broke da mouth!!

[Edward Sugimoto] I’ve read somewhere that you even have a recipe that includes peanut butter? Is that true and how/why did you come up with that?

[Sam Choy] I actually got the peanut butter poke recipe from my dad who got it from his dad.

[Edward Sugimoto] What is one unique ingredient that surprised you (in a good way)?

[Sam Choy] The texture and the flavor of uni has surprised me. It is truly like taking a bite of the ocean!

[Edward Sugimoto] What’s in store for Mr. Sam Choy?

[Sam Choy] I am in the process of opening a new restaurant in Kona and looking forward to possibly expanding to the mainland (once) we’re up and running. The sky’s the limit!

Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch, Crab & Big Aloha Brewery
580 N. Nimitz Highway
Honolulu, HI 96817 (map)
Tel: (808) 545-7979
Breakfast Hours: Mon-Fri: 7am-10:30am, Sat & Sun: 7am-11:30am, Breakfast Buffet: Sat & Sun: 9am-12noon.
Lunch Hours: Mon-Thurs: 10:30am-3pm, Fri: 10:30am-4pm, Sat & Sun: 11:30am-4pm
Dinner Hours: Sun-Thurs: 5pm-9:30pm, Fri & Sat: 5pm-10pm

Tanioka’s

Sam Choy’s self proclaimed “go to” place for poke is Tanioka’s. What say we head over to Waipahu and have a chat with father-son super combo Mel and Justin Tanioka to talk poke?

Tanioka's Seafoods and Catering Sign
Tanioka’s Seafoods and Catering Sign

An Interview with Mel and Justin Tanioka of Tanioka’s Seafoods and Catering

[Edward Sugimoto] You first opened your doors in 1978 in a thousand square foot space with just four employees. What were those first years like?

[Justin Tanioka] I don’t know. *laughs* I was one years old.

[Edward Sugimoto] Yeah I heard you were like a kid sleeping on the cooler or something like that right?

[Justin Tanioka] Yeah, I was actually born one month before we opened.

[Edward Sugimoto] Oh wow, OK. So no memories of that huh?

[Justin Tanioka] Yeah. The first four years, I don’t know… *looks to dad*

[Mel Tanioka] It was simple. We had less items. So basically we were more like a fish market, selling just fish. No sushi, no chicken, you know, anything like that. It was just you know, mostly filets, poke. The trend of poke was just starting then.

[Edward Sugimoto] Oh so you didn’t have poke from the very beginning?

[Mel Tanioka] Oh we did.

[Edward Sugimoto] You now have a very successful catering business (like you said) to add to your seafood side. How or why did that come about?

[Mel Tanioka] Well, in the 1990s, we looked at the fish availability, and I felt that… If it started to get depleted, which we look at in the 90s and we thought if it starts to get depleted, what else, what kind of income is going to subsidize our market. So we decided to start our catering business, which has grown to equalize our fish. Before it was just a small percentage, but now it’s becoming a larger percentage of our business. So in the future, we’re going to hopefully gear towards more catering as the fish start depleting, unless you go into frozen fish. But for 30 years we’ve been dealing with fresh fish, so we’re trying to avoid that, but eventually it’s gonna come yeah.

[Edward Sugimoto] What are your top sellers in terms of poke?

[Justin Tanioka] Probably our Limu Poke. That’s our top seller.

Limu Poke ($12.95/pound)
Limu Poke ($12.95/pound)

[Justin Tanioka] Onion with Limu Poke is right there with it.

Onion Limu Poke ($12.95/pound)
Onion Limu Poke ($12.95/pound)

[Edward Sugimoto] It’s just onions on top of that (the limu poke)?

[Justin Tanioka] Yeah kind of. A little different mix. A little bit stronger flavor on the onion poke side (with limu yeah). But the limu poke has been our item.

[Mel Tanioka] For parties, Spicy Ahi has been one of the best sellers because it stretches. You know the rice and spicy. For parties of two to three hundred, if you put like 20 pounds of poke, they’re gonna eat it up in a few minutes. So we thought that at least Spicy Ahi would stretch it out so everyone would have a share.

[Edward Sugimoto] What about not in terms of customers, but your guys’ personal favorite? Do you guys have any from here?

[Justin Tanioka] Mine would probably be the Onion with Limu. His is probably the Alae.

[Mel Tanioka] (*in unison*) Alae. *laughs* He knows yeah?

Alae Poke ($12.95/pound)
Alae Poke ($12.95/pound)

[Mel Tanioka] I love the Alae Poke. Chili pepper water oooh, that’s my favorite. With some poi and dry aku.

[Edward Sugimoto] Yeah, you guys have dry aku poke too right?

[Mel Tanioka] Yeah yeah yeah.

[Justin Tanioka] Yeah, we have dried poke. That one, it’s like a salty candy. When you eat it, it’s good, you know, just to pick on.

[Mel Tanioka] I always brag that we were one of the first guys to do that. Eventually, I don’t know who else does it yeah? *looks to Justin*

[Justin Tanioka] I’m not too sure. The only hard part about that is the price yeah? It’s priced kind of high, but, you know, after you dry it, you lose over 50% of your product just off the bat, and that’s not including the time and all of that.

[Mel Tanioka] So if you can picture a $10 pound of poke, when you dry it, it becomes $20 yeah? But the drying process is again, the labor process, the equipment used to dry, and all of that. For me it’s worth the price, but when you look at it at $19.95 (per pound) you’re like “woah”, but when you eat it, it’s worth it. *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] You guys have, like, I heard over 40 different types of poke, or almost there?

[Mel Tanioka] Yeah, probably.

[Justin Tanioka] Close to that. Yeah, maybe 30 something. We never really took a count.

The Different Types of Poke from Tanioka's
The Different Types of Poke from Tanioka’s

[Edward Sugimoto] Are you guys continuing to think of new ones here and there?

[Mel Tanioka] We try to.

[Justin Tanioka] We try to. It’s hard to step away from the… Even when we make a new one, people kind of like it, but, like if they had to choose between a pound of the old Limu Poke or the new Garlic Poke, the Limu Poke is going to always come first.

[Edward Sugimoto] When making poke for yourself maybe like at home, what’s your one, go-to ingredient?

[Justin Tanioka] Aloha Shoyu. *laughs*

[Mel Tanioka] Our famous friends is Aloha Shoyu. We’ve been with them for 31 years.

[Justin Tanioka] Tell Sam (Choy) I said that.

[Mel Tanioka] Yeah, we’ve been using Aloha Shoyu for 31 years.

[Edward Sugimoto] You were mentioning earlier that Justin and your daughter Jasmine’s gonna be taking over. What else is in the future of Tanioka’s?

[Justin Tanioka] So far, everything’s up in the air yeah?

[Mel Tanioka] Yeah.

[Justin Tanioka] It depends on the economy. You know how everybody bounces back. I think some of it is fate you know? You gotta look, if you see something, maybe something might pop up (like) “Eh, you wanna be a part of this” or whatever, that’s how we would…

[Mel Tanioka] We did create a franchise. We went through the manual. But we’re not sure right now yeah ’cause it’s hard to… I tried, we had three stores at once, but it’s hard to keep the quality. You can expand a lot, but sometimes you lose the quality. So it’s trying to keep that quality vs. trying to expand… I guess people expand because they want to make more money right? But the end result is… You gotta expand with the intentions of keeping the quality.

A look inside Tanioka's during a rare down time
A look inside Tanioka’s during a rare down time

[Justin Tanioka] And with it being harder and harder to get fresh ahi.

[Mel Tanioka] Yeah. That’s the part.

[Justin Tanioka] You know, each store is going to have to get their own fish and if we’re having trouble getting fish sometimes, like I don’t know what’s going to happen to them.

[Mel Tanioka] There’s a lot of factors. The Fresh Limu Factory is another one to consider. On a daily basis, it’s easy to get, but when it gets to the holiday time, I mean everybody is scrambling to get it, because you know, the volume goes higher. So that’s another thing that we’re looking at. But I think the franchise stores will probably go into like a different type of program. Not maybe 40 different types of poke, maybe they’ll have like 5 of just the basic sellers. Spicy Ahi, Shoyu Poke, Limu Poke.

[Justin Tanioka] And then of course the cooked food side. You know like the okazu-ya, just grab and go. Fried Chicken, Fish Patties, Shrimp Tempura, you know, stuff that’s consistent every day, tastes good. You know, it’s basic things that you would eat every day too yeah?

Family Bento with Fried Noodles ($5.50)
Family Bento with Fried Noodles ($5.50)

[Justin Tanioka] But as for me, I think my future is here at the market. Just keep it going. Keep this place going.

[Edward Sugimoto] Carry on the name ah?

[Justin Tanioka] Yup. Make my father proud. Make my parents proud.

The Tanioka `Ohana: Mel, Lynn and Justin (not pictured: daughter Jasmine Tanioka Lum)
The Tanioka `Ohana: Mel, Lynn and Justin (not pictured: daughter Jasmine Tanioka Lum)

[Edward Sugimoto] You guys have anything to add to your loyal customers or future customers?

[Justin Tanioka] Well, I would like to thank our customers. Thank you for standing in line. Some days are so busy. We try to get them (in and) out of here as fast as we can. I think we have a pretty good system right now.

[Mel Tanioka] And they’re so pleasant. Our customers are like, “Oh sorry, sorry you gotta wait in line,” (and they’re like) “No, no, no, it’s worth the wait.” They’re so positive and we’re just, we appreciate that yeah.

[Justin Tanioka] A lot. We appreciate it a lot.

[Mel Tanioka] And first of all we always trust in the Lord to guide us.

[Justin Tanioka] And our employees too. Our employees are what makes us. You know, without our employees, we wouldn’t be Tanioka’s you know. But our employees work hard, they work, you know they work fast… *looks at dad* Anything else?

[Mel Tanioka] *smiles*

It was great to see a truly genuine family doing good here in Hawaii. Justin was super cool and mellow, like he could’ve been your high school buddy growing up, while Mel Tanioka was very generous in packing, and I mean PACKING 3 shopping bags full of okazu items – like maki sushi, cone sushi, and even a bento to go along with their popular Limu Poke – for us to take back to the office. And though I didn’t get to meet daughter Jasmine, mom Lynn was just as warm and bubbly and always smiling.

Not only is their poke winnahz, they, as a family, are as well. Go and support the Taniokas k?

Tanioka’s Seafood and Catering
94-903 Farrington Highway
Waipahu, HI 96797 (map)
Tel: (808) 671-3779
Email: Onopoke@taniokas.com
Hours:
Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm
Sat: 9am-5pm
Sun: 9am-3pm

Tokkuri-Tei

No stranger to the world of poke, Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi of the Izakaya style Japanese restaurant Tokkuri-Tei, is the winner of many cooking competitions, including Sam Choy’s Poke Contest, and has been delighting clientele to his unique poke stylings since the ’90s. Celebrating his 21st anniversary this year (the restaurant’s, not his 😉 ), Santa continues to push the culinary envelope for creative eats in Hawaii.

Hideaki "Santa" Miyoshi inside his restaurant Tokkuri-Tei
Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi inside his restaurant Tokkuri-Tei

Here’s a quick interview with the man simply known as “Santa”:

An Interview with Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi of Tokkuri-Tei

[Edward Sugimoto] Hi Santa, did you have poke on your menu from the beginning and if not, when did you start carrying it (and why)?

[Santa Miyoshi] Why? We didn’t have before, but after the poke contest (1997), we start carrying some poke.

[Edward Sugimoto] Was it a good seller in the beginning?

[Santa Miyoshi] Uh yeah, kind of.

[Edward Sugimoto] You won numerous awards at, like you said, the poke contests. What made you first want to enter the contests?

[Santa Miyoshi] Ah, well, it was Aloha Shoyu Cooking Contest I entered (in 1996), and I won a prize so I tried looking into other cooking contests, and there was one poke contest come up so I just entered. *laughs* There was no particular reason.

[Edward Sugimoto] And you had a story about wearing sweat pants and the security guard stopped you or something like that?

[Santa Miyoshi] Oh yeah yeah, because I just wear like T-shirt and start running around the display area and they told me not to, you know, stick around there because only for the chefs. Um, I have a badge saying I can enter. *laughs*

[Edward Sugimoto] On your menu, you have quite a few poke dishes (Ahi Poke, Spicy Ahi Poke, Ahi Tempura Poke, There’s a Spider in Da Poke, and Ahi Tar-tare Poke). Which is the most popular and which is your personal favorite?

[Santa Miyoshi] I think the Ahi Tar-tare Poke is the most popular one. And then Spider Poke is very popular too.

Ahi Tar-Tare Poke - 1997 Sam Choy's Poke Contest Winner ($15)
Ahi Tar-Tare Poke – 1997 Sam Choy’s Poke Contest Winner ($15)

There's a Spider in Da Poke - 2000 Sam Choy's Poke Contest Winner ($16)
There’s a Spider in Da Poke – 2000 Sam Choy’s Poke Contest Winner ($16)

Also on the menu: Ahi Tempura Poke - Tempura Fresh Ahi with Shrimp Tempura ($16)
Also on the menu: Ahi Tempura Poke – Tempura Fresh Ahi with Shrimp Tempura ($16)

[Edward Sugimoto] How about your personal favorite?

[Santa Miyoshi] My favorite is maybe Amaebi poke which we don’t serve here.

[Edward Sugimoto] You also have some that are not on the menu (Ericka’s Poke, New Age Amaebi Nigiri Poke, Lilipuna Poke, Redefined Lomi Salmon Poke, Poke-ing Emi, and Poke Pasta Italian). Which is your favorite from these and why don’t you include them in your menu? Can customers order (them)?

[Santa Miyoshi] Some of the stuff is very hard to prep and we don’t have it (the ingredients) all the time so it’s really hard to make all the time.

(Off the menu) Lilipuna Poke - named after the street that some of Santa's regulars live on.
(Off the menu) Lilipuna Poke – named after the street that some of Santa’s regulars live on.

(Off the menu) Seafood Risotto - not necessarily listed as a "poke" dish, but I just had to mention it 'cause it's literally to die for!
(Off the menu) Seafood Risotto – not necessarily listed as a “poke” dish, but I just had to mention it ’cause it’s literally to die for!

[Edward Sugimoto] Are you working on any new poke dishes?

[Santa Miyoshi] Not necessarily but any kind of new item I’m always thinking (of).

Santa served this (hamachi, truffle, & shiso roll) to us recently, jokingly referring to it as the Sugimoto Roll! Could it be??? Santa san, douzo yoroshiku onegai shimasu! If not, maybe you can rename the Seafood Risotto to Sugimoto Risotto (or Risotto Sugimoto?)?
Santa served this (hamachi, truffle, & shiso roll) to us recently, jokingly referring to it as the Sugimoto Roll! Could it be??? Santa san, douzo yoroshiku onegai shimasu! If not, maybe you can rename the Seafood Risotto to Sugimoto Risotto (or Risotto Sugimoto?)? 🙂

[Edward Sugimoto] And how about some of your favorite poke not from here?

[Santa Miyoshi] I like the one (jalapeño ahi) from Tamura’s. They make pretty good poke.

[Edward Sugimoto] Your new book Izakaya Hawai (Tokkuri-Tei Cooking), tell me a little bit about that.

[Santa Miyoshi] It’s just a history of this restaurant plus whatever I’ve been working on to make new dishes. It just consolidates all of the stuff we did (for) over 20 years.

Buy Izakaya Hawaii - Tokkuri-Tei Cooking from Amazon.com
Buy “Izakaya Hawaii – Tokkuri-Tei Cooking” from Amazon.com

[Edward Sugimoto] Do you have anything else to add to your loyal customers or future customers?

[Santa Miyoshi] Thank you for coming. *waves at camera and laughs*

Tokkuri Tei
611 Kapahulu Ave, Suite 102
Honolulu, HI 96815 (map)
(808) 739-2800
Mon-Fri 10:30am-2pm
Mon-Fri 5:30pm-12am

Alan Wong

Last but definitely not least, we feature the god of Hawaii chefs: Alan Wong. Alan graciously took some time out of his insanely busy schedule to sit down with me to talk about poke, his use of it in his restaurants, and the importance of buying local.

An Interview with Alan Wong of Alan Wong’s Restaurants

[Edward Sugimoto] As a local boy, what are your fondest memories of poke?

[Alan Wong] You know when you’re raised in Hawaii, you grow up with that. It’s at every potluck, it’s at every gathering. I mean, you know, when you think of the holidays, New Year’s, Christmas, Thanksgiving, you’re always going to have red sashimi. Think of all the tailgating and all the hibachis. When you go tailgating at the football games, what does everybody have in their cooler? Poke, great pupus. You just grow up with it.

[Edward Sugimoto] Why was it important for you “the Master of Hawaii Regional Cuisine” to add poke dishes to both of your Hawaii locations?

[Alan Wong] I think what’s important is for people to taste Hawaii when they come to the restaurant. We want people to taste Hawaii so how do you taste Hawaii? We feature things grown/raised here in Hawaii, we also feature dishes that local people like to eat, whether it’s an ingredient, or whether it’s a concept like Loco Moco. So how do you take the Loco Moco and put it into this kind of a setting? Poke is a natural because it’s a big part of our culture. And so, every household eats that, so how do you take the poke, just like the Loco Moco, and put it in the setting?

[Edward Sugimoto] What’s the story behind Poki-Pines and how did you come up with it?

[Alan Wong] You know, Poki-Pines is, first of all a play on words. You know the animal the porcupine. *smiles* And so, cooking ahi or frying the ahi is one way to eat poke. You know, especially after it’s marinated. You marinate the poke and sometimes when you add shoyu to the poke it gets kind of dark, it doesn’t look very attractive, but you know, you can still eat it. Then you fry it and it tastes good. So we just wanted to encase that in the won ton strips, and it came all like you know, all this, like a porcupine. So it’s a play on words, and when you think about the crispy texture that you have on the outside, with the cooked poke, and then you marry that with wasabi sauce but with avocados, you know, that makes a good marriage.

Ahi Poki-Pines - Crispy Won Ton Ahi Poke Balls On Avocado with Wasabi Sauce ($15)
Ahi Poki-Pines – Crispy Won Ton Ahi Poke Balls On Avocado with Wasabi Sauce ($15)

Restaurant Manager Kerry Ichimasa describes the Poki-Pines dish

[Edward Sugimoto] In your book New Wave Luau, you mention several different types of poke (Ahi Poke, Ahi Poke Gyozas with Soy-Vinegar Chile Dipping Sauce, Ahi Poke Nigiri, Nairagi and Kajiki Carpaccio with Swordfish Poke, Nori-wrapped Akule Stuffed with Poke, Seared Ahi Poke Cakes on Crostini, as well as the Poki-Pines). Are there any plans of making any of these available on your menu in the future?

Buy New Wave Luau from Amazon.com
Buy “Alan Wong’s New Wave Luau: Recipes from Honolulu’s Award-Winning Chef” from Amazon.com

[Alan Wong] They come in and out. We’ve served things in the book, in the various restaurants, but, you know, it’s like you gotta keep moving forward and try new things and different things and as you learn more, as you travel more as you taste more things, see more things, you’re cooking style evolves. So I think we will have more. Let’s say instead of poke dishes, more raw preparations yeah? It’s something that we love to do so we’ll always see those evolutions happening in our restaurants.

Chopped Ahi Sashimi and Avocado Salsa Stack - Stacked Crispy Won Ton, Spicy Aioli and Wasabi Soy ($19.50)
Chopped Ahi Sashimi and Avocado Salsa Stack – Stacked Crispy Won Ton, Spicy Aioli and Wasabi Soy ($19.50)

Restaurant Manager Kerry Ichimasa describes the Chopped Ahi Sashimi and Avocado Salsa Stack dish

[Edward Sugimoto] So even you’re still evolving as a chef?

[Alan Wong] Oh, you know, the local people love to eat raw fish. We are an island state, we’re surrounded by the ocean so, we like to serve the fishes from our waters, we are a culture that eats a lot of raw fish, and so it’s only natural that if you want people to taste Hawaii, and taste the culture, that you serve a lot of these preparations, whether they’re in poke form, or tartare form, a carpaccio form, or a kind of seviche or sashimi form, it’s all kind of one big category.

Alan Wong (Photo Credit: Arthur Betts)
Alan Wong (Photo Credit: Arthur Betts)

[Edward Sugimoto] Do you eat poke outside of the restaurant…

[Alan Wong] Of course. *smiles*

[Edward Sugimoto] … and if so, where do you like to go?

[Alan Wong] Well, you know, I don’t go out too often, but every once in a while, the poke at side street, my buddy Colin (Nishida), you know. I don’t go out too often.

[Edward Sugimoto] What’s in store for you personally, and what’s also in store for your restaurants?

[Alan Wong] Well, I think, you know, you put the economy aside, you still have to do your thing. I think I’m ready to cook up another concept or two, and I hope that we can grow as a company, I think we can grow as individuals within our company, so that I think, you know, we want to move forward, but sensibly in this time.

Alan Wong's Restaurant Sign
Alan Wong’s Restaurant Sign

[Edward Sugimoto] Do you have any words for your customers out there or future customers?

[Alan Wong] *laughs* Well, besides come taste Hawaii, um, this past Christmas I said, imagine if every dollar you spend buying Christmas presents for your friends and family, you bought everything that was made or raised in Hawaii, or produced in Hawaii. With the economy the way it is, what better way to fuel our own economy. So I think I speak on behalf of all the restaurants, all the mom and pop stores and restaurants that dot the community and become the community, we need to support our local restaurants. That’s what it is. It’s like the farmers. If we don’t buy local, we don’t support the local farmers, well, we’re not going to have farmers. Well you know, it’s the same with the restaurant industry. It’s time to come out and support your local restaurants, and *looks at camera* I hope to see you.

Alan Wong’s Honolulu
1857 S. King Street
Honolulu, HI 96826 (map)
Tel: (808) 949-1939
Reservations: (808) 949-2526
Hours: 5-10pm daily

The Pineapple Room by Alan Wong
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814 (map)
Tel: (808) 945-5529
Reservations: (808) 945-6573
Breakfast Hours: Sat: 8-11am, Sun: 9-11am
Lunch Hours: Mon-Sat: 11am-4pm, Sun: 11am-3pm
Dinner Hours: Mon-Sat: 4-8:30pm

I’d like to send a big Mahalo to all of the folks who made this possible: Sam Choy and his Executive Assistant Sally Watanabe; Mel Tanioka, Justin Tanioka, Lynn Tanioka; Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi; and Alan Wong, his Project Coordinator Nicole Ng, his Restaurant Manager Kerry Ichimasa, and his entire kitchen staff!

Stay tuned for Part III, when we spend a day in the life of Seafood Hawaii, Inc.’s President Jed Inouye. From the fish market on the pier, to the kitchen, to the market at Sam’s Club, we get a history lesson from one of Hawaii’s experts. We’ll also pay a visit to some of the other supermarkets’ poke offerings from the likes of Safeway, Costco, Foodland, and more.

As always, if you know of anyone in the industry, send them my way and I’ll include them in this series. Shoots!

Part I |  Part II  | Part III | Part IV | Part V

Photography at the Right Angle – Caption Contest (5 of 23)

February 1, 2010

Another Monday… Yep, another photo caption contest. Just 19 more to go gang! LOL!

There were a lot that made me crack up last week, like bB‘s “stop……….don’t turn around……….give me your wallet” and our lovely Rosette‘s “ARGH HE FARTED!” but I went with skycastles’ “Eeeek!!! Spider . . . get it, get it!! Omigod, omigod, omigod!” for the creativity (and acting skills 😛 ). Congrats skizzai! 😉

I know y’all will have some hilarious (and gross?) ones for this week. Have at it!

World Wide Ed
Photography at the Right Angle – Caption Contest (5 of 23)


Da “Photography at the Right Angle – Caption Contest” Winnahz Circle! 🙂

  1. Week 1 – “Look, Ma! No hands!” (frankie)
  2. Week 2 – “Eh? No can hear. Got beer in my ear.” (Dave)
  3. Week 3TIE: “Pawn to Queen 4…errrr WOOF!” (b.) and “Doggie go long. On 3, On 3. Ready. Break.” (rayboyjr)
  4. Week 4“Eeeek!!! Spider . . . get it, get it!! Omigod, omigod, omigod!” (skycastles)
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Post your most creative/funny/witty/entertaining caption below for the photo above. Have a great Monday and week y’all! Shoots!

P.S. Don’t forget to read Part II of my Poke Paradise series, including interviews with Sam Choy, Mel and Justin Tanioka of Tanioka’s Seafoods and Catering, Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi of Tokkuri-Tei, and Alan Wong:

Poke Paradise - Experiencing the Best Poke Around Hawaii - Part II
Poke Paradise – Experiencing the Best Poke Around Hawaii – Part II