Posts Tagged ‘Seafood Risotto’

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
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Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening… Tonight!

December 27, 2010

OK so I lied when I said that my “Christmas Lights in Kapolei” blog was the last post of the year, but there’s a good reason for disturbing your peace and quiet this holiday season. *grin*

You see, Tokkuri-Tei, my favorite restaurant on the planet, has moved, and tonight is the grand re-opening at their new location: 449 Kapahulu (the old Sam Choy’s/Sergio’s/Ranch House, above Hee Hing).

This post was made with equal parts of the following in mind:

  • inform you of the move (not everyone knows yet)
  • invite you down to come eat with us tonight
  • support Santa, Kazu, & the rest of the Tokkuri-Tei posse on this new chapter in their lives
  • encourage you to give them a try (once is all you need to get hooked) or
  • encourage you to continue to support them at their new location
  • starve you half to death with the following photos! hehe!

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Teriyaki Cream Tofu

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Ama Ebi

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
There’s a Spider in Da Poke

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Stuffed Portobello

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Sunagimo Karaage (Chicken Gizzards)

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Lilipuna Poke

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Ika Yaki (Squid Pancake)

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Ahi Tempura Poke

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Nori-chos

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Soft-shell Crab

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Seafood Risotto
(still trying to convince Santa that this should be called the Sugimoto Risotto 😛 )

Tokkuri-Tei Grand Re-Opening
Santa Miyoshi

See y’all there! 🙂

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!

(サンタさん と かずさん と とっくりてい オハナ、がんばれ!)

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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