This month, pastry chef Kanjiro Mochizuki from Imperial Hotel Tokyo brings Japanese-style sweets to the Halekulani. There’s a bamboo shoot verrine (a layered dessert in a glass vessel) that combines rice sponge cake with bamboo shoot Bavarian cream; cakes made to look like Japanese schoolbags, which pair chocolate mousse with jasmine cream and mango mousse with kiwi, strawberry with pear; and peach lavender cream rolled with a green tea sponge cake.
There’s good eating everywhere in Tokyo, and some of the most fun epicurean adventures take place in the department store food halls. Shirokiya’s top floor has always offered a glimpse into this facet of Japanese food culture with takoyaki stations, tonkatsu sandwiches and taiyaki (fish-shaped waffles stuffed with fillings such as red bean and custard).
Not Just Desserts / After opening numerous restaurants in Florida, New York and Hawaii, chef Kate Wagner has now opened a small shop in the heart of Chinatown. With a background in French cooking, she’s decided to bring her talent back home, and in her small café–Not Just Desserts–she carries chocolate cake, handmade chocolates and homemade cheesecakes.
Eating Alaska / Eating Alaska is a funny and sometimes serious film about the filmmaker’s own experiences as an urban vegetarian who moves to a small town in Alaska and is confronted with the question, “What is the ‘right’ thing to eat?” She goes on a quest, and along the way meets all types of every day Alaskans, from deer-hunting women to Eskimo kids in the Arctic, who talk about their favorite moose meat, to a vegan cooking class in Wasilla and even her own salmon fisherman husband. It’s a wry search for a meal that makes sense politically, socially, spiritually and tastefully.
A Haleiwa fresh fruit and produce stand is conveniently located behind Pizza Bob’s and designed for those who don’t want to mess with the frenzy of weekend farmers’ markets. Heirloom tomatoes sell for $1 a pound (which sell for around $8 a pound at Safeway), crates of local honey and preserves sell for under $10, and herbs and other leafy veggies are kept beautifully cool in a handy walk-in refrigerator.
While in southern Italy last fall, a group of Hawaii Slow Foodies stumbled across a wine co-operative in Solopaca, just north of Naples. The co-op was busy collecting and processing truckloads of grapes from the growers in the area.
Ninth Annual Waikiki SPAM JAM® Festival / Seven million cans of Spam products are eaten every year in Hawaii. If Aspen is known for its Food and Wine Classic and San Francisco for its Street Food Festival, Honolulu’s claim to fame may be its Spam Festival, the Waikiki Spam Jam, now in its 9th year and expected to attract 20,000 attendees.
Food & Drink / Bacon afficionados and breakfast fans rejoice for Baconalia, a two-month celebration of all things swine on the menus of Denny’s restaurants nationwide. In a stroke of crispy, hickory-smoked genius, the mucka muckas over at Denny’s headquarters decided to fatten up their menu by offering seven new bacon-heavy dishes guaranteed to satisfy the protein cravings of even the most carnivorous diners.
Dining on Fort Street Mall is a multi-cultural affair. You’ve got Japanese, Thai, Filipino, Vietnamese, American, Indian, Mexican, and now Turkish food to boot.