Show 321, April 27, 2019: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris

Now an appealing preview of Saturday’s Spirit of Aloha show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, and upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience.

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalWe’re live from The 8th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s pure chocolate indulgence. Hawaii is the only State in the USA where premium cacao (the base of chocolate) can be grown commercially. It’s an increasingly important crop in The Islands with almost unlimited potential.
Chef Bryan Fujikawa is the proprietor of the locals’ favorite for fresh grilled, locally caught seafood, Kona Grill House in Kealakekua. It’s a beloved hole-in-the-wall spot. He’s been a part of The Big Island Chocolate Festival’s concluding Chocolate Decadence Gala for years. Chef Bryan is known for his amazing lobster crab cakes. We’ll reel him in.

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 8th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. The Festival benefits Island culinary arts and arts programs. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

We first met Chef Christopher Galindo two years ago when he was overseeing Hau Tree on the beach next door at the Resort’s sister property, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Last year he switched beaches and moved over to The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort’s new Meridia as the menu-maker. It’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine created with locally sourced ingredients and infused with Hawaii’s rich local bounty. Also know for creative, signature https://socalrestaurantshow.com/wp-admin/edit.phpcocktails and a primo view of the Pacific at Sunset. We entice Chef Chris out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Chef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. This year he moved his school to Tustin (“a piece of Paris in Tustin”) along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat. He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!” At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing the culinary demonstration, “Creating an Artistic Chocolate Sculpture.”

Tattoo Tequila CEO, Tequila John” Atanasio (a Maui resident) set out 8 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector. We’ll meet Tequila John.=

Tom Bean is acclaimed Chef Peter Merriman’s General Manager at the iconic Merriman’s Restaurant Waimea. This was Chef Merriman’s first solo venture with modest expectations. Last year Merriman’s celebrated their 30th anniversary and is consistently the highest rated restaurant on The Big Island. Chef Merriman is one of the original pioneers of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. We’ll talk story with Tom.

Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which recently completed a $50 million dollar renovation. It’s part of the Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii. The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is also the host property for The Big Island Chocolate Festival.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Play

Show 321, April 27, 2019: Tom Bean, General Manager, Merriman’s Waimea – a Pioneer of Hawaii Regional Cuisine

Tom Bean of Merriman's Waimea and Andy HarrisTom Bean is acclaimed Chef Peter Merriman’s General Manager at the iconic Merriman’s Restaurant Waimea. This was Chef Merriman’s first solo venture with modest expectations.

Last year Merriman’s celebrated their 30th anniversary and is consistently the highest rated restaurant on The Big Island. Chef Merriman is one of the original pioneers of Hawaii Regional Cuisine.

“Merriman’s Waimea is the flagship establishment from award-winning Chef Peter Merriman who maintains a single vision “Do the right thing”—for local farmers, for the islands and for you—our guest.”

“Thirty years ago, no one dreamed of growing vine ripened tomatoes, fresh sweet corn or crisp baby lettuce in Hawaii. Sugar cane and pineapple plantations dominated the farming landscape, and most food was shipped to Hawaii from thousands of miles away.”

“Chef Peter Merriman had a vision for the growth of local agriculture and the potential of Hawaii’s rich volcanic soils. He along with twelve other prominent chefs encouraged farmers to grow local produce, raise meats locally, and start a healthier more sustainable Hawaii.”

“Peter Merriman has been as a culinary pioneer in Hawaii for over 30 years. Known as the original “locavore,” Peter is a vocal champion of Hawaii’s farmers, ranchers and fishermen. His restaurants showcase island grown and harvested foods through simple preparations that reflect the myriad flavors of Hawaii’s multiculturalism. Dubbed the “Pied Piper of Hawaii Regional Cuisine” by The Los Angeles Times, he is a continuing inspiration to Hawaii’s thriving culinary scene.”

We’ll talk story with Tom.

Play

April 27: Live from the Big Island Chocolate Festival

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Owner / Chef Bryan Fujikawa, Kona Grill House, Kealakekua, Hawaii
Segment Three: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao (KCA) and Proprietor of Cocoa Outlet
Segment Four: Christopher Galindo, Restaurant Chef, Meridia at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort
Segment Five: Stephane Treand, MOF, The Pastry School, Tustin, CA
Segment Six: “Tequila John” Atanasio, Tattoo Tequila – Tequila & Chocolate Tasting
Segment Seven: Tom Bean, General Manager, Merriman’s Waimea – a Pioneer of Hawaii Regional Cuisine
Segment Eight: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

Now an appealing preview of this Saturday’s Spirit of Aloha show. It’s not, with profuse apologies, for dieters. If we’re successful we will always leave you incredibly hungry and thirsty. In our case, and upon careful reflection, that’s probably a pretty good thing… As always, we greatly appreciate you being a part of our loyal listening audience.

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalWe’re live from The 8th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. It’s pure chocolate indulgence. Hawaii is the only State in the USA where premium cacao (the base of chocolate) can be grown commercially. It’s an increasingly important crop in The Islands with almost unlimited potential.

Chef Bryan Fujikawa is the proprietor of the locals’ favorite for fresh grilled, locally caught seafood, Kona Grill House in Kealakekua. It’s a beloved hole-in-the-wall spot. He’s been a part of The Big Island Chocolate Festival’s concluding Chocolate Decadence Gala for years. Chef Bryan is known for his amazing lobster crab cakes. We’ll reel him in.

Farsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 8th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. The Festival benefits Island culinary arts and arts programs. We’re talking all things chocolate with Farsheed.

We first met Chef Christopher Galindo two years ago when he was overseeing Hau Tree on the beach next door at the Resort’s sister property, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Last year he switched beaches and moved over to The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort’s new Meridia as the menu-maker. It’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine created with locally sourced ingredients and infused with Hawaii’s rich local bounty. Also know for creative, signature cocktails and a primo view of the Pacific at Sunset. We entice Chef Chris out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Chef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. This year he moved his school to Tustin (“a piece of Paris in Tustin”) along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat. He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!” At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing the culinary demonstration, “Creating an Artistic Chocolate Sculpture.”

Tattoo Tequila CEO, “Tequila John” Atanasio (a Maui resident) set out 8 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector. We’ll meet Tequila John.=

Tom Bean is acclaimed Chef Peter Merriman’s General Manager at the iconic Merriman’s Restaurant Waimea. This was Chef Merriman’s first solo venture with modest expectations. Last year Merriman’s celebrated their 30th anniversary and is consistently the highest rated restaurant on The Big Island. Chef Merriman is one of the original pioneers of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. We’ll talk story with Tom.

Tom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which recently completed a $50 million dollar renovation. It’s part of the Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii. The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is also the host property for The Big Island Chocolate Festival.

All of this and heaping helpings of extra deliciousness on this week’s not-to-miss show!

Bryan Fujikawa of Kona Grill HouseChef Bryan Fujikawa is the proprietor of the locals’ favorite for fresh grilled, locally caught seafood, Kona Grill House in Kealakekua. It’s a beloved hole-in-the-wall spot. He’s been a popular part of The Big Island Chocolate Festival’s concluding Chocolate Decadence Gala for years. Chef Bryan is known for his amazing lobster crab cakes.

“For Kona Grill House it’s new year, a new name, and a whole new look. What started 19 years ago as a small family operation producing and selling dried fish under the name Sun Dried Specialties, has grown into a culinary destination for local cuisine that has people from not just Hawaii, but all over, returning time and time again.”

“It was a simple beginning back in 2000. The idea for Sun Dried Specialties was born in the early morning hours as Bryan sat on his boat rocking quietly with the gentle motion of the waves as he fished through the night. He realized the dried fish he’d grown up eating was disappearing. He, his wife Rebecca, and their two daughters began drying the fish that Bryan caught. They stayed true to the old way of drying. Using only fresh fish, Hawaiian salt, and beautiful Hawaiian sun. The Sun-Dried Specialties logo of a sunbathing Ahi quickly became recognizable for the best dried Ahi, Aku, and Opelu in the state and on to the Mainland.”

“Fast forward a dozen years to the birth of the Fishbowl. Bryan’s brainchild for his desire to serve great food in an atmosphere that would allow visitors and locals alike to meet and get to know one another. What started as a small poke shop had its first expansion after only three months and has continued to grow ever since. Though the original showcase still carries more than a dozen different kinds of poke made fresh each day, there’s now a second showcase for the desserts. Bryan has continued what his daughter Alexis started, baking desserts fresh every morning.”

“But it’s the food coming off the grill out back that you won’t be able to forget. Chef Bryan’s customers like to say it’s five-star food out of a cardboard box. The best fish burgers on the island and his lobster crab cakes are out of this world. Daily specials range from smoked prime rib to lobster mac and cheese. You never know what might be on the menu but you can count on never walking away hungry and having a food experience you’ll want to keep coming back for.”

We’ll meet Chef Bryan.

Farsheed BonakdarFarsheed Bonakdar is the President of the Kona Cacao Association, the Producer of the 8th Annual Big Island Chocolate Festival. The mission and goal of the Kona Cacao Association is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawaii by presenting the Big Island Chocolate Festival as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. The Festival benefits Island culinary arts and arts programs.

The 2019 Big Island Chocolate Festival proceeds will benefit the culinary programs at Hawaii Community College Palamanui, Kealakehe High School, Hawai‘i Island High Schools and Maui Community College, plus Hawaii Institute of Pacific Agriculture, Waimea Country School, Kona Pacific Public Charter School’s West Hawaii Summer Lunch Program and Kona Dance & Performing Arts.

“If you think you know everything about chocolate—think again! Find out tricks for using chocolate in the kitchen and to better grow cacao—the tree that produces the coveted cocoa bean. All the fun is part of the Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) April 26-27. With the exception of a guided cacao plantation tour, all activities are at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort.”

We’re talking all things delectably chocolate with Farsheed.

Chris GalindoWe first met Chef Christopher Galindo two years ago when he was overseeing Hau Tree on the beach next door at the Resort’s sister property, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Last year he switched beaches and moved over to The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort’s new Meridia as the menu-maker.

It’s Mediterranean-inspired cuisine created with locally sourced ingredients and infused with Hawaii’s rich local bounty. Also know for creative, signature cocktails and a primo 180 degree view of the Pacific at Sunset.

“The fresh seasonal menu is complemented by expanded al fresco seating, a private dining room, a charcuterie and crudo bar, and a house- made artisanal bread nook.”

We entice Chef Chris out of his busy kitchen for a chat.

Stephane TreandChef Stéphane Tréand debuted, The Pastry School in 2012, in San Clemente. This year he moved his school to Tustin (“a piece of Paris in Tustin”) along with his new pâtisserie (pastry) shop, ST Pâtisserie Chocolat. He wanted people to come and buy pastries, chocolates, viennoiserie (baked goods such as croissants), and gelato/sorbet at his shop. But he also wanted to show others, “you can learn and create beautiful items such as these, right-next-door with me (Chef Stéphane Tréand) as your teacher!”

At The Big Island Chocolate Festival Chef Stephane is performing the culinary demonstration, “Creating an Artistic Chocolate Sculpture.”

Tequila John AtanasioTattoo Tequila CEO, Tequila John” Atanasio (a Maui resident) set out 8 years ago with the goal of crafting a “Super Premium Tequila” that would use the highest grade of organic Blue Weber Agave available in the World and to use the best ingredients available to develop “The Champagne of Tequilas.” Tattoo Tequila today has legitimate brand positioning as a leader in the Craft Spirits sector.

Tattoo Tequila has a portfolio of 100% organic Blue Agave based tequila with expressions that include Blanco & Reposado.

Tequila John is part of the Festival presenting the unexpected “Chocolate & Organic Tequila Pairings” seminar which he’s encoring from last year. He’ll demonstrate how different, organic tequilas and uniquely flavored chocolates can tastefully complement each other. The accompanying decadent chocolate bonbons are presented by Farsheed Bonakdar of the Cocoa Outlet. We’re all in…

We’ll meet Tequila John.

Tom Bean of Merriman'sTom Bean is acclaimed Chef Peter Merriman’s General Manager at the iconic Merriman’s Restaurant Waimea. This was Chef Merriman’s first solo venture with modest expectations.

Last year Merriman’s celebrated their 30th anniversary and is consistently the highest rated restaurant on The Big Island. Chef Merriman is one of the original pioneers of Hawaii Regional Cuisine.

“Merriman’s Waimea is the flagship establishment from award-winning Chef Peter Merriman who maintains a single vision “Do the right thing”—for local farmers, for the islands and for you—our guest.”

“Thirty years ago, no one dreamed of growing vine ripened tomatoes, fresh sweet corn or crisp baby lettuce in Hawaii. Sugar cane and pineapple plantations dominated the farming landscape, and most food was shipped to Hawaii from thousands of miles away.”

“Chef Peter Merriman had a vision for the growth of local agriculture and the potential of Hawaii’s rich volcanic soils. He along with twelve other prominent chefs encouraged farmers to grow local produce, raise meats locally, and start a healthier more sustainable Hawaii.”

“Peter Merriman has been as a culinary pioneer in Hawaii for over 30 years. Known as the original “locavore,” Peter is a vocal champion of Hawaii’s farmers, ranchers and fishermen. His restaurants showcase island grown and harvested foods through simple preparations that reflect the myriad flavors of Hawaii’s multiculturalism. Dubbed the “Pied Piper of Hawaii Regional Cuisine” by The Los Angeles Times, he is a continuing inspiration to Hawaii’s thriving culinary scene.”

We’ll talk story with Tom.

Tom Cross of the Westin Hapuna Beach ResortTom Cross is the Hotel Manager for our host, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, which recently completed a $50 million dollar renovation. It’s part of the Mauna Kea Resort on the Island of Hawaii. The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is also the host property for The Big Island Chocolate Festival.

“The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort stretches along its namesake white-sand beach on the Island of Hawaii. The Kohala Coast is known for its world-class shoreline, as well as for cultural and archaeological gems nestled between centuries-old lava fields. The resort’s contemporary style contrasts with lush, manicured gardens and the endless blues of the sky and the ocean. Four reimagined dining venues are inspired by the island’s bounty.”

“The award-winning 18-hole Hapuna Golf Course was designed by Arnold Palmer. Two swimming pools, a 6,800-square-foot freeform family pool and an adult-exclusive infinity pool, overlook Hapuna Beach. A WestinWorkout Center and Crossfit Studio are complemented by the Hapuna Spa for rejuvenation and relaxation. Choose from 249 oversized guest rooms, including 17 suites.”

Mahalo nui loa to The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort for graciously hosting the “SoCal Restaurant Show” for the third year.

Podcasts

Segment One: Show Preview with Co-Host Andy Harris
Segment Two: Owner / Chef Bryan Fujikawa, Kona Grill House, Kealakekua, Hawaii
Segment Three: Farsheed Bonakdar, President, Kona Cacao (KCA) and Proprietor of Cocoa Outlet
Segment Four: Christopher Galindo, Restaurant Chef, Meridia at The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort
Segment Five: Stephane Treand, MOF, The Pastry School, Tustin, CA
Segment Six: “Tequila John” Atanasio, Tattoo Tequila – Tequila & Chocolate Tasting
Segment Seven: Tom Bean, General Manager, Merriman’s Waimea – a Pioneer of Hawaii Regional Cuisine
Segment Eight: Tom Cross, Hotel Manager, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

Show 3: October 20, 2012: Barbara Fairchild Part One

Barbara Fairchild’s (ex-Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Magazine) commentary on her just completed dining adventures in Kauai.

Barbara worked her way down the Garden Island from North (rustic Hanalei and the very upscale Princeville) to South (resort area of Poipu.)

In Hanalei (which Barbara found charming) she recommends Chef Jim Moffat’s small plates Bar Acuda (just celebrating their 7th anniversary,) Hanalei Coffee Roasters, and the seafood and vegetarian-centric Postcards Café. For that one, very special fine-dining experience Barbara suggests Kauai Grill at the St. Regis Princeville Resort. It’s from New York –based celebrity Chef Jean-George Vongerichten. French flair with accent of Hawaii.

A must stop on the way South is the new Garden Café at Common Ground in Kilauea. It’s a large farm-to-table, model sustainable operation with crops grown on site. Also in the area is the iconic, roadside burger joint, Duane’s Ono-Char Burger. The island’s famous & colorful wild chickens will join you for al fresco dining.

In the area of Lihue, Barbara discovered the casual Feral Pig Pub & Diner. It’s a real find! The show-stopper is their Kauai Cubano sandwich with Kalua pork and ham!

Near Poipu is a new development including The Shops at Kukuiula. Two famous practitioners of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine have restaurants there. Chef Jean-Marie Josselin operates Josselin Tapas Bar & Grill which gets excellent reviews from Barbara and Chef Peter Merriman owns Merriman’s Fish House and the more casual Downstairs Cafe. There is also a Lappert’s Ice Cream & Coffee parlor there. Sounds like a week’s worth of appealing dining options in one beautiful spot.

Play

Show 3: October 20, 2012: Barbara Fairchild Part Two

Barbara Fairchild’s (ex-Editor-in-Chief of Bon Appetit Magazine) commentary on her just completed dining adventures in Kauai.

Barbara worked her way down the Garden Island from North (rustic Hanalei and the very upscale Princeville) to South (resort area of Poipu.)

In Hanalei (which Barbara found charming) she recommends Chef Jim Moffat’s small plates Bar Acuda (just celebrating their 7th anniversary,) Hanalei Coffee Roasters, and the seafood and vegetarian-centric Postcards Café. For that one, very special fine-dining experience Barbara suggests Kauai Grill at the St. Regis Princeville Resort. It’s from New York –based celebrity Chef Jean-George Vongerichten. French flair with accent of Hawaii.

A must stop on the way South is the new Garden Café at Common Ground in Kilauea. It’s a large farm-to-table, model sustainable operation with crops grown on site. Also in the area is the iconic, roadside burger joint, Duane’s Ono-Char Burger. The island’s famous & colorful wild chickens will join you for al fresco dining.

In the area of Lihue, Barbara discovered the casual Feral Pig Pub & Diner. It’s a real find! The show-stopper is their Kauai Cubano sandwich with Kalua pork and ham!

Near Poipu is a new development including The Shops at Kukuiula. Two famous practitioners of Hawaiian Regional Cuisine have restaurants there. Chef Jean-Marie Josselin operates Josselin Tapas Bar & Grill which gets excellent reviews from Barbara and Chef Peter Merriman owns Merriman’s Fish House and the more casual Downstairs Cafe. There is also a Lappert’s Ice Cream & Coffee parlor there. Sounds like a week’s worth of appealing dining options in one beautiful spot.

Play