Show 458, January 15, 2022: Chef John Taube IV, Waicoco, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

John Taube of Waicoco in Maui

When we last spoke with Chef John Taube he was orchestrating all the acclaimed foodservice and menu planning at The Hoxton in Downtown Los Angeles including their signature restaurants Sibling Rival and the rooftop Pilot. Chef John is now the Executive Chef at Waicoco (Breakfast and Dinner) on Maui at the Westin Ka’anapali in Lahaina. The restaurant is owned by Chefs Mourad Lahlou (Aziza and Mourad in San Francisco) and Chris Kajioka (Oahu’s Miro Kaimuki and Papa Kurt’s.)

“Waicoco’s expansive open air oceanfront oasis has a prime view of two Hawaiian islands, Molokai and Lanai. Waicoco seamlessly transitions between oceanside breakfast and dinner allowing the guest to wake to the sunrise and let the day sink away with the sunset. Towering platters of shellfish, local line caught fish and kiawe smoked delicacies provide a connection with land and sea. Waicoco incorporates world class culinary talent and relationships with farmers and fishermen to introduce guests to their belief of how food, drinks and community should be experienced while dining in Maui.”

For Dinner think Poke Tower with prawn, tuna and salmon pokes, seaweed, maze tare, lava salt and rice & prawn chips. There are also Ohana Style presentations (to share) including Seared Half Hamachi with maze tare glazed collar, ginger rice, herb and kula greens, miso beurre blanc and served with ohana sauces.

Chef John Taube joins us with a fresh Maui Gold Pineapple in hand. (That’s an ingredient in Waicoco’s Warm Pineapple Upside Down Cake dessert served with Lappert’s vanilla ice cream.)

Show 389, September 5, 2020: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Chef Andrew Gruel savoring a New Jersey style PizzaOur own Chef Andrew Gruel of the Slapfish Restaurant Group provides another timely and informative “Ask the Chef” segment where Chef Andrew responds to listeners thoughtful inquiries. Chef Andrew is regularly updating us on the impact of the Covid-19 crisis in the hospitality field and what we, as diners, can do to support the very survival of restaurants. Dine-in is slowly, with multiple hiccups, starting to come back but with a lot of new rules that restrict guest counts. Alternately Take-Out / Delivery when you can surely helps…

There is a spirited debate out there among pizza purists and foodies about whether pineapple even belongs on a pizza. There are real world culinary aspects to this discussion, too. It’s in the food news this week (and all over Social Media) with Papa John’s Super Hawaiian Pizza debuting with the pineapple sourced from Dole Packaged Foods. Chef Andrew really knows pizza. We’ll, of course, “Ask the Chef.”

Chef Andrew also gives us the history of Hawaiian Pizza. Turns out it didn’t even originate in Hawaii !

Show 387, August 22, 2020: Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing on Hard Seltzers Part Two

Victor Novak of Golden Road BrewingAccomplished Brewmaster Victor Novak of Golden Road Brewing with production breweries in Los Angeles and Anaheim really needs no introduction to our listeners. He’s generously mentored many of the rising young stars of craft brewing in Orange County over the years.

His latest project is the crafting of a recently released line of hard seltzers based on Golden Road’s fruit cart flavors. The new Golden Road Fruit Cart Hard Seltzers include Cucumber Lime, Mango, Strawberry Pineapple and Watermelon. The hard seltzers are made with real fruit juice.

“There are different ways of creating the seltzer base,” said Victor Novak, Brewmaster at Golden Road Brewing. “For us, we start off by actually brewing a light beer, then running it through a sophisticated cross flow filtration process to ensure that it’s a very neutral and clean tasting. We then blend in just the right amount of fruit juices and natural flavorings to create our light and refreshing seltzers that are bursting with flavor but not cloying. Getting that right is crucial”

Victor Novak rejoins us to pull a second tab on all that is hard seltzer.


Show 331, July 6, 2019: Honolulu Cookie Company with Julie Plant, VP of Retail Part One

Julie Plant of the Honolulu Cookie CompanyHonolulu Cookie Company started in 1998 when entrepreneurs Keith and Janet Sung developed a recipe for premium shortbread cookies. As an artist, Keith wanted to develop something unique – a cookie that represented true Hawaiian hospitality. What he created was a line of island-inspired flavors in a signature pineapple shape. The recipe has been refined over the years, but we always carry through that dedication to quality ingredients inspired by the flavors of our island home.”

“From our bakery, stores opened throughout Honolulu, particularly in Waikiki, to ensure the hospitality that inspired our cookies was delivered to visitors from around the world. Eventually, we found homes and opened new locations on Maui, in Las Vegas, and in Guam.”

“Each progression is informed by a commitment to sharing the best experience of a Hawaiian vacation. The cookie collection packages are designed to delight and the stores are eager to share the Aloha Spirit, but it all begins with the cookies. The finest ingredients are selected to bake fresh daily and ship internationally to friends and fans around the world.”

Honolulu Cookie Company’s Julie Plant, VP of Retail, who we met at Vegas Uncork’d during Mother’s Day Weekend, conveys the aloha.

Show 331, July 6, 2019: Honolulu Cookie Company with Julie Plant, VP of Retail Part Two

Julie Plant of the Honolulu Cookie CompanyMarking its 20th anniversary in 2018, Honolulu Cookie Company has been baking its premium shortbread cookies in a signature pineapple shape fresh daily in Hawai’i since 1998. The cookies inspired by Hawai’i are handcrafted using only the freshest and finest ingredients. Available for shipping, each cookie is individually wrapped.

“Pineapples are the international symbol of hospitality. In fact, our iconic cookie shape was originally chosen for this reason. Our cookies are designed to be given as gifts, a way to celebrate a meeting of old friends or new acquaintances by sharing something sweet.”

“We also see ourselves as hosts who strive to share the Spirit of Aloha by making all of our guests feel welcome. With each pineapple-shaped cookie, we want to invoke a pleasant memory or experience reminiscent of our home in beautiful Hawaii.”

“At its root, “Aloha” is an ideal and a philosophy that encompasses a love and respect for people, their culture, and the world around them. It is with this in mind that we extend a warm welcome to all who visit. To celebrate the complex and beautiful ideas that are at the essence of the Spirit of Aloha, Honolulu Cookie Company is dedicating the entirety of 2019 to our Share Aloha Campaign. We look forward to you joining us in sharing the deeply rooted traditions behind this ideal and discovering new ways to incorporate it into everything we do.”

Show 330, June 29, 2019: Hawaii’s Chef / Restaurateur Peter Merriman Part One

Peter Merriman's of Merriman's HawaiiPeter Merriman (the Founder of Hawaii Regional Cuisine) has been 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, starting with the iconic Merriman’s Waimea in 1988, 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.”

“Some 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.”

Chef Merriman has expanded slowly but there are now also distinctive Merriman’s on Maui, Kauai, and Oahu. All the menus are a little different to showcase the best in local ingredients. Significantly, locals are a big part of each restaurant’s regular clientele.

Chef Peter Merriman is our very special guest.

Show 328, June 15, 2019: Liko Lehua Butters with Matt & Dawn Kaneali’i – Kleinfelder

Matthew Kaneali'i of Liko Lehua ButtersLiko Lehua Butters, a line of Hawaii-made (with a splash of Aloha,) gourmet butters flavored with tropical Island fruits, was started by two sisters in 1996. The butters are packed in glass jars and prepared in small batches to maintain strict quality control. The product line is all-natural without any preservatives or additives. Liko Lehua Butters is now under the watchful stewardship of the second generation of the founding Family.

Island flavors include, Passion Fruit, Pineapple, Tahitian Lime, Coconut, Guava and Mango.

“Handcrafted in Hawaii & kissed with aloha…”

Great on pancakes and waffles. Spread on your favorite breads and toasts instead of butter or preserves. Add as a flavorful condiment to grilled meats, chicken and fish.

There is also a café, Liko Lehua at Pauahi located near the Hilo Airport on the Big Island.

You can feel confident ordering directly from Likio Lehua. The jars are meticulously packed with great care to ensure the product will arrive in pristine condition.

Principals Matt and Dawn Kaneali’i join us to spread the aloha.

Show 327, June 8, 2019: Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce’s Prince of Produce – Best in Summer Produce

Robert Schueller of Melissa's World Variety Produce in the AM830 KLAA StudioSummer is upon us and it’s time to get the 411 on what vegetables work best for the grill as well as the pick of the crop for the very best in Summer fruits.

Consider Ruby Gold Potatoes on the grill. Melissa’s baby Ruby Gold® Potatoes are small round potatoes with red skins and yellow flesh. These baby potatoes can be cooked in almost any way imaginable. They have a light, subtle flavor and a creamy texture. To preserve the nutrients in these wonderfully healthy treats, leave the skins on and simply scrub gently in water before using.

The expert with all the farm fresh answers is Robert Schueller, Melissa’s World Variety Produce’s Prince of Produce.

Show 287, August 25, 2018: FOODBEAST’s SPAM Restaurant Month Continues…

Geoff KutnickFor the entire month of August, FOODBEAST is bringing you SPAM® Restaurant Month! This month-long event showcases the versatility of SPAM® and its place on the restaurant scene nationwide, from fast-casual to fine dining concepts. Think $100 Gold SPAM® Musubis in San Francisco to SPAM® Tamales in Orlando.

Locally in Santa Ana (4th Street Market) look for Dos Chinos’ Al Pastor SPAM Papas Fritas. It’s SPAM® marinated in Al Pastor sauce topped with onions, cilantro, sour cream and pineapple served on top of fries. Also Pineapple Teriyaki Crispy SPAM® Pizza (NY-style with thin crust) from Jinny’s Pizzeria (Also at 4th Street Market.)

FOODBEAST’s Geoff Kutnick continues….

Show 87, September 6, 2014: Travel Writer Michelle Winner, President, IFWTWA

Michelle Winner of IFWTWA and Culinary TravelerFood, wine & travel writer Michelle Winner is the President of the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.). She will be talking to us from Hawaii.

Over Labor Day Weekend Michelle was part of the Kaanapali Fresh – A Culinary Experience on Maui and right now she is in the middle of the 4th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on Oahu.

At Kaanapali Fresh, Michelle was a judge for the “Kaanapali Range to Sea.” Each competing chef was paired with a farmer and utilized his produce or product. The winning dish (vegetarian) was Ti Leaf Wrapped Corn Tamale with Syl’s Produce, corn truffle salsa in a smoked tomato emulsion. The winning chef was Raymond Nicasio of the Sheraton Maui Resort.

Michelle also talked about the revitalization of the well-known Maui Gold pineapple brand. These coveted pineapples are only grown on Maui. It’s an agriculture success story of quality over quantity.

The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival event Michelle attended Thursday evening was the sold out “A Lucky Modern Buddha Belly” at The Modern Honolulu. The event put a spotlight on Hawaii’s unique location as a culinary hub of the Pacific where East Meets West. 14 esteemed chefs (including Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto) showcased dishes inspired by the Lucky Buddha who is known for happiness, plenitude, and wisdom of contentment.

Ti Leaf Wrapped Corn Tamales with Corn Truffle Salsa and Smoked Tomato Emulsion

Recipe yield:   6 x 4” tamales or 12 x 2” tamales
Recipes for Corn Tamales

1 ½ cups Fresh Corn kernels
½ cup Vegetable Shortening
1 cup Masa harina (Tamales flour)
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp Salt
3/4 cup Corn Stock or water
3 each Ti leaf
1/2 cup Corn Truffle Salsa (separate recipe below)
1 cup Smoked Tomato emulsion


  • Clean and remove husk from the corn. Using a knife scrape the corn kernel off the cob and reserve corn cob to make corn stock. Place ¾ cup of fresh corn kernel in a blender or food processor and grind the corn until almost smooth, set aside.   Place vegetable shortening in an electric mixing bowl with a wire whip attachment. Set mixer on medium high and whip the shortening until light and fluffy.
  • On a separate mixing bowl place Masa Harina, cornmeal, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly until well incorporated. Heat up corn stock or water to lukewarm and gradually stir stock or water to the flour mix until it forms a thick dough.
  • Change the whip attachment to dough hook attachment. Transfer the dough to the mixing bowl and add the grinded corn and the rest of the corn kernels mix thoroughly. The dough will be quite sticky.
  • Remove the spine off the ti leaf wash, pat dry and line on a flat suface. Using a pastry piping bag, pipe dough on to the leaf and proceed to roll the dough on the leaf making sure it is completely wrapped.
  • On a steamer or pot with a wire rack with boiling water, steam the tamales for 45 minutes. Cut to desired length. Remove the tamales from the leaf and serve with corn truffle salsa and smoked tomato emulsion.

Corn Truffle salsa recipe

1 can Corn truffle or Cuitlacoche (4 oz) can be found in latin specialty store
1 cup Fresh corn kernels
1 1/2 tbs white balsamic vinegar
1 tbs Red bell peppers, small dice
1 tbs Maui Onions, small dice
2 tbs Olive oil

  • Put cuitlacoche in a blender and puree until smooth.
  • Heat saute pan, saute onions and bell pepper until tender
  • Add corn to the pan and sauté until it is tender and has slight caramelized color.
  • Add pureed corn truffle. Stir until completely coated.
  • Remove from heat and add white balsamic vinegar. Stir until well incorporated.

Smoked Tomato salsa

4 ea Vine riped tomato, cut in half
1 ea Maui onion, cut in half
1 ea Jalapeno, cut in half and seeds removed
1 ea Red Bell Pepper, seeds removed and cut in half
4 cloves Garlic, peeled
2 Tbs Liquid smoke
3 Tbs Olive oil
1 ea juice of lime
1 tbs Cilantro, chopped
1 Tbs Salt
1 Tbs Chipotle in adobo sauce, use only the sauce

  • In a mixing bowl, place cut tomato, onion, peeled garlic, jalapeno, bell pepper, olive oil, and liquid smoke. Mix well until well coated with olive oil and transfer to a baking sheet or pan. Season with 1 tablespoon of salt.
  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F, place the mixture in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes or until vegetables have a slight char.
  • Transfer to a food processor bowl and add the chipotle adobo sauce, lime juice and cilantro. Process the mixture to a slight smoothness.
  • Season with the remaining salt.