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Oahu brings the garden to your dining table...we're talkintravel. @tikisgrill mention at the very end

August 27, 6:15 PM by Travel Insights Examiners -- Ruth & Rich Carlson

The tourism folks from Oahu are promoting a bring the farm to your dining table concept with fresh, local produce and more.  Read on for their news release: CELEBRATE FARM TO TABLE CUISINE ON OAHU.  Oahu’s local farms, chefs, markets, restaurants make up Hawaii’s culinary epicenter

OAHU – People from all corners of the globe love visiting Oahu for its unmatched weather, sublime scenery and unique and fascinating culture, but these days Oahu’s innovative farm to table cuisine is one of the island’s greatest attractions. With ideal year-round climate conditions and rich volcanic soil, it is only natural that the island of Oahu is home to an abundance of farms. The countless farmers, chefs, restaurants, and consumers dedicated to utilizing Oahu’s locally-grown products have helped develop the island’s farm-to-table movement, growing it considerably in recent years and paving the way toward island-wide sustainability.

ALOUN FARMS:  About: Founded in 1977 by Laotian immigrant Aloun Sou and his family, Aloun Farms began as a basic five-acre operation in the Lualualei Valley of Waianae, producing several varieties of Asian vegetables, green onion and herbs. Today, the farm is nearly 3,000 acres and produces more than 40 different crops. Aloun Farms is a strong supporter of community outreach through educational tours and collaboration with the Future Farmers of America (FFA) program.

Special products: Aloun Farms Ewa Sweet line includes crisp, juicy and sweet corn, melons, and onions. The corn and onions are grown year-round, and melons are grown during Oahu’s spring season. The Sunburst Melon and Thai Watermelon are two of Aloun’s signature products.

Where to find them: Farmers’ markets and supermarkets island-wide, including Costco, Foodland and Wal-Mart stores; Chef Chai Chaowasaree incorporates Aloun products into his menus at Chai’s Island Bistro and Singha Thai Cuisine.  Contact: www.alounfarms.com or (808) 677-9516

 

HO FARMS:  About: Ho Farms, a 40-acre produce farm on Oahu’s North Shore, is a food safety certified farm (one of the few in Hawaii) that has been recognized for its efforts to minimize the use of pesticides and chemicals, resulting in healthier, natural and better-tasting food.  Special products: Specialty tomatoes, renowned for their sweet flavor and crispy texture, are Ho Farms’ signature product. They produce tomatoes of the baby Roma, cherry, golden grape, grape, Kahuku golden, and zebra varieties, all vine-ripened and individually handpicked at their peak flavor. The farm also grows Japanese cucumbers, long squashes and long beans.  Where to find them: Farmers’ markets island-wide; on Oahu at Foodland, Down to Earth stores, Malama Market, and Tamura’s Market; and RumFire at Sheraton Waikiki. www.hofarms.com or (808) 375-1375

MA‘O ORGANIC FARMS   About: Waianae Community Re-Development Corporation established MA‘O Organic Farms hoping to impact five critical areas of need in the region – out-of-school youth, sustainable economic development, agriculture, health, and Hawaiian culture. Today, the five-acre certified organic farm offers after-school programs, workshops, garden clubs, and internships for local middle and high school students, and produces and sells more than three-dozen different high-quality organic crops.

Special products: MA‘O is known for its signature “Sassy” salad mix—a combination of kale, Swiss chard and cilantro—and produces a variety of herbs, root vegetables, bananas, mangos, and citrus fruits such as Meyer lemons, Tahitian limes, and Clementine tangerines.  Where to find them: Farmers’ markets island-wide; health food stores including Whole Foods, Down to Earth, Umeke Market, and Kokua Market; and restaurants such as Alan Wong’s, Azul at the JW Marriott Ihilani, Chef Ed Kenney’s Town and Downtown, Kona Brewing Company, Nobu Waikiki, and Tiki’s Grill and Bar. www.maoorganicfarms.org or (808) 696-5569. 

   For more info: www.visit-oahu.com  and be sure and read Rich's first hand account of living and eating like royality on Maui, at this website: http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-5821-Travel-Insights-Examiners~y2009m4d12-Maui-wowieheres-how-to-vacation-like-youre-Clint-Eastwood


http://unhub.com/mahaloMichael - (Facebook, Twitter, Blog, LinkedIn, Videos)

Right Time For Mai Tai - WATCH VIDEO! Waikiki Chef Takes Top Prize For Best Concoction -

Right Time For Mai Tai
Waikiki Chef Takes Top Prize For Best Concoction
By Hadley Catalano ( Big Island Weekly ) Wednesday, August 26, 2009 12:11 PM HST

The iconic cocktail drink of Hawai'i celebrated it's first festival last weekend, drawing cocktail enthusiasts by the hundreds. The Don the Beachcomber 's Mai Tai Festival debuted the battle for the world's best mai tai event, held at the Royal Kona Resort in Kailua-Kona.

The title of best mai tai has been an infamous battle since the days of the drink's conception, a questionable and amicable rivalry between Trader Vic's and Don the Beachcomber, two restaurants that both claim to have invented the rum and pineapple juice drink.

"(We) thought of it as a great way to celebrate the most famous drink on the islands," said Liz Bell, director of marketing and business development for Hawaiian Hotels and Resorts,which owns the Royal Kona Resort.

The battling began at 10 a.m. on the luau grounds with a Battle of the BBQ, where restaurants put forth their best grill items hoping to wow the crowd and take home the top award. From grilled tenderloin with a lilikoi rum glaze to grilled prawns with a mai tai reduction sauce to BBQ pork sliders with Habanero slaw, guests had plenty of delicious options to sample. Kona Brewery provided beer samples to wash down the barbecue while the votes were tallied. Mike Lamb from Don the Beachcomber won the People's Choice for Best Presentation and Hawai'i Community College's culinary program took home the People's Choice for Taste award.

In between battles, vendors were on site around the hotel's porte cochere selling wares. Famous island chef Sam Choy held a cooking demonstration and Jeff "Beachbum" Berry offered a "Who's Your Daddy" mai tai seminar.

The main event, the mai tai contest, brought out 30 participants from the mainland and around the Hawaiian Islands. In groups of three, the mixologists concocted their innovative take on the classic beverage, presenting five decoratively and tastefully proportioned drinks for the judges (Joey Gottesman, Sam Choy, Chris Teves, Jeff Berry).

"We are judging on presentation, nose, palette and finish," said Berry, the famed tiki and rum expert. "Back in the day the cocktail was the conversation piece, it was about presentation."

Many bartenders took the traditional display of the tiki glass garnished with a pineapple and evolved it, like Lea Ulloa from Kawaihae's Harbor Grill and Seafood, who finished in the top five. She served her drink in a hollowed out dragonfruit, smoking with dry ice. Others added their own unique flare, such as Kristina Chai, bartender from Kim's Karaoke Lounge in Hilo. Dubbing her creation Chai's Thai Mai Tai, she mixed her Thai-inspired drink with Supreme rum, floated it with Bacardi and coconut milk, topped it with a special syrup made from mint, Thai basil and ginger and garnished it with a sweet basil sprig.

"I was really pleasantly surprised with the creative, forward thinking," said Berry. "People have looked down their nose at tiki drinks without seeing the potential complexity and depth. Bartenders are starting to work with rum again and are turning their attention to classic drinks. (Mai tai's are) not just tacky cruise ship drinks, they are culinary cocktails ahead of their time."

While the evening was long, giving each contestant ample time to prove themselves, the cash prize of $10,000 was awarded to Jon Matsubara, executive chef from Azure at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki, who said he planned on giving the prize money away to charity.

It was the 36-year-old's Smoking Mai Tai that helped him reach the winner's circle.

"I took Don's traditional drink and evolved it by adding house-made Falerno, an almond-based syrup with clove, ginger, citrus notes, Tahitian limes and Bacardi rum," said Matsubara, who went on the explain how he used a culinary tool called the smoking gun on the concoction to give it an aged rum taste and characteristic flavor. "Then I used a blowtorch on the packed brown sugar around the rim like a brulee."


First Annual Mai Tai Festival

Battle of the BBQ:
People's Choice for Presentation: Mike Lamb of Royal Kona Resort
People's Choice for Taste: West Hawai'i Community College Culinary Institute

Mai Tai Mix Off:
People's Choice Award: Garrett Gresham of the Royal Kona Resort
Grand Prize: John Matsubara of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel

http://unhub.com/mahaloMichael - (Facebook, Twitter, Blog, LinkedIn, Videos)

Kalo - Taro Cuttings and planting Macro Photos (Using a blog to track plant progress)

I have been using my blog http://mahalomichael.posterous.com/  to help track the progress of my plants. It makes it easy. Snap a few photos and it logs the date of planting.

This weekend Lisa and I visited my Grandaddy in Kona. He knew we were coming and had wrapped up a few hulis.  These consist of the upper 1/8- 1/4-inch section of the corms or he trimmed off the leafs and wrapped in up in damp newspaper. He made sure to show us how to trim a bit of the corms off before planting.

It took me three days to get around to triming and planting these guys. Planted in pots until I have time to build and prepare the ground. These are "Upland Taro Plants".

This is the second set and we should be able to harvest in 10 to 12 months.


Beach. Board. Bliss @astonhotels Waikiki Beach Hotel w/ $50 GC @TikisGrill

HONOLULU, HI (Aug. 13, 2009) –Waikiki is always better when you can enjoy it with someone special, and there’s no better way to connect than learning to surf the calm waves of Waikiki together. Couples (or a couple of friends) will be “stoked” on Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel’s “Beach. Board. Bliss.” package featuring:

Room rate is $199 per night with a minimum four-night stay required. “Beach. Board. Bliss.” package rates are valid for travel now through Dec. 21, 2009 and may not be combined with other programs, specials or discounts. Prices do not include tax and are subject to change without notice. Blackout dates and some restrictions may apply. Visit AstonHotels.com for more information. 

About Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel – a contemporary, full-service hotel featuring a fun, urban-Hawaiian beach theme – is located directly across from world-famous Waikiki Beach. The hotel is also within walking distance of the Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu Zoo and historic Kapiolani Park. Guests can experience Hawaii regional cuisine and live entertainment nightly at on-site Tiki’s Grill & Bar. Or, explore the two main strips of Waikiki – Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues – for shopping, dining and nightlife.

Regarded as one of Waikiki’s most popular amenities, Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel’s signature offering is Breakfast on the Beach, a variety of to-go breakfast items that can be packed in a souvenir cooler. Served pool-side daily from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., guests can eat on the beach or take the cooler on the road while exploring the island.

About Hans Hedemann Surf School

Established in 1997, the Hans Hedemann Surf School is one of Hawaii’s premiere surfing schools. The school employs a team of lifeguard and CPR-trained instructors and safety guides dedicated to providing an enriched Hawaiian surfing experience for beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers.

About Aston Hotels & Resorts

Aston Hotels & Resorts, formerly ResortQuest Hawaii, operates a diverse range of condominium resorts and hotels with accommodations from hotel rooms and condominium suites, to villas and cottages that suit any lifestyle, taste or budget. Based in Honolulu, the company manages more than 4,300 rooms in 25 properties on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii. For more information, visit www.AstonHotels.com or call toll free 866-774-2924.


 

Room rate is $199 per night with a minimum four-night stay required. “Beach. Board. Bliss.” package rates are valid for travel now through Dec. 21, 2009 and may not be combined with other programs, specials or discounts. Prices do not include tax and are subject to change without notice. Blackout dates and some restrictions may apply. Visit AstonHotels.com for more information. 

About Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel – a contemporary, full-service hotel featuring a fun, urban-Hawaiian beach theme – is located directly across from world-famous Waikiki Beach. The hotel is also within walking distance of the Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu Zoo and historic Kapiolani Park. Guests can experience Hawaii regional cuisine and live entertainment nightly at on-site Tiki’s Grill & Bar. Or, explore the two main strips of Waikiki – Kalakaua and Kuhio Avenues – for shopping, dining and nightlife.

Regarded as one of Waikiki’s most popular amenities, Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel’s signature offering is Breakfast on the Beach, a variety of to-go breakfast items that can be packed in a souvenir cooler. Served pool-side daily from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m., guests can eat on the beach or take the cooler on the road while exploring the island.

About Hans Hedemann Surf School

Established in 1997, the Hans Hedemann Surf School is one of Hawaii’s premiere surfing schools. The school employs a team of lifeguard and CPR-trained instructors and safety guides dedicated to providing an enriched Hawaiian surfing experience for beginner, intermediate and advanced surfers.

About Aston Hotels & Resorts

Aston Hotels & Resorts, formerly ResortQuest Hawaii, operates a diverse range of condominium resorts and hotels with accommodations from hotel rooms and condominium suites, to villas and cottages that suit any lifestyle, taste or budget. Based in Honolulu, the company manages more than 4,300 rooms in 25 properties on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii. For more information, visit www.AstonHotels.com or call toll free 866-774-2924.