Hawai‘i Quickfire Challenge

Last week, Season 6 Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio came to Hawaii…not to cook, but to check out the Waikiki Edition and to vacation, which for a chef means a lot of eating. The Weekly caught up with him at an event at the Edition to ask for his thoughts on his first Hawaii visit, his new obsession with Leonard’s and life after Top Chef.

Read the Q&A here: http://honoluluweekly.com/restaurants/2010/11/hawaii-quickfire-challenge/

Ironman Cometh: Masaharu Morimoto

Q&A with Iron Chef Masahuru Morimoto

Not that the opening of Morimoto Waikiki will need extra publicity, but is it too much to hope that it will open with a throwdown between Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa? Probably. Honolulu will perhaps have to settle with the two duking it out on opposite ends of Waikiki, in their respective restaurants that showcase upscale Japanese cuisine with international influences.

Morimoto will, however, take the stage at this weekend’s Made in Hawaii Festival. No word yet on what he will be demonstrating. Maybe it’ll be a prosciutto-wrapped white-and-green asparagus sushi assembled to look like a stained-glass window, like the one in the Iron Chef asparagus battle. Or possibly the sweetened natto soaked in Coca-Cola and served in coconut milk from the natto challenge? More likely will be the incorporation of local ingredients into the final dish.

Between prepping for dinner service at his new restaurant in Napa, Morimoto answered some questions via e-mail and an interpreter.

Read the Q&A here: http://honoluluweekly.com/restaurants/2010/08/iron-man-cometh/

The Boys are Back in Town

A wave of Island chefs headed to the Mainland for training. What will happen now that they’re home?

“My dream restaurant is a counter,” says Chris  Kajioka.

“It’s just a counter. You’re going to sit, I’m going to ask how hungry you are, and I’m just going to cook for you … I don’t like when people have to choose. Just trust me and I’ll cook for you. That’s every chef’s dream.”

Watching Kajioka, the chef de cuisine at Roy’s, cook is the same experience as listening to him speak: he’s all determination and confidence. He’s roasting squab, slicing perfect squares of pork belly and searing sweetbreads for renowned wine collector Tawfiq Khoury’s 80th birthday dinner, keeping the venerable crowd of Roy’s corporate chefs and Roy Yamaguchi himself in his peripheral attention. At this moment, the only thing that’s important to him is browning the sweetbreads. One of the servers describes Kajioka’s look as dour; perhaps it’s more the look of someone who knows exactly what he’s going for.

Read the rest: http://www.honolulumagazine.com/Honolulu-Magazine/June-2010/Dining-The-Boys-are-Back-in-Town/

Q&A with Charles Phan, The Slanted Door

Charles Phan opened the original The Slanted Door in San Francisco’s Mission district–it has since moved to a more expansive location in the Ferry Building– in 1995. While Phan drew inspiration from other Bay Area restaurants’ food philosophies, he broke new ground in giving Vietnamese food a modern, upscale setting. As a finalist for the James Beard Outstanding Chef Award, Phan is in town for a Hale ‘Aina ‘Ohana cooking demonstration on Vietnamese cuisine, followed by a demo and reception at the Halekulani on Friday.

The rest: http://honoluluweekly.com/restaurants/2010/03/behind-the-green-door/