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Mai Tai Festival and Battle of the BBQ Winners Are…

The 9th Annual Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai Festival happened this past Saturday at the Royal Kona Resort.  Over 20 of the top bartenders from around Hawaii and the mainland participated for a chance at $17,500 in prize money.

The day began with a “Battle of the BBQ” at the courtyard of the Royal Kona Resort where 13 restaurants competed for the coveted “People’s Choice Award” and the “Judges Choice Award”.

Broke Da Mouth Grindz took home the “People’s Choice Award” with a BBQ Beef dish topped w/ shrimp:

The Kona Butcher Shop took home the “Judges Choice Award” with a smoked brisket dish:

After the Battle of the BBQ was finished folks mingled throughout the courtyard as there were lots of craft vendors selling local Big Island Made products.

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker’s booth was one of the more popular shops.

People then moved on over to the Resort’s pool area where Henry Kapono performed in concert while folks enjoyed a casual pool party for a few hours.

Then at 4:30 the Mai Tai Festival began inside Don the Beachcombers where hundreds of folks gathered to watch some of the best bartenders compete in ten minute mix-offs with the judges getting to sample each of the Mai Tai’s after the mix-off.

The winners of the Mai Tai Festival were:

  1. Kevin Beary – 3 dots and a dash Chicago with the “Tricky Tricky Wiki Wiki”
  2. Justin Kipapa – Myna Bird – Honolulu
  3. Paul Schreuder – Bar Leather Apron Honolulu

Mai Tai Festival Director Jeff Isbister said, “These are 3 great bartenders all carrying the torch of the classic Tiki Cocktail into the mainstream. Both Justin and Kevin are returnees and both have finished in the top 3 in past events. We couldn’t ask for better representation than that. Paul is a first time competitor but he represents bar Leather apron which is owned by a two time winner and two time judge, Justin Park. These top tier mixologists are testament to how big the Mai Tai Fest has become. Kevin has come all the way from Chicago twice to compete. We’ve had competitors from all over the country and beyond.”

Television personality DJ Maleko helped emcee the event and Celebrity Chef Sam Choy was one of the Judges.

Bacardi USA was on hand and was giving folks a chance to win bottles of Bacardi by posting pictures of the event on Instagram and Twitter under the hashtag #BacardiUSA.

Isbister continued, “Another great event, we went into the planning for the 9th annual Mai Tai Festival with our sights firmly set on our tenth anniversary next year. Everyone’s focus was of course this year but we kept in the back of our minds the idea of what can we do bigger better and bolder for next year. I know Gary Hogan, Tom and Liz Bell and the staff here at the hotel promise the best event yet.”

“Sam Choy In The Kitchen” Renewed for 2017

The Big Island of Hawaii is very fortunate to have one of the best chefs in the world living on this island and I feel honored to have met him personally.  Celebrity Chef Sam Choy lives in on the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii and recently I had the opportunity to meet up with him over on Oahu.

Sam Choy and some of the production crew celebrate the renewal of "Sam Choy in the Kitchen".

Sam Choy and some of the production crew celebrate the renewal of “Sam Choy in the Kitchen”.

On Thursday November 3rd at the Honolulu Design Center, I learned of the success of one of Choy’s more recent projects… the television show “Sam Choy in the Kitchen” being selected for a second season.

KHON2 General Manager Kristina Lockwood

KHON2 General Manager Kristina Lockwood

KHON2 General Manager Kristina Lockwood announced  that the show would be picked up for its second season at a “Mahalo Breakfast” thrown for Chef Choy with many of the sponsors of the show in attendance.

Sam and John make a creation on the spot.

Sam and John make a creation on the spot.

Sam and the show’s co-host John Veneri entertained the folks in attendance with a quick demonstration of what kind of things goes on in the production of making an episode and Veneri even mentioned how Chef Choy was able to make a dinner out of left over McDonald Chicken McNuggets in one of his shows and after that they showed a video clip highlighting just some of the clips from this past season. “ I am so honored to be the chef’s Stew Chef for the second season” quoted John, “we have a some fun episodes planned for next year” he added.

Sam talking with sponsors of the show.

Sam talking with sponsors of the show.

Choy stated that he is “So happy the viewers enjoyed the first season, thank you all for watching.  The show and the idea behind it are both hot and fresh, just like my dishes!”

Agent Abbas Hassan, John Veneri, Sam Choy and Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker

Agent Abbas Hassan, John Veneri, Sam Choy and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker

Some of the sponsors that were in attendance to say mahalo to Chef Choy were D.Otani Produce, Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union, Modelo Beer and renowned artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker to name a few.

Nordstrom Ala Moana Picks Up Sam Choy Hawaiian Kitchen and Tiki Shark

Located in Hawaii’s biggest and most high profile mall, Nordstrom Ala Moana has picked up Sam Choy’s Hawaiian Kitchen and artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parkers souvenir line just in time for the 2016 Holiday Season.

sam-choy-and-brad-parker-at-nordstroms

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker getting into the holiday spirit.

“We are so excited to feature such a colorful and high quality line in our At-Home section” quoted Deja Young At-home Dept Manager “hope to see you for Chef Sam Choy’s and artist Brad Parker’s personal appearance next month” she added.

sam-choy-nordstrom-display“Wow these towels are soft and absorbent…turned out better than I expected”, “I am so excited to be a part of such a wonderful store” commented the world famous celebrity chef.

“These are embroidered designs specially manufactured for Nordstrom and other limited venues” commented Abbas Hassan – Senior Vice President of Tiki Shark Art Inc. who is also the celebrity chefs and renowned artists agent.  “We had a lot of inquiries about Brad’s art being available in Honolulu and we are so happy to be able to fill that demand thru Nordstrom’s” he quoted.

sam-in-nordstromsA public signing and personal appearance is scheduled at the 186,000 square foot store on December 4 – 2 PM to 6 PM.  General public is encouraged to arrive early to avoid the rush.

sam-in-front-of-nordstromsChef Sam Choy’s products can also be purchased on line at www.chefsamchoy.com

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker and his artworks are currently featured in Hawaiian Airlines Hana Hou Magazine. His company Tiki Shark Art Inc was name the 10th Fastest Growing Companies in the State of Hawaii by Pacific Business News.

Happy “Hawaii-Ween” at Kona Oceanfront Gallery

Meet Celebrity Chef Sam Choy and World Famous Artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker at Kona Oceanfront Gallery’s “Happy HAWAII-WEEN” this Monday, October 31st.
haloween-with-sam-and-bradBrad Parker will be doing a “Live Art Demo” between 1 to 6 and he along with Sam Choy will be carving pumpkins with one of them being raffled away.

sam-choy-and-draculaThere will original sketches up for grabs, a costume contest with a prize for the best costume along with other tricks and treats.

brad-and-skullThe Kona Oceanfront Gallery is located at 75-5770 Ali’i Drive in Waterfront Row next to Bubba Gump restaurant.  Contact 808-334-0037 for more information.

West Hawaii Today Picks Up Sam Choy Story – Pearl Harbor Restaurant Sends Me Cease and Desist Letter

A few days ago I posted about the Pearl Harbor restaurant using well known Celebrity Chef Sam Choy’s name without paying him royalties.

On the front page of today’s West Hawaii Today, they followed up with my post with this article where they state:

Click to read article

Click to read article

…Choy’s verified Facebook account, identified by a blue check mark next to the name, defended the claims in the blog post, saying he has “never to this day received any form of royalty (from) you.”

On his own page, the chef posted Thursday that, “to the best of (his) knowledge, (he has) not signed any documents indicating a ‘royalty free’ use of my name to anyone!”

The restaurant replied to that post with the open letter, to which Choy responded “Please produce a such a document with my signature on it and I will never bother you again. Mahalo.”

Choy told West Hawaii Today he’s retained legal counsel to force Sam Choy’s Island Style Seafood Grille to drop the “Sam Choy” from the name.

Vandeman, meanwhile, said he’s pursuing legal action against Tucker for his blog post.

“We’re gonna file for a substantial amount of damages,” he said. “Because of the nature of what he said and how he said it and how widely he published it.”

You can read the full West Hawaii Today article here: Choy disputes Oahu restaurants name use

Here is a Cease and Desist email request I received from the restaurant owner asking me to remove the blog post on August 30th at 12:46pm

Mr. Tucker,

We hereby demand that you cease and desist immediately publishing any statement to the effect that we are using Sam Choy’s name without permission.
We have seen that you have posted on the internet a per se defamatory statement that Sam Choy’s Island Style Seafood Grille is using Sam Choy’s name without permission. This statement is false. No matter how few the number of people who read your website, this statement is sufficient to establish substantial damages against you. 
The fact that you sent a spam email to me on this question is irrelevant. The fact that I didn’t respond to a spam email, and that you had no reason to even ask the question is irrelevant. You have absolutely NO BASIS TO MAKE THIS CLAIM. 
 
As Sam Choy himself well knows, as Sam’s current attorney David Smith well knows, and as Sam’s prior legal counsel well knows (and has acknowledged), Restaurants Hawaii, LLC has the fully documented legal right to use Sam’s name on our restaurant. In fact, on more that one occasion I have invited Sam’s attorney, Mr. Smith, to show me any documents which establish that we do not have that right, and he has failed and refused to do so. The reason is that he cannot do so. Neither he nor Sam have any such documents. 
If you do not cease and desist immediately, as specified above, we will retain legal counsel to sue you for damages for intentional defamation. 
George A. Vandeman
Managing Member
Restaurants Hawaii, LLC

Renowned Big Island Artist Parker Packs Hollywood Gallery – Sam Choy and Aidan James on Hand

Renowned local Big Island Artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker’s highly anticipated mainland show opened to a jammed packed house in Hollywood California last night.  This year for the first time the artist was joined in his opening by legendary Chef Sam Choy and teenage Ukulele Sensation Aidan James.  Crowds lined up outside the historic La Luz De Jesus Gallery to meet the Hawaiian celebrity trio.

Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker, Celebrity Chef Sam Choy, Kid Sensation Aidan James and Agent Abbas Hassan met with folks in California last night

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker, Celebrity Chef Sam Choy, Kid Sensation Aidan James and Agent Abbas Hassan met with folks in California last night

“It was a pleasure joining Brad to show off the original artwork of my new Hawaiian Kitchen Apparel line” commented Chef Sam Choy. “Big mahalo for those who came out to welcome us” he added.

Sam Choy Kitchen line is now available at www.chefsamchoy.com and in many major retailers.

“What an honor it was to have the Chef and Aidan be a part of my show this year” commented Brad “Tiki Shark Parker”.  “It was a night I will always remember” he added.

Parker will be in Las Vegas for a few weeks before returning to Hawaii mid July.

Parker will be in Las Vegas for a few weeks before returning to Hawaii mid July.

Parker’s show titled Hawaiian Night in Hollywood runs through July 31, most of the artwork was sold on opening night but is definitely a must see for all in the area.  For a sneak peak see www.laluzdejesus.com

About La Luz De Jesus Gallery – Easily one of the most important, significant and ground-breaking galleries on the Mainland. La Luz De Jesus, quickly garnered a considerable reputation with Collectors, Galleries, & Artists around the world; & gave birth to a genre of an Art movement that would come to be known as “Lowbrow Art”.

 

Body Glove to Celebrate Tatiana-Weston’s Rookie of the Year Honor with Private Dinner Prepared by Celebrity Chef Sam Choy

Body Glove to kick off their annual trip to the North Shore by hosting a celebratory dinner for WSL Rookie of the year, Tatiana Weston-Webb, prepared by World Famous Celebrity Chef Sam Choy.

Sam Choy

The event will be filmed and aired on KHON Channel 2 in a episode of “Sam Choy’s IN THE KITCHEN” later this year. Sam will raid the Body Glove refrigerator for leftovers and use his culinary magic with whatever ingredients he can find and create a gourmet meal for all. Body Glove Athlete’s Tatiana Weston-Webb, Jamie O’Brien, Mo Freitas and Garret MacNamara and Sam’s co-host John Venri will be the Chef’s will be Sam’s official assistant’s and taste testers.

Jamie O'Brien gets ready to go on a Body Glove cruise.

Jamie O’Brien gets ready to go on a Body Glove cruise.

In the days following Tati’s celebration, Body Glove will begin hosting key retailers, sales reps and athletes throughout the waiting period of Volcom Pipe Pro, January 28th – February 7th. “We look forward to the opportunity to give back to the retailers, sales reps and athletes that support the brand”, say’s Body Glove Marketing Director, Nick Meistrell. “The trip also offers a platform for us to gather feedback on new product lines, create content for future advertising campaigns, and of course enjoy some surfing with the crew. Not to mention, all this with a world class surfing competition viewable from the house!”

Hunter Ports Women's Classic - Tatiana Weston-Webb © ASP / Robertson

Hunter Ports Women’s Classic – Tatiana Weston-Webb © ASP / Robertson

Retailers in attendance and will be joined by select athletes from the Body Glove Team including aforementioned Tatiana Weston-Webb, Jamie O’Brien, Mo Freitas and Garret MacNamaras well as Anthony Walsh, Alex Gray, and Nolan Rapoza.   In true All Things Water fashion, Wake Surf Champions, Keenan and Noah Flegal will also be on hand to attempt the challenging crossover from the wake to the waves of the North Shore.

Keenan was also featured in Body Gloves award winning film “Liquid Gold” – filmed entirely on location in Dubai.

About Body Glove International

Founded in Redondo Beach, California in 1953 by twin brothers Bill and Bob Meistrell, Body Glove is the original wetsuit company. Today, the privately-owned, family-operated company is a leading global watersports brand that specializes in wetsuits, swimwear, clothing, footwear, accessories and technology products. While Body Glove has supported surfers and the surfing industry since 1953, today Body Glove sponsors one of the most respected surf and wakeboard teams in the industry. Pro surfers Tatiana Weston-Webb, Jamie O’Brien, Anthony Walsh, Alex Gray, Guinness World Record Holder Garrett McNamara, as well as wakeboarders Harley Clifford and Bob Soven are all part of the Body Glove Team. Through Reef Check, SIMA’s environmental fund, and the Surfrider Foundation, Body Glove also works hard to preserve and protect the oceans and waterways it loves. The company’s headquarters are still based in Redondo Beach, but its products are sold all over the U.S. by a network of independent retailers, at its own Dive N’ Surf retail shop and in approximately 50 countries worldwide.

Meet Celebrity Chef Sam Choy at the 11th Annual Building & Design Expo

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce will hold its 11th annual Building & Design Expo February 12 – 14 at the Keauhou Convention Center at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. Celebrity Chef Sam Choy will make a special appearance and demonstrate his cooking skills all three days of the Expo.

Building and Design Expo 2016

Friday evening the expo is open to the public from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday expo hours are from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Visit numerous exhibits featuring home design, construction and remodel ideas including home decorating; fine art; windows and doors; flooring and window treatments; kitchen and baths, home energy products and more. The booths will present products, services and information relating to the building and improvement of homes, apartments and condos. Enter to win giveaways and drawings at vendor booths.

Attendees can also enter to win a grand prize: a 2-night stay at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa.

For additional information regarding the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Building & Design Expo, go to www.kona-kohala.com or call the Chamber office at 329-1758.

Sam Choy Introduces New Kitchen Line at the Royal Kona Resort

Saturday evening at the Royal Kona Resort, Celebrity Chef Sam Choy partnered up with Tiki Shark Hawaii by hosting a party and introducing the world to Choy’s new line-up of kitchen items.

World Champion surfer Anthony Walsh and his girlfriend, Aidan James, Sam Choy, World Champion Surfer Jamie O'Brien and his girlfirend with Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker in front.

World Champion surfer Anthony Walsh and his girlfriend, Aidan James, Sam Choy, World Champion Surfer Jamie O’Brien and his girlfirend with Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker in front.

A large crowd filled Don the Beachcomber Bar downstairs of the Royal Kona Resort for a concert that culminated with 13-year-old YouTube sensation Aidan James and John Cruz on the stage together.

Aidan James and John Cruz bring down the house!

Aidan James and John Cruz bring down the house!

Sam Choy mentioned about the hard work that was done putting together this new line of kitchen products and spoke with Professional Surfers Anthony Walsh and Jamie O’Brien about doing a YouTube show from their respective houses.

Sam Choy "In the Kitchen with Anthony Walsh and Jamie O'Brien???

Sam Choy “In the Kitchen with Anthony Walsh and Jamie O’Brien”???

You can click here to view Sam Choy’s In the Kitchen clips.

While Sam Choy signed many autographed copies of his book’s, partial proceeds from the evenings event went to Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation.

Sam Choy and his grand daughters.

Sam Choy and his grand daughters.

Hilo folks will have the opportunity to check out Aidan James at the Hilo Palace Theater next Saturday Evening November, 14th at 7:00.

Body Glove Sponsored Surfers Anthony Walsh and Jamie O'Brien flank Teen Rocker Aidan James.

Body Glove Sponsored Surfers Anthony Walsh and Jamie O’Brien flank Teen Rocker Aidan James.

The product line will be available at his restaurants as well they will begin showing up in various gift shops around the island.  They can currently be found at the Kona Oceanfront Gallery at 75-5770 Ali’i Drive in Kona.

Sam Choy and Aidan James signing autographs.

Sam Choy and Aidan James signing autographs.

Big Island Comes Out for Sam Choy, Brad Parker and Aidan James

Kona Oceanfront Gallery kicked off, in high gear the first day of a two day long festivity to celebrate the debut of the Sam Choy Hawaiian Kitchen Accessory line.

Some of the Sam Choy and Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker kitchen items.

Some of the Sam Choy and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker kitchen accessories.

A second night of partying is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday Nov 7th 5:30 PM at the Royal Kona Resort.

Hawaii Representative Nicole Lowen with Brad Parker, Aiden James and Sam Choy.

Hawaii Representative Nicole Lowen with Brad Parker, Aidan James and Sam Choy.

With over 300 + guests in attendance including several high profile State of Hawaii dignitaries and members of local, mainland and international business elite came out to view and celebrate this historic day with the dearly liked Chef Sam Choy.

Sam Choy, Brad Parker and Aiden James 039
“Wow what a crowd” exclaimed the local celebrity chef.  “I have been to many big events on our island but never with this many folks from around the world. Usually I am the biggest celebrity in the room, but not this time!” Choy added.

Tomorrow night the celebration continues at the Royal Kona Resort – Don The Beachcomber at 5:30 PM with a star studded roster to include entertainment by teenage sensation Aidan James and legendary singer John Cruz.

Aiden James jamming at the Kona Oceanfront Gallery

Aidan James jamming at the Kona Oceanfront Gallery

World Champion Surfers Jamie,  Brian and Anthony Walsh are also scheduled to be in attendance to show their support for Chef Sam Choy.

The event is free and open to the public at the Royal Kona Resort this evening.

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy Picks Big Island Charity – Public Invited to Debut Party

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy announced today that partial proceeds from his two-day Hawaiian Kitchen Line event coming up Nov 6th and Nov 7th will be donated to Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation.

Sam Choy and Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker with members of the

Sam Choy and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker with members of the Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation

“Local Big Island organization such as Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation who do so much for our local underprivileged population to keep them healthy are very dear to me” quoted Chef Choy. “It’s always a pleasure to support them” he added.

In a personal meeting with Chef Sam Choy, Executive Director Bruce Merrell expressed his deepest gratitude and thanks for naming his organization the beneficiary. “I am excited to see Chef Choy support our cause and include us in this iconic event” said Merrell.

Sam Choys Hawaiian Kitchen Line National debut party is being held at Kona Oceanfront Gallery November 6th and at The Royal Kona Resort on November 7th.

Come meet Celebrity Chef Sam Choy and Renowned Artist Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker Kona Oceanfront Gallery November 6th and at The Royal Kona Resort on November 7th.

Come meet Celebrity Chef Sam Choy and renowned Artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker on November 6th and 7th at the Royal Kona Resort.

Starting off with a Art auction of original designs created exclusively for this event by Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker. There will also be free pupus and free entertainment provided by legendary John Cruz and teenage musical sensation Aidan James. This free event is open to the public and is expected to draw record crowds.

For more information and details about the event, please contact: Jill Weiss – Kona Oceanfront Gallery808 334 0037

Wordless Wednesday – Food and Art?

Famous Hawaii Chef Sam Choy was spotted at the Kona Airport with artist Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker earlier today.

Renowned Tiki Artist Brad Parker seen chatting up & travelling with Celebrity Chef Sam Choy today at Kona Airport.

Renowned Tiki Artist Brad Parker seen chatting up & travelling with Celebrity Chef Sam Choy today at Kona Airport.

Parker’s agent Abbas Hassan said, “Big local news story is to follow next month”.

Chef Sam Choy was also seen traveling today with Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker’s well connected agent Abbas Hassan at Kona Airport

Chef Sam Choy was also seen traveling today with Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker’s well connected agent Abbas Hassan at Kona Airport

Anyone know what’s cooking?

“ROAST & ROOTS” – Mark Yamanaka and Raiatea Helm to Perform at Festival of Hawai‘i Flavors

Capping off a festive celebration of Hawaii’s most ‘ono foods and coffees, Grammy nominee and twice Female Vocalist of the Year, Raiatea Helm is the icing on the cake. The first-ever “Roast & Roots” food event on Saturday, July 19, 2014, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay’s Convention Center, serves up a family-friendly festival with arts and food booths, cooking demos, competitions and all-day entertainment, wrapped up with an intimate concert in the afternoon.

Roast & Roots

Hosted by Hawai‘i Coffee Association (HCA) in alignment with their 19th annual conference, Roast & Roots is a collaborative project between HCA, Kamehameha Schools and Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. Events of the day include a “Buy Local” MarketPlace, Coffee Corridor, exciting People’s Choice Cupping Contest, a “mystery box” demo by Chef Sam Choy, and an exciting Chef-Student Culinary Competition. Abundant entertainment throughout the day includes music by Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winner Mark Yamanaka, Kaleo Perry and Dennis Garcia, leading up to Raiatea Helm in concert at 2 p.m.

Mark Yamanaka

Mark Yamanaka at the 2011 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards

Known for her soaring lyrics and intricate musicianship, Raiatea Mokihana Maile Helm is winner of eight Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards and a Native Arts and Cultures Foundation fellowship in music. Beginning her musical career in high school, Helm has captured hearts in Hawai‘i and across the continent and the Pacific, playing to packed houses in Tahiti, Japan and China. Adding her Hawaiian musical flavor to the event seasons it with everything Hawai‘i Island loves: great food, music and family fun.

In the hours leading up to Helm’s performance, families and friends will have numerous opportunities to taste and purchase local food products and peruse the works of Island artisans, including those in the Kona Coffee community in the Coffee Corridor. Additionally, food booths presented by the host hotel and participating chefs and restaurants offer a delicious sampling of dishes from regional ingredients on land and sea.

Raiatea Mokihana Maile Helm

Raiatea Mokihana Maile Helm

Highlighting the Culinary Competition, Roast & Roots pairs up six local chefs with six culinary students from Hawaiʻi Community College at the University of Hawai‘i Center, West Hawaiʻi and Konawaena, Kealakehe and Waiakea High Schools. Teams will use local Hawai‘i Island proteins such as grassfed beef from Hawaii Beef Producers, local pork from Kulana Foods and farm-raised lamb from Waiakea Uka Ranch and a fresh bounty of local Hawai‘i Island produce, to put their best plates forward.

Emcee for the culinary portion, Chef Sam Choy will share his mana‘o with the audience, and has offered to do a “live mystery box” demo, where he will prepare a dish on the spot, using ingredients that are secret to him until the box is opened onstage. Chef Scott Hiraishi will serve as the Lead Judge and Co-chair for the event. Student and chef pairings will be announced early in July.

Mayor Kenoi talks with Sam Choy outside the Sam Choy Poke Contest.

Mayor Kenoi talks with Sam Choy outside the Sam Choy Poke Contest.

Part of the Hawai‘i Coffee Association’s three-day annual conference, Roast & Roots invites the general public to experience some of HCA’s exciting and educational activities, as well as the expertise of Hawaii’s statewide coffee industry growers, processors, roasters, wholesalers and retailers. The annual conference includes workshops and seminars covering coffee cupping packaging, certification, legislative and industry updates, including reports from UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center (PBARC).

Admission at the door is $5 per person, free for anyone under 17—includes Culinary Demonstration, Marketplace and Raiatea Helm Concert. No advance ticket sales. For more information, please contact Event Coordinator Tracey Apoliona, mkc01@hawaii.rr.com, (808) 960-3094 or visit www.Facebook.com/RoastandRoots.

Sam Choy, Sonny Bhagawalia Headline TechConKona 2.0

TechConKona, a full-day conference teaching business owners technology and sustainability solutions to boost their bottom line — will be held Saturday November 2nd at the NELHA Gateway Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. A fundraising pau hana will follow from 4-6:30 pm to benefit the Guy Toyama Memorial Fund.

The conference is headlined by three prominent speakers:

Sonny Bhagwalia

Sonny Bhagwalia

Sonny Bhagawalia, the State of Hawaii’s first Chief Information Officer and champion of island-wide Wifi access;  Sam Choy, “Food Network” star, author and restauranteur; and Henk Rogers, who helped create Tetris, one of the world’s first computer games and founder of the Blue Planet Foundation. These well-known experts, along with 8 other dynamic speakers, will address small business owners, farmers, chefs, digital marketing and technology professionals and sustainability change agents.

Attendees will learn how technology and sustainability intersect for business success and focus on new systems, ideas, resources and information led by experts in the fields of food sustainability, digital marketing, Internet technology, and more.

The conference will address Hawaii island’s issues surrounding local food, labor, and resources, saving money using web technology and productivity tools, and working together to find systems that benefit the island AND local business.

“At TechConKona, our presenters and expert panelists will show business owners and managers how to use technology to boost their bottom line using affordable tools, while learning about sustainability practices which impact us all on a deep level, both personally and professionally,” said Julie Ziemelis, a key organizer of the event. “TechConKona is an exciting networking, educational and synergistic event which we are proud to present. Thought leaders, change agents and innovators are encouraged to attend and participate!”

The Pau Hana reception is being held in memory of Guy Toyama, who helped found the event last year. Guy, a local environmental and sustainability innovator, passed away last November and a memorial fund was set up in his name to fund scholarships for students in the fields of environmental sustainability.

Tickets to the event are $75 and VIP tickets are $100. Registered attendees receive full conference access, refreshments, post-event networking fundraising reception benefiting the Guy Toyama Memorial Fund and access to exhibitors. More about buying tickets and the speaker agenda can be found at www.TechConKona.com

Companies interested in being exhibitors at the event can contact Julie Ziemelis, Ziemelis Communications, at 808-854-6769 or email julie@ziemelis.com.

The conference, which will feature exhibitors, networking opportunities, a luncheon, and a pau-hana business reception, is sponsored by the County of Hawaii, the Small Business Development Center, Mac Made Easy, Natural Investments, Ziemelis Communications and Hafner Creative Communications.

2013 Sam Choy Keauhou Poke Contest – RESULTS

Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s was the top overall winner of today’s Sam Choy Keauhou Poke Contest. The owner of Umeke’s earned the most points with his professional entry in the Poke With Soy Sauce category.

Top Overall winner Nakoa Pabre of Umeke's with Sam Choy and local pageant queens.

Top Overall winner Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s with Sam Choy and local pageant queens. Photos by Fern Gavelek

A total of 29 professional, amateur and high school entrants “put their braggin’ in the bowl” to win cash and prizes at the second Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest today at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

The real winner at the event is the Equip the Kitchens campaign for the future Hawaii Community College-Palamanui campus. All public admission proceeds—$5,000—will be donated to the $1 million campaign.

In addition to the poke contest and tasting, fun included a celebrity cookoff, a poke-making demonstration by Sam Choy, entertainment, poi pounding and fish net making, and a Hawaii Island Marketplace. Each attendee received a reusable shopping bag.

Poke Sweet

Competition was in six categories: traditional, spicy, cooked, poke with soy sauce, non-seafood and sushi style. There were three divisions: professional, non-professional and high school. Student Cameron Linden of Konawaena High School took top place among the high school students, winning her school’s culinary department $300 donated by Sun Dried Specialties. Complete contest results are included below.

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is part of Keauhou Resort’s annual Kamehameha III celebration March 15-17 that commemorates the Keauhou-born king, Lani Kauikeaouli. The contest is sponsored by Kamehameha Investment Corporation, Kamehameha Schools Land Assets Division, the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Aloha Shoyu, Hawaiian Springs Water, Suisan Company, Ltd., BMW of Hawaii, Bacardi, Young’s Market, Roberts Hawaii, Sun Dried Specialties, Tanioka’s Seafood & Catering, Fresh Island Fish and KTA Superstores.

2013 Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest Results

Best Overall Poke

  • Nakoa Pabre-Umeke’s

Professional Division 

Poke Professional

Traditional

  • 1ST Henry Mateo/Elmer Tabudlo-Hawaii Calls restaurant
  • 2ND Tim Wong-Facebook
  • 3RD Ezekiel Duru-Facebook

Cooked

  • 1ST Viktor Schmidt-Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa
  • 2ND Henry Mateo/Elmer Tabudlo-Hawaii Calls restaurant
  • 3RD Ashley Danao-Rolls With It

Spicy

  • 1ST Henry Mateo/Elmer Tabudlo-Hawaii Calls restaurant
  • 2ND Pedro Almazan-The Fish Hopper

Soy Sauce

  • 1ST Nakoa Pabre-Umeke’s
  • 2ND Carlos Nava-Huggo’s restaurant
  • 3RD Robin Ganir-Broke Da Mouth Grindz & Catering

Non-Seafood

  • 1ST Troy Cataraha

Sushi Professional & Non-Professional

  • 1ST Nakoa Pabre-Umeke’s

Non-Professional Division 

Traditional

  • 1ST Garet Sekiya
  • 2ND Margie Hanselman

Cooked

  • 1ST Alexis Fujikawa
  • 2ND Gwen Edwards

Spicy

  • 1ST Christopher Todd
  • 2ND Keoki Rivera

Soy Sauce

  • 1ST Keoni Paoa
  • 2ND Sabine Andresen
  • 3RD Keoki Rivera

Non-Seafood

  • 1ST Ryan Koyanagi

High School Division 

  • 1ST Konawaena High School
  • 2ND Kealakehe High School
  • 3RD Konawaena High School

Celebrity Cookoff 

FIRST PLACE TIE: Tony Silva and Kumu Keala Ching

Facebook Chefs Vying at Keauhou Poke Contest

WHAT: Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest

WHERE: Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay

WHEN: Sunday, March 17, 2013

WHO:

  • Facebook Executive Chef Josef Desimone competes in the Celebrity Cookoff 11:30 a.m. on the Bay View Lawn
  • Facebook chefs Ezekiel Duru, Tim Wong and Maui native Wade Tamura vie in contest’s Professional Division. Poke contest judging starts 10 a.m. in the Ainakai Restaurant. Awards and tasting at 12:30 p.m.

Other activities: All-day Hawai‘i Island Marketplace; a demonstration on making tropical libations by mixologist Joey Gotteman of Young’s Market at 10:30 a.m. and a demo on “How to Make Poke by Sam Choy” at 1:30 p.m. Hawaiian music by Kapala of O’ahu.

Sam Choy Poke Contest 374

Public admission to all contest activities is $5 at the door (keiki 8-and-under are free) and benefits “The Heart of the Campus-Equip the Kitchens Campaign” for the future Hawaii Community College-Palamanui campus. A free trolley operates from Keauhou Shopping Center (pickup near Longs Drugs) from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is part of Keauhou Resort’s annual Kamehameha III celebration March 15-17 that commemorates the Keauhou-born king, Lani Kauikeaouli. The contest is sponsored by Kamehameha Investment Corporation, Kamehameha Schools Land Assets Division, the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Aloha Shoyu, Hawaiian Springs Water, Suisan Company, Ltd., BMW of Hawaii, Bacardi, Young’s Market, Roberts Hawaii, Sun Dried Specialties, Tanioka’s Seafood & Catering, Fresh Island Fish and KTA Superstores.

 

 

Deadline Nears to Enter Poke Contest – Contestants Get Seafood at Wholesale Price

Put your braggin’ in the bowl and enter you favorite poke recipe to win cash and prizes at the second Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest Sunday, March 17.

Poke Soy Sauce

Fun includes recipe judging, a celebrity cookoff, a poke-making demonstration by Sam Choy, entertainment, poi pounding and fishnet making, and plenty of delicious poke tasting.

Entry fee is $15 for amateurs and a reduced price of $30 for professionals—culinary students can enter for free. Suisan Company offers seafood to contestants at wholesale price. Entry deadline is March 8 and forms can be downloaded at www.SamChoysKeauhouPokeContest.org.

 

The Late Guy Toyama's winning Poke from the 2012  Sam Choy Poke Festival

The Late Guy Toyama’s winning Poke from the 2012 Sam Choy Poke Festival

Competition is in six categories: traditional, spicy, cooked, poke with soy sauce, non-seafood and sushi style.

Contest festivities are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. with most of the activities outside on the Bay View Lawn. The poke contest and judging will be inside the Sheraton’s Ainakai restaurant.

Public admission to all contest activities is $5 at the door (keiki 12-and-under are free) and benefits “The Heart of the Campus-Equip the Kitchens Campaign” for the future Hawaii Community College-Palamanui campus. A free trolley will operate from Keauhou Shopping Center (pickup near Longs Drugs) from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Sam Choy and the Contestants at the 2012 Contest

Sam Choy and the Contestants at the 2012 Contest

Poke critiquing begins 10 a.m. with awards and public tasting at 12:30 p.m. Also on tap is an all-day Hawai‘i Island Marketplace; a demonstration on making tropical libations by mixologist Joey Gotteman of Young’s Market at 10:30 a.m., a Celebrity Poke Cook-off at 11:30 p.m. and a demo on “How to Make Poke by Sam Choy” at 1:30 p.m. Enjoy traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music by Kapala of O’ahu.

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is part of Keauhou Resort’s annual Kamehameha III celebration March 15-17 that commemorates the Keauhou-born king, Lani Kauikeaouli. The contest is sponsored by Kamehameha Investment Corporation, Kamehameha Schools Land Assets Division, the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Aloha Shoyu, Hawaiian Springs Water, Suisan Company, Ltd., BMW of Hawaii, Bacardi, Young’s Market, Roberts Hawaii, Sun Dried Specialties, Tanioka’s Seafood & Catering, Fresh Island Fish and KTA Superstores.

Over $10,000 in Cash and Prizes at Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest

Hawai‘i’s favorite pupu gets its due at the first Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest Sunday, Mar. 18 at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa. The inaugural culinary competition offers over $10,000 in cash and prizes and is open to both amateur and professional chefs.Poke (po-KEH) is the Hawaiian word for “slice.” The local-style pupu (appetizer) consists of marinated, fresh local fish that’s raw, seared or cooked.

Spearheaded by celebrity chef Sam Choy, the contest celebrates locally sourced seafood with competition in four divisions. Culinary fun encourages the creative use of seaweed, seeds, herbs, spices, nuts, marinades, tofu, fruit, vegetables and seasoning.

Entry deadline is February 28 and contest details are conveniently posted online on Facebook at Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest.

Contest related activities start 10 a.m. and include a Hawai‘i Island Marketplace with fresh fish sales, guest cooking demo and a presentation on sustainable aquaculture by Guy Toyama of Friends of NELHA. Poke contest judging starts 10 a.m. with an awards ceremony and tasting open to the public at 11:30 a.m. Admission to all activities is $3 at the door (keiki 12-and-under are free) and proceeds benefit the future culinary instruction facilities at Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui.

A TV host, cookbook author and founder of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine, Choy put poke on the culinary map with his many tantalizing preparations. The award-winning restaurateur remembers the first poke contest in the early 1990s. “It was held under a tent up in Kamuela and there were only a handful of entrants,” he recalls. “Today there are two dozen contests across the country.”

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is part of Keauhou Resort’s annual Kamehameha III celebration March 16-18 that commemorates the Keauhou-born king, Lani Kauikeaouli.

Other weekend festivities include:

  • Free Daughters of Hawai‘i Tribute 10 a.m. March 16 at Keauhou Bay
  • Free Puana Ke Iki Lecture “1893 Executive Agreements & Impacts Today” by Dr. David Keanu Sai 5:30 p.m. March 16 at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa
  • Keauhou Canoe Club’s Ku’uipo Race HIPA Series Race March 17 at Keauhou Bay
  • Free 12th annual Kamehameha III “Lani Kauikeaouli”.Concert 5-10 p.m. March 17 on the lawn at Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa.

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is sponsored by the Keauhou Resort, Kamehameha Schools, the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort Spa, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai and Aloha Shoyu.

81 Chefs Enjoy Culinary Lessons at the Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range

On Friday I had the opportunity to attend the 16th Annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range held at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. I’ll be posting more about the actual Taste of the Range later but I wanted to give credit to the 81 culinary students from both East and West Hawaii Community Colleges that came to the Pork and Beef seminars that were held before the “Taste”.

Pork Class

Students learning about pork on the Big Island

The classes were geared for culinary students and food industry professionals.

Listening intently to pork talk

Pork producer Lloyd Case joined Tom Asano of Hilo’s Kulana Foods and Hilton Waikoloa Village Executive Chef Charles Charbonneau to discuss the traditional cultural protocol and growing commercial use of feral and domestic hog in the Hawai‘i food service industry.

Pork producer Lloyd Case joins Tom Asano of Hilo’s Kulana Foods and Hilton Waikoloa Village Executive Chef Charles Charbonneau

Tom Asano (left) of Hilo’s Kulana Foods joins Pork producer Lloyd Case (Center) and Hilton Waikoloa Village Executive Chef Charles Charbonneau (Right)

The second seminar that began at 3:00 was titled “How to cook Grass-Feed Beef 101” and the students moved over to the next ballroom to listen to the presentations there.

How to cook grass-fed beef 101

How to cook grass-fed beef 101

This year’s staged cooking demonstration headlined two presenters.

Cooking Demonstration

Cooking Demonstration

KTA’s Derek Kurisu of TV’s “Living in Paradise” and Chef Scott Hiraishi of Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai present tips for preparing and using forage-fed beef cuts.

KTA’s Derek Kurisu of TV’s “Living in Paradise” and Chef Scott Hiraishi of Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai

KTA’s Derek Kurisu (right) of TV’s “Living in Paradise” and Chef Scott Hiraishi (left) of Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai

Open to the public, ticketed attendees receive take-away recipes.

Cooking quiz contest winner

Cooking quiz contest winner

Derek, who founded KTA’s locally sourced Mountain Apple Brand, demontrated how to prepare Shortribs Delight and bone a chuckroll.

Got Beef

Got Beef?

Chef Hiraishi detailed how to deliciously use oxtail.

Oxtail specialty

Oxtail specialty

At the end of the presentations, the student cooks got to sample what was being prepared on stage.

Samples

Samples

Banjy’s Takes the Battle of the BBQ at the Royal Kona Resort

Well the Battle of the BBQ just ended at the Royal Kona Resort and Banjy’s Paradise Bar & Grill walked away with both the “Peoples Choice Award” and the “Judges Choice Award”.

The cooks and restaurant employees celebrate the moment of victory.

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy and rocker Mick Fleetwood were on hand to give them their “Tiki Trophies”.

Henry Kapono is now on stage

And there is also a pool party going on now.

The $10,000 Mai Tai Mix off is a about to begin and I will post results after the event.

I arrived as it was ending so I didn’t get to many pictures of the food unfortunately!