Monday, March 18, 2013

Cupcake Wars and the Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival

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"Aloha Cupcakes"

While attending the 2012 Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival's
"Cuisines of the Stars:  A Magical Journey of Food and Culture"
I was surprised to find out, I'd be enjoying part of "Cupcake Wars"

Yes, that Cupcake Wars!

With my event ticket, I was ready to eat!

Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa
JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa at Ko Olina
served as venue hosts

See What Jay Eats...

As you enter the festival grounds,
(I mean, beach)
you can't miss the 
 Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival / Cupcake Wars
show piece

That and the camera crew too...

The festival was set-up on the beach
at the Aulani and Ihilani.

Lots of great chefs and incredible food!
So many chefs from Southern California 
participating at this event, I felt at home.

Now back to the cupcakes...

This is what a thousand cupcakes looks like...

Roasted Pork Cupcake

All of the flavors worked well

Funny how a camera crew can keep
people away from cupcakes...

But that didn't stop me!

Nice White Chocolate Oyster Shell

Nice variety of colors and decorations

Loved the Chocolate Cake
and the caramel topping

This was this my favorite!

I can see why she won Cupcake Wars!

With the Winner of Cupcake Wars
"Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival"

Erieka "Bubba" McGee
Owner of Bubba Sweets
in Huntington Beach, California

She did a nice job with the flavors
and the show piece was a show stopper.
As a marketer, you'd want a show piece
to stands out in a crowd.
Great tasting cupcakes didn't hurt either.
Her cupcakes fit right in with the food
prepared by the talented chefs participating at the event. 

Now that I'm sugared up,
time to get this food fest started...

Read my food post of the event here

It was a beautiful event with lots of food,
drinks, entertainment, meeting new people,
chefs, and seeing old friends too.

I wanted to get another cupcake...
But the production lights were turned off and the
camera crew packed up.

You wouldn't believe how fast those
cupcakes flew off the display...

I'm looking forward to the 2013
Hawai'i Food and Wine Festival
September 1 - 8, 2013

For more information


NOTE:  I was a guest of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau,
Oahu Visitors Bureau, and their partners.
I thank them for their invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide

Friday, March 15, 2013

My Top Chef "Star" Adventure

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In the Fall of 2011, I was on Maui for 3 days and went to Star Noodle 3 times.  BTW, I never go to the same place that many times, unless it's a client's restaurant and Star Noodle isn't a client.  Each time I went, the wait was longer than the time before, guess I'm not the only one who goes as much as I did.  I do have favorite restaurants on Maui, Star just happens to have one of the most imaginative menus in a casual atmosphere that I enjoy.    

 Not to mention a Star chef...

Photo by Bravo TV's Top Chef
Chef Sheldon Simeon
"Top Chef Seattle" Finalist
Fan Favorite

Star Noodle

Star Noodle is at the top of the hill in an industrial area in Lahaina.
 As you get to the top, look for all of the cars and
the crowd of people standing in the parking lot
AND you've found it!

Now that this season's "Top Chef Seattle" is over,
I'm sure the lines will be even longer...

The magic of this place is the friendly service, the good food,
special beverages (leaded and unleaded), 
all in a contemporary setting.
The reasons why I went 3 times in 3 days.

A few weeks ago, my dad's cousin asked,
"What's good at Star?"

Here's some of what "Jay Eats" at Star


Shiitake, Ogo, Takuan, Watercress, Kimchee

A nice starter...

Spicy Namasu, Star Kim Chee, Pohole Salad

Nothing like locally grown vegetables...

 Steamed Pork Buns

Pressed Pork, Hoisin, Shiitake, Cucumber


 Shrimp Tempura

The largest shrimp tempura I've seen...

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Farm Fresh and Local...

With Lemon Pressed Olive Oil and Micro Greens

Must have fresh fish when in Hawaii,
a real treat... 

With Aimee Paradise, we were able to get a tour of the kitchen 

On my Spring 2012 visit to Star Noodle,
Chef Sheldon created a special dish he
wanted us to try... 

At the time, he called it "Filipino Breakfast"

(L) Filipino "Bacon and Eggs" and (R) Look Moore Funn 

The Filipino "Bacon & Eggs" - Crispy Pork Belly, 62ยบ Egg, Tomato, and Onion.
(Now on the Menu)

Look More Funn - Chef Sheldon's take on chow fun noodles,
with Black Bean Sauce, Choi Sum, and Chili Oil

On "Top Chef", Sheldon shared Filipino dishes
with everyone,this dish was off the chart!
I told him it needs to be on the menu.

What would Star Noodle be without
noodle dishes?

 Garlic Noodles

Fresh and Fried Garlic, Garlic Oil, Dashi, Scallions

 Hapa Ramen

Pork Brooth, Roast Pork, Poached Egg, Bamboo Shoots, Kamaboko, Baby Bok Choy,
Mayu, and Spicy Aka Miso.

Singapore Noodles

Vermicelli, Chicken Shrimp, Vegetables

Now that dinner is pau, time for dessert!


Butterscotch Caramel Sauce, Peanuts, and Chocolate Sauce

My Favorite Local Dessert!

Fried Portuguese donuts

Ice Creams

A trio of Star made ice creams

Great local flavors too!

Now that the season has ended...
I need a new T-shirt to wear on Wednesdays!

It's been close to a year since my last trip to Maui,
I'm sure Chef Sheldon has created some new specials since Top Chef. 
I'll have to wait for my next Maui trip...

286 Kupuohi Street
Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761
(808) 667-5400

Open Daily
10:30 am - 10:00 pm


I know what you're thinking...
how did he eat all of this food?
Pictures are from 4 visits to Star Noodle
AND not all of the dishes ordered were shown.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Unless noted
Jay Eats