Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Celebrating Maui's Vibrant Culinary Scene - Los Angeles

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Hawai'i is not just pineapples, SPAM musubi, or plate lunch anymore. There's so much more to the cuisine served in Hawaii these days.  When you live on an island, you need to be able to survive on the local food supply.  After meeting with farmers and ranchers on Maui a few years ago, I'm impressed with what they're currently producing.  Add in the creativity of talented Maui chefs and you get a vibrant culinary scene.

invited me to a Maui chefs exchange luncheon
at Acabar in West Hollywood. 

See What Jay Eats...
 'Ahi Tartare Shiso, Ginger / Lime Vinaigrette, Soft Herbs
from Chef Mike Lofaro, Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, Grand Wailea.

What a great starter to kickoff today's menu!
Two of my favorites, I love good tuna
and a citrus vinaigrette.

Takoyaki Dumpling
from Chef Kyle Kawakami, Maui Fresh Streatery

A bit of octopus inside a traditional Japanese 
street food item, but contemporary 
and very delicious. 

 Surfing Goat Dairy Chèvre, Balsamic Caramel, Liliko'i
from Chef Riko Bartolome, Cane & Canoe, Montage Kapalua 

A tempura goat cheese ball with a sauce
that I could've licked the entire plate. 

(From the Left)  Chef Kyle Kawakami, Maui Fresh Streatery,
Chef Oscar Torres, Acabar LA (today's host),
Chef Mike Lofaro, Grand Wailea,
and Chef Riko Bartolome, Montage Kapalua

The Maui chefs were in town to share the vibrant 
Maui food scene with us.
Upcoming Maui event is the 2015 Maui Ag Fest.

For those who follow me, you may remember
my trip to the 2012 Maui Ag Fest.
Read my Maui Ag Fest HERE

Foie Gras Terrine Quince + Rhubarb Chutney, Quince Gelee,
Petite Mustard Frill, Chinese Long Pepper
from Chef Oscar Torres, Acabar LA

Since the ban on Foie Gras has been lifted in California
not too long ago, so far, this is the best foie dish I've had.
The terrine turned out great and loved the balance with
the other flavors, esp when spread on toast.

Vietnamese Seared Maui Cattle Beef Heart, Green Papaya,
and Hana Pohole Fern Pok Pok Salad with Sriracha Crisps
from Chef Kyle Kawakami, Maui Fresh Streatery

The beef hearts were a nice touch to the green papaya
salad, but the Sriracha crisps were a nice surprise to the dish.

Kona Kampachi Fragrant Rice Cakes, Anise, 
Tomato Coconut Emulsion, Hearts of Palm
from Chef Mike LofaroHumuhumunukunukuapua'a, Grand Wailea

This was my favorite dish, it was the tomato
coconut emulsion that did it for me.
The kampachi was cooked perfectly and
worked well with the fragrant rice cake.

Herbed Molokai Grass Fed Beef, Vaudouvan Kabocha Puree,
Eggplant Braise, Cauliflower Cous
from Chef Riko Bartolome, Cane & Canoe, Montage Kapalua 

The Molokai beef was so tender,
nuff said.

Pina Con Coco, Crispy Pineapple Meringue, Rum I.C., 
Coconut Curd, Roasted Pineapple Fool
from Chef Oscar Torres, Acabar LA

I love pineapple desserts and this one was
very good.  After a multi course lunch,
it was tough finishing this dessert.

Everything was so good!

Photo Courtesy of Charlene Kauhane
It's always nice to spread Aloha and good food with others.
With my LA foodie friends:  @KristieHang

Once lunch was over, the chefs headed over to 
The 10th Annual Los Angeles Travel & Adventure Show
Long Beach Convention Center
February 21 & 22, 2015 

 Cooking demos on stage 
for an expected 30,000 attendees.

Chef Riko Bartolome
preparing a squid chow fun over polenta.

It was great to see how squid "noodles" and
squid ink polenta worked together.

 Chef Kyle Kawakami
asking "who's been to Maui?"

Chef Mike Lofaro
prepares a snapper and created the sauce
from ingredients found at the Long Beach Farmers Market
that morning.

Chef Mike described what he found at the local
farmers market, he said we were lucky to have
such great citrus.  Sometimes it takes someone
from the outside to remind you that you're lucky
 to have such great product available to you.

Chef Riko's Squid Chow Fun over Squid Ink Polenta
with Chinese Sausage.

Chef Mike's completed red snapper dish.
With 22 components, including sunchokes, chrysanthemum 
leaves, yuzu, freshly picked pansy, and shaved black truffle. 

At the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau booth,
much Alohas and Mahalos before leaving...

It's been about 3 years since I've last been to Maui.
It seems that the cuisine has continued to reach new heights,
based on what I've seen over the last 3 days.
The Maui chefs/farmers/ranchers have continued to
create new dishes and produce better products.
I'm looking forward to my next trip to Maui!

If you're visiting Maui on April 4, 2015,
be sure to checkout the Maui County Agriculture Festival,
see more HERE

Read my 2012 Maui Ag Fest HERE

Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau
Riko Bartolome
Charlene Kauhane
Kyle Kawakami
Mike Lofaro

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

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Unless noted
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Year of the Sheep, Americana-style!

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Lunar New Year Celebration of
Year of the Sheep!

February 15, 2015

The Americana at Brand
in Glendale.

At precisely 2 pm, the gate opened to
the green in the center of the Americana.

My first stop was to pick up
the traditional red envelope.

Red envelopes are usually given by married to the 
unmarried, most are children.

Inside my red envelope,
I received a Complimentary Pizza at

Other gifts; complimentary crispy rice and spicy tuna
at Katsuya, $1 Bills, and more.

The Green at the Americana at Brand
was decorated beautifully.

Activities for the kids too.

A calligraphy artist shares his talents
and lucky attendees got to take
one of his works of art home with them.

Year of the Sheep

Food and activity booths in and around the Green.

What's a celebrations without food?
626 Night Market favorites
Mama Musubi, Swirls Potato and Lemonade,
and the Original Ramen Burger were in attendance
and were just as popular.

See What Jay Eats...

Mama Musubi's Truffle Tuna musubi

Ramen Burgers and red shirts at the festival

It was a warm day, time for a famous lemonade
and swirl potato from Swirls Potato.

Partying like it's 4712!

Entertainment too...

What's a Lunar New Year celebration
without a lion dance?

The Lion Dance is believed to bring good luck and fortune.

Happy Year of the Sheep!

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Inaugural LA Cookie Con

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The LA Cookie Con
January 25, 2015
Pasadena Convention Center

I Love Chocolate Chip Cookies
and was all in when I was invited to the LA Cookie Con & Sweets Show
in Pasadena.

Doesn't everyone like sweets?

I knew it was going to be crowded, so we got there early.
Yes, it took awhile for everyone to get into the building,
but I'm sure they'll work it out for the future.

 First Stop was for Cake Pop sample
from Albert's Petite Sweets.

He had some beautiful samples on display
at his booth.

 What's a sweets show without cupcakes?

 Yup, I agree!

See What Jay Eats...

So...the next stop was the Keurig booth,
the choice of coffee or tea,
AND hot or cold.  Too many decisions,
but thankfully some coffee.

Let's look at the baking contest entries
 Amazing cakes

and cookies...

 Hard to believe that these are cakes.

 Almost too good to eat.


The place is filling up, there were samples to try, goodies to
purchase, and activities for the kids.

 It wasn't all sweets, there were some tasty tamales
(which hit the spot).

And learned some new techniques.
 Greggy Soriano
(fan favorite of TLC's Cake Boss:  Next Great Baker)
shares some decorating secrets.

 A stop at Drive Me Cookie
for a delicious "breakfast"

Met Dara, the Bow Girl,
from Junior Masterchef.

 From Velvet Rope

 Special Guest Ron Ben-Israel,
Food Network's "Sweet Genius"
explains his process for making 
amazing cakes.

Lots of interested bakers and fans of sweets.

 One of my favorite samples of the day, a chocolate chip cookie 
dough truffle from Davidson's Safe Eggs (pasteurized eggs).

AND I got a coupon for a FREE dozen pasteurized eggs.

Last look at some amazing cookies.

Since this was the inaugural event, I'm sure they have rec'd comments 
on how to improve next year. I'm sure next year will be bigger and 
better than this year and look forward to 2016.

It was a good idea for an event, who doesn't like sweets, right?   

Thank You
LA Cookie Con
for the invitation and fun!

NOTE:  I was a guest of the LA Cookie Con
and thank them for their invitation and hospitality.
All comments and opinions are strictly my own.

Photos by Jay Terauchi
Jay Eats Worldwide
©Jay Terauchi