The making of
a celebrity chef
When to catch your favoriteBetty Shimabukuro
chef Recipes of the stars
GREATNESS in the kitchen is only the half of it. You have to know your stuff and be able to pass it on to audiences in a manner that is personable, likeable, telegenic, charismatic. You have to ooze appeal. Then you can be a superstar TV chef.
Ask Rich Gore about this. He is president of Chef Events, a subsidiary of the Food Network, which means he produces food festivals all over creation showcasing the star power of the network's chefs.
One of those events takes place Sunday, featuring TV celebs Ming Tsai, David Rosengarten, Bill Boggs, Curtis Aikens, Sissy Biggers and Michael Green. Local chefs include Sam Choy and George Mavrothalassitis (Chef Mavro's).
Gore promises up-close encounters with the stars. "This isn't rock 'n' roll. The appeal of the chefs is they're accessible. They're real people."
Cooking Across America, the Hawaii Food Festival: Runs noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Hawaii Convention Center. Tickets are $20, available at Foodland stores ($3 discount with Maika'i Card) and through (800) 949-CHEF.
Flavors of the Islands: This fund-raiser for Kapiolani Community College's Culinary Institute of the Pacific takes place at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Tapa Ballroom. It features dinner prepared by student and faculty chefs and appearances by Food Network celebs Rosengarten and Boggs. Entertainment highlight is the Palaka Challenge, which will pit two teams of local chefs against each other to create the best five-course meal with moi as the main ingredient. Tickets are $125; call 734-9570.
As a warm-up to Sunday's really big show, here are some of Gore's views on culinary starpower:
Curtis Aikens: He's excellent in live settings. "People really adore him ... his warmth is what drives his personality."
David Rosengarten: Has a loyal female base, is appealing for his knowledge and "journalistic approach" to food. "He's almost like a professor of food ... he breaks down the barriers of more pretentious food."
Local chefs who may have what it takes: Glen Chu, Indigo ("appealing, knowledgeable, with a sense of humor"); Alan Wong ("strikes me as shy but he's so talented); Sam Choy ("such a personality, larger than life"); Roy Yamaguchi ("he's a great-looking guy").
Ming Tsai: "I think his appeal lies in his being this hip guy who happens to be Asian. Hipness is a big part of it."
"Cooking Across America," the Hawaii edition, is six straight hours of cooking demonstrations and celebrity interaction.
Make a date
with a TV chef
The "Ready ... Set ... Cook" competition will pit chefs from one island against another, with a final cookoff between the two winners.
Another attraction: The Hawaii Convention Center, normally off-limits to us local folk, will be open for the day for this event.
Here's Sunday's lineup:
FOOD NETWORK CHEFSMing Tsai: 1:30, 3, 4:30 p.m.
Curtis Aikens: 1, 2:30, 4 p.m.
David Rosengarten: 1, 2:30, 4 p.m.
Michael Green: Noon, 2:45 p.m.
HAWAII CHEFSGeorge Mavrothalassitis (Chef Mavro): 1:45, 3:15, 4:45 p.m.
Sam Choy: 1:45, 3:15, 4:45 p.m.
Gordon Hopkins (Roy's Restaurant): 12:45, 2:15 p.m.
Wayne Hirabayashi (Kahala Mandarin Oriental): 1:30. 3:30 p.m.
READY... SET... COOK!Maui vs. Big Island: Paul Heerlein, Molokai Ranch Lodge, and Megan Barnes, Four Seasons Hualalai, 2 p.m.
Oahu vs. Kauai: Wayne Hirabayashi, and David Bouchet, Hyatt Regency Kauai, 3:30 p.m.
Final Cook-off: Winners of the first two events, 5 p.m.
PORK CHOPS WITH
WATERCRESS SALAD2 rib pork chops, 3/4-inch thick, butterfliedPlace chops between sheets of wax paper and pound until each is 1/4 inch thick.
1/4 cup rice-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon each shoyu and sugar
A few drops sesame oil
1 quart peanut or vegetable oil
Flour for dredging
1 jumbo egg, beaten
2 cups panko
2 cups watercress leaves, loosely packed
1/2 cup minced tomato
1 tablespoon minced scallion
1/4 cup bean sprouts
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
A few drops sesame oil
Coarse salt to taste
Mix vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Pour over pork chops and refrigerate, turning occasionally, 2 hours.
Heat oil to 365 degrees. Shake marinade off of chops and dredge in flour. Dip in egg, letting excess drip off, then dip in panko. Fry in oil until golden, 3-4 minutes. Remove and drain.
To make salad: Toss ingredients together. Serve over pork chops. Serves 2.
Nutritional information unavailable.
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