Star-Bulletin Features

Wednesday, May 1, 2002



Clara Confectioners shortbread cookies sell for $12.50 per box or $14.50 for the chocolate-dipped.

Artist amplifies cookies’ appeal

It's what's on the inside that counts -- true -- but pretty packaging doesn't hurt.

Clara Confectioners is a new line of made-in-Hawaii shortbread cookies that come chocolate-dipped or in flavors such as pineapple, mango and Kona coffee.

What truly sets them apart from all the other shortbreads out there is the packaging. Artist Michael Furuya's depictions of native Hawaiian birds are featured on each gift box. Furuya is perhaps best known as the illustrator for the children's books "How the B-52 Cockroach Learned to Fly" and "Wailana the Waterbug," but his bird paintings are a sophisticated departure.

Clara cookies -- the company's owned by Clara Char and her son Michael Ching -- are sold only at Neiman Marcus, which is showcasing both the cookies and the artist through the week.

Stop by the Epicure department on the third floor for a sample, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily through Sunday. Furuya will be available during the tastings Saturday and Sunday to sign his work. Unframed prints of his bird paintings will be sold, along with his greeting cards and children's books (or bring your own book from home).

During the same sessions, Neiman Marcus also is offering samples of estate-grown Kona coffees sold in Epicure -- Kona Joe, Pele Plantations, Langenstein's Farms, Ueshima Coffee Co. and Black Mountain.

And Diane Yamate of Yamate Chocolatier will offer samples from her sugar-free line of chocolates tomorrow through Saturday.

Call 951-8887.

All about aquaculture

Learn all about farming fishes, whether you're a potential aquaculturalist or just curious about where the industry is going.

The Hawaii Aquaculture Association's annual conference takes place 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. next Wednesday at Windward Community College.

It will include sessions on starting out in aquaculture, raising marine and freshwater ornamentals, food production and upcoming developments in the industry.

Among those sharing their experiences will be Bruce Smith of Kahuku Shrimp Farm, Jeff Koch of Mokuleia Aquafarm and officials of the Sea Grant Extension Service and the Oceanic Institute.

Cost is $50, which includes a bento lunch and the dinner reception, "A Taste of Hawaii Aquaculture," featuring local chefs preparing farm-raised local seafood.

Registration deadline is Friday. Call 587-0030.

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