Erika Engle

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Local automotive TV
show hits the road

Ohana Road Executive Producer Bill Maloney has scored a coup with the U.S. military that will give service members "oohs" and "aahs" to add to their dreams of coming home.

A version of the locally produced TV show to be taped at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show will air on the Armed Forces Network Jan. 10 in 188 countries and 250 ships at sea. Maloney, who spent 14 months on a destroyer during World War II, has long planned to have the show air on the military network.

Attending the auto show's preview night Dec. 30 costs a minimum of $100; $200 if the ticket buyer wants admittance to the VIP area.

The Ohana Road crew will be among 200 automotive journalists who get a gander at the world unveiling of concept cars, including the Acura concept and the Hummer H3T, and the North American unveiling of other models. Many concept cars never make it into production.

New models on or heading for the assembly lines will also debut at the show, including the insect-like 2005 Lotus Elise, the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt and the 2004 Cayenne -- a V-6 SUV a la Porsche.

Photos of some of the cars are there for the drooling at, but Maloney, Ohana Road co-host Jenn Boneza and the crew will be close enough to get smudgy fingerprints on the high-gloss paint jobs.

"This came about when Chief Tim Mattox of AFRTS (the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service) at March AFB, Riverside, Calif., suggested that as Ohana Road is going to be carried on AFRTS we should consider kicking it off with something special. I suggested the auto show," said Maloney.

Mattox agreed and said he would send a couple of servicemen to help with the taping.

Maloney's pitch to title sponsor Cutter Motor Cars Inc. fell on the enthusiastic ears of President Nick Cutter and Jon Rasmussen, creative director and manager of Octane Advertising, Cutter's in-house ad agency.

Despite the inability to air its commercials, the exposure on AFRTS made underwriting the trip to LA almost a no-brainer.

"We were looking at (sending the crew to LA) as a regular show, as part of the regular run and we were kind of debating how valuable it would be to send Bill and a crew over to do this just for the Hawaii show, but then when Bill made the contact with Armed Forces Television things fell together ... that tipped the scales over to 'yeah, let's make that part of the show,'" Rasmussen said.

Ohana Road is key to Cutter's effort to energize interest in automobiles. "That's the driving force. Pardon the pun. It's impossible to talk about the show without using cliches," Rasmussen said.

"But that's why we started Ohana Road and this is just a natural extension."

The LA Auto Show segment will air in the Hawaii version of Ohana Road at 6 p.m. Jan. 17 on KITV.

Local chef written up

Brooke Tadena, executive sous chef at the Sheraton Waikiki's Hanohano Room got some national exposure yesterday, the day after the restaurant reopened following renovation.

The restaurant's four-course, champagne-included, $185 New Year's Eve dinner was included in a feature story in Nation's Restaurant News, a restaurant industry trade publication.

"We do in fact have a lot of local chefs and when they get national exposure as well as local, we're really delighted," said B.J. Whitman, Sheraton director of public relations.

The NRN story mentioned crispy shrimp, burgundy-braised beef, butter-poached Kona cold lobster, a fricassee of Miyagi oysters and a host of other sides.

Steak was noticeably absent from the NRN item, even though hotel officials in October said the restaurant would reopen primarily as a steakhouse following remodeling. Steak will be on the also-renovated menu, Whitman said, as will some of the more popular items from the restaurant's past.

The November closure for reconfiguration sent KSSK-AM 590/FM 92.3 hunting for a new venue for its Saturday morning breakfast broadcast.

The show debuted Dec. 6 at John Dominis and Whitman was there. "I went down to see their first show," she said.

"The stage was over one of the water ponds, built specially for them. It looks like they have found a wonderful home and we're happy for them," she said.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at:


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