Bittermelon takes position of honor at Okinawan fest
Bittermelon is not everyone's favorite veggie, but those who love it really love it. It may, in fact, inspire cooking creativity, which the Taste of Okinawa hopes to capitalize upon with a goya (bittermelon) cooking contest. Deadline to enter is May 26. For details call 392-8654 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The festival itself takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. June 1 at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, but it traditionally sells out quickly, so it's not too early to make a reservation. Organizers expect tickets to be gone in a week. Admission is $50, to benefit the Hawaii United Okinawa Association. Call 733-3347.
The event will showcase home-style Okinawan cooking, sprinkled with a healthy dose of awamori -- the region's booze of choice -- and the finals of the goya competition.
The festival will honor Jimmy Inamine, a restaurateur in Okinawa who has supported many charitable causes in Hawaii, including the building of the Hawaii Okinawa Center.