What the Heck?
$10,000 luau prize goes to Sam Choy
The Food Network filmed a luau challenge at the Sheraton Keauhou on Thursday. Facing off against Hawaii's Sam Choy and Bev Gannon were cowboy chef Tim Love from Texas and New York chef Bill Yosses. Love popped a whole goat into the imu; Yosses tried to imu a whole fish.
Gannon snagged second place. The winner was Sam Choy, who did traditional kalua pig -- and took home the $10,000 first prize.
Drumming Up Support: You may never have heard of Noel Okimoto, but you've heard him play drums -- on perhaps half the albums recorded here. Tonight, Okimoto headlines a jazz concert at Mamiya Theatre. Joining him will be Jake Shimabukuro (Okimoto played on his latest album), Gabe Baltazar (who gave Okimoto his first professional gig while Noel was still at McKinley), and more than a dozen top local and mainland jazz players.
It's all a tribute to Okimoto, who's kept making music despite going through dialysis. He gets a kidney transplant early next month.
All Clare: "After all these years, I'm being discovered," says David Eyre. Eyre, who edited Honolulu magazine from 1966-76, was also a close friend of Clare Booth Luce -- widow of Henry Luce, the founder of Time, Fortune, Sports Illustrated.
In her own right, Clare was a journalist, playwright, congresswoman, ambassador to Italy. For 14 years, she lived in Honolulu, becoming a great supporter of the Honolulu Academy of Arts.
Eyre wrote his book soon after her death in 1987. The manuscript languished until the academy's current director, Stephen Little, read a copy and pushed for its publication. Timed to coincide with an exhibit of art works Clare donated to the academy, the book will be released in August.
"It's none too soon," says Eyre. He's 94. When congratulated on his advanced age, he said, "I wouldn't recommend it to anyone."
No Joke: The inaugural Hawaii International Comedy Festival was originally scheduled for this weekend. It's now set for Oct. 1-7. Says its organizer, struggling comedian Ozell Daniel, "What I've been through to do this hasn't been funny."
The festival will include a Planet's Funniest People Contest. The winner will get an appearance on David Letterman.
Never Say Nevah: To the short list of island chefs who get national press, you can add Colin Nishida of Side Street Inn. This month, Saveur magazine published "Pork Chops in Paradise," a 10-page paean to Nishida's local cuisine, complete with recipes and pictures.
The Saveur writer notes that Nishida is a man of few words. When I asked Colin if he ever thought he'd be featured in a national food magazine, he said, "Nevah."
Congress By Night: U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie has set off a controversy in D.C. by insisting the House of Representative's gym stay open 24 hours. According to a Washington paper "The Hill," Abercrombie often works on Hawaii time and wants to bench press late at night.
He may not get his way. The gym used to be open all hours, but had to be shut early after a scandal in 1990. Late at night, House members were skinny-dipping in the pool and entertaining noncongressional visitors of both sexes in the "nap rooms."
Extracurricular Activities: Three years ago, River Kim, then a freshman in high school, told his father he didn't want any Christmas presents, to send a check to charity instead. His father Gregory suggested River could do even better than that.
River did. Each year for the last three, he's raised $25,000 for an island charity.
With classmate Tierney Morikawa and other friends, River spends an hour or two after school each day putting together a fundraiser called Malama Jam.
The third annual Malama Jam occurs today. It's a luncheon at Roy's, with concert and silent auction. Previous Malama Jams have benefited IHS and the Children's Alliance. This year's benefits HUGS.
The students have been remarkably successful getting sponsorship dollars, including a $5,000 donation from the Weinman Foundation. How did they do it? "We just sat down and wrote some letters," says River. "I think it helped that it was just kids doing this."
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