Wong cheers top chefs
SIX MONTHS of hard work by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau
and its partners culminated in an exciting 75 minutes of television last week, as a select group of invited guests previewed the first of two "Top Chef" episodes filmed on the Big Island last year.
Chef Alan Wong hosted the screening Wednesday, just before the rest of the state was able to see it on cable. Part one of the season finale featured a competition that had Elia Aboumrad, Ilan Hall, Sam Talbot and Marcel Vigneron preparing dishes for a luau in honor of his birthday.
"I was really happy that I was chosen to do this," Wong said. "When you watch (these episodes), you'll see a very high level of creativity."
In fact, Wong was so impressed by Aboumrad's Mediterranean take on ahi poke that he modified it to his taste and served it that night at the Pineapple Room alongside a spread of traditional Hawaiian dishes.
"Basically, this is what we do; take something old, and make it new," he said. "I don't think we can forget that in this business, if there was no innovation we'd still be eating mahi mahi with macadamia nuts ... and something called 'Ham Steak Aloha.' "
Unfortunately, Aboumrad and Talbot were the two contestants dismissed at the end of last week's episode. Tune in to Bravo tomorrow night at 8 to see if Hall or Vigneron will win the $100,000 grand prize ...
TOMORROW IS the deadline for two local talent competitions.
The 808 Scene Zine's "Hawaii Hip-Hop Exchange" is looking for local demos or music videos to be part of a showcase March 3 at Lulu's. New York rap artist Creature will be in town to collaborate with the winner, who will also receive $500 in studio time from Exclusive Music Studios and a photo spread and feature article in the Zine.
Unity Crayons is also accepting submissions for its second annual short film festival. Entries must be 15 minutes or less and fall under one of eight categories: documentary, drama, comedy, action/adventure, reality, creative, music video or animation.
Mail submissions for either contest to 135 S. Kuakini St., Honolulu 96813. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org for complete rules ...
AND CONGRATS to Chris and Chip Jewitt, Jed Roa and the staff at Pipeline Cafe -- they'll celebrate their seventh birthday with Lalea, One Drop and Natural Vibrations at the club on Thursday ...