[ TASTING ]
Ala Moana cafe hosts class on secrets of tea
Learn the ways of tea at a free Tea 101 Class, 10 a.m. Saturday at the Pacific Place Tea Garden Caf at Ala Moana Center.
Pacific Tea owner Lynette Jee will summarize the history of tea, how fine teas are made and how to serve them properly. She'll also offer a sampling of teas for Valentine's Day gift-giving, including Queen Emma's Rose Blend, Earl Grey with Maui Lavender, Green Sencha with Maui Lavender and Puerh Rose Tea Cappuccino.
[ BOOKSHELF ]
Guide offers local take on healthy tips and recipes
Chefs and nutritionists from Kapiolani Community College are offering a one-shot guide to battling hypertension through better nutrition -- local style.
"A DASH of Aloha: Healthy Hawai'i Cuisine & Lifestyle" builds on the national program called DASH -- Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension.
KCC's experts have tailored it to include not just health tips, but also a guide to the best island foods and 70 local-style recipes.
Book signings begin next week -- and they're not just autograph sessions, they include samples from the cookbook. The first is at 6 p.m. next Wednesday at Barnes & Noble Ala Moana.
A cooking demonstration follows at noon Feb. 16 at Macy's Ala Moana, fourth-floor kitchen. Co-author Sharon Kobayashi will prepare a low-sodium miso soup and Fish Tacos with Hearts of Palm Salsa.
More signings: 2 p.m. Feb. 17, Borders Windward Mall; noon Feb. 23, Borders Pearlridge; 2 p.m. Feb. 23, Barnes & Noble Kahala Mall; noon Feb. 24, Borders Waikele; and noon March 8, Borders Ward Centre.
[ MORSELS ]
Welcome rat with sake
It may have been champagne that helped you ring in the 2008, but for the Lunar New Year, try sake.
Kokusai Sake Kai celebrates the Year of the Rat with "Setsubun Shin-nen Kai," at 6 p.m. Saturday at Mid-Pacific Country Club.
More than 30 different sakes will be served, along with sake-friendly appetizers prepared by chef Norman Asao.
And here's a special note: "Plenty of beans will be on hand for demon-expelling to get the new year off to an auspicious start." (Setsubun is a Japanese ritual in which dried beans are cast outside the home to chase away demons, then tossed inside to draw good fortune.)
Cost is $65. Round-trip bus fare from Ala Moana to Mid-Pac is $15. Make reservations online through joyofsake.com/AfterTaste, call 739-1000 or e-mail email@example.com.
Culinary series debuts
Gourmet Cooking Hawaii launches a series of Thursday-night culinary parties on Valentine's Day next week.
Chef Elmer Guzman, owner of the Poke Stop in Waipahu, will host the evenings, on the second Thursday of each month at the Servco Home & Appliance Showroom in Mapunapuna.
For the first event, couples are invited to help create, then sample, the dishes by candlelight, with wine pairings. The menu: Red Thai Curry Chicken, Ti Leaf-Wrapped Steamed Uhu and Banana Lumpia with Caramel Sauce.
Cost is $125 per person, including commemorative menu, recipe sheets, a photo with Guzman, apron and a red rose for the ladies. Limited to 16. Call 735-7788.
Have fun learning healthy
Dietitian Jeff Novick brings laughs to the topic of "Health Food vs. Healthy Food," 7 p.m. Saturday at McCoy Pavilion at Ala Moana Park.
Novick, a nutrition educator in Florida, is known for his humorous workshops on the prevention and reversal of disease through lifestyle changes.
His free talk Saturday, at the monthly meeting of the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii, will focus on reading labels to distinguish foods that are truly healthful.
Call 944-8344 or e-mail info@VASH.org.
Macy's Ala Moana:
Chef Lance Kosaka of Alan Wong's Pineapple Room presents "Go Red," featuring heart-healthy dishes, noon to 1 p.m. Saturday. Kosaka will prepare Shrimp and Penne Pasta with Rice Cream Sauce; Pineapple Room wine director Mark Shishido will discuss the health benefits of wine. In the fourth-floor kitchen. Call 945-5894.
Cisco's Cantina: Owner JoAnna Hernandez teaches "Mexican Cooking Made Easy" during Kailua's Second Sunday Art Walk, 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday. She'll offer recipes and samplings of Fresh Fish Tacos, Easy Chicken Fajitas and Sweet & Spicy Fruit Salsa, at the restaurant, 131 Hekili St. Call 262-7337.
The Green House: Macrobiotic cook Kathy Maddox explains how to prepare sea vegetables, 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 16. Cost is $25. Call 524-8427.