Kona Village’s cable close-up, and curry crossing the Koolaus
The Big Island's Kona Village
resort, just featured on "Dinner Impossible" on Food Network, will get another cable close-up on the Travel Channel.
The working title of the six-episode, hour-long eco-travel show is, "Welcome to the Jungle." It stars Jayms Ramirez as the host and will debut in July, with the Kona Village episode to air "as early as August," said Rodger MacDonald, resort director of sales and marketing. It could be rerun six to eight times.
Ramirez seemed genuinely interested in Kona Village's origin as a self-contained fishing village and "did a whole series of activities," MacDonald said.
Ramirez pounded poi, learned about petroglyphs from historian Lani Opunui and did some weed-pulling. Huh?
The resort has an eradication program for an invasive plant growing in its fish ponds, and Ramirez "literally got into the water with the staff," to help Ashlyn Uina with said eradication, MacDonald said.
The host interviewed Executive Chef Mark Tsuchiyama, who "spoke passionately about the way we interact with the local farmers and aquaculture programs here," MacDonald said. Ramirez also donned an apron to join Tsuchiyama in some prep work.
Dive Master Jim Kilbride led host and crew on a dive, "and they couldn't have timed it better," MacDonald said. "They got to see mantas, and turtles -- and the whales, almost as if on cue, came up ... and put on a little bit of a show."
We may see shots of the "turtle car-wash station," a shoreline spot where honu hang out while reef fish nibble algae from their shells. "The turtles just come in every morning ... and it's almost if there's a little horn that goes beep-beep," because when one turtle is pau, another one pulls up, "it's hilarious," said MacDonald.
You can almost taste the curry.
The Willows restaurant is now in charge of food and beverage services at Luana Hills Country Club. Luana Hills Golf Enterprises Inc. will continue to manage golf operations.
"This opens up the option to bring Chef Jay's food" to the Windward side," said Willows partner Kyle Nakayama, of Chef Jay Matsukawa's famed menu.
That means dishes from The Willows and Luana Hills will become available for on-premise banquets and off-site catering, to be booked by The Willows.
Nakayama grew up in Olomana and looks forward to serving Windward folks who want to stage weddings and other functions closer to home.
Luana Hills Executive Chef Dwayne Ancog and about 90 percent of the staff were retained, but the menu will be reworked "to bring the price points down."
"I know, we're bringing prices down, and it's 2008," Nakayama laughed.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, 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: email@example.com