Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Saturday, April 26, 1997

Alan Wong, Andre Soltner

Alan Wong’s draws
200 for anniversary

GEORGE GRADOW said that before he put last week's Wood Craft on the bottom of the parrot's cage to let the bird have its way with it, he read in the column that Alan Wong was celebrating the second anniversary of his restaurant last Sunday. That's why he and wife, Barbi Benton, hustled on down to Wong's along with about 200 other food lovers. Some 25 years ago, Barbi was Playboy founder Hugh Hefner's lady and I recall interviewing Hefner and meeting Barbi at the Kahala Hilton, now the Kahala Mandarin. She still looks good enough to hold her own with today's Playmates ... Honored guest at the Wong party was Chef Andre Soltner, for whom Wong worked a dozen years ago at Lutece in New York. Soltner, in praising Wong, said he was a shy young man in New York and added, "Don't we look alike? I consider myself one of the family" ... Besides Wong's food at grazing stations, other tasty treats were the music of the Mahiehie group and dancers from Na Hula O Kaleiokapualani ...

JANE STUBENBERG and Willette Ho were among those at the Wong party and Jane was looking forward to attending the Keauhou Beach Hotel wedding of Cathy Ayau and David Rohrbacher today. Jane purchased a rare visit to the Francis Ii Brown Estate at Keawaiki on the Kona Coast at a charity auction and will make the visit with pals while on the Big Isle ...

SOLTNER GAVE a cooking demonstration before dinner at the Hawaii Prince Waikiki Tuesday. Soltner used a food processor and said he was the first to bring them into the United States. He also delighted the crowd with his humor. After the demonstration, architect Don Fowler's mouth watered as he described dining at Lutece, while standing in line to buy Soltner's book, the "Lutece Cookbook" ...

The guv gets his prize

"THIS is nice," said Gov. Ben Cayetano as his Farrington classmate Alice Tkachenko Clay gave him a green and white quilt-covered pillow for tying Don Ho for first in the April 12 Brita Wood Memorial Golf Tournament at the Links at Kuilima. "This fits the green sofa (in the office) perfectly." The guv could not stay for the awards party so tourney golfer-scorer Clay, a former FHS song leader and homecoming queen, selected his prize and arranged for the Tuesday presentation at his office. The prize was donated by Miki Beamer, wife of Sonny Beamer. The awards party was held at their Kawela home. "I could have done a little bit better but I went in the water twice," said Cayetano, who attributes his win to good putting ...

PIANIST Kit Samson swings back into action with a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday gig at the Ala Moana Hotel, 7 to 11 p.m., starting Monday ...The restored Hawaii Theatre will offer hour-long public tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., starting May 5 and continuing on the first Monday of every month. Tickets are $5. Linda Letta and Marian Benham chair the docent program ... Three big bands will share the Royal Hawaiian Monarch Room's stage tomorrow when Willie Barton's Orchestra is joined by the Farrington and Mililani High School bands, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., for Let's Dance. Jan Brenner and George Chun will sing. Rene Mansho hosts ...

A symphonic cheer for Bally

THE Waikiki Bally store marks its first anniversary Sunday, May 4, and will donate 10 percent of the entire day's sales to the Honolulu Symphony. Entertainment by Symphony musicians and a fashion show will be offered between 4 and 6 p.m. ... The Symphony's Pops Series winds up Friday and next Saturday with the Manhattan Rhythm Kings at the Blaisdell Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m. Matt Catingub conducts an ensemble from the original Broadway cast of "Crazy for You" in this one ... Cheers to Hokulea sailor Kii Hugho, who marked his 47th birthday yesterday ...

Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin in the streets
of downtown Honolulu during World War II, writes of people,
places and things every Saturday.

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