Wood Craft

By Ben Wood

Saturday, February 27, 1999

Duke’s pilot
defends butler

Mug shot BOB VOGTRITTER, who piloted Doris Duke's jet during her last five years, takes objection to the CBS film on her life portraying butler Bernard Lafferty as a sinister, conniving person trying to manipulate himself into her will. "I did not see that," Bob said. "Bernard was a simple, uneducated Irish immigrant. From what I saw he was totally dedicated to Doris Duke. He lived with her day and night. We heard he slept at the foot of her bed." He said he thought the rest of the film "was quite well done." Bob, a retired United Airlines captain, said Doris liked to travel to unusual places, with the exception of Paris, where she had once lived. "Vietnam was one of the last trips we took" ...

Najjar's hula 'recital'

BOB and his wife, Shirley, were guests at Bill Najjar's 76th birthday party at Oahu Country Club Sunday. Bill was treated to a hula "recital." Noenoe Zuttermeister started the dancing and was followed by two of her students, Bill's wife Mary Anne and Pat Couvillon. Alice Clay danced "Mi Nei" to finish up. Mihana Souza, Iwalani Kahalewai, and Van Horn Diamond provided the music. Other guests included Noenoe's granddaughter, Kahula Guinn, and Jeanne Potarf, Wade Couvillon, Richard and Grace Baker and Pat's husband, Ward, a cameraman for ESPN and NBC ... The Kaanapali Resort Association scored a coup by getting Chef Mavro owner George Mavrothalassitis to open for lunch Feb. 19 so the group could announce plans for the year ...

STYLISH girlfriends of Amanda Abe held a birthday luncheon for her Feb. 19 at Hoku's. Amanda is the wife of Japanese singer Sen Masao, popular in Japan. Amanda and Sen have homes in Japan and Kahala. Allison Aiassa flew in from California for the party of 14, organized by Uli Cutter and Jany Cataldo. Guests included Kimi Matar, Carole Brooks, Wanda Watumull and Kristin Zambucka ... Hoku's marks its third year March 10 with visiting chefs from L.A., San Francisco and even London joining Hoku's chef Markus Greiner. The anniversary dinners and lunches will be held through March 16. The Mandarin's Plumeria Cafe is offering a Bay area farmer's market Tuesday through Saturday ...

THE sellout "A Taste of Oregon" feast and auction at the Hawaii Prince Wednesday raised $18,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. It paired eight of Hawaii's big-time chefs -- Amy Ferguson-Ota, Jean-

Marie Josselin, Eberhard Kintscher, Mavrothalassitis, Philippe Padovani, Russell Siu, Alan Wong and Gordon Hopkins -- each preparing dishes, served with eight Oregon pinot noir wines. Sommeliers included Paul Ah Cook, Guy Azuma, Randal Caparosa, Randy Ching, Elise Faur, Roger Mina, David Nip, Jason Panui, Mark Shishido and Kevin Toyama. Chefs and sommeliers donated their time. Bravo! Prince food and beverage chief Benson Lau, Jill Becker of the M.S. Society and Alan Jahns of JMD Beverages organized the successful event. Lau and staff deserve praise for keeping the food and wines coming like clockwork for 310 guests. Emcees Gary Sprinkle and Pamela Young kept the crowd in good spirits. Music was by violinist Lisa Leung and pianist Pierre Grill ...

Wine-making waves

THE Oregon winemakers held a seminar at Roy's Tuesday, sponsored by JMD's John Doty. When Mark Vlossak of St. Innocent Winery & Panther Creek Cellars spoke, things got a bit raucous. His well-fueled pals, led by a blond would-be cheerleader, did the wave, which spread through the dining room with hoots and cheers ...

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.
His columns appear online every Monday.

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