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Wednesday, August 16, 2000

After, drying, the fresh vanilla beans, right, become the
brown pods at left. Seeds in the pod impart
the flavor and aroma.

Food TV chef
hosts an evening of
pure vanilla

Food Network chef David Rosengarten hosts a "Hawaiian Vanilla" dinner at Chef Mavro Aug. 25 to benefit the Honolulu Symphony.

The four-course meal by Chef George Mavrothalassitis, with wine pairings, will feature vanilla in each dish. The vanilla will come from the new Hawaiian Vanilla Co., and the event is designed as the official launch of the vanilla industry in the islands.

On the menu: scallops with saffron-vanilla sauce, lobster with coconut-vanilla sauce, duck breast with vanilla-flavored Molokai sweet potatoes and vanilla cheesecake.

Also to be served is Meadow Gold's new World's Finest Hawaiian Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, in a pre-dessert crafted by pastry chef Jeff Walters.

Wines have been donated by Southern Wines and Spirits and American Wines and Spirits.

Cocktails will begin at 6:30 p.m., with dinner being served at 7. Cost is $150, with attire in "shades of vanilla" optional.

For more information or reservations, call 944-4714.

Hawaii's Kitchen

This week a rerun


This week's "Hawaii's Kitchen, which aired at 5:30 p.m. Sunday on KHON Fox 2, is a rebroadcast of an Aug. 29, 1999 episode featuring Chef Peter Merriman of Hula Grill in Kaanapali, Maui. The recipes were published in the Sept. 1, 1999 Star-Bulletin and may also be found online here.

Da Kine


Hawaii masters on video

Hawaii Craftsmen, along with the Folk Arts Program of the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, has begun to create a video archive of Hawaii's living masters of folk and traditional arts.

The project will document the techniques, works and community interactions of traditional master artists, as well as videotape oral histories of their experiences. Featured will be Big Island lauhala weaver Peter Park, 82; wood craftsman and boatmaker Wright Bowman Sr., 92; hula teacher, performer and storyteller Nona Beamer, 72; classical Okinawan music teacher and performer Harry Seisho Nakasone, 88; gagaku (Japanese court music) performer Masatoshi Shamoto, 64.

Transcriptions and copies of all videotapes or other materials will be archived at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa's Wong Audiovisual Center in Sinclair Library.

For more information, call project director, Dr. Michael Schuster at 586-0306.

Public TV goes digital

Pacific Islanders in Communications will host a one-day conference on the latest in digital television from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 26 at Hawaii Public Television, 2350 Dole St.

The "Digital Roadshow" will cover low-budget digital documentaries, DVD authoring for public television and digital resources for producers.

PIC supports the development of national public broadcast programming created by and based on Pacific Islanders.

Seating is limited and producers must pre-register.

For more information, call 372-7513 or check PIC's Web site at



Special dinners

Bullet Merlot showcase: The 1997 Windfall Vineyard Merlot, normally unavailable in Hawaii, will be featured at a dinner 6 p.m. Aug. 23 at Sam Choy's Diamond Head Restaurant. The merlot, from Flora Springs Winery, will be paired with Chef Elmer Guzman's roasted duck breast on a bed of duck confit bread pudding, with a port kumquat reduction. The five-course dinner will include a vertical tasting of the winery's 1995, '96 and '97 proprietary Trilogy, to be served with rack of lamb.

John Komes, chief of operations for the winery, will be master of ceremonies. Komes' parents, former Maui residents Jerry and Flora Komes, founded the winery.

Dinner is at 6 p.m. Cost is $50. Call 732-8645 for reservations.

Bullet Burgundy wine dinner: Prince Court in the Westin Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki will serve a six-course dinner Aug. 24, each dish paired with a wine from the Burgundy region of France. Chef Göran Streng's dishes include Garlic Roasted Weke and Kiawe Smoked Squab; wines include Marc Morey, Chassagna Montrachet "Chevenottes" 1998, and Domaine de la Romani-Conti, Echezeaux 1985.

Dinner is at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $120. Call 944-4494

Bullet "A Labor Day of Love": Queen Kapiolani Hotel presents a buffet dinner featuring poki, lomi salmon, island fish, barbecued chicken, sirloin beef and more, 5:30 p.m. Sept. 2. Paul Ogata and A Touch of Gold will entertain. $30 per person. Call 931-4451.

A fresh pineapple salsa goes well with the Chicken Patties.

From 'Electric Kitchen'

Episodes of "The Electric Kitchen" for the rest of August feature recipes and cooks from HECO's participatory cooking classes for the physically challenged.

The show airs 9:30 a.m. Sundays, 8:30 p.m. Mondays, 5 p.m. Tuesdays and 6 p.m. Thursdays on Oceanic Cable channel 16 through Aug. 16. It also airs on Maui at 8:30 p.m. Thursdays on Calabash Channel 44 (52 in Lahaina).

Here is one recipe from the show, from Harriet Uyeno, a regular participant in HECO's special classes. More recipes can be found at the Hawaiian Electric Co. Web site,


3 dried mushrooms, soaked
2 cups ground chicken
3 green onions, chopped
1 carrot, minced
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg
1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sherry or sake (rice wine)
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 small piece ginger root, grated
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed
1/2 cup nori (dried seaweed) strips
1 tablespoon salad oil for frying

Remove stems from mushrooms. Squeeze caps to remove excess moisture; mince caps.

Combine all ingredients except oil; form into patties. Heat oil in a skillet and cook patties on both sides until brown. Garnish with more sesame and nori. Serves 8.

Nutritional information unavailable.

Eating well, doing good

Bullet Communities in School Project Fund-raiser: The YMCA will be selling chicken 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Aug. 26 at the Honolulu Street Market on Pohukaina Street. Proceeds will benefit families in the Waipahu area. Call Faye Uyeda at 671-4900 for more information.

Bullet The best ribs: Professional and amateur chefs will compete in a Barbecue Rib Cook-Off to benefit United Cerebral Palsy Saturday at Windward City Shopping Center in Kaneohe.

The event begins at 11 a.m. with music, line-dancing and eating contests. Public tasting of the ribs begins at 11:30 a.m. Wear an Aloha Festivals ribbon for a free side dish.

Professional contestants include Brew Moon and Texas Rock 'n' Roll Sushi. They'll be competing for a $1,000 prize; top amateur prize is $500.

Bullet "Give Aloha": Foodland and Sack 'n Save will help raise funds through a "community matching gifts program," Sept. 1-30. Maika'i members are invited to make donations to participating nonprofit organizations at check-out and Foodland will match each donation. The amount donated and organization name will appear on your receipt for tax purposes.

Other news

Bullet New chef in the garden: Eric Leterc has been named executive sous chef at Neptune's Garden, flagship restaurant of the Pacific Beach Hotel. Leterc plans to revamp the menu with a cuisine he calls Euro-Pacific fusion, mixing classic French cuisine with the local products he has learned to work with in 10 years in Hawaii.

Leterc began his career in France, then worked in several resort hotels in Hawaii, serving most recently as chef de cuisine at Alan Wong's Hawaii Regional Cuisine Marketplace.

Bullet Conference incorporates cookbooks: The Maui Writers Conference, Sept. 1-4, will include a Food Writing Track for those interested in cookbook writing.

Panelists include authors Joe Ortiz ("The Village Baker"), Diana von Welanetz Wentworth ("Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook"), Ui Goldsberry (Sam Choy's cookbooks) and Barbara Santos ("The Maui Onion Cookbook"). Santos' book was first pitched at the Maui Writers Conference.

Chef panelists are Beverly Gannon, whose Haliimaile General Store cookbook is due in December, and Mark Ellman, who is writing a Maui Tacos cookbook.

Editor Veronica Randall of the cookbook publisher Celestial Arts will talk about trends in cookbooks and what an editor looks for in a manuscript. Many agents and publishers who specialize in cookbooks will also be in attendance.

The conference will be at the Grand Wailea resort. Call (808) 879-0061 or visit the Web site,

To Your Health


Better bladder control

Kailua gynecologist Cindy Mosbrucker, a specialist in menopausal medicine, urogynecology and pelvic reconstructive surgery, will discuss urinary incontinence in women at Castle Medical Center's monthly Windward Women's Wellness Forum Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Castle Auditorium.

In a talk titled "Ending the Silence about Urinary Continence," Mosbrucker will address causes, surgical and non-surgical treatment for incontinence, as well as behavioral and dietary modifications to improve bladder health.

The seminar is free. Make reservations by calling Castle Medical Center at 263-5400. Online registration is also available at

Implants cost-effective

A cost-benefit analysis of cochlear implants in deaf children indicates they are well worth the $40,000 expense.

The small, snail-shaped electrical devices are surgically implanted in the cochlea, the inner-ear organ that contains nerve endings needed for hearing. The implants bypass defective parts of the ear and send auditory signals to the brain.

About 14,000 such operations have been performed nationwide in the past decade, nearly half of them in people under 21, according to the Deafness Research Foundation.

Surgery accompanied by therapy to help patients learn to use the devices in conjunction with lip-reading costs about $40,000, but some insurance companies have been reluctant to pay because of a lack of data on the benefits.

The Johns Hopkins University researchers, led by Dr. Andre Cheng, estimated the benefits to society amount to a lifetime savings of $53,198 per child. The estimate is based on the costs of the procedure, with savings that included less special education for children with the implants.

The researchers also took into account parents' needing less time off work to take their children to special classes, and estimated children with implants would have better future earnings because they would be eligible for better jobs.

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