By Dave Donnelly

Thursday, August 16, 2001

Ex-Michel’s chef
wins ‘best food in
Bay Area’

WHEN Paul Grutter was the chef at Michel's in the Colony Surf, he was turning out the best cuisine in the state, hands down. When he left, he became chef at Sherman House in San Francisco, and put the kitchen of the expensive hostelry on a par with the rest of the deluxe amenities. He eventually departed that property as well -- chefs love to move on -- and opened his own French restaurant, Chef Paul's in Oakland. It recently was named "hands-down-winner for the best food in the Bay Area" by Checkbook Magazine, aimed at discriminating consumers. Former Advertiser columnist Tom Horton now owns and operates the Stinson Beach Grill, and it was with some ironic delight that he was able to serve Chef Paul when he chose Horton's restaurant to celebrate an anniversary. Horton reports, tongue undoubtedly firmly in cheek, that Grutter told him it reminded him a lot of Michel's ...

SPEAKING of columnists, the Star-Bulletin's own Charley Memminger has an article about his short-lived "Baywatch Hawaii" experience in the current issue of "Written By" magazine, published by the Writers Guild of America and on the "must read" list of various Hollywood writers, agents, producers and riff-raff. He pitched the article to the editor under the headline, "Baywatch Blues: How an Unknown Newspaper Columnist Won A Few Screenwriting Contests and Managed to Get Hired On the Most Popular Television Show of All Time and Yet Never Got to See a Girl in a Bikini." The show was canceled while he was trailer-bound, working on scripts. Ah, Stacy Kamano, what might have been ...

Letterman lineup

AFTER a week of reruns, David Letterman will be doing new shows on Sunday, and Will Ferrell (of "Saturday Night Live") and comic Tom Dreeson are slated to appear. But promoters of the "Yes! Encore Hawaii Show" at the Polynesian Palace say the Long twins from the show will also appear. That would be acrobats Long Jun & Long Bing, identical twins from China. The twins in 1998 were named best specialty act in Las Vegas ...

MORE kudos for filmmaker Edgy Lee. Her film, "Waikiki," was awarded the 2001 Gold Plaque for documentary adult film from the Chicago International Film Festival, a worldwide competition. The film next goes to Southern California and will premiere at the Santa Ana Center for Performing Arts next month, along with a concert by Keola Beamer ...

And so to sleep

IT was rare to see 90-year-old pianist Martin Denny without his wife, June. The last time I saw her was over a year ago when the two dined at Hoku's, and Denny wheeled her into the Veranda Lounge to hear the Betty Loo Taylor quartet with vocalist Loretta Ables. Denny was asked to play, and he used his cane to get to the piano where he showed his fingers were still supple on the keyboard. June sat in her wheelchair, breathing from an oxygen container, but admiring her famous husband. Ill health became more pronounced and she spent much time in the hospital. But she was home this week and in the middle of the night roused her husband, said, "I love you, Marty," and died ...

Dave Donnelly has been writing on happenings
in Hawaii for the Star-Bulletin since 1968.

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