Puck hawks Hawaii

Chef and restaurateur Wolfgang Puck will be spreading the news about Hawaii's fruits and fish during the holidays on Food Network.

Two of Puck's many restaurants are in Hawaii, the casual "Wolfgang Puck Express Cafe" across from Ward Centre, and the fine-dining "Spago" concept at the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea.

His incorporation of Hawaii ingredients into his recipes has led him to tape segments for the "Wolfgang Puck" show at local farms and other locations featuring those ingredients.

Shows which have already aired highlighted Hawaii-grown hearts of palm, taro, macadamia nuts and Hawaii-made honey.

His next Hawaii-themed shows will feature local fruit and fishing and will air initially on Dec. 12 and Dec. 26 with replays thereafter.

Meanwhile, Food Network plans to launch three new shows next year; Date Plate, Food Fight and a second season of Cooking School Stories.

Food Fight features a face-off between two unrelated teams who have two hours to shop for and prepare a regional dish. None of this season's scheduled casting calls or tapings include Hawaii but the schedule is "subject to change," according to Carrie Welch, Food Network public relations coordinator.

TV news news

The third employment case lawsuit filed against KHON and its former executives in recent years is a step closer to trial, although on a reduced basis.

In a Thursday hearing on motions for summary judgment, U.S. District Judge David Ezra dismissed five of seven claims in a lawsuit by KITV-TV reporter Mary Zanakis against KHON, where she worked for more than 18 years.

She had sued the station, former General Manager Kent Baker and former News Director Jim McCoy alleging that her 1999 termination violated the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

Ezra left intact the first claim, which alleges violation of the act, said Zanakis' attorney, Tom Pico. Also remaining in the suit is a provision that will allow damages to be doubled, should the ruling at trial go in her favor.

KHON attorney Bruce Voss declined comment, but confirmed that a pre-trial settlement conference is set for Nov. 13 and that if no resolution is reached, trial will begin Jan. 14.

Suits filed by Barbara Marshall and Bob Hogue were previously settled out of court.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, 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

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