Dining around the islands

'Survivor' to show skills at Big Isle festival

A famous "survivor" will join the brightest young culinary stars at Hawaii's Big Island Festival, four days of food and wine events on the Kohala Coast, Nov. 5 to 9.

The second annual event takes as its theme "The Meeting of Agriculture and Culinary Art" and includes more than 80 events held on seven resort properties.

The event's chief celebrity is Keith Famie, the cooking tribesman who was one of the final three in "Survivor 2: The Australian Outback." Famie now hosts the Food Network's "Keith Famie's Adventures."

At the festival, he will lead "Keith Famie's Adventure Tasting," an "interactive" lunch in which teams will try to identify exotic and unknown foods put together by Famie and his team of chefs. The object will be to identify the ultimate "Tough Smell Taste" survivor.

Adventure Tasting will be held at 11 a.m. Nov. 9 at the CanoeHouse at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows. Cost is $75.

Before he became a chef of great adventures, Famie was a regular guy in chef's whites, with top credentials. Food & Wine magazine named him among its "Best New Chefs" in 1989.

Eight current members of that ensemble, the "Best New Chefs 2003," will appear at the festival, hosting various special events. To see all in action -- Stuart Brioza (Tapawingo, Ellsworth, Mich.), David Bull (Driskill Grill, Austin, Texas), Cornelius Gallagher (Oceana, New York), Gabriel Kreuther (Atelier, Ritz-Carlton, New York), Bryan Moscatello (Adega Restaurant & Wine Bar, Denver), David Myers (Sona, Los Angeles), Bruce Sherman (North Pond, Chicago) and Scott Tycer (Aries, Houston) -- visit the Festival Pavilion at the Mauna Lani Resort on Nov. 7, when they'll all be holding cooking demonstrations.

Other highlights:

>> Chef D.K. Kodama, of Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, and master sommelier Chuck Furuya host a sushi demonstration and wine pairing seminar, Nov. 7.

>> Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim conducts a seminar on exclusive cocktail creations.

>> George Mavrothalassitis, of Chef Mavro, will host two cooking demonstrations, Nov. 6 and 7.

>> Tour of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii's aquaculture enterprises will include a gourmet meal prepared from the energy lab's "catch of the day," Nov. 7.

>> Guest Chef & Winemaker dinners will be held at six resorts, concluding with "Under the Hula Moon at Mauna Lani Resort," an event featuring all the participating chefs, Nov. 8.

For a schedule of events, visit the Web site To request a brochure or register by phone, call 808-934-9044 or 866-424-FEST. Event tickets range from $55 to $125 for day packages (seminars, demonstrations and tours) and $65 to $105 for evening events. Admission to the Festival Pavilion Nov. 7 and 8 is free.

Food & Wine's "Best New Chefs 2003" participating in the Big Island festival are David Bull, left, Scott Tycer, Bruce Sherman, Cornelius Gallagher, David Myers, Gabriel Kreuther and Bryan Moscatello. Missing is Stuart Brioza.

Special Events

Tempura festival: The Plantation Cafe at the Ala Moana Hotel is hosting two tempura specialists from Japan, this Wednesday to Nov. 16. A menu of seafood and vegetable selections including scallops, cuttlefish, crab, fish and shrimp will be served at lunch and dinner on the Friday and Saturday dinner buffets, and at Sunday brunch. Lunch is $13.25 for a tempura meal, $11.25 for the lighter ten-don. Dinners are $14.25 and $12.25 for ten-don. The buffets and brunch are $25.50. Call 955-4811.

Wine dinner: Karen Magoon, of California's Guenoc Winery, will showcase Guenoc wines that have been awarded prizes in wine competitions and at county fairs, 6 p.m. tomorrow at Meritage. Chef Mariano Lalica's menu includes Baked French Brie with Escargot (with 2001 Langtry Meritage), Duck Confit Salad (2000 Genevieve Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay), Pan-Seared Ahi and Foie Gras (2000 Serpentine Meadow Reserve Petite Syrah), Braised Veal Shank Cassoulet (1999 Langry Red) and Fresh Berries in Season Pavlova (1999 Vintage Port). Cost is $65. Call 529-8686.

Mariposa dinner canceled: Tomorrow's dinner showcasing dishes from the new "Neiman Marcus Cookbook" has been canceled. Author Kevin Garvin, who was to have prepared the dinner, is unable to travel because of death in his family.

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