Archive for the ‘Learn to cook’ Category

Martin Yan drops into Jade Dynasty

August 23rd, 2011

Nadine Kam photos

Martin Yan shows a dish of garlic chicken he prepared for an audience of media, Yelpers and foodies earlier today, Aug. 22.

Martin Yan insists he’s not a workaholic, but on a two-day “vacation” in Hawaii, he dropped in on friends Alan Ho and Ave Kwok at Jade Dynasty restaurant at Ala Moana Center to present a Chinese cooking demonstration for an audience of media, vocal Yelpers and foodies.

“Everytime I come out to Hawaii, I get chefs together to have lunch and dinner to renew our friendship.”

Earlier, he said he had also caught up with chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong.

“People say I’m a workaholic, but I don’t consider this work. I consider this fun,” he said of his presentation, in which he showed how to debone a chicken in 18 seconds, and how to chop a bell pepper so there are enough pieces “to feed a village.”

The renowned television chef just opened a restaurant in Beijing, which offers Peking duck, Dungeness crab and focuses on hand-pulled noodles prepared before guests eyes.

“It’s affordable, so I can afford to eat in a restaurant,” he said.

Another restaurant, M.Y. China, is set to open in San Francisco during Chinese New Year 2012, and he’s encouraging local fans of Chinese fare to visit.

After the presentation, Jade Dynasty presented some of its newest dishes, which included delicious, chewy hand-pulled noodles, pan-fried corn and seafood patties, pan-seared seafood tofu, tea-smoked shrimp, and Dynasty No. 1 chicken with ginger sauce, Snow Mountain char siu buns and dessert of Spring Mountain coconut buns.

Yan with Jade Dynasty’s Alan and Sylvia Ho.

Yan greeted fans at every table, including Yorie Watanabe, left, and Shino Nakajima.

Tea-smoked shrimp were on the seven-course menu. These disappeared fast.

The post-lunch, pre-dinner meal stared with pan-seared seafood tofu.

Linda Low shows dessert of Spring Mountain coconut buns tinged with green tea.

Nine winners of a raffle received copies of Yan’s cookbook, which he signed, here for Yorie Watanabe.

Yan with fellow chef Titus Chan.

In the Kitchen: Johan Svensson

June 15th, 2011

Nadine Kam photos

Johan Svensson in the dining room of BLT Steak.

When photographer Rae Huo told me BLT Steak would be the subject of her next Pop Iroiro online magazine, I invited myself along to shoot some photos and video of the restaurant’s chef de cuisine Johan Svensson at work.

It was enlightening to hear him talk about his travels and see how his journeys from his childhood on the Swedish island of Tjörn, to London, New York, and finally, Hawaii, has shaped his cooking. Growing up in a small place gave him wanderlust, and being surrounded by water gave him a love of the ocean and its abundance of seafood.

He was thrilled to go fishing with his grandfather, and remembered crabbing excursions to the west coast of Sweden during which he would dangle mussels tied on strings to bait king crab. At times he caught so many fish that he sold them to local markets, and there were some small, sardine-like fish he didn’t like. “If the cat was in, I’d probably feed it to my cat,” he said.

He says he started cooking because his mom didn’t cook, and what went onto the plate usually came from the family garden.

“Looking back, I had a good youth,” he said, though at the time, he said he considered it boring. Lucky for us, he landed on our shores after having served as executive chef at Marcus Samuelsson’s Aquavit, and prior to that worked at Nobu of London and Riingo in New York’s Alex Hotel.

Our first trip to the restaurant to photograph was on April 24. Rather than cooking up something off the menu, Johan was free to play, cooking up dishes he would like to eat, including lobster and urchin with uni sauce, pastrami-spiced ono with mussels, and ribeye with chimichurri sauce.

Link for iPhone

I have a few photos here, but my mouth really started watering when I opened up Pop Iroiro and saw the photos by Rae and Zakkamono! Check it out and enter to win a $50 dining certificate to BLT.

Johan regularly offers cooking classes, each followed by a three-course lunch with wine pairings. Classes begin at noon and the lunch concludes about 2:30 p.m. Here are the dates, topics and cost for the next set of classes:

June 18: Summer desserts, including homemade ice cream ($65)
July 16: Grilling shellfish and shucking oysters; champagne and wine pairings ($95)
Aug. 20: How to make tartar: steak, tuna, salmon, yellowtail, tomato ($65)
Sept. 17: Quick lunches with island ingredients; the art of making popovers ($65)
Oct. 15: Cooking bone-in cuts of meat (cost TBA)

Seared scallop crudo with sea asparagus, topped with light, airy and crunchy ume plum meringues, an unusual and pleasant way of adding the usual touch of acidity to a seafood dish. I think a lot of people here would eat those meringues by the handful if they were made available in batches.

Pastrami-spiced ono with mussels and Kamuela tomatoes against a backdrop of BLT’s raw bar.

Lobster two ways with uni and grilled Tokyo negi.

Sauteed Makapu’u shrimp with fingerling potatoes and smoked paprika.