Archive for May, 2010

Big Island Fish Market

May 28th, 2010

Want to buy locally grown fish and seafood from the Kona coast? Look no further than the Big Island Fish Farmers’ Market at NELHA Gateway Center.

NELHA stands for the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority, which is home to several aquaculture farms as well as seawater drawn from the depths of the ocean. The market was first launched in March, and will take place today (Friday, May 28), from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Buy Keahole Lobster, Dungeness Crab, Big Island abalone, white shrimp, tilapia and catfish from the market this month.

Honey, Big Island produce, some ono plates will also be available, along with a cooking demonstration by Chef Olelo pa‘a Faith Ogawa.

There are 15 vendors total, selling everything from organic eggs to Hamakua mushrooms, local tomatoes, macadamia nuts, red veal and sausages.

Kona Cold Lobster's Joe Wilson

The idea of the market is to help local NELHA aquafarms sell direct to consumers, thanks to funds from the County of Hawaii’s Department of Research and Development.

The market will be held again on the last Friday of June, when Kona Kampachi and sturgeon will be available.

For information on the market, including booth rental, contact Guy Toyama, guy

For driving directions to NELHA, click here.

Photos courtesy NELHA.

Honolulu gets ZAP’ed with Zin

May 26th, 2010

Nadine Kam photos
Guests had a lot of bottles to choose from at 15 tables representing different wineries.

Almost any day of the week, you can find a wine-tasting going on somewhere on Oahu, but it’s rare to find an extensive showcase devoted to one particular grape, so it was great that the Zinfandel Advocates and producers (ZAP), a California-based non-profit organization dedicated to Zinfandel culture and history, was able to come to town for a couple of days to share their passion for Zin.

Whereas other significant wine varieties are rooted in European tradition, Zinfandel created its own tradition in California beginning in the 1840s, epitomizing New World style.

Public and industry events May 23 and 24 were promoted as a “Zinfandel Grand Tasting: A Toast to Our Troops,” hosted at Hale Koa Hotel. Admission of $59 to $69 entitled tasters to sample more than 60 wines, from round to zesty, from 15 wineries. On entering the scene, it was a little overwhelming to figure out just which table to head to first.

Hale Koa senior business manager Gregory Lau with a basket of baguettes at the entrance to the Zinfandel tasting.

At the entrance to the hotel’s open-air Luau Garden, Hale Koa senior business manager Gregory Lau was there to hand out wine glasses and mini baguettes for cleansing the palate between sips.

Throughout, it was obvious that the sound of “zin” and “sin” provided the inspiration for naming several wines, such as Alexander Valley Vineyards’ Redemption, Sin and Temptation, and Michael-David Winery’s “Lust” and “7 Deadly Zins.” Michael-David’s collector’s club is called Sinners & Saints.

Between tastings, guest could enjoy cheese; fruit; braised short ribs from Hale Koa Hotel executive chef Michael Kurch; lamb chops from Biba’s restaurant’s Jon Ng; Paniolo pot roast and ahi tartare  from Don Ho’s Island Grill executive chef Robert Denis; a trio of crab beignet, creamy ahi poke over sushi rice and seafood ceviche from Poke Stop’s Elmer Guzman; and a chocolate mocha Bavarian with caramel sauce from JJ Luanghkhot of JJ’s Bistro & French Pastry. Unfortunately, he ran out of dessert early.

Keep up with ZAP at The group hosts events nationwide and will mark its 20th anniversary next January in San Francisco. They’re also planning a North Europe cruise in August, and a “Masters of Zin” spring 2011 Mediterranean cruise aboard The Marina.

Michael-David Winery’s “Lust” fabric appliques were in demand, with attendees adding them to their shirts on the spot.

Michael-David Winery in Lodi. Melissa said her great-great-great grandparents put in the first grapes in the 1860s, selling them to area wineries. It wasn’t until 1984 that her father started the family winery, now also known for its Earthquake line of “ground-shaking reds.”

Kent Rosenblum of Rock Wall Wine Co. showcased three Zins, including Jesse’s Vineyard, made with grapes from 120-year-old vines lovingly tended by the 90+ farmer son of the original grower and namesake.

Of course food goes hand in hand with wine and Poke Stop’s Elmer Guzman was there with second-generation foodie Tatiana Guzman. Below, they served a seafood trio of, clockwise, crab beignet with Hawaiian chili pepper remoulade, seafood ceviche and creamy ahi poke over sushi rice.

Bibas chef Jon Ng’s baby lamb chop. I always thought you had to be in the military or know someone in the military to eat at Bibas, but now I’ll have to check that out.

Braised short ribs cooked up by Hale Koa Hotel executive chef Michael Kurch.

I ran into Lacy Matsumoto, who introduced me to two of our Take a Bite ZAP ticket winners, Rodney Um, left, and Chris Nakano.

Prudential’s Toan Doran and Reine Ah Moo. Toan was in the food business before becoming a Realtor, and continues to attend as many tastings as he can to keep up.

Guests could take a break with a bite to eat on the lawn.