Archive for August, 2010

Tasty memories

August 18th, 2010

The Smithsonian is on a mission to document the history of Chinese chop suey cuisine, and Hawaii was one of the stops on its itinerary about six weeks ago.

The local search included Kalihi’s Tasty Chop Suey, Waikiki’s Lau Yee Chai, and Chinatown’s Wo Fat.

Dennis Wong, son of Tasty Chop Suey’s original owner, would love to know if anyone has any old menus or mementos of the family restaurant, which changed ownership in 1985. He can be reached at

You can read more about Noriko Sanefuji’s fascinating search at the National Museum of American History blog.

Mango mania at Moana

August 9th, 2010

Nadine Kam photos

Mangoes at the Moana recipe contest emcee Wanda Adams with Breads winner Roxanne Yadao.

The second annual Mangoes at the Moana celebration of one of Hawaii’s favorite fruit took place Saturday at the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, with a day of culinary demonstrations, seminars and tastings, capped by a five-course mango dinner menu.

I was there early in the morning, serving as one of 12 judges in a mango recipe contest, with about 16 entries in four categories. So, that’s a lot of mango tasting.

Contest hopefuls came with breads, cakes, pies sauces and mango butters for a shot at Moana stays, dinners and massages at the hotel’s Moana Lani Spa.

Roxanne’s entry.

In the end, the top winners were Sharon Bryant in the “Cakes” category for a fluffy mango chiffon cake with sliced mangoes arranged on top to look like the whole fruit; Tom Sheeran in the “Pies” category for a mango-lilikoi tart with macadamia nuts; Roxanne Yadao in the “Breads” category for mango bread; and Kent Thompson was named winner in the “Mixed Plate” category, and “Overall” winner for his Mango Sticky Bamboo Rice Truffles with Mango-Curry Fusion Sauce.

As happens with many contests like this, there wasn’t a lot of variation from bread to bread or sauce to sauce, so presentation points definitely mattered. All of the entries looked as good as they tasted.

Thompson’s entry stood out most because of his creativity in creating his delicious rice “truffles” bound with coconut milk and flakes, with a touch of mint, accented with a mango-curry sauce.

It turned out he’s a former cook, now a stay-at-home dad, who devotes much of his time to devising recipes and entering contests. Check out the Star-Advertiser Food section Aug. 11 for his recipe.

Meanwhile, Bryant put her artistry to work in finishing her cake, and when I asked Sheeran if he spends as much time baking as his entry made it appear, he said no, but offered that he’s spent a lot of time perfecting one recipe. His tart was perfection worthy of a food magazine cover.

Kent Thompson was named Mixed Plate winner as well as the even’t Overall winner for his Mango-Sticky Bamboo Rice Truffles with Mango Sauce and Curry Fusion Sauce, below.

Tom Sheeran, below, was winner in the pie category for his mango-liliko-macadamia nut tart.

Sharon Bryant , below, arranged mango slices to mimic the whole fruit on top of her chiffon cake, winner in the Cake category.