Archive for May, 2011

Sharing a glass with vintner John Kolasa

May 25th, 2011

Nadine Kam photos

Rani Shigemitsu welcomes John Kolasa with a pour of his Château Canon Clos Canon 2007. One glass was mine.

About 150 oenophiles were treated to a very special event hosted at Mariposa May 24. William Gladstone Imports and R. Field Wine Co., were co-presenters in a wine tasting featuring special guest John Kolasa, former managing director of Château Latour, and now gérant of the House of Chanel-owned Château Canon and president directeur general of Château Rauzan-Ségla.

Guests were treated to reception samplings of Segla 2002 and 2006, and Clos Canon 2007, followed by a first flight of recent vintage Château Rauzan-Ségla (France, Bordeaux, Médoc, Margaux) 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2003 and 1998, and second flight of older vintage Chåteau Rauzan-Ségla 2001, 2000, 1996, 1990 and 1983, and Chåteau Canon (France, Bordeaux, Libournais, St. Émilion Grand Cru) 2002, 2002 and 2000. Château Rauzan-Ségla only produces 10,000 cases a year, and Château Canon produces 4,000 cases.

The tasting was informal, with a buffet meal set up by chef Marc Anthony Freiburg and his staff in keeping with Kolasa’s mission of sharing the wine experience in a friendly, non-snobby way. While the community of wine lovers can appear to revel in exclusivity, Kolasa said, “People think the chateau and vineyards are a snobby, closed place, but anyone can come up with a rucksack on their back. If you knock on the door, we will share our wine with you.”

Who’re the richest chefs of all?

May 19th, 2011

Nadine Kam photo
Nobu Matsuhisa, pictured at a recent Japan fundraiser at Halekulani Hotel, has a lot to smile about, at No. 6 on a list of the nation’s Top 25 Earning Chefs.

Moms once advised their daughters to marry doctors or lawyers if they wanted to bask in creature comforts. These days, you could add chefs to the list (if you don’t mind being on your own at night).

Although the average executive chef earns $71,063, according to, the food website compiled a list of the nation’s Top 25 Earning Chefs.

The five with the highest gross income are:

1. Wolfgang Puck: Whose name is synonymous with “California Cuisine” and whose $400 million empire includes Wolfgang’s Express in Waikiki.
2. Jamie Oliver: The Brit who rose to fame as “The Naked Chef” and has since focused on curbing America’s child obesity rates through his televised “Food Revolution.”
3. Alain Ducasse: The Frenchman who operates about 30 restaurants and three hotels around the globe.
4. Joel Robuchon: Dubbed the “Chef of the 20th Century” by the Gault/Millau guide, with more Michelin stars (26) than any other chef.
5. Paula Deen: The queen of fried foods and Southern cooking.

Although Hawaii chefs didn’t make the list, three others associated with restaurants here are up there. Nobu Matsuhisa comes in at No. 6, with Masuharu Morimoto at No. 15, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, associated with Kauai Grill at the St. Regis on Kauai.

Restaurants are just one ingredient for their success, as other income comes from cookbooks, TV shows, plugging kitchenware, packaging processed food, consulting, etc., etc.

Even for those who never attain those levels, it pays to be associated with them. The website reports that a waiter for Todd English (No. 9), for example, earned $91,000 in a year.

You can check out the full list at, but unfortunately, you’ll have to endure a slow-moving slide show.