Hawaii Today edited by Derek Paiva Page: 1 2 3 ... 5 Next>>

Flavors of Honolulu. I eat thru it. You can too.

how_to_continue_enjoying_Flavors_HonoluluI love to eat.

With that in mind I roused my appetite and strolled over to Flavors of Honolulu on Sunday. The three-day food festival—a fundraiser for non-profit Abilities Unlimited—took place near downtown Honolulu on the grounds of the Frank F. Fasi Civic Center. 

I had a lot of fun. An Earth Wind & Fire cover band was rocking the grounds. My dad walked the event contently with a plastic cup of merlot. Me? I sprawled out on the lawn, pleasantly full, after my round of voracity.

The 13 local restaurants with booths were solid—everything from Hawaiian fare to French crepes to pastele stew to shave ice. Established favorites (Bali by the Sea) and national chains (Senor Frog’s) were there. But what really grabbed my attention—and appetite—were the small local hole-in-the-wall places that I would never have heard of otherwise.

My favorites?

India Café’s chicken curry with jasmine rice and chickpeas. (The slow-cooked chicken just about fell off the bone. I loved the hint of cinnamon.)
• Kimo’s pastele stew with Sanoran spiced shrimp (top) from Mark’s Specialties. (I’ve never had the Puerto Rican delicacy pastele as a stew. The blend of spices popped in my mouth.)
• Garlic Ahi with sweet wasabi sauce from Koi Catering and Takeout. (Fresh fish, garlic-crusted on a bed of gourmet greens. Wasabi gave it some bite.)
• Romeo et Juliette crepe with fresh sliced strawberries, bananas and Nutella from Le Crepe Café. (Fresh fruit and chocolate-hazelnut Nutella … what’s not to love?)
• Bananas Foster Cheesecake from Planet Hollywood. (Yeah, I know … Planet Hollywood, not exactly a hole-in-the-wall. But I couldn’t resist.)

Flavors of Honolulu is over, alas. But my can’t-miss food picks are still obtainable if you’re up for some Honolulu exploration. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.


Tubing the ditch on Kauai

tubing_ditch_KauaiLots of HawaiiMagazine.com readers still click daily on our February post titled, “What happened to Flumin’ Da Ditch kayak tours?”

The answer remains: It’s closed due to damages caused by the November 2006 Big Island earthquake, under repair, and currently doesn’t have a re-opening date.

But that doesn’t mean there’s no ditch flumin’ going on in Hawaii. It’s just happening on another island.

In the July/August issue of HAWAII Magazine, writer Jan TenBruggencate spends an afternoon with Kauai Backcountry Adventures, tubing down that island’s old sugar plantation flumes.

That’s right, “tubing.”

Instead of paddling a kayak down the irrigation canals once used by sugar planters to bring cold highland water to the lowland fields of east Kauai, TenBruggencate plants himself in a large innertube and lets gravity take control. The two-mile run down the Hanamaulu Ditch floats riders along a fern- and fruit-tree lined tropical rainforest and through five manmade tunnels.

It’s a shorter journey than Flumin’ Da Ditch’s 16 miles of canals, but still seemed fun.

Guides give you the history of the ditch along the way. You get a headlight-equipped helmet, gloves and water-safe shoes for the trip.

Just be sure to show up sporting clothes you won’t mind getting wet.

tubing_ditch_KauaiClick here for more information on Kauai Backcountry Adventures, or call (808) 245-2506. Click here for a brief video of the tubing experience.

And be sure to read about Jan’s Kauai ditch-tubing adventure in the current issue of HAWAII Magazine—available now at bookstores and newsstands, by print subscription, and in a digital version you can download now.

And if you do tube the ditch on Kauai, please let us and other HawaiiMagazine.com readers know what you thought about it.

Photos courtesy of Kauai Backcountry Adventures

Eddie Aikau immortalized in children's book

Eddie_Aikau_childrens_bookEddie would go.

Perhaps you saw or heard the phrase somewhere here in Hawaii. On a t-shirt. On a bumpersticker. Maybe somebody even told you a story about the saying’s namesake, Eddie Aikau.

Aikau was a noted big wave surfer and lifeguard, part of the crew for the Hawaiian long-distance voyaging canoe Hokulea’s second voyage, bound for Tahiti. Six hours into the voyage, high winds and turbulent seas capsized the Hokulea between Oahu and Lanai. With no rescue in sight for the Hokulea’s crew, Aikau volunteered to paddle a surfboard to Lanai, about 10 miles away, for help.

The crew was rescued, but Aikau was never seen again after paddling off. The still-used phrase “Eddie would go”—enshrined in the title of a 1995 HONOLULU Magazine article about the incident, written by crewmate Marion Lyman-Mersereau—is a tribute to Aikau’s heroism.

Eddie_Aikau_childrens_bookSo is Lyman-Mersereau’s Eddie Wen' Go: The Story of the Upside-Down Canoe, a just-released children’s book that gives Aikau’s tale an inspired re-imagining. Hawaii ocean creatures—dolphins, humpback whales, sea turtles, frigate birds and a gabby shark—not humans, recount the legend of the “upside-down canoe” and the fearless Aikau.

It’s a great kids’ read—full of clever adventure, colorful characters and gorgeous watercolor artwork by Hawaii artist Melissa DeSica. Lyman-Mersereau, who helped build the Hokulea and was on the voyage with Aikau, wrings inspiration from the tragic day through her ocean characters and Aikau’s heroism.

A read-along CD brings the book’s sea characters and copious use of Hawaiian words, phrases and pidgin to vibrant life.

Lyman-Mersereau will be giving readings from Eddie Wen’ Go at Honolulu bookstores throughout the summer—here’s a schedule. The book is on sale now at bookstores, or click here to purchase.

Click the book cover above for book artwork and excerpts from the read-along CD.

Photo of Eddie Aikau on the job at Waimea Bay in 1971, courtesy Eddie Aikau Foundation

Starwood turns green at Maui's Kaanapali Resort

Starwood_green_Maui_Kaanapali_ResortBlue surf. White sand. Gold sunsets. And now, a green resort.

Kaanapali Resort’s north beach will be home to a 390-villa resort developed by Starwood Vacation Ownership that will also be Hawaii’s first LEED-certified resort.

What’s LEED?

It’s acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a environmentally-conscious rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

It’s not easy being green. LEED’s standards for environmentally-conscious construction are notoriously high. If Starwood gets LEED's certification for its new Maui resort, it would raise the bar for green tourism in the islands. 

Arup, a global design and engineering firm specializing in green design, is Starwood’s construction partner. Already proposed innovations for the new resort include desalination to produce water, heat-exchange systems for air conditioning, and a co-generation system for hot water and electricity.

Targeted for a fall 2011 opening, the beachfront resort will include one, two and three-bedroom accommodations with sweeping views of the ocean, Lanai and Molokai. The resort will be Starwood’s third vacation ownership property on Maui and its fourth overall in the state.

Click here for more information on Starwood Vacation Ownership's Hawaii properties, or call (800) 601-8699.

Hawaii's new baby sea lion

Hawaiis_new_baby_sea_lionOn June 9, Uilani, an 11-year-old sea lion, gave birth to a healthy baby girl at Oahu’s Sea Life Park. Yesterday was the pup’s first public appearance.

The baby sea lion, who doesn’t have a name yet, weighed approximately 17 pounds and measured 24 inches in length.

Isn’t she a cutie pie?

You can learn more about the sea lions in Hawaii by checking out Sea Life Park’s Sea Lion Discovery program, where you can swim and play with these mammals. If you wish, you can also pet, kiss and hug your new slippery friends.Hawaiis_new_baby_sea_lion

Sea Life Park also offers a similar educational program for dolphins (Royal Swim, Swim Adventure, Dolphin Encounter, and Dolphin Aloha Program) and stingrays.

Above: Hawaii's new sea lion pup. Right: Mom and her new baby. Photos courtesy of
Sea Life Park


Hawaii’s “warrior” signs are not for sale

Hawaiis_warrior_signs_are_not_for_saleYou ask. We answer.

HAWAII Magazine reader Michael Mattox e-mailed us:

Do you know where I can buy the red-and-gold alii signs they use to show points of interest in Hawaii?

According to a Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau representative, the “warrior” signs—which mark sites of historical, cultural or scenic interest—are not for sale.

A January 2005 Honolulu Star-Bulletin story explains that HVCB has trademarked the signs. The first warrior sign went up 76 years ago. Today, there are approximately 300 signs identifying points of interest across the Hawaiian Islands.

In the past, a few companies made replicas, but HVCB asked to stop the production.

Since the signs are HVCB’s trademark, you’ll have to settle for a picture of the warrior marker as your souvenir. 

Photo by Sherie Char

Matt Damon gains gut, films in Hawaii

Matt_Damon_gains_gut_films_HawaiiCan you believe these photos? Yes, it’s Matt Damon—shooting scenes for his next movie at Oahu’s Makaha Valley Country Club earlier this week.

The cheap aloha shirt, post disco-era ‘stache and serious paunch? All part of his character.

People’s current Sexiest Man Alive is playing real-life whistleblower Mark Whitacre in director Steven Soderbergh’s thriller The Informant.

Based on journalist Kurt Eichenwald's 2000 book, the film traces Whitacre’s journey from button-down Archer Daniels Midland executive to FBI informant intent on taking down the agribusiness giant. Supposedly, Whitacre had clandestine meetings with Archer Daniels Midland brass at the Makaha club in the ‘90s.

Matt_Damon_gains_gut_films_HawaiiPossibly shady, possibly downright delusional, Whitacre first confessed to the FBI in 1992 that the Fortune 500 company was conspiring with its competitors to fix the price of a potentially lucrative food additive.

The case for and against “anti-hero” Whitacre is still making headlines.

The Informant
is set for a March 2009 release. Damon’s workouts with his personal trainer will likely begin much sooner.
Photos: SplashNewsOnline

Hawi was great! What about Lanai?

Hawi_great_what_about_LanaiHawaiiMagazine.com reader Ashley Rath, halfway around the world in Hertfordshire, England, made my morning.

Ashley wrote:

Aloha Derek!

slideshow you posted this weekend of John Heckathorn’s and David Croxford’s visit to Hawi on Hawaii’s Big Island was, in a word, gorgeous.

It was just what I needed on yet another rainy Saturday afternoon in England. The photos were so grand and detailed, I felt as if I were right there with the boys.

I didn’t know Hawi existed the last time I visited the Big Island. Thanks to you, I won’t miss this lovely piece of “Hidden Hawaii” the next time I go.

One question though. Do you have any more photos to share of your trip to Lanai besides
the ones you posted in April? I loved your video of Polihua Beach—what I would give to sit there for an afternoon, as well. But I’d love to see a slideshow with more of your photos from Lanai—another “Hidden Hawaii” gem.

Mahalo for your comments, Ashley. I’m a fan of our Hawi slideshow, too. I was born and raised on the Big Island, but I’d never seen the Hawi that John and David captured. The view from the ridge of Pololu Valley was always worth a trip from Hilo. But the biggest business in Hawi and Kapaau the last time I visited a decade ago was a kimchee factory. (Good kimchee, but still …)

The photos John and David brought back impressed me so much, I made sure to revisit Hawi and Kapaau on a Big Island trip a couple of weeks ago. It really was as charming and bustling with activity as “the boys” said.

But you asked about my April visit to Lanai. I’m happy to report I do have more photos to share. And since you asked, here they are.

Click on the slideshow screen for larger photos.


You can read more about my driving tour of the beaches of Lanai in the July/August 2008 issue of HAWAII Magazine—available now at bookstores and newsstands, by print subscription, and in a digital version you can download now.

HAWAII Magazine’s Modern Luau Guide

HAWAII_Magazines_Modern_Luau_GuideHosting a party this summer? Why not throw your own luau?

For our July/August 2008 issue of HAWAII Magazine, we created a contemporary luau guide just for you. The Modern Luau: A Complete How-To Guide features recipes by noted Hawaiian chef Fred DeAngelo, and is filled with photos that’ll make your mouth water.

This is a guide to the kind of luau we’d want to attend—with a menu rooted in real Hawaiian tradition and reflective of the sophisticated cuisine now found in Hawaii.

We’ve got everything from appetizers to Island-inspired main-course dishes, to a delicious dessert made with Kona coffee. Because we wanted you to be able to re-create the recipes—no matter where you lived—there’s even a shopping list with everything you’ll need.

On the menu: Furikake Ahi Poke, Rib-Eye Steak Poke, Kalua Pig Nachos, Smoked Salmon Lomilomi Salad, Lollipop Shrimp Luau, Miso Butterfish, Aloha Pork Shank (pictured above) and for dessert, Kona Coffee Panna Cotta.

Also included: Our list of the six greatest Hawaiian luau albums of all time and downloadable menus and invitations.

You’ll find it all in our current issue—available at most national bookstores and newsstands, by print subscription and in a digital format you can download today.

The dish pictured below? DeAngelo’s Kona Coffee Panna Cotta. Here’s the recipe:

Kona Coffee Panna Cotta
What you’ll need:     

2 cups Whole milk
4 cups Heavy cream    
3 tbsp. Instant Kona Coffee
6 fl. oz. Granulated sugar
1.5 fl. oz. Unflavored powdered gelatin
6 Martini glasses
Dark chocolate for garnish


Heat milk in a heavy saucepan over low heat. Sprinkle gelatin over the milk and allow to bloom, about 3 minutes. Do not boil.

Once the gelatin is dissolved, increase to medium heat and add in the heavy cream, instant coffee and sugar, stir to dissolve. Do not boil.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool, about 3 minutes, ladle into martini glass and refrigerate until set, about 7 hours or overnight.

When ready to serve, use a vegetable peeler on a block or bar of dark chocolate to make shavings. Garnish with the chocolate.

Photos by Olivier Koning


Hawaii's Natasha Kai makes U.S. Olympic soccer team

Hawaii_soccer_Natasha_Kai_Olympic_teamThe United States Olympic Women’s Soccer Team will have a Hawaii player on the pitch when it defends its 2004 gold medal in Beijing in August.

Former University of Hawaii soccer star Natasha Kai today became the first-ever female player from Hawaii selected for a U.S. Olympic team in the sport. The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team forward was one of 18 players chosen for the Olympic squad by U.S. coach Pia Sundhage.

Kai, who was raised on Oahu, joins an Olympic team loaded with the championship-winning U.S. national team’s best-of-the-best. On Saturday, the national team won the 2008 Peace Queen Cup in Suwon, South Korea, with a 1-0 victory over Canada.

Sundage selected Kai for the Olympic team largely based on her performance in that match-up. Kai, with 11 goals, is second only to teammate Abby Wambach in scoring for the national team this year.

Hawaii_soccer_Natasha_Kai_Olympic_teamThe U.S. Olympic team will play the first women’s soccer match-up of the 2008 Beijing Olympics on Aug. 6 against Norway. Games with Japan and New Zealand follow on Aug. 9 and 12, respectively.

Kai—who lettered in five sports in addition to soccer while attending Oahu’s Kahuku High School—is still the all-time leading scorer in University of Hawaii and Western Athletic Conference women’s soccer history.

In 2006, she became the first-ever Hawaii player to make the Women’s National Soccer Team. Kai was also part of the national team that won the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the sport’s world championship.

We’ll definitely be watching the team in Beijing along with the rest of the world.

Congratulations, Natasha!
Photos courtesy of Axiom Sports & Entertainment (top), United States Soccer (bottom)
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