Hawaii Today edited by Derek Paiva Page: 1 2 3 Next>>
tropical_fresh_cocktails_recipe_Royal_Hawaiian_twoOur July/August tropical cocktail feature has gone multimedia.

Yep, we’re on TV!

Contemporary Tropicals: A Guide to the Best in Island Libations will be a featured segment on top-rated Honolulu morning show Sunrise On KGMB9, Wednesday, at 7:50 a.m.

Wake up and watch as HAWAII Magazine editor John Heckthorn, Royal Hawaiian Hotel master mixologist Joey Gottesman and KGMB reporter Ramsay Wharton mix up some cocktails at the Mai Tai Bar on Waikiki Beach. The segment was taped this morning under clear blue skies and warm sunlight, with the trio gamely imbibing Ramos Gin Fizzes and Beach House Coolers while talking fresh cocktails and HAWAII Magazine.

Hands down, Dr. Joey is our favorite Hawaii mixologist. Watch him in action, behind the bar with us, on Sunrise On KGMB9 on Wednesday.

We had a fun morning at the Royal. Hope it shows.

If you miss our Contemporary Tropicals segment on KGMB TV (or you live on the Mainland), we’ll be posting links to videos right here on HawaiiMagazine.com as soon as they become available.

We published eight of Joey’s tropical cocktail recipes—complete with colorful photos by staff photographer David Croxford—in the July/August issue of HAWAII Magazine, now available on newsstands nationwide. Another four recipes are being posted here, and only here on HawaiiMagazine.com. Here’s the second.

Hopefully, you’ve already mixed up Joey’s recipe for a Naturally Spiced Margarita. Now, enjoy this exclusive HawaiiMagazine.com recipe for a fresh strawberry-infused martini that’s just the right balance of sweet and tart.

The Shanghai Diva

Joey Gottesman crafted this drink to placate customers at Honolulu’s E&O Trading Co. who repeatedly asked for a strawberry martini. “Every recipe I’d seen was always artificially flavored,” says Gottesman. “Why would I want to do that? Why not just use fresh strawberry?” This Diva charms with an incredibly balanced taste—a bright, natural berry sweetness—that’s light on the palate. Sugar can be added or subtracted depending on the sweetness of the strawberry.

tropical_fresh_cocktails_recipe_Royal_Hawaiian_twoMuddle these ingredients in the mixing glass of a Boston shaker:

1 oz. strawberry vodka
1 whole fresh strawberry
1 oz. cranberry juice
1 level tsp. sugar (if fresh strawberry is tart, you may add more to taste)

Top mixing glass with ice and bruise in Boston shaker. Strain cocktail into a martini glass. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf.
Photos: The Shanghai Diva (top) by David Croxford; HAWAII Magazine's John Heckathorn, master mixologist Joey Gottesman and Sunrise on KGMB9's Ramsay Wharton enjoying Royal Mai Tais at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Waikiki (bottom) by Dawn Sakamoto
Waikiki_International_Market_Place_UpdateLast month, we reported that the original plans to renovate Waikiki’s International Market Place had been put on hold and the property would be staying the same, for now.

That was true as far as it went. However, we have since learned that the landowner, Queen Emma Land Co., has requested new proposals from developers—not just for the Market Place, but for a 6.48 acre parcel which also includes the Waikiki Town Center (the three stories of shops on the Kuhio Avenue end of the Market Place), plus Perry’s Smorgy and the Food Pantry on Kuhio.  

Developers can, at their option, also include the adjacent 352-room Miramar Hotel.

Five developers have submitted proposals for redeveloping this major property, located in the heart of Waikiki. None of them were required to preserve either the name or the current look of the International Market Place.

“We have a long way to go before we have a final plan,” says Les Goya, vice president of Queen Emma Land. "We're reviewing proposals now."

Goya notes that community feeling is divided.  “Some people think we shouldn’t change the Market Place at all, there isn't anything else like it.  Many other people think that it's about time we did something.” He takes the latter view.  “Those wood frame buildings have seen better days.”

Goya hopes to have a decision on a development plan by the end of this summer. After that, the necessary community meetings and permitting process may take a year or two.

Our previous post attracted 27 reader comments—almost all unanimously passionate about leaving the Market Place alone.

However, for those who commented on greedy developers, it’s worth noting that the landowner, Queen Emma Land Co., is a non-profit. Its mission is to take care of the land bequeathed to the Queen’s Health Systems by King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma. All income goes to providing health care, education and charitable services, principally at Queen’s Medical Center in downtown Honolulu. 


Discovering Hawaii Through Food: Where the locals eat

Hawaii_food_restaurants_locals_eatAs always, the July/August issue of HAWAII Magazine is all over the subject of Island food and cocktails.

In the feature Can’t You Just Taste Hawaii? award-winning chef and restaurateur Peter Merriman takes us on a road trip visiting the Maui farmers, ranchers and fishermen he buys from exclusively, proving that fresh, Island-raised ingredients always taste better. Tropical cocktails with a fresh, modern twist are the subject of Contemporary Tropicals: A Guide to the Best in Island Libations—Royal Hawaiian Hotel master mixologist Joey Gottesman shares eight of his best tropical cocktail recipes with HAWAII readers.

When did we actually eat anything?

When editor John Heckathorn compiled Discovering Hawaii Through Food—an island-hopping travelogue uncovering many of the small places and food sources that only Hawaii residents know about.

You’ll find the complete collection of these local favorites that John found on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii in our Taste of the Islands annual food and drink issue, on newsstands nationwide now. But in the sharing spirit of the feature, we thought we’d offer a favorite from each island here—you know, just to whet your appetite for more.

Dig in!


Diamond Head Market & Grill

Just outside Waikiki, you’ll find Oahu’s best plate lunches and other local delights, like teriyaki burgers, all at reasonable prices. Want something healthier? How about a grilled fish salad with fresh mesclun greens? Absolutely the best meal on Oahu you order at a window and eat at a table in nearby Kapiolani Park.
3158 Monsarrat Ave., (808) 732-0077


Kauai in just one day: 5 things to do, part two

five_things_Kauai_one_day_part_twoA couple of months ago, a friend who was spending a weekend on Kauai challenged me to come up with a quick list of the five things I would do on the island if I had only one day there.

That list focused on the east and north shores of the island. My friend had no complaints—and neither did any HawaiiMagazine.com readers. In fact, you asked for more Hawaii "five-things-to-do-in-a-day" features.

So here's a list for the south and west shores of Kauai.

Like last time … assuming I had an early flight in to Lihue Airport, a rental car and a late flight out, here’s what I’d do, in the order I’d do them:

1.    Koloa Town for breakfast and exploring
Head south out of Lihue to the monkeypod-shaded main street of this picturesque former sugar plantation town. Much of the old storefronts are still intact, though now occupied by small restaurant and snack shops, galleries, gift and clothing retailers and general stores. Visit Koloa History Center for a look at the town’s plantation past, then drive along the Poipu resort area coast, stopping at the Spouting Horn blowhole.

five_things_Kauai_one_day_part_two2.    Hanapepe and Waimea Canyon
Back on Kaumualii Highway, head south to Hanapepe, another quaint former sugar plantation town. The main street of this still vital residential community has become an enclave for artists, gallery owners and a new wave of small businesses. After some brief exploring, pick-up a take-out lunch and drive to Waimea town. We’ll stop back here later, but for now, take a right onto Waimea Canyon Drive, stopping at the many lookouts clinging to the edge of “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”
3.    Kokee State Park

The best thing about a trip up Waimea Canyon Drive is the opportunity to view two of Kauai’s most amazing natural wonders on one scenic drive: the canyon and Kokee State Park. After the lookouts of 10 mile-long and 3,000 feet-deep Waimea Canyon, continue driving upslope to cool and lush Kokee State Park. Native plant and birdlife fill the rain-kissed forests of this windy 4,345 acre plateau. You won’t be able to take in any of the park’s almost two-dozen trails on this Kauai day trip. But be sure to drive to the end of the road to the lookout for breathtaking Kalalau Valley on the famed Napali Coast.

five_things_Kauai_one_day_part_two4.    Waimea Town and a stroll on the west shore beaches
Spend the remainder of your afternoon exploring another one of our favorite west-side Kauai towns or sink your toes in the sand of the region's lengthy stretches of beach. Waimea is a bit more bustling than Hanapepe, with retail aimed more at serving its larger resident population. Grab a Tropical Rainbow shave ice (mango, lilikoi and guava syrups with macadamia nut ice cream) at Jo Jo’s and walk the swinging bridge of Menehune Ditch. Or walk the miles-long white sand stretches of Kekaha Beach Park or end-of-the-higway Polihale State Park.

5.    Dinner at Brick Oven Pizza
On the way back to Lihue Airport, stop by this landmark Kalaheo Town pizzeria whose pies are famous statewide. Brick Oven has been a favorite of residents and visitors for a quarter-century. Baked, you guessed it, in an old brick hearth, Brick Oven’s homemade dough is brushed with garlic butter, and given a base of tangy, slow-cooked house-made sauce. One of our favorite toppings is Brick Oven’s fresh-made Italian sausage. Otherwise, any topping on the menu will do on this pizza.Take out if you have to. But if you’ve got some time, have a seat and have your pie piping hot.

Want a closer look at Waimea Canyon and the towns of Hanapepe and Waimea? Click here for a slideshow of west side Kauai photos from HAWAII Magazine's September/October 2008 photo essay "Hidden Hawaii: On the Way to Waimea Canyon.")

Photos: Waimea Canyon lookout (top), Hanapepe sign (middle) by David Croxford; Kalalau Valley courtesy of Wikipedia/Commons
White_House_luau_Obama_great_Hawaiian_albumsThe luau version of the annual White House Congressional picnic was totally on tonight.

We paid careful attention this afternoon as White House pool reporters on the South Lawn early in the evening gabbed and tweeted excitedly about the picnic’s Hawaii accoutrements—both kitschy and true to luau form:

• The purple orchid lei worn by President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia, and even Vice President Joe Biden.

•  The mixed luau/backyard barbecue menu of lomi salmon, BBQ baby back ribs, tilapia tempura rolls, wasabi potato salad, crispy chicken hoagies, shrimp and clams, and grilled lamb chops crafted by Hawaii chef Alan Wong. (Yes, there was kalua pig, but not from a South Lawn imu. The National Trust for Historic Preservation would’ve had a cow if anyone took a shovel or backhoe to the lawn.)

• Sasha and Michelle Obama’s colorful aloha wear. Torches on the lawn, paper lanterns and paper flower lei.

• Hula and live music from Hawaii’s own Tihati Productions, complete with Pres. Obama-requested Samoan fire-knife dancers. Hula lessons were also being given.

Good stuff all.

Then we heard about the evening’s piped-in tunes: A DJ spinning "Beach Boys, Elvis Presley and Hawaiian music.” Our minds raced.

White_House_luau_Obama_great_Hawaiian_albumsWith the decidedly un-Hawaiian Beach Boys, we can only pray the DJ didn’t throw on “Kokomo.” Elvis? We get a kitschy kick every time we hear Presley’s “Rock-A-Hula Baby” or “Blue Hawaii,” but the King’s oeuvre isn’t really luau music. And we can only guess at what kind of Hawaiian music playlist even an expert all-purpose D.C. DJ would come up with.

So, yes, we realize our advice here is arriving a bit too late for the Obama’s luau. But we thought you might be able to use the below list of 6 Great Hawaiian Luau Albums (compiled by HAWAII Magazine editor John Heckathorn) at your summer Hawaiian-style luau.

You know, before you reach for the Beach Boys and Elvis.

• Makaha Sons – Makaha Bash 3
Recorded live at the Waikiki Shell, this 1991 album features Israel Kamakawiwoole, still with his original group. It’s Iz at his finest and funniest. We defy you to listen to this and not be in a great mood.

• Genoa Keawe – Party Hulas
This is the classic Hawaii luau album, guaranteed to make all the aunties get up and dance. It’s generally thought to be Genoa Keawe’s finest work.

• Brothers Cazimero – The Best of the Brothers Cazimero, Vol. 1
Almost any of the two dozen Cazimero albums wrap us in warm Island breezes, but this is still our favorite, with the original rendition of “Home In The Islands.”

• Don Ho – The Don Ho Show!
Hawaii’s master of good times will add to yours. This is the most uptempo—and generally up—of all his albums.

• Martin Denny – Exotica

Long-time Hawaii resident Martin Denny came up with this exotic sound while playing the lounge at the then Kaiser Hawaiian Village. It still says luau after all these years.

• Barefoot Natives – Barefoot Natives
This Hawaii supergroup includes Eric Gilliom, brother of Amy Hanaialii Gilliom, and the incomparable Willie K. These Maui musicians whip up a good time like nobody else working today.
tropical_fresh_cocktails_recipe_Royal_Hawaiian_oneIn the new July/August 2009 issue of HAWAII Magazine, we’re bringing you some cocktails.

Actually, a whole collection of tasty, summer-ready cocktails we’ve titled Contemporary Tropicals: A Guide to the Best in Island Libations.

Knowing we wanted a collection of tropical cocktails with a fresh, modern twist, we sought the services of Hawaii master mixologist Joey Gottesman.

Joey knows his cocktails. First as a noted Honolulu bartender, then as an in-demand Hawai‘i consultant, he’s crafted cocktails and bar menus for some of Islands’ finest resorts, restaurants and watering holes. Recently hired to oversee beverage operations at the newly renovated Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki, Gottesman has dreamed up an entire menu of tropical delights—made with fresh, natural ingredients instead of packaged or bottled mixes—which you can make at home.

You’ll find eight of Joey’s tropical cocktail recipes—complete with brilliant photos of each cocktail by staff photographer David Croxford—in HAWAII Magazine’s Contemporary Tropicals feature, on newsstands nationwide now.

Here on HawaiiMagazine.com, we’ll be running four additional recipes from Joey in the weeks ahead.

Here’s the first—a piquant antidote to the standard blended-to-death margarita. Enjoy!

Naturally Spiced Margarita

This unblended margarita has a hint of fresh ginger and a slight bite from tequila and fresh chiles. Says Gottesman, “Blending is fun. But from a cocktail perspective, it doesn’t make for a well-balanced drink. It hides flavor to the point where cocktails taste like virgin drinks. So people add more alcohol than needed.” Another twist to this margarita? No lime. It’s mellower to use lemon.
tropical_fresh_cocktails_recipe_Royal_Hawaiian_oneMuddle these ingredients in the mixing glass of a Boston shaker:

1 Tbsp. white granulated sugar
1- to 2-inch by 1/8 inch-thick slice of fresh ginger
1- or 2 1/8-inch-thick rings of fresh jalapeno or Fresno chile

Top the mixer glass off with ice cubes and add:

1 ½ oz. reposado tequila (“reposado”—or “rested”—tequila is aged from two to 11 months)
½ oz. triple sec
Juice from 1 ½ lemon (freshly squeezed)
1 to 2 oz. water

Bruise contents in the Boston shaker, and strain into a margarita glass using a Hawthorne strainer.

A word about the fresh ginger:

Fresh ginger—especially fresh ginger from Hawai‘i—offers a whole different taste sensation than dried. It’s well worth seeking out, since most of Hawai‘i’s ginger crop is exported to the Mainland.

Photos by David Croxford
Barack_Obama_White_House_Hawaii_luau_foodSave those Chicago-style hot dogs for the next South Lawn picnic. The leader of the free world wants his Hawaii grinds.

In a nod to his first home state, President Barack Obama will host the first-ever Hawaii-style luau on the White House lawn, complete with real Island cuisine, hula and music. The Thursday luau is pretty much all the Hawaii-born-and-raised president's idea—his revamping, of sorts, of the annual White House Congressional picnic for members of Congress and their families.

Award-winning Hawaii-based chef Alan Wong is crafting the luau’s menu of contemporary Hawaiian cuisine, making use of as much Island-grown produce as he can get to D.C. The chef’s Honolulu eatery, Alan Wong’s Restaurant, has been a favorite dinner choice of the Obama’s on recent visits to Oahu.

The South Lawn luau will also feature hula and music from Hawaii and the South Pacific by Honolulu-based entertainment company Tihati Productions. Daily newspaper The Honolulu Advertiser reported this morning that White House planners specifically requested Tihati add Samoan fire-knife dancers to the entertainment lineup. They’ll get six of ‘em—doing a fire-knife dance pyramid.

(Click the frame below for HAWAII Magazine video of Tihati Productions fire-knife dancers in action.)

The fire-knife dancers will join a troupe of about 20 musicians and dancers, picked from Tihati luau shows throughout Hawaii.

No word was immediately available on luau dinner menu specifics or any Oval Office requests for specific Hawaii grinds. But we did get our hands on Alan Wong's partial shopping list, which seemed well-stocked for feeding 2,200 hungry politicos and their kin.

Among the items on the shopping list:

• 160 lbs. of green onion, 240 lbs. of tomatoes, 170 lbs. round onion (we're guessing lomi salmon here)

• 650 lbs. of pork butt (kalua pig, anyone?)

• 20 gallons of shoyu

• 20 gallons of sake

• 4,400 Manila clams

• 21 lbs. of Chinese black beans

• 200 lbs. of tilapia

• 100 lbs. of sugar snap peas

And flying up to D.C. with Wong, from Hawaii:

• 70 lbs. of hearts of palm, from Wailea Agricultural Group, Big Island of Hawaii

• 35 lbs. of chevre (goat cheese) from Hawaii Island Goat Dairy, Honokaa, Big Island of Hawaii

• 216 lbs. of mushrooms (50% eryngi, 50% hon-shimeji), from Hamakua Mushrooms, Big Island of Hawaii

• 44 lbs. of chocolate, from Waialua Estate Chocolate, Oahu

• 3 gallons of ko choo jang sauce, from Park's Brand, Oahu

• 35 lbs. of white miso, from Maru-Hi, Oahu

• 84 lbs. of macadamia nuts

• 130 lbs. of salted salmon (now we're all but confirming lomi salmon)

• 60 lbs. of pipi kaula

• 4 lbs. of Hawaii-grown chili peppers

Goat cheese? Manila clams? Tilapia? Sounds like one serious luau, and then some.

Tihati Productions fire-knife dancer photo and video by Sherie Char

Update, 3/25/2009:
"A little luau with some great hula dancers and tiki torches and all that good stuff."—Michelle Obama

Watch CBS Videos Online 
U.S._Airways_North_Carolina_Hawaii_flight_non_stopIt’ll be one long flight from the heart of the South, but at the end of it? A winter vacation in Hawaii.

US Airways is launching daily non-stop service from its Charlotte, N.C., hub to Honolulu beginning Dec. 17.

Reservations are being taken now for the nearly 8.5 hour Boeing 767 flight, US Airways’ first to Hawaii from North Carolina’s Charlotte/Douglas International Airport.

The daily flight will leave Charlotte at 9:45 a.m. (East Coast time) daily, arriving in Honolulu at 2:59 p.m. (Hawaii time). The return flight will depart Honolulu at 5:45 p.m. (Hawaii time) daily, arriving in Charlotte at 7:42 a.m. (East coast time).

The flight’s Charlotte departure time was scheduled to time well with morning connections from US Airways network of East Coast, Midwestern and Southern cities.

The 204-seat flight will be offered year-round. 

No introductory fares or fare deals were immediately announced for the flight. Fares vary, but we were able to find a round-trip as low as $878. We’ll keep you posted if any deals for the Charlotte-Honolulu route are announced.

US Airways currently operates flights to Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island out of Phoenix, AZ.
Photo: US Airways

The stars come out at the Maui Film Festival

maui_film_festival_waileaThe lobby of the Four Seasons Maui looks like Rodeo Drive this weekend.  Tori Spelling was having breakfast by the pool with husband Dean McDermot, showing a remarkable amount of cleavage.  Eddie Murphy was shadowboxing his way along the beach path. Dax Shepard is in the jacuzzi with Kristen Bell. Everyone around the pool is reading Variety.

It’s the weekend of the Maui Film Festival—and the stars are out in more ways than one, because the festival’s main venue is the Celestial Cinema, a an immense screen set up outdoors on a driving range.  It’s movies under the balmy Maui skies.  Tonight’s main feature: “Paper Heart” with Michael Cera and Charlyne Yi.

But the Celestial Cinema is only one of the great venues.  The SandDance Theatre offers free movies right on the beach in front of the Four Seasons.  The other night 700 people saw the animated film Surf’s Up and watched the incredibly charming Zooey Deschanel win a rising star award.

Even the seminars have a great setting—under the shade of a half dozen banyan trees in front of the Wailea Marriot.

maui_film_festival_waileaMovies aren’t all the fun.  Last night the Four Seasons hosted the “The Taste of Chocolate,” a party with chocolate sculptures, chocolate fountains, chocolate martinis and chocolate desserts of all descriptions.  Tonight is the Taste of Wailea, in which the restaurants of this glittering resort strip serve up gourmet goodies and the wine flows.

In fact, that’s where we’re off to right now.  More on the Maui Film Festival in an upcoming issue of HAWAII Magazine, but for now, you can watch the festival’s trailer by clicking below.

Where in Hawaii is Dog the Bounty Hunter?

Hawaii_Dog_Bounty_Hunter_Duane_ChapmanHAWAII Magazine reader Lenore Larbig of Sacramento, Calif., emailed us:

Can you tell me if Dog the Bounty Hunter is for real and has an office in Waikiki? I like to watch his show on A&E because it gives me glimpses of Oahu and sometimes the other islands. Dog's office looks, to me, that it is across the street from Waikiki Beach, next to the church. Dog and Beth’s home looks like it is in the Kahala area?

You ask, we answer.

Duane “Dog” Chapman is real, as are all of the busts you see on his A&E reality TV series Dog the Bounty Hunter.

The office of the Chapman family business, Da Kine Bail Bonds, is not in Waikiki, however. It’s at 1381 Queen Emma Street in downtown Honolulu. (Not far from HAWAII Magazine's offices, actually.)

The church you see next door is not St. Augustine in Waikiki. It’s St. Peter’s Episcopal. Across the street from Da Kine Bail Bonds is the lawn of Central Middle School.

We see fans taking pictures in front of Da Kine Bail Bonds all the time, but the establishment is not much to look at. There is a store selling Dog the Bounty Hunter merchandise just around the corner in the same building.

Hawaii_Dog_Bounty_Hunter_Duane_ChapmanDog and Beth Chapman live in the east Honolulu suburb of Hawaii Kai.

We often run into Dog and Beth at events around town, most recently at the opening of the new Wolfgang Steak House in the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki.

I was at a table with Dog, Beth and their attorney Brook Hart.

Chapman excused himself to go outside for a cigarette. Since the table was open to the air, I suggested he could just smoke there: “If you get in trouble, Brook can defend you.”

“He can’t defend him from me,” said Beth.

Photos: A&E (top), Dawn Sakamoto (bottom)

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