Hawaii Food and Wine Festival 2017 – Food Fight and Bloody Marys

Blood Mary Bar


Sunday November 5th, 2017

One of my favorite events is the brunch event.  This year it was called Food Fight & Bloody Marys.  I love a brunch food and I love bloody marys.  What is not to love about this event?  There were two teams and you pick your favorite team and vote.   This year this was a men’s team vs a women’s team.   In my opinion sex has nothing to do with ;s how well a chef can make good food.

There were a lot of good dishes on both sides.  The women’s team had more sweet dishes and the men’s team had more savory dishes.  I am about savory but it wasn’t that easy.  There was the chef of Republique, a couple of blocks away from me in Los Angeles who made Brioche that was really good.   There was a Kouign-amann with Maui Onion and Bacon that was really good.   i think it was the Island Breakfast sandwich made by the men’s team  that won me over, eggs, spam, cheese between  two pancakes, it was a Hawaiian take on a McMuffin.  It wasn’t an easy vote but if I am wanting to have to go back for seconds then I have to vote for that team!



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Hawaii Food and Wine Festival 2017 – Taste of the Seasons

Adam Richman

November 4th, 2017

This is event took place outside of Waikiki in Ko Olina,  the Aulani and the Four Seasons share a man-made lagoon where the event takes place.  There is no shortage of really good food and drinks and the night ends with Fireworks.

I sat next to Adam Richman who has been in a few  shows related to food and travel, Man vs. food is probably his most notable ones.   He was hosting the Master o f Ceremonies.  We had met him and his Mom once before at another Food and Wine Event.  It was fun talking to him and what projects he is working on.  He seems like a really nice guy and I noticed that every time they served a dish, someone was walking up to him to talk or he was needed on stage.

At the end of event, I realized that I hadn’t taken but a few not so good pictures.  The problem with events like these is choosing between enjoying it or trying to get decent pictures.   Oh well, there is always next year! Continue reading

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Leonard’s Bakery


Saturday November 4th, 2017

This vacation is flying by, I cannot believe it is just about over.   There are just a couple of Hawaii Food and Wine Events left and back on a plane to Los Angeles.  How time flies!

This morning, Cindy, Sophon and I decided to get our steps in.   It was the least we could do since we were headed to Leonard’s Bakery.  This bakery has been on my list of places to try for a long time but every time I visit, I realize that there are more places that I want to eat than there are meals.

Leonard’s serve malasadas – a fried Portuguese doughnut without the hole, stuffed with custard or jellies and then rolled in sugar.   At Leonard’s, malasadas aren’t sitting in the case, waiting for people to purchase them.  You order them and 10 minutes later, they hand you box filled with hot, just out of the fryer malasadas stuffed with the filling you requested.   I am not a big fan of doughnuts but this was worth the stop.

Afterwards we stopped at Safeway to pick up a few items and saw there were almost a dozen different flavors of SPAM, we had to pick up a few to try.  We were actually looking for Garlic flavored SPAM but they were sold out.   We also stopped at Mike’s Huli Huli Chicken and I have to say, I wasn’t impressed.  The food wasn’t bad but the people there didn’t like working there.

Leonard’s Bakery


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Hawaii Food and Wine Festival 2017 – Uncorked

Saturday November 3rd, 2017

Tonight’s event was “Uncorked” sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines.  If you are a crafsty person who cannot figure out what to do with extra wine corks, the picture below should inspire you.  “Uncorked” takes place on top of the Hawaiian Convention Center in Waikiki.   The lineup of chefs was impressive with a lot of recognizable names from “Top Chef. I also noticed that there were quite a few chefs from Los Angeles.

As I mentioned before,  we tend to run into people that we have met in earlier Hawaii Food and Wine Festivals previous years.  i have noticed that there is a group of us that keeps ending up at the same table. Who knows, maybe they simply assign the tables in alphabetical order.



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Hawaii Food and Wine Festival 2017 – Spice Market

November 2, 2017

I have been attending this event for a few years now and continue to love it.  The lineup of chefs change every year but they have a lot of the same events year after year.  Thursday night is on the pool deck at the Modern Hotel, Friday is on top of the Hawaii Convention Center, Saturday is in Ko Olina and Sunday (and of my favorite events) is the Brunch at the Outrigger Reef.

I started coming to this event with my friend Cindy. Unfortunately, she could not make it last year due to the timing of it.  Both of us were glad that she made it this year.  It is one of our favorite events and even though I continued to go without her, I felt bad she couldn’t go.

One of the best things about the event is that it raises money for local culinary schools, agricultural programs and other organizations.  Not only am I attending a great event, I am contributing to something I believe in. Continue reading

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Oahu – Moana Surfrider

November 1st, 2017

We said goodbye to Kauai and boarded a short flight to Waikiki.  As we boarded our flight a girl who was in her twenties, turned around and asked a Hawaiian guy how long it would take to drive to Lihue to Waikiki.   I thought the guy was very nice with his response indicating that we don’t yet have cars that allow us to drive across the ocean.  He turned to me and made this funny face indicating that he was shocked he was asked this question.  Personally, I would have had some fun with her, telling her that you couldn’t drive but I heard you  could take the bus.

We were staying in the Moana Surfrider.  I had wanted to stay at the Moana Surfrider for a long time.  It is was the first hotel built-in Waikiki back in 1901.  Each and every time I walked past it with the row of rocking chairs along the front porch, I thought I want to stay there.  Unfortunately, travelling is not what it used to be.  Frequent Traveler programs where you earn status, free upgrades while receiving discounts make it more tolerable and I didn’t have any sort of status with Starwood hotels.   I was happy to hear with Marriott (who I have status with) bought Starwood hotels. I can cross this off my list of things to do!

Although it was not the best hotel that I have stayed in, I enjoyed my stay! Continue reading

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Kauai Opaeka’a Falls

October 30th, 2017

The day of the helicopter we decided to watch the sunrise.  I noticed that we weren’t on the side of the Island to get good sunsets so we decided to watch the sunrise.   We weren’t the only ones. I think most of the hotel was up and there was even a  Hawaiian Ceremony going on where they blew the conch shell to welcome the day.   There was no need for a conch shell, there are a lot of wild roosters and chickens on the Island, they made sure daybreak was announced early in the morning every day.

Beside the helicopter tour the rest of the day was spent hanging around, taking pictures and of course eating.   We stopped at a bakery and got macadamia nut sticky buns and lilikoi (passion fruit) shortcake cookies.  We visited Opaekaa falls while revisiting a couple of places we had stopped before hoping to get a better pictures with better light.  It rained a lot on this visit but overall, pretty fortunate. Continue reading

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Kauai by Helicopter

October 30th, 2017

I did a helicopter tour when I went to Kauai with my parents.  My mother refused to go on the helicopter,  I thought it was one of the best things I have every done.   Most of the Island is Inaccessible by car and this was a great way to see it.  When I decided to come back to Kauai, the top thing on the “things I want to do” list was a helicopter tour.  Having taken Helicopters tours in NYC and Hawaii, I didn’t want to get stuck in a middle seat making it difficult to see things much less getting good pictures.   I found Mauna Loa Helicopter tours that offered private tours in smaller helicopters.    They also offered a “doors off” option but I couldn’t convince Sophon.

Kauai is the most filmed Island.  “Raiders of the last Ark”, Jurassic Park”, “Pirates of the Caribbean”,  “Avatar”, “King Kong”, and of course there were all the old Elvis movies and “South Pacific”.  Of all the Hawaiian Islands, I think it is the prettiest.  I loved every minute of the tour – waterfalls, valleys and that Na Pali Shore.

I will probably be revising this page, I have video and a lot of pictures which will take me a lot of time to sort through. I decided that I should set something out there while moving on the Hawaiian Food and Wine Festival in Waikiki.  Here are a handful of pictures.


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Kauai – Waimea

Waimea Canyon

October 29th, 2017

We arrived at Waimea Canyon late afternoon.   Although it is said that Mark Twain named it the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, Mark Twain never set foot on Kauai.  It is not nearly as deep or long as the real Grand Canyon, but it is just as impressive to see.  Of all the things I thought I might see and find in Hawaii, this was never on the list.   We tried stopping at Kalalau lookout and I was disappointed, the fog made it impossible to see more than five feet.  I pulled out my cell phone and showed Sophon a picture of what we could not see.  Overall, we lucked out with the weather, there was only one thing we didn’t get to see.   On the way back, we stopped to admire the red dirt.   I wonder if Mars looks like this.




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Kauai – Poipu

October 29th, 2017

After Fern Grotto, it was a drive through the tree tunnel as we headed to Poipu.  I was glad to see that the tunnel was still there.  This densely green corridor is fun to drive through and pictures do not do it justice.   We stopped at Spouting horn for a few pictures, ate lunch and then headed on to our next stop – The Kauai Coffee Company.  Located on the coffee plantation, the Kauai Coffee Company offers tastings along with tours of the plantations. It was a fun stop

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