Saturday, October 11, 2008

Foodie Event: Roy's 25th Anniversary Charity Walk-Around

I am a lucky girl, I say this for a lot of reasons but the latest reason is the event I attended last Sunday for Roy Yamaguchi's 20th Anniversary. If you are not familiar with Roy Yamaguchi, he is a prominent Hawaii Chef, known as being one of the pioneers of Hawaii Regional Cuisine and has a couple of cookbooks and 35 restaurants in the US, Japan and Guam. The event was for a great cause, the proceeds going to culinary education in Hawaii and it featured well known chefs from Hawaii, Japan and the US mainland including Iron Chef Hiroyuki Sakai, Floyd Cardoz (Tabla, NYC), Alan Wong (Hawaii) and one of my chef idols (OK maybe one of my chef crushes), the wonderful Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger, Boston). Big thanks to my friend Yuri, whose son is in the Culinary Arts program at Kapiolani Community College. She was going to be out of town that night but wanted to buy tickets from her son to support the event and ended up getting tickets for my Mom and I as well as two other friends.

Sunday, a balmy warm evening with a light breeze, found us hungry, event wineglass in hand, wandering through the two tents set up to sample all the small plates the chef's were offering. It would take me forever to go through the entire evening so I will just hit the highlights. Also it was difficult managing plates, a wineglass and a camera so excuse the photos--I wish I could have gotten more.
First stop, Iron Chef Sakai. Although I was always a bit more of a Morimoto fan, Iron Chef Sakai was a favorite too. He was very friendly, giggling and posing for pictures. He offered a cold pea/potato soup with shrimp; good, refreshing but not a "wow" dish, however he more than made up for it by his sunny personality.

The next booth was my man Ming Tsai, thronged by an adoring crowd, trying to watch the Red Sox game on a small player, and serving one of our favorite dishes of the night--a melt in your mouth bite of miso butterfish accompanied by a buckwheat soba sushi roll.
There was an oyster bar from Hog Island Oyster Company.
Two kinds of foie gras. One under beef...

And one over beef...

Floyd Cardoz from Tabla (and author of One Spice, Two Spice) had another favorite dish (and a great table setting with pink sari cloth and dried lentils). His pork belly with a smoky taro and a vindaloo sauce was wonderful.
Even famous chefs who weren't cooking that evening were there hanging out. Here is Chef Nobu Matsuhisa with my friend Natalie and I. (I made his black cod with miso here)

The food just kept coming

and coming... and coming...
But where were the desserts?
All in all it was a great evening, with fun company, wonderful food and a chance to meet and greet some great chefs and see them in action, all for a good cause. (Even if there were no desserts!) And I am still crushing a bit on Ming!


  1. I completed understand the crush on Ming...

    What a great event! But no desserts? What does that mean? I have no space in my vocabulary for "no desserts"!

  2. Oh you lucky wench! I would give anything to have been in your shoes. A picture with Ming! How cool is that?! And you look so pretty. I finally get to see you. What a wonderful time you must have had. But I agree with foodycat, WHERE'S THE DESSERT?

  3. What a great evening! You are a lucky lady, that must have been so much fun.
    You guys look like you are having a ball! Wish I was in Hawaii, sigh..
    I can't believe there was no dessert, not even some pineapple?

  4. Foodycat--he is a cutie isn't he? We kept walking around looking for desserts--no luck and hadto go home and have chocolate!

    Thanks Teresa! I was in need of serious powder and better angles though! ;-)

    Natashya--not even pineapple. I almost stole a dragonfruit from someones table decor to eat!

  5. WOW! This food looks fantastic!BTW I have linked to your blog about the ward. Thank you again so much.

  6. Debbie, love your blog. I've been to Hawaii 13 or 14 times--lost count. Love it; hard to say which area I love best, though the islands of Maui and Molokai are tied. Got one of Roy's cookbooks about 15 years ago. I intend to try his place in Sarasota on my next trip down. I'm interested in your book club and will try to get a copy of the next book.

  7. DEB!!!! I can't decide which reason to envy you most for today. Living in Hawaii? All that fabulous food? Temporary proximity to Ming? You're darn right you're a lucky girl.

  8. You are having WAY too much fun out there in Hawaii! Looks like a great event.

  9. man, that looks like it was a seriously tasty foodie event!

    Iron Chef Sakai looks like he got a little too much sun. Ming Tsai looks like he's had a little too much foie gras.

  10. Oh, man! I love Ming. Really love Ming. It sounds like great fun and I would truly hate...but the no desert makes me feel sorry for you. ;-)

  11. I just read in today's Sydney Morning Herald that Tetsuya Wakuda was there too. He is one of Australia's top chefs and voted 9th best in the world this year. You lucky girl - so, so jealous!

  12. Jody--you are welcome--its very well deserved!

    Kat--it was a great event!

    Arlene--thanks so much! I hope you try his restaurant and like it. If they have it get the butterfish and the chocolate souffle!

    Prudy--I'd pick proximity to Ming!

    Nate-n-Annie--it was a great event and since none of us are perfect and Sakai and Ming were both so gracious and friendly they looked wonderful to me.


    Webbie--Ming was worth no dessert but it was a close call!

    Suzie--I think Tetsuya was at the other dinner (there was a $1,000 a plate one that some of the chefs cooked at) although maybe he was wandering around this one like Nobu. I wish I would have seen him--I have heard great things!

  13. What a fun event, you look on top of the world :-)


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