Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Lokomaika'i for Japan a Princely affair
Edwin Hawkins, president of the Japan-America Society of Hawaii, center, with former Gov. George Ariyoshi and Jean Ariyoshi.
Event dining is something of a sport to me because it's work, and to sample as much as possible, I have to have a strategy. When 30 chefs are involved in an event, forget it. There's no way I could sample 30 different masterpieces, no matter how small the portions.
So, Prince Resorts Hawaii's “Lokomaika‘i for Japan” event, which took place May 27 in the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki’s Mauna Kea Ballroom seemed reasonable in scope, bringing together four chefs from the Prince's Big Island and Oahu properties: George Gomes, Jr., executive chef of Mauna Kea Resort; sous chef Kirby Wong filling in for Khamtan Tanhchaleun, executive chef of Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki; Masami Shimoyama, of Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki’s Hakone Restaurant; and Peter Abarcar, Jr. of Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.
Each showcased multiple signature dishes that really added up to the point where once again, I wasn't able to try everything.
The chefs were joined by special guest chef, company president Donn Takahashi. He wasn't just a token cook serving up dishes with loads of staff help. While guests were enjoying the party, he was hard at work, sautéing the shrimp that went into his dish of garlic sake shrimp served over bow tie pasta.
Guests were also treated to the music of Willie K, Palolo and Kalapana, sounding as good as ever. Just one night later, Kalapana picked up a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Na Hoku Hanohano Awards ceremony at Hawai'i Convention Center. Other recipients of the 2011 award were Jacqueline “Skylark” Rossetti, Napua Stevens-Poire, Bill and Ernie Tavares, and Bill Tapia.
I'd left my video camera in the car, so recorded two of Kalapana's performances on my iPhone. If I can figure out how to get it out, I may post it at a later.
I was seated next to Japan-American Society of Hawaii (JASH) president Edwin Hawkins who said that Hawaii has raised about $6 million for Japan relief, with $3 million going through his organization for donation to the Japanese Red Cross Society. In addition to funds coming in from big companies like Hawaiian Electric, Marukai and 7-Eleven, he says people often show up at his office with funds in hand, including school children offering up their change.
With a population of about 1.3 million, that amounts to a little more than $4.50 for every person in the state, and the Prince's event will add even more to the coffers.