Taste Hawaii Tour – Press Release

Taste Hawai‘i in the Bay Area with Chef Alan Wong

Chef Alan Wong

Hawai‘i is a rich culinary melting pot where cultures and flavors blend to create Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine, a movement that celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. In October and November, James Beard Award-winning chef Alan Wong (Alan Wong’s Honolulu and The Pineapple Room) and Hawai‘i food historian Arnold Hiura will bring a taste of the Islands to the San Francisco Bay Area.

The duo will offer six events in San Francisco and San Jose between October 27 and November 2, all open to the public, sharing the cuisine and food culture of Hawai‘i. Attendees will learn about the evolution of the Islands’ unique culinary landscape and how it has inspired Chef Alan. Guests will also have the opportunity to taste Hawai‘i—literally! Wong and Hiura, assisted by Hukilau Restaurants, will serve dishes from Chef’s newest cookbook, The Blue Tomato: The Inspirations behind the Cuisine of Alan Wong, and classic Hawai‘i fare featured in Hiura’s book, Kau Kau: Cuisine & Culture in the Hawaiian Islands.

Hawai‘i food historian Arnold Hiura (photo by Vivien Kim Thorpe)

Events range in price from free to $75 and include activities such as “talk-story” book signings, cooking demonstrations, culinary exercises and tasting events—culminating in a “Birthday Bash” celebration for Chef Alan with a trip to Hawai‘i giveaway. Visit www.thebluetomato.net/tastehawaiitour for information and ticket purchases.

A founding chef and renowned master of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine, Alan Wong is known the world over for his creative, cutting-edge cuisine. A 1996 winner of the James Beard Award, he is a tireless ambassador for Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine and a leader in America’s farm-to-table movement. Chef Alan has worked previously at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Lutèce in New York City and The CanoeHouse on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. In 1995 he opened Alan Wong’s Restaurant—now Alan Wong’s Honolulu—and, in 1999, The Pineapple Room by Alan Wong, also in Honolulu.

The Blue Tomato by Alan Wong

More than just a cookbook, The Blue Tomato is a testament to Alan Wong’s conviction that anything is possible in today’s world—with the right mix of creativity, persistence and innovative thinking. It is a personal journey with Chef Alan, featuring more than 200 individual recipes, some of his own photography, travel anecdotes and the sources of his inspiration. An indispensable guide for the home cook, it is also a remarkable resource for the serious cook or professional seeking the how and why of Wong’s culinary techniques and creative process.

Arnold Hiura is an independent writer, editor and media consultant based in Honolulu. He previously served as editor of the Hawai‘i Herald and curator for the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. Born and raised in the sugar plantation town of Papa‘ikou, about five miles north of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai‘i, he spent several years researching Hawai‘i’s culinary traditions to compile his book. Hiura also co-wrote The Blue Tomato with Chef Alan.

Kau Kau by Arnold Hiura

In Kau Kau (the traditional all-purpose pidgin word for Island food), Hiura explores the history and heritage of food in Hawai‘i, with little-known culinary tidbits, interviews with chefs and farmers, more than 70 recipes ranging from local plantation classics to Hawai’i Regional Cuisine, and a treasury of rare photos and illustrations.

Kau Kau and The Blue Tomato are back-to-back recipients of the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association’s Ka Palapala Po‘okela Award of Excellence in Cookbooks in 2009 and 2010, respectively, both published by Watermark Publishing of Honolulu.

Mahalo to the Hawai‘i Visitors & Convention Bureau, Hawaiian Airlines, HAWAI‘I Magazine, Hukilau Restaurants, the Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Northern California and the Hawai‘i Chamber of Commerce of Northern California for making the Taste Hawai‘i Tour possible!

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