Hale Aina Chefs: Master Class
We talked with 10 chefs and had them answer a few of life's little cooking questions.
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EXTREME VEGGIE MAKEOVER
Three experts transform the wallflowers of the produce world.
Broccoli Dave Caldiero, of Town, says his Italian mom slow-cooks broccoli in olive oil. Here’s how: Completely cover the florets with a good depth of extra-virgin olive oil. Throw in a couple of whole, peeled garlic cloves. Heat the pan until it reaches about 150 degrees, and then turn it way down for a couple of hours. Don’t agitate it. When the broccoli emerges, says Ed Kenney, “the texture is like that stuff you used to get in the cafeteria, but the flavor is so beyond.” Eat straight, or serve on bread or crostini with shredded Parmesan.
Cauliflower Kevin Chong of Chef Mavro says, “If you roast a cauliflower with butter, it’s fantastic.” Slice the cauliflower ¼ inch thick, butter it up and roast it in a 375 to 400 degree oven until it’s tender, slightly browned and glistening. Season with sea salt.
Carrots Chef Roy Yamaguchi, owner of Roy’s, says carrots have an innate sweetness that this preparation brings out. Slice or julienne carrots and sauté them with butter. Once they’re soft, add some honey and a couple of slices of fresh ginger until you’ve got a sweet-spicy glaze. Remove the ginger pieces and serve with fish, pork, or poultry.
A COCKTAIL FOR THE NEW YEAR
This Cucumber-Fennel martini from Mariposa was invented just for HONOLULU Magazine. The recipe serves four people.
4 oz. Belvedere vodka
4 oz. Daiginjo sake
1 piece fresh fennel
1 tsp. sugar
Pickled ginger for garnish
1 cup ice
Juice from 1 fresh yuzu lime from the Big Island (bottled is okay if fresh is not available; you can find this at Don Quijote)
Shave a few paper-thin slices from the cucumber and set aside; put the rest of it through a juicer, and save 2 ounces of the juice for the drink. Juice the fresh fennel, and save 1 ounce of the juice for the drink. Shake together the vodka, sake, fennel juice, cucumber juice, yuzu juice, sugar and ice. Divide among four large martini glasses; garnish with pickled pink ginger and cucumber slices.
PREP A CHEESE PLATE
When buying cheese, look for an assortment of textures, says Kevin Chong, chef de cuisine at Chef Mavro. Try one soft, one semisoft and one medium. You can also do a theme, says Ed Kenney, chef/owner of Town. “Try a single country, or three blues, or three from one product, like sheep’s milk.”
Ronald Nasuti, executive chef at Roy’s Hawai, roy's hawaii kaii Kai, suggests “a variety of cool breads, or lavosh,” rounded out with fresh fruit or chutney. Kenney likes to pair cheese with nuts, while Chong reaches for dried fruits, jams or preserves.
The platter is an integral part of the presentation. At Café Sistina, they serve cheese on a rustic—and functional—wooden cutting board.