Skinny Girls Roadshow LIVE from Hawaii — Local Grinds

It is a sad thing, really, when upon returning from an epic summer vacation traveling across Italy, Switzerland and France, you are somewhat blasé about your upcoming 8-day trip to Hawaii.

Willa on Waimanalo Beach

Willa on Waimanalo Beach

I grew up spending a good part of the year in Hawaii, and have always cherished my visits to the breathtaking island of Maui. And it had been six or seven years since the last time we had been, for the wedding of my pal Gary on the equally ravishing isle of Kauai. This time, however, we would be going for the marriage of one of my wife’s nephews, and would be staying in a communal family house in crowded Honolulu on the island of Oahu. So my excitement was a bit more tempered.

That is, until I began researching the food. More

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Food Trends for 2015

On the more or less one-year-later heels of my wildly popular “Food Trends for 2014” post of a year ago — okay, it was Freshly Pressed, which meant I got about 12,000 page views I wouldn’t have normally gotten — I present my thoughts for what may be on the horizon in the coming year for the foodie universe.

Here are some of my predictions:

• Detritus
Where last year I predicted an explosion in foraging, with well-meaning chefs and hipster home cooks appearing hunched over in woods, urban parks and even unsuspecting back yards, this year I imagine a new trend in plating where chefs scatter dirt, leaf duff, twigs and other miscellaneous detritus they discover over the top of their dishes. I did read an article recently about a chef in Tokyo who was actually using dirt in his food. I tried to make it up, folks, but I couldn’t — it had already happened.

Tokyo chef Toshio Tanabe trying to explain why his dirt tasting menu is a good idea

Tokyo chef Toshio Tanabe trying to explain why his dirt tasting menu is a good idea

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The Best Kind of Labor

While the rest of the Los Angeles swarmed the Labor Day weekend beaches to beat the heat, see the big waves and watch Laird Hamilton shoot the Malibu Pier, we elected to stay on the mountain, be satisfied with our Pacific breezes and almost-ocean views, and do what most people do for the holiday — barbecue.

The day's star attraction

The day’s star attraction

To be more precise, smoke. When I don my pit master hat, I usually default to one of two things — North Carolina pork shoulder or Texas brisket — or sometimes both. This weekend, it would be the latter. Like a morbid cartoon, I caught a particular pork shoulder winking at me from the meat aisle at the grocery store, and was smitten. More

Feeding the Unwashed Masses

I am not a caterer.

Caterers have large refrigerators and big stainless steel warming trays and things like that. I’m a chef. I have knives. And I like to see the looks on people’s faces when they taste something good that I have made. It’s hard to do that when you’ve laid out a buffet for 200 people.

The menu

The menu

So, I approached the silent auction I was cooking for as if it was just a big dinner I was doing for 200 of my friends. (Which is essentially what it was anyway.) More

Greggie’s Choice

Sometimes readers of my blog have great ideas that lead to new things and new posts! A few weeks ago — Election Eve, in fact — I wrote a post called “Barack, Brits & Bananas” about a spontaneous dessert I’d come up with for a last-minute party (or more appropriately, a long-planned party I’d forgotten about until the last minute): banana rum walnut bread pudding with Nutella dulce de leche. The post prompted a comment from my friend Greg:

“And in honor of President Obama you could make it banana macadamia nut rum bread pudding. Sounds delicious either way.”

I replied that I thought that was a fine idea, and left it at that. Until, that is, I had a couple slices of stale King’s Hawaiian Bread and was cooking Hawaiian-style pork ribs for dinner one night. And Uncle Greggie’s comment came flooding back into my head. More

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