Monday, September 23, 2013

Anniversary party - International Big Island Cooking Group

Anniversary Party

Another wonderful gathering for the Big Island International Cooking club and this was our end of year anniversary party. The real treat for this gathering was that no-one was required to cook and bring a dish, instead our annual membership funds contributed to having a chef cook for the evenings event. A group decision was made to have a local chef prepare a fantastic Indian dinner for everyone to enjoy and learn some essential techniques and ingredients used for many Indian dishes.

With no worries to creating a dish most of the group chose to sit outside and enjoy the amazing coastal views from Kalapana along with some champagne courtesy of the club. Some chose to walk down along the cliffs to get a closer look at the terrain, it was quite spectacular, don't you think?


A few did stay to help finish the kitchen prep and helping out at whatever tasks needed to get the dinner going. Surprisingly most of the main cooking was done outside in a very large pot that easily could feed an army. Chef gave a quick overview of the main spices that are typically used in Indian cuisine with varying the amount of spices and additional ingredients based on regional factors. Although, for the life of me - I could not seem to get him to hone in on what the regional area or style was being incorporated. No worries, it was a party and everyone was in the perfect mood to relax, observe and just enjoy each others company.

Finally cooking the entrees, everyone gathered outside on the lanai (covered patio) to see and smell the amazing aromas that were starting to unfold. Almost a small pot of onions were tossed into the large container - it's starting to smell quite potent with the onions sweating, not my favorite thing to do cooking wise since I'm not personally fond of onions, so I stayed at a distance outside of this one shot I made of the pot.

After the onions were melted down, large handfuls of cumin, coriander, cardamon, and chili pepper were tossed in from large bags -no measuring it's all done from years of practice cooking the same dish. Surprisingly, chef did not even sample the mixture to taste for balance. After all the main ingredients were place, the meats were put in and mixed with the spices and left to simmer covered and unattended. Even with the chicken dish, there was not too much effort in monitoring which I though might require some effort but surprisingly it was simmering on its own with little handling, And boy did we finally enjoy tasting the dishes - everything was quite tasty and flavorful. Actually I was not totally surprised with chef's many years of practice with making the same dishes how effortless and automatic the cooking process seemed and how delicious the food ended up tasting.

Tonight's dinner was very simple, tender chicken with mixed indian spices, basmatic rice, mixed salad and a simple fruit salad for dessert - a limited menu compared to the huge variety of choices we typically prepare for our food gathering.



It was a very successful dinner and the champagne and other liquors seemed to be flowing more freely. After the dinner, everyone stayed for enjoying the somewhat beautiful sunset - even though sunsets don't occur on the east side of the island - the clouds were filled with orange and crimson colors.


It was another successful party and end to our annual Big Island International Cooking Club gatherings.  Thanks for joining us today and helping to celebrate our anniversary!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hawaii Island Festival 2013

The Hawaii Island Festival also known statewide as the 'Aloha Festival' has kicked off with a month of celebration and festivities all September long. These events are part of a month long series of events focused on Hawaiian culture, traditions, arts and food celebrating the diversity of the people of Hawaii.

Major events happening for the start of the week on Hawaii Island include:

Sept. 7th - Queen Liliuokalani day in Hilo, HI from 10-4pm. All day festival with many hula halau performing along with a aerial flower drop with all hula halau dancing in unison.

Sept 7th - Poke contest at the Sheraton Keauhou Beach resort, festivities and competition starts at 10am for more information check out their website here.

Sept 7th - Kindy Sproat Falsetto and Storytelling Contest, Waikoloa Beach Marriott; 5pm

September 8-14 - Puna Culinary Festival - Opening Event, Behind the Scenes Luau, The Lanai at Kalani 6:00 - 8:00pm Royal Court Appearance

September 11-13 – Kupuna Hula; Royal Court appearance, Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort; 5pm

September 14 - Puna Culinary Festival - Closing Event, PupuPalooza, Pupu Cooking Contest @ Kalani EMAX 3:00 - 5:00pm

September 14 – Royal Court appearance at Lanihau Shopping Center 25th Anniversary; 5pm

September 21 –Waimea Paniolo Parade & Ho'olaule'a; 10am from church row to Waimea park, a Ho'olaule'a (festival) will be held at the park with crafters, food booths and family fun events.

floral procession honoring Queen Liliuokalani

In the early years, the “Hawai’i Island Festival – 30 Days of Aloha” was a part of the statewide Aloha Festivals celebration, but in recent years has become a stand-alone Hawai’i Island celebration organized and supported by Big Island businesses and residents.
For more information:
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