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October 17, 2003, Volume 3 Number 42


Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

Did you know that for the first time in six years Americans lost weight and are actually eating healthier? These conclusions were just announced in a recent press release by the NPD Group, a research and information services firm that helps over 1300 manufacturers and retailers better understand their customers. The NPD Group's "18th Annual Eating Patterns in America" shows that 55% of the population is overweight, which is down from 56% last year, this is significant since this number has been increasing for the past six years and has never dropped. Harry Balzer , who is the Vice-President of the NPD Group, says "People are interested in a balanced diet; they ate more fruits and vegetables last year than the year before and snacked less in the evening." He adds, "People are more concerned about fat, cholesterol, sugar, and additives in their diets than they have been." The report also finds that Americans are less interested in losing 20 pounds (a goal they'd pursued during the 90's) and are more interested in their health, so that they are eating more nutritious meals, and are also exercising more rigorously.

According to the NPD's press release, "Naturalist" households are on the rise. "As Americans gained weight," the report reads, "NPD tracked a decline in the 'diet' oriented household segments and an increase in the 'meat and potato' group. But during the last several years, NPD has watched as the 'naturalist' households started to rise. 'Naturalists' are classified as households that tend to eat healthier foods. They made up 16 percent of the households in 2000 and jumped up to 21 percent in 2003. 'Naturalists' tend to be found in all age groups, but they prefer natural cereals, home casseroles, and baby carrots more than other households." The title of the release, "Is America Finally Getting It?", is appropriate and I would like to believe that the findings in the US are reflected here on Guam. Perhaps we should consider making a similar study of eating habits so that we could quantify and compile statistics to reach our own conclusions. "Is Guam Finally Getting It?"....I sure hope so!

Ken - the "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • 3rd Annual Strides for the Cure 5K Run/Walk - Saturday, Oct.18
  • Pastries In Paradise - Saturday, October 18, DFS Galleria 6-10pm
  • "Who Wants to Be a Hundredaire?" - Habitat for Humanity Fundrasier
  • MCA 4th Annual Gala Dinner - Outrigger Guam Saturday, October 25
  • Looking for Chamorro Food Around the World - Questions from Readers
  • Benkay's Annual All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Event - Guam's Best Sushi Experience
  • Around the Island - Jan Z's Maryland Crab Cakes are Back, Le Creole's Festival
  • Sango Japanese - The Reef Hotel's Venerable Restaurant Re-opens

3rd Annual Strides for the Cure 5K Run/Walk - Saturday at Two Lover's Point

Be sure to show up and participate in the 3rd Annual Strides for the Cure 5K Event this Saturday morning. Strides for the Cure is a local cancer education and awareness foundation and is associated with the American Cancer Society. The ACS-Guam Unit will receive all the proceeds from this race. The pre-registration deadline is 8pm Friday at Hornet Sporting Goods in Tamuning, with an adult fee of $10 and $7 for students if you register by the deadline. The fees increase to $15 and $10 respectively on the day of the event. Yoplait, one of the gold sponsors of the event, will raise money up until the end of October by donating 10 cents per lid (special pink lids on all Yoplait products) for lids that are dropped in specially marked boxes at all Payless Supermarket locations. For more information, contact event director Sally Mudge at 688-RACE, Strides Founder Donna Ysrael Baker at 727-1967, or ACS Executive Director, Elaine Low at 477-9451.

Pastries In Paradise - Saturday, October 18, DFS Galleria 6-10pm

So, you can go exercise for cancer and then head off for the sweetest night of the year at the 6th Annual Pastries In Paradise. Come join in and sample from an array of delectable desserts and beverages prepared and served by Guam's industry professionals. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the event. Tickets can be obtained at the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association office (in the former DFS Galleria and current home of Shell and Citizen's Security Bank) in Tamuning or at the PDN Building in Hagatna. There will be a Judge's Cup competition in which six professional contestants will create special desserts that will be judged by industry experts. The public will be able to judge other contests, such as the Bailey's Irish Cream Dessert Challenge and the People's Choice Awards including Most Unique Pastry, Best Pastry Presentation, and Best Booth Design. This event is a fund-raiser for the Lend-A-Hand Charity. And, certainly not least, live entertainment will be provided by Renaissance.

"Who Wants to Be a Hundredaire?" - Habitat for Humanity Fundrasier

One of our favorite charitable organizations has to be Habitat for Humanity - it offers volunteers the opportunity to do 'hands on' work which provides affordable housing for families who also participate in the construction. The HOH group has been sponsoring a fabulous take-off on the "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" quiz show for awhile now and the latest edition of this wildly popular (and competitive!) fundraiser will take place on Thursday, October 23 in the Chamorro Ballroom of the Marriott with cocktails from 6pm-7pm and the games beginning at 7pm. Gather your trivia loving friends, form a team of 6 and demonstrate your "smarts!" The cost is $30 per contestant or $180 per team. The top team will win $600. Call 475-HOME or 565-6480 for details or email bnorth@guam.net. Dream Match-up? We want to see the lawyers versus the accountants!

MCA 4th Annual Gala Dinner - Outrigger Guam Saturday, October 25

The promised details regarding the upcoming Micronesian Chefs Association 4th Annual Gala Dinner have been posted to the MCA page at GuamDiner.com. Please be aware that you must RSVP your attendance no later than end of business on Monday, October 20 to Leona at GHRA at 649-1447/7497 or via email leona@ghra.org. Other questions can be directed to Clayton Babas at 727-2433.

This event promises to be great fun with the announcement of the Chef of the Year 2003 and Allied Member of the Year 2003 in addition to a fabulous 4-course menu, live entertainment by Caliente and MC Ken Stewart - our very own "Guam Food Guy"!

Looking for Chamorro Food Around the World - Questions from Readers

The love of Chamorro food and the warm hearts of the island of Guam never fade and over the past few weeks we have had an astonishing number of inquiries from folks around the world (the west coast and east coast of the mainland, Europe and Japan) seeking Chamorro food and organizations where they can gather with other former residents of Guam. We promised to put the call out for information on restaurants, groups, websites or friendly individuals who are like-minded. Send us the information and we will pass it along either in the newsletter or through a link at GuamDiner.com. We can be reached via email webmaster@guamdiner.com - thanks in advance for your kind assistance!

Benkay Annual All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Event - Guam's Best Sushi Experience

There are just some things you have to do in life, and one of them is to treat yourself to the marvelous all-you-can eat annual Sushi Fair at the Nikko Hotel's Benkay Japanese Restaurant. This is an "O-I-O" (Only In October) event which takes place on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, so time is of the essence. Advance reservations are encouraged and essential (649-8815).

We recently experienced Benkay's sushi extravaganza and were treated to some entirely new and original creations by one of Benkay's sushi chefs, Maui Poe, who originally hails from Palau. Maui's use of Pacific Red Hot Tinian peppers in his sushi preparations are memorable, for these peppers impart a special, unique sweetness and flavor that doesn't overheat. These peppers blend nicely with the other sushi elements. If you are fortunate and have the opportunity to attend this month's event, ask for the "Maui Bomb", which is a totally new salmon sushi dish that has Japanese mayonnaise, tuna, pepper, and other ingredients - this "Maui Bomb" is just awesome - it literally melts in your mouth, and will make you say "Wow" even though your mouth is full!

Sushi Chef Tosho Tsuchida, Benkay's head sushi chef, leads a team of sushi chefs who roll up an astonishing selection of sushi. Among the types served are Unagi (broiled eel), Hirami (flounder), Ikura (salmon roe), California Roll, Hammachi (a high quality white fish), tako (octopus), Ebi (sweet shrimp), Hoki (clam) and Maguro (tuna). Ask Maui to make a sushi roll with Philadelphia Cream Cheese! One other treat I had at the end of our sushi feast was a heavenly home-made yogurt dessert. My companion opted for a green tea ice cream.

The Benkay Sushi Bar is held in high regard by the local Japanese community and is known as a premier sushi destination. All things considered, the Benkay all-you-can eat Sushi Fair is Guam's Best Sushi Dining Experience - I just don't think you can get better quality for the $35/person you pay. Prepare to relax in an unhurried intimate environment where you can be one-on-one with a sushi chef who will roll your every command. Indulge in a variety of different gustatory pleasures that can only be delivered in a sushi dinner.

Around the Island - Jan Z's Maryland Crab Cakes are Back, Le Creole's Festival

Get in your car and get on down the road 'cause Bill's brought them fabulous Maryland-style Crab Cake Sandwiches back to the menu board! You can now savor these seasoned crab dreams served on a Sesame seed bun (the same used for Jan Z's famous burgers) for $8, which includes a choice of side. Jan Z's has something for everyone, including something I have a hard time finding elsewhere - fried chicken gizzards! Hearty breakfasts await you in the mornings and Jan Z's lunch sandwiches are great with soup. The smoked tuna salads are unique to Jan Z's, and they really pile up the sashimi like nobody else! Of course, the great view of the Agat Marina and Phillipine Sea is a plus but the crab cakes would be worth the trip even without the view. Call them at 565-2184 for information.

Le Creole Restaurant at the Dai-Ichi has recently launched its International Food Festival, serving the cuisine of a different country each day of the week. Mondays are Italian Creations; Tuesday are Korean; Wednesday, Japanese Cuisine is the theme; Thursdays feature Filipino Specialties; Friday is a day to enjoy Chamorro Delicacies; and on Saturdays, Famous Chinese Dishes are served. These affordable daily lunch buffets are $9.95, and are served from 11:30am to 1:45pm. Sunday Brunch is a very reasonable $13. The picturesque view of Tumon Bay from Le Creole is magical even on a bad day and it's always fun to watch the tourists frolicking in the pool. Call 646-5881, ext. 121 for reservations as it does get busy.

Sango Japanese - The Reef Hotel's Venerable Restaurant Re-opens

Isn't it interesting how experiencing adversity can bring greater and improved strength and quality? Although this wisdom usually applies to people, it can also apply to the things that people create. Such is the case with the Guam Reef Hotel's Sango Japanese Restaurant, which has recently re-opened after being closed due to severe damage incurred during Typhoon Pongsona. Sango is located on the Lobby Level of the Reef just past the elevators that take you to the Top of the Reef. The same red lantern in the hallway awaits you near the entrance, and if you look closely, you 'll see two small salt pillars near the first step leading into the restaurant. These are for good luck and to ward off evil spirits.

Upon entering, you will immediately see a large room on the left - this is the new tatami room, which can seat 18 people. It can be reserved for private functions and parties, and stuns with an expansive view of Tumon Bay's hotel-dotted coastline, from the Outrigger to the Hilton. The room is majestic in its simplicity. The main dining room has several seating areas, with some smoking sections. The window seats offer another dazzling view of the bay beneath and the sea beyond...one doesn't appreciate the soothing effect horizons have on the addled psyche until one is placed in "a room with a view". A smaller private tatami room is also available and seats six.

Sango serves a Weekly Lunch Special for $12 (+10% SC). This week's two choices were Set A) Minced Cutlet Lunch, which had Stewed Eggplant, Appetizer, Pickles, Rice & Miso Soup; and Set B) which was a Curry Rice Lunch Set with Green Salad, Pickles, Miso Soup and Fruit. I scanned the attractively-composed Set Menu and A La Carte selections and decided on the Special Sango Bento Lunch ($20), which appeared to have a little of everything inside, including Sashimi, Shrimp Tempura, Grilled Fish, Stewed Dish, Wariko Soba, Pickles, Rice, and Miso Soup.

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Itadake masu!

Don't miss this week's features at GuamDiner.com!

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