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March 26, 2004, Volume 4 Number 13

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

What do you think Tumon's San Vitores Road will look like a year from now? How about 5 years? How did it look five years ago? How about 20 years ago, back in 1984? Can you remember how many hotels were up and operating then? We had the Hilton, PIC, Fujita, Okura, Reef, Guam Plaza, Tropicana, and Dai-Ichi, among the major properties with 100+ rooms. There were no hotels along Tamuning's Agana Bay.

Since 1984, the Pacific Star (now Marriott), Hyatt, Westin, Onward, Palace, Nikko, Holiday Inn, Outrigger, Pia Marine, Ohana Bayview & OceanView, Capital, Grand, Royal Orchid, Santa Fe, and the still dormant, Sherwood, have all been built, as well as the fabulous Hotel Belvedere at the Leo Palace and Ladera Towers in Mangilao. It's really quite amazing when you consider how much of Guam's landscape has changed.

I bring this up because I can see San Vitores shaping up into a much larger avenue, with wide sidewalks, flowered shrubs planted in islands, decorated street lamps, and pavered crosswalks. This is a reminder that change is constant, and that it takes time. Guam experienced unprecedented growth in its "heyday", when the Tumon skyline was filled with construction cranes. Although the rapid growth of the early 90's probably won't recur, there will still be many changes and improvements taking place all over the island.

Guam has long since overcome the stigma of being a remote refueling stop, or an isolated duty station with high humidity and squishy sea slugs. The island has evolved into a bona fide travel destination. No matter which way you look, whether it's down or up, the future is loaded with positive, exciting changes, that will polish and enhance our product.

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • Visiting Chef Cheong Liew - Innovative Eurasian Cuisine at Roy's
  • Kaddon Pika Contest - Students, Cost-U-Less & DOE Make Winning Combo
  • More Kelaguen Contest Winners - Guam's Most Popular Competition Dish!
  • Check Out GFG's TOP 30 Spots in DIRECTIONS March Issue
  • Around the Island - Brown Bag Cafe Opens, Le Tasi Bistro French Onion Soup
  • Fast Freddy's Sandwiches & Subs - Sandwiches with a Very Real Attitude

Visiting Chef Cheong Liew - Innovative Eurasian Cuisine at Roy's

A cooking class along with a special dinner menu are scheduled this weekend as part of the upcoming visit from guest Chef Cheong Liew, who comes from the world renowned The Grange Restaurant at Australia's Hilton Adelaide. Chef Liew combines Asian and Western ingredients in his crowd-pleasing culinary creations, and what better place to showcase these than at Roy's in the Hilton Guam. The Cooking Class is scheduled for Saturday,March 27, from 11am - 2pm, and the special dinner menu will be featured this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (March 26-28), from 6pm - 10pm. Reservations are highly recommended and can be made by calling 646-DINE (3463).

Kaddon Pika Contest - Students, Cost-U-Less & DOE Make Winning Combo

You would have been proud of the young Middle and High School student teams who prepared Kaddon Pika this past Saturday at the 2nd Annual I Geran Kaddon Pika Contest put on by Cost-U-Less and DOE's Chamorro Studies and Special Projects Division.

The "Minannge-na" (taste/flavor) of the competing dishes was "ekselente" (excellent) by any standard, with the students preparing their entries completely from scratch. With the provided ingredients, they cut up garlic, onions, and peppers, and added their own special seasonings to the pre-cut chicken. The winning Middle School team was from Jose Rios Middle School, with the winning High School Team, Simon Sanchez, also garnering Best Overall honors.

Among the criteria were the use of ingredients (color, appeal, uniqueness); how the food was prepared - cleanliness, set-up, and creativity in cooking the dish); and the presentation - overall beauty, music, props and attire. One of the schools even had a live rooster as part of its display - what better prop for a Kaddon Pika contest? The Rios team used fresh tumeric and bay leaves for a uniquely-appealing rendition. The donne peppers put in all the dishes really heated palates, a taste sensation no one complained about! In my judgment, they were all winners. Good job, kids! See you next year!

More Kelaguen Contest Winners - Guam's Most Popular Competition Dish!

It seems that hardly a month goes by without a Kelaguen contest! After judging the Kaddon Pika contest, would you believe I walked across the parking lot to judge the Kelaguen Contest at Guam Premier Outlets just an hour later? Of course, I did require some emergency pre-emptive relief by getting a Wendy's Frosty to cool things off a bit!

The Kelaguen contest had three Kelaguen categories to judge, including Chicken, Seafood, and Beef. Winning the Seafood Kelaguen competition was Ruben Mortera, who's "Coco-Nutty" Kelaguen wowed the audience with its magnificent presentation and use of parrot fish, green mango and coconut. The Chicken Kelaguen winner was Cecil Orsini, who took the prize with his all natural ingredient based kelaguen with chicken barbecued using tangantangan and not charcoal - a difference you could taste. The sole Beef Kelaguen entry took 1st place by default, however, the beef was quite tasty, with just the right amount of lemon (which, by the way, is the real meaning of the word, "kelaguen") and entered by Tosha Brown.

Check Out GFG's TOP 30 Spots in DIRECTIONS March Issue

Soon to hit the newsstands and subscriber mailboxes is the March issue of Directions Magazine, with a cover story feature on hotelier extraordinaire, Erol Miftahittin, of Rose Hotels International. However, if you check out Erol's elbow on the cover, he's resting it on top of the "Food Guy's Top 30" picks for business meals, which has yet another incredible graphically rendered caricature of the Guam Food Guy (where do they find these "artistes", and where did they get their "crayons"!) You'll have to see it to believe it, and you'll certainly get some great tips on dining choices! You can also get an insight to the Shell LiveWire program, which has spawned and rewarded (with $$$) some exciting new ventures among Guam's young and talented entrepreneurs.

Around the Island - Brown Bag Cafe Opens, Le Tasi Bistro French Onion Soup

Lori's back! Lori Tydingco, has just opened the Brown Bag Cafe in the same location where she operated Truffles Cafe in the DFS building on Chalan San Antonio across from Guam Greyhound Park. The Brown Bag Cafe is a pretty place, where you can sit down and enjoy (or take out & enjoy) a variety of specialty salads, sandwiches, baked goods and a delicious Illy Coffee blend brewed just the way you like it. I sampled a marvelous Mango Salad that had feta cheese, walnuts, raisins, cranberries, cucumbers, carrots, and crisp romaine lettuce, which I drizzled with a tangy, garlicky home-made vinaigrette. It was delicious and bears repeating. You'll be impressed by the specialty food products Lori's brought in, including a few items to encourage and support children's cooking. Brown Bag is definitely a place to feed the stomach as well as the imagination! Call 647-0188.

Le Tasi Bistro has Guam's best French Onion Soup. My challenge to you is to prove me wrong! Also, you haven't had a bread bowl soup on Guam that can match the Crab & Corn Soup we had recently. This bread is made by hand from an old country recipe with a magnificent crust, consistency, flavor and texture - it's like taking a European vacation! If you haven't had LTB's Linguini with Shrimp, you need to try it and taste for yourself. Two sauces await - pesto and marinara, both equally as flavorful (is there such a word as "flavory"? know, crossing savory with flavorful?) Good eats here, folks!

Fast Freddy's Sandwiches & Subs - Food with a Very Real Attitude

If you were inside Fast Freddy's Sandwiches and Subs outlet in Mangilao, you would likely get the impression that this new eatery is part of a successful and popular chain of quick serve sandwich shops, much like counterparts Subway, Quizno's and Blimpie's. In fact, you might like this one better, not just because of the food, but because of the "attitude", and man, do these guys have "attitude!" I mean "in your face attitude", complete with signs and testimonials to let you know in a not-so-subtle way that you're in for a treat!

Fast Freddy's is the first of its kind on the planet, and is the brainchild of food entrepreneur, Steve Dormer, owner of Mama Tita's Bake at Home Pizza, which happens to share a location with Fast Freddy's. Dormer also has the Best Water store in the same building, where you can get a bottle of (go ahead and say it) the Best Water on Guam! I believe Dormer is a master of persuasion, which makes him a superb marketeer. Who else could have dreamed of tapping into Guam's vast food stamp market by selling unbaked pizza? To my continued amazement, you can buy any one of Fast Freddy's 20 sandwich offerings with food stamps only because you can't eat it on the premises!

Fast Freddy's is about "hype" and I don't mean it negatively at all. The signage in the work station invites you to watch the process of your sandwich's creation "Watch Us Make A Masterpiece!" And it's not just any old sandwich prep station, it's a "Super Fantastic Customer Sandwich Making Place." Posters exclaim "So Fast We're Already FAMOUS" (with a hand showing the peace sign) and another proclaiming, "Food with a Very Real Attitude!"(with another hand symbol giving a Number One finger rating.) This place promotes the experience you're sure to enjoy - how can you not?

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Bon Appetit!

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