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June 18, 2004, Volume 4 Number 25


Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

Today I had an enlightening real-life experience involving healthy food choices when I went grocery shopping at the Oka Pay-Less. While looking for my preferred loaf of multi-grain with flax bread, I encountered a middle-aged Asian woman who was puzzling over an instruction sheet provided by her physician that listed the foods she COULD and COULDN'T eat as part of her special dietary regimen. Although the foods she needed to buy were clearly written down, she was having difficulty understanding which products were safe to buy. She was on a sodium-restricted diet, that also excluded milk, dairy, and soy products. She was able to eat Quaker Oats and wheat bread, but was concerned whether they were made using butter, salt, and milk.

I helped out by showing her an acceptable whole wheat bread, regular Quaker Oats, Mrs. Dash Seasoning (a wonderful salt substitute), canned peaches, pears, and pineapple in light syrups, and unsalted natural peanut butter. Although this lady seemed a bit frantic when I first met her, she was extremely grateful once I started to help and explain each product to her, often referring back to her list of acceptable foods. It was obvious that most of the foods listed were totally different from what she was used to eating; however she was on a mission to adjust her lifestyle to conform to the prescribed foods. She behaved as if her life depended on it, and was relieved to get my help in finding each food item.

The truth is that our lives DO depend on the food choices we make, and we should not wait until we need to have a doctor hand us a list of "allowed" and "banned" foods. Although this lady was getting a crash course in the science of nutrition, all of us can learn from her "do or die" shopping experience. What foods should you stop or restrict eating to protect your health? What foods should you be eating to maintain and sustain your health? Maybe you should give this "food" some "thought"!

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • Congratulations to Chef Christophe Durliat on 30 Years of Culinary Excellence
  • Father's Day Specials - Genji@Roy's Brunch, Palm Garden, Planet Hollywood
  • Great SPAM™ Cook-Off Island Style IV - Final Winners & Commerative SPAM™ Intro
  • UOG Endowment Foundation/MCA Chef's Cup Raffle Winner's Dinner Party
  • 1st Annual Hotel Santa Fe Father's Day BBQ Sauce Showdown
  • Around The Island - Sabai Dee Thai, Toh Ka Lin Lunch Update, OHG Wine Dinner
  • "An Elegant Evening of Strauss" - Classical Music & Fine Dining at the Hilton
  • SandCastle's "Icy" Dinner Show - Quality Dining & Spectacular Entertainment

Congratulations to Chef Christophe Durliat on 30 Years of Culinary Excellence

We congratulate Executive Chef Christophe Durliat who is marking his 30th year as a chef. He began his culinary career as a commissary chef after graduating from the Ecole Hotelier Guebwiller culinary school. He has worked in Switzerland, France, Malaysia, and Korea, where he was Executive Chef for the Kyongju Hilton and where he met his wife, Soo Yong. In 1999, Chef Durliat assumed the Executive Chef position at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa. Chef Durliat and his wife have a 4 year old son, Noah Nicholas. Durliat is the current Chef Member of the Year for the Micronesian Chefs' Association, and a two-time winner of the UOG Endowment Foundation/MCA Celebrity Chefs' Cup Competition. Chef Durliat is also the current MCA President.

To commemorate his 30 years of culinary achievement, Chef Durliat is celebrating as only a chef can, with an upgraded menu for the weekly French Night at the Islander Terrace on Thursday, June 17. You can get MORE of Chef Christophe's excellent French cuisine for the same price. Bon Succes, Chef Christophe!

Father's Day Specials - Genji@Roy's Brunch, Palm Garden, Planet Hollywood

With Father's Day this coming Sunday, time is short for making reservations for a special meal to honor Dad. There are many choices for treating Dad to a feast.

At the Hilton there are several choices from a wonderful Japanese brunch featuring the fabulous Genji@Roy's format which has become so popular for lunch. They will be putting out a great spread for Father's Day. The Islander Terrace is the first choice for many so you best get your reservations in right away. And, don't forget about Roy's. Chef Eddie has created a special set menu to honor Dad and it is being served nightly from Friday, June 18 through Sunday, June 20. To make reservations at any of these restaurants call 646-DINE(3463)

The Palm Garden in the Palace Hotel has fast become a favorite of many local families. Their buffets always feature great seafood and unique Asian flavors. They are doing a special Father's Day Brunch and you can make reservations by calling 646-2930.

Planet Hollywood is a great choice if your Dad like to be treated like the Star he is! Chef Chito has prepared an excellent menu for Dad which is being served now through Father's Day. Dad will get his choice of Grilled Cajun Rib Eye Steak, BBQ Platter or Seafood Combo served with appetizer and dessert and a Yard of Miller Beer - what's not to like about that? Make reservations by calling 647-STAR(7827).

May's Restaurant is ready to serve Dad and your entire family with Special Set Menus based on the number of people in your party or from Special Ala Carte choices just for Father's Day. May's is a popular place and her excellent Chinese and American dishes are the main reasons but the friendly service and welcoming atmosphere make it truly a great place for a family celebration like Father's Day. Call them at 647-3188/3288.

Great SPAM Cook-Off Island Style IV - Final Winners & Commerative SPAM Intro

Congratulations to Ben Torres, whose Spicy SPAM™ Balls recipe took the first place title in the Great SPAM™ Cook-Off Island Style IV Final Competition on Saturday, June 12. Torres wins a trip for two to Austin, Minnesota, 5 nights hotel accommodations, and $1,000 spending cash. Capturing second place position was Dona Bushong's Triple S "SPAM, Spinach and Swiss" Quiche. Dona took home $500 in prize money along with a Slow Cooker Crock Pot. The other contestants went home with gift baskets and other prizes as well.

A special highlight of the event was the unveiling of the 6oth Anniversary Liberation Day SPAM™ can, sure to be a collector's edition, that goes on sale starting July 1. This unique can is specially designed with a red banner on the front reading "Liberation" and the Guam Flag and Stars & Stripes in the background. A black & white photo taken after the liberation of Guam is on the back, depicting US soldiers with a young boy and carabou. Congratulations to all of the participants in this year's event!

UOG Endowment Foundation/MCA Chef's Cup Raffle Winner's Dinner Party

It was a delightful gathering of friends and colleagues who shared an intimate gourmet dining experience at the SandCastle's new "Magic on Ice" Dinner Show. Outgoing Holiday Inn Resort Guam General Manager, Joseph Zitnik, was the lucky raffle ticket holder at the UOG Endowment Foundation/MCA Celebrity Chefs' Cup Competition held this past April. The prize entitled Zitnik the opportunity to have the chef of his choice prepare a dinner for a small party. However, due to Zitnik's imminent relocation to his new posting as GM for the Crowne Plaza Sanya Hotel in China, along with some scheduling conflicts with Celebrity Cup Winner Chef Michael Bongiorno of the Hyatt (originally selected by Zitnik), a party was arranged at the SandCastle with alternate Chef Jeff Hill performing some culinary magic of his own.

Joining Joseph was his beautiful wife, Pom; Jason Burnett, the new GM for Holiday Inn Resort Guam; Mori Warren, Financial Director for Holiday Inn, along with his lovely wife, Lei; the effervescent Wasanna McCann, close friend of the Zitniks; and myself, the Guam Food Guy. The party just fit around the dining booth and had a first class view of the phenomenal skating and magic performances. The linen-draped table, elegant place settings, contemporary music, steak and lobster dinner service, and fine wine made this evening memorable.

Dessert was a highlight of the dinner, with Chef Jeff Hill personally executing the tableside preparation of a magnificent and savory Bananas Foster. Chef Jeff's easy-going personality belies his considerable culinary talents. He was an elemental part of this group's entertainment, which later went to Fishbowl for a nightcap and more farewell tributes to the Zitniks. We were delighted to meet the new Holiday Inn GM, Jason Burnett (who hails from New Zealand and is coming from a post in Thailand), and welcome him to Guam, where he is sure to make new friends during his tenure who will extend to him the warm Hafa adai hospitality that endears our island to so many. Bon Voyage to the Zitnik family who know they will always have a home in the hearts of their friends and colleagues here on Guam.

Hotel Santa Fe Launches the 1st Annual Father's Day BBQ Sauce Showdown

In a first for Guam, the Hotel Santa Fe has made this Father's Day the kickoff date for its 1st Annual Hotel Santa Fe Father's Day BBQ Sauce Showdown. Competitors will be sharing their secret homemade basting sauce in an effort to win a round trip ticket to Saipan or Rota, along with other prizes.

The BBQ sauce, however, will not be the usual soy sauce based marinade used extensively for grilling meats locally. Instead the judges are looking for the tangy, spicy-sweet sauces that typify American-style barbecue. One of the rules is that no MSG can be used. There is a $20 entrance fee that gets the contestant a t-shirt and a certificate for the Father's Day brunch. Along with the airline ticket, the winning sauce will be included as the 4th option for Chef Joe Borja's current trio of awesome sauces for his famous ribs, which presently include the All-American (tomato-based, finger-lickin' good), Honey Garlic, and the savory Hoisin Apple.

The event starts at 9am, with the hotel providing pre-seasoned, pre-cooked baby backs, and each contestant will then baste the ribs with his own BBQ sauce and finish them on the bbq grill. The public is invited to participate and to watch (the contest is limited to the first 48 entrants), with registration continuing until 9am Sunday or until all slots have been filled. For more information, call 647-8855.

Around The Island - Sabai Dee Thai, Toh Ka Lin Lunch Update, OHG Wine Dinner

Sabai Dee Thai Restaurant has been open for about 3 weeks in the same Cinema Plaza Tamuning location where the abruptly-closed Binh Minh restaurant operated. The really good news for you die hard Thai food fans is that the new restaurant is co-owned by fabulous Thai chef, Tim Palacios, who blazed her culinary fame at such places as Time Out Sports Lounge, Ban Thai, Santa Fe and in Saipan. Her friend, Rose Wood, is the co-owner and takes care of everything outside of the kitchen. Prices are reasonable, ranging between $5 to $12, with Deep Fried Fish (lapu lapu, parrot fish, and tilapia) starting at $14. We wish them well and much success in their new venture. Call 649-8424 or just go there and eat yourself into a delirious state of bliss!

The Okura's famed Cantonese-style Chinese restaurant Toh Ka Lin has started a new lunch special service called "Choice & Choice" where you select 2 choices of 4 entree choices offered and your choices are then served with Egg Soup, Chinese pickles, Rice and Special Dessert of the Day for $11. The entree selections will include completely new items not on the regular menu. "Choice & Choice" is available on Monday, Wednesday & Thursdays. As you will recall, Tuesdays and Fridays are reserved for Toh Ka Lin's hugely popular Lunch Buffet. Call 646-6811 for reservations and information.

On Saturday June 26, the Old Hagatna Grill will be hold its 5th Anniversary Wine Dinner, featuring a four-course menu of Napa Valley Cuisine paired with Kendall-Jackson wines. The event runs from 7pm - 10pm, costs $65 per person, and is a "reservation-only" event. Make reservations by calling 472-5885 or dropping by in person.

"An Elegant Evening of Strauss" - Classical Music & Fine Dining at the Hilton

A unique dining experience will take place in the Hilton's Micronesian Ballroom on Saturday, June 26 which will pair magnificent classical arrangements of both Johann Strauss and Johann Strauss II performed by the Guam Symphony Society with a four-course menu prepared by Executive Chef Christophe Durliat. "An Elegant Evening of Strauss" will be emceed by Jon Anderson, and will feature Kendall-Jackson wine pairings. Click here to see the fabulous musical selections and the menu. Admission is $65 per person inclusive. Reservations can be made by calling 646-DINE(3463). Diamond Club Members please call 649-5036 for information on rates and benefits for this special event.

SandCastle's "Icy" Dinner Show - Quality Dining & Spectacular Entertainment

Want to experience an evening of fine dining and extraordinary entertainment that you will remember for the rest of your life? Well you can easily do this right here on Guam, all in the luxurious comfort of the SandCastle Dinner Theatre, Guam's premiere entertainment attraction. Launched on May 14, "Magic on Ice" is a dazzling one-of-kind performance that combines the elegant beauty of world-class figure skating with the magical enchantment of superb illusions. It is unquestionably one of most uplifting, inspiring, and unique performances I have ever seen, and is patently just darned great fun for the entire family!

"Magic on Ice" was especially created for the SandCastle by Steve Wheeler, the world's premier ice-skating illusionist who has enthralled millions of people around the world, with over 5,000 live appearances. Wheeler started performing magic when he was 10 years old and was awarded top honors from the Society of American Magicians when he was 14. He spent several years undergoing intensive training by some of the most renowned figure-skating coaches in the U.S. His first performance of "Magic on Ice" took place in 1982 at Tokyo's New Fujiya Hotel. I could list more credits, television appearances, and other highlights, but it would take several pages. Suffice it to say, you will be overwhelmed by this awe-inspiring performance by Wheeler and his cast of accomplished skaters, who have transformed the SandCastle into a mystical wonderland of superlative artistic innovation that will engage all of your senses.

What better way to prepare for a spectacular show than to begin your evening with a gourmet dinner? After you've entered SandCastle's elaborate lobby (this place exudes baroque-style luxury with Italian marble floors embedded with 24-carat gold plated tiles and ceilings adorned with ornate hand-cut crystal chandeliers ), you are escorted by one of SandCastle's well-trained staff to your linen-clad table or booth. Every detail of the tabletop setting has been meticulously attended to with the goal of creating a mood of elegant fine dining. Cocktails can be ordered or you can choose a suitable wine from the impressive wine list.

The standard 4-course dinner menu includes Lobster Bisque, Salad, Choice of Entree (Grilled Filet Mignon, Seafood Grill, or Combination Choice - for an additional $15 you can have Steak & Seafood or an extra Lobster Tail with your seafood selection), and a dessert ends the meal. After dinner, a fresh fruit or cheese platter can be enjoyed for an extra cost. The Lobster Bisque was an exquisite blend of the essence of lobster flavored with brandy and fresh herbs. The thick, rich soup had lobster meat, dill, and was garnished with sweet cream and a flavorful fried leeks. We also sampled one of Executive Chef Jeff Hill's special creations, a stunning shrimp cocktail that was made with meaty jumbo prawns circling a crystal goblet and garnished with fresh lime and lemon slices. The Salad was a winner, with fresh greens, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and Kalamata olives all drizzled with a zesty Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette.

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Bon appetit!

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