April 27, 2007, Volume 7 Number 17
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Congratulations to George Washington High School's ProStart Culinary Team's outstanding performance for finishing 6th place in the National Competition in Charlotte, North Carolina! This is truly an achievement worth noting considering they were up against 34 teams from across the United States! We noted that they won the local competition in a previous newsletter (March 16, 2007, Vol 7, Number 11) and are really pleased to hear they placed highly national.
The ProStart Program is nationally accredited and administered locally by Guam Community College. GCC oversees the satellite culinary program at each local high school. The competition requires each team to prepare an appetizer, entree and dessert from scratch within an hour's time period. They must demonstrate to the judges a wide range of skill sets, including the use of knives, costing and pricing ingredients, menu creation, team organization, coordinated planning, and sanitation.
The dishes they prepared were Reconstructed Beef Kelaguen Carpaccio with Boonie Pepper Aioli (appetizer), Pacific Reef Fish and Shrimp Hash Lumpia with Purple Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Vegetable Medley and Sweet Chili Sauce (entree), and for dessert, delectable Melting Chocolate Lava Cake with Raspberry Coulis and Fresh Berries.
Team members Jonathon Paulino, Jasmine Pangelinan, Kin Blas, and Randall Rhoden were accompanied to Charlotte by their teacher, Frank Evangelista, mentor chef, Peter Duenas, executive chef of Sam Choy's Guam, and Barry Mead, State Director, Guam ProStart. Everyone is extremely proud of our young people's performance! [Photo L-R: Paulino, Pangelinan, Blas, Rhoden and Chef Duenas]
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
This & That - Things Happening and Notable Events
GFG Hosts K57 "Tourism & You" Food Guy Show Saturday April 28 10am-Noon
Listen up this Saturday morning for the Guam Food Guy segment of K57's "Tourism & You" Show, from 10am-moon. This week's first hour guests will be members of the team behind the newly-resurrected Mermaid Tavern and Grille, Nadia Wood and kitchen manager Sara Pleadwell.
Our second hour guests will be the members of the George Washington High School ProStart Culinary Competition team who have just returned from placing 6th in the National ProStart Competition in Charlotte, North Carolina. Joining them will be their teacher Frank Evangelista and Barry Mead, State Director, Pro-Start Guam.
These interviews will offer unique and interesting insights into the people behind the scenes at the island's restaurants. This will be an opportunity for you to hear compelling stories about their professions and their passions, which are often synonymous in this industry for people of their caliber. Your phone calls are welcome at 477-5757 or *57 on your cell phone.
PHARE COMPETITION RESULTS ANNOUNCED
With so many culinary activities happening it's been hard to stay on top of all of the events. We didn't want to overlook the results of the two PHARE 2007 Culinary Competitions, which are shown below:
In the "An EGGstra Special EGGstravaganza" Professional Chef's Culinary Competition held Friday, April 13 at the Hyatt Regency Guam, the winners were:
1st Place - Willy Nunez, Pacific Islands Club Bistro Chef de Cuisine, for Creme Brulee
2nd Place - Carol Perez, Sam Choy's Guam
3rd Place - Tina Jung, Hyatt Regency Guam
People's Choice Award - Carol Perez, Sam Choy's Guam
In the "Yahoo with Wahoo" Student Culinary Competition held Saturday, April 14, the winners were:
1st Place - Southern High School, with their Chilled Wahoo Kelaguen Sandwich with Fresh Vegetable Salsa
2nd Place - GCC De Tierra Caliente
3rd Place - John F. Kennedy High School
People's Choice Award - GCC De Tierra Caliente
House of Brutus
"Fondue-ing it @ House of Brutus - New Mambo Fondue Dining Experience is "Dippety-do Delightful!"
Some things in life are just worth "dueing" and one of them is fondue! House of Brutus re-introduces this popular dining trend from the Sixties and Seventies. Fondue means "melted' in French, and it originated in either Switzerland or France - they are still debating the matter. It used to be a peasant dish where hardened Swiss or Gruyere cheese was melted with the addition of a bit of wine and stale bread was dipped in it. The rest is gastronomic history, with chocolate fondue being introduced in 1964.
Always innovative, Brutus brings us Mambo Fondue, available from 6-10pm Sun- Tue, and Wednesdays from 6pm-12am. You can either have Cheese or Chocolate, and then add all the goodies. We actually tried both, starting out with a Half Pot ($19) of Bacon & Cheddar Blend cheese (other choices are Classic Swiss or Brutus Original Cheese Blend). The other pot we had was Brutus Bitter-Sweet Chocolate (half $19, full $25).
It takes a few minutes for the sterno-heated pots to melt the cheese to the right dipping consistency and then you can dip breads ($3/portion) like buttered toast cubes (excellent), French bread, and Veggies ($5/portion), served in small bowls with choices such as fresh mushrooms, carrots, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower. Protein lovers are not forgotten. Meat ($6/portion) choices include grilled chicken breast, beef sirloin, seasonal fish or grilled shrimp.
There is a fondue protocol so I suggest using the dipping fork to bring your dipped item to your plate, then the side fork to eat the dipped food. I was joined by two adventurous foodie colleagues, Orleyne T. and Anneliese W., who dutifully performed the dipping rituals and passed the cheese to "due" the chocolate. I had a delicate Danzante Pinot Grigio with the cheese fondue as light wines complement the cheese fondue best.
The Chocolate Fondue will probably be a bigger hit amongst locals since the chocolate fountain at hotel buffets and events has become a mainstay. People love to dip fruit, cookies, and marshmallows in molten chocolate, and this particular blend is high grade and irresistibly addictive! We dipped fresh seedless grapes, bananas, strawberries, honey dew, and Kahuna marshmallows. With this I paired a Blackstone Merlot, which went nicely.
I really see this Mambo Fondue thing taking off among the "in crowd" and foodies, since it's one of those "interactive" dining fads that allow people to "cook" their food in a social setting. In addition, as you'll find out for yourself, it' s just plain "Fon-to-due" You may even discover that the "word-play" is contagious! The HOB Fondue is recommended for small groups of three or four, and Fondue Party Packages are available - just ask your favorite Brutizen!
Gabriel's House of Pasta
Hagatna (near Bank Of Hawaii)
We were quite pleased with a visit to Gabriel's House of Pasta this past Monday. We started off with the Minestrone Soup (a cup is $2.50), which, like everything else here, is made with tons of flavor and rich ingredients - the soup's tomato broth is so thick you can't even see the bottom of your bouillon spoon! With each entree you get your choice of soup or salad ($5), and Garlic Bread ($3.25), so it's best to order entrees. The Garlic Bread comes in a basket and is toasted on the top, served sliced and drenched in garlic butter in the bottom...you'll certainly need the peppermint candy they give you after this garlic indulgence! Gabriel's also serves wine and now takes credit cards.
I had the Chicken Parmigiana ($8.25). This is an absurdly large-portioned dish. Chef/owner Joe Borja doesn't believe in skimping (nor does he believe in dieting!) so be prepared for a lot of food. Chef's dishes are made to order so the chicken breast is breaded and baked then covered with a gloriously melted and bronzed mozzarella before being smothered in a savory marina. All of this is placed atop a bed of spaghetti...it's what I call a "truck-driver's meal"!
The other dish we had was the Vegan Puttanesca ($8.50). It's made with white wine, tomato sauce, whole unpitted Kalamata olives, pepper flakes and tossed with a vegan penne. There were a few cherry tomatoes cooked in this broth, which I have to say was a bit pika with a flavor that perked you right up!
We noticed another table that had an Eggplant Parmigiana that was as large a portion as the chicken. A family at yet another table was eating the "Lady & The Tramp" (named after the popular Disney animated movie) which sells for $20 and includes one large bowl of spaghetti and super-size meatballs, two soups, two salads and one NY-style cheese cake.
It's the Cheese Cake ($5.25) you're going to have to have, since it's made in house and is well on the better side of good. It is made with Ricotta cheese and that differentiates it from the cream cheese based variety. You'll taste and feel the difference. It comes with a dollup of whipped cream and is drizzled with a strawberry sauce.
Gabriel's is open for lunch and serves specials then as well as for dinner. Among the dinner specials the night we were there: Shrimp & Spinach Manacotti ($12.50), Seafood Fia Diavlo ($15), Calamari Spaghetti ($9) and a Sausage Sub ($8.75). Gabriel's is big on taste and big in size, so be prepared for leftovers!
Everyone who's done Chongquing Hot Pot at Sichuan Kitchen just loves it. Moreover, once you've had it, you'll find out that you'll eventually crave the special "ma la" taste the unique peppercorns impart to the broth in the Hot Pot. For the unintiated, please ask for Shi-Yang when you go and order hot pot. She will explain the step-by-step process of ordering the broth (spicy, regular, or both in a divided kettle), as well as how to prepare your dipping sauce. This is made by combining cilantro, chopped garlic, a thick seasoning paste, and peanut butter. There are variations of these, with other elements such as Sha Cha sauce, sesame sauce, and soy bean curd sauce.
You can order according to your dietary preferences, so if you vegetarian, you have an entire menu of options. For meat and seafood lovers, there's an abundant selection, including fish, shrimp, shrimp balls, sliced lamb, sliced beef, sliced pork and dumplings. All ingredients are cooked "shabu shabu" style, where you dip uncooked food in a hot boiling broth and let it cook before picking it out. Then you dip it in your sauce before eating.
The noodles are a pleasant surprise for many people. The sweet potato noodles are green and thick, and once cooked are soft and pliant, with a gentle taste. Sticky rice, tofu strips, vermicelli (clear noodles), egg noodles and flat wide noodles are also popular. Greens can include spinach, cabbage, and kang kong. Mushrooms, potatoes and Korean vegetables can also be ordered.
Hot Pot is not necessarily spicy - you can order a regular broth or the spicy, and if you want it ultra-spicy, they can accommodate you. Hot pot dining is another interactive, fun dining experiences that is a great way to socialize and enjoy both your meal and your company. I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically recommend Sichuan Kitchen's Chongquing Hot Pot as a must-do dining adventure while you are on Guam.
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