August 15, 2008, Volume 8 Number 23
Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,
Of all the events and happenings that have happened or are about to happen, the most significant would have to be the Taste Guam Food & Beverage Festival held on August 2 at the Micronesia Mall's Expo Hall. It was truly a magnificent event, far exceeding the expectations of many, with attendance estimated to have been about 3,000-4,000 people. Alongside food booths run by hotel chef teams were a few small mom & pop restaurants from the Chamorro Village, with a major attraction being the Farmers' Co-Op vegetable and fruit garden. Chef competitions, beverage samplings, cooking demonstrations, and continuous entertainment both occupied and satisfied the attendees. This first-time event will certainly do well when it is again staged next year. Kudos to the GHRA for organizing Taste Guam, and to all of the sponsors, booth holders, and workers who assured this event's enormous success.
We have amazing culinary opportunities awaiting us in the coming months and years. All you have to do is to attend an event like Taste Guam to see how far we've progressed in the past 10-15 years. For most, the greatest progress has been made in the past 2 to 5 years if you measure the output of the Guam Community College's Culinary Arts Academy. This has to be one of the island's best investments in skills development ever, with impressive results and permanent returns back to the community. After all, today's young people are our future leaders, so let's continue supporting their educational aspirations, especially when they are based in the kind of practical applications we can taste!
Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"
GFG Hosts K57 "Tourism & You" Food Guy Show
Saturday August 16
Listen up this Saturday morning for the Guam Food Guy's segment of K57's "Tourism & You" Show, from 10am-Noon. This week's first hour guests will include Maria Cooper-Nurse, Marketing Communications Manager for the Hyatt Regency Guam who may be joined by visiting Italian Chef Roberto Mancini and Executive Chef Hermann Grossbichler to discuss current and future Hyatt happenings. Our other first hour guests are Anastasios "Tas" Menzies and Dulce Sapalicio from Mama Gyros, one of the island's latest culinary additions specializing in authentic Greek cuisine.
Our second hour guests will be Sarah Creachbaum, Superintendent of War in the Pacific National Historical Park and American Memorial Park, and Tammy Duchesne, Chief of Cultural Resources for both parks. They will be talking about the 30th Anniversary of the NPS and about activities that will be planned this Saturday including the ranger-led tours ("Meet the Park") of several National Park Service units and the Museum collection. Rounding out our show's second hour will be John Cho and his wife, Choi, the namesake of Choi's Korean Restaurant in Tamuning, a new Food Guy favorite hangout.
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.
Gupot Y Peskadot Fish Festival
Sunday August 17
Be sure to mark your calendars for this coming Sunday's 10th Annual Gupot Y Peskadot hosted by the Guam Fishermans' Co-Op. It will be held from 10am-4pm at the Hagatna Marina. There will be marine exhibits and interactive displays, and even fish painting and other activities that will be fun for the entire family.
Of course, there will be a wonderful spread of seafood delights such as fish chorizos, fish burgers, marlin dip, kelaguens, and poke. This event is held in conjunction with the 13th Annual Marianas Underwater Fishing Federation Spearfishing Challenge that's being held on Saturday. For more information, call the Co-Op at 472-6323.
Shioti Eurasion Restaurant Opens August 17
The newest addition to Guam's restaurant scene is the Shioti Eurasion Restaurant, located in the Tumon Golf Driving Range. Though this seems an unlikely spot for sumptuous cuisine served in a splendidly accoutered dining environment, guests have been delighted and pleasantly surprised by the unique preparations. Shioti will be open for lunch and dinner. Call 649-6368 for reservations and menu information.
Cafe Havana Celebrates with a Grand Opening Party On August 13
Congratulations to Richard Rennie, Managing Partner of Cafe Havana, on the successful grand opening of Cafe Havana, Guam's only Cuban-style restaurant and bar. This well-attended party was certainly the happening social event of the day, and guests were treated to an array of delectable Cuban fusion cuisine, or "cusion"as some have labeled it. Executive Chef Candler Wilkinson's team wowed the house with such creations as Paella, El Pollo Borracho (roasted chicken served on a white wine and dark rum sauce), and Atun Havanero (Fresh Seared Tuna Sauteed with onion, tomato, bell pepper and Spanish olives), The ever-popular Mojitos were flowing and the high energy salsa band, Ariba, stimulated even the rhythmically-challenged. It was a superb kick-off for a grand new addition to Guam's entertainment and dining scene.
Le Tasi Bistro's New Menu Additions
New Marina Hotel
Le Tasi Bistro has just introduced some new appetizers and entrees on their dinner menu that are must-try's when you dine there!
Among them is the Spicy Chorizo ($7.25) which is a spicy Spanish sausage sauteed with onions and stewed in wine sauce. Talk about a remarkable way to prepare sausage! It has a completely new texture and a taste that's delectably addictive. You'll find yourself using basil bread to sop up the sauce in this flavor-packed dish.
Another new appetizer is the Smoked Saumon ($11.50), which has thin-sliced smoked salmon served with capers and red onions and cream cheese, and is served with toast.
We also had an impressive new dinner salad, the Fisherman Salad ($16.95) which has mixed greens laced with olive oil dressing, then topped with smoked salmon, shrimp, crab, and grilled fish, which happened to be Basa filet. This marvelous salad is also available for lunch.
For you burger lovers out there, Le Tasi Bistro has introduced the French Style Cheese Burger ($15.50). This masterpiece is for the heartier appetites and can be shared. It consists of a half pound of juicy C.A.B. ground sirloin that's grilled to your liking and topped with sauteed onions and mushrooms laced in a red wine and blue cheese sauce that permeates this sandwich. It's topped with jack cheese and served with potatoes. If you like blue cheese, this will be your ultimate cheese burger experience!
We were finally surprised by another of Chef Bertrand's creations, a dreamy coconut creme brulee! Check out Le Tasi Bistro's new dinner menu as it reflects a few changes along with inevitable price increases.
Al Dente Ristorante
Chef Roberto Mancini's Dinner Specials thru August 21
Hyatt Regency Guam
If you enjoy Italian cuisine as I do, you will be delighted by the extraordinary creations prepared by Roberto Mancini, the visiting guest chef from La Cucina Restaurant in Tokyo's Roppongi Hills Club. You can even sample some of his preparations during Al Dente's antipasti lunch buffet, however, it is the dinner service where the culinary magic is performed. Although the menus may vary, the quality of our dining experience is sure to be replicated in any other creations Chef Mancini elects to make. The following depicts our dinner's itinerary as conducted by the maestro, Chef Mancini, who personally gave us a guided tour through each course:
3 fish carpaccio with dill and green pepper marinated with an emulsion of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice
Sicilian couscous and summer vegetables salad with orange marinated salmon
"Acqua cotta alla Toscana con funghi, salciccia e uovo in camicia" Italian sausage and mushroom soup with poached egg
"Fettuccine al ragu alla Bolognese"
Fettuccine with three meat sauce - pork, veal, beef
Ravioli with porcini and parmesan in butter, sage and pancetta sauce
"Stinco d'agnello in umido con polenta e gremolata" Braised lamb shanks with polenta and gremolata
Black cod simmered in white wine and fresh tomato served on crostino and roasted pepper
"Pizza con carciofini, Proscuitto cotto, funghhi e olives" Pizza with baby artichokes, ham, olives and mushrooms
"Tortino di cioccolato alle mandorle alla Caprese con pera glassata al sagrantino zabaione" Chocolate and almond cake Caprese style with sagrantino wine glazed pear and sabayon
Tiramisu. A traditional version of coffee and mascarpone tiramisu
The truth is I could have written a full review of each course, however, suffice it to say that the food tasted better than each photograph depicts. The freshness of the ingredients was compelling. I recall stating that this dinner we had was the best meal served on Guam that night! I stand by this assessment. I invite you to try for yourself.
Hyatt Regency Guam
Speaking of the Hyatt, if you've not been down to see the newly renovated lobby, you will be astonished at the transformation! It really proves the adage about putting your money where your mouth is, since the money that's been invested makes eating here an ultra-classy, if not rarified, dining experience. Although it's meant to be casual (and it is) it is the kind of upgrade that the island's hotels have been needing and is a move to a higher ground that will ultimately attract the well-heeled travelers who appreciate this standard of accommodation.
For those who enjoy great food, you'll be pleased to know that "the lounge" (as it's been aptly renamed) has a chic menu of designer treats, including an appealing Warm Steak Sandwich made with caramelized onions and melted gruyere cheese ($18). Don't let the price deter you - this is one of those great steak moments! I also sampled the Wood Fired Pizza ($18) that has gorgonzola and walnuts. This is the kind of pizza you wish you could have anywhere. There are other items on the menu. In fact, there are several kinds of menus - Coffee & Tea menu, H20 menu (including even Voss glacier water - water that's from a place further away than France or Tuscany!), and there's a High Tea and Traditional Afternoon Tea menu, which features freshly cut sandwiches and home made scones, as well as desserts like Tiramisu, Chocolate Mud Cake, Panacotta, and Lemon Tarts.
Let's not forget the main attraction, though! Yes, we have to have our "WAFFLES!" When it comes to these, nobody does it better you get a large ultra-fluffy and light Belgian Waffle that comes with strawberries, almonds, freshly whipped cream, and a rich chocolate sauce, all for just $10! If you'd prefer syrup, just ask for it. The lounge has a splendid new bar that's got a leather top which a chic appeal which makes it a cool place to sit during the day and a sight to behold at night, when special lights set a mood that you'll have to see to feel. It's impressive.
Speaking of impressive. you will not be able to finish Jan Z's stack of three pancakes ($5.25) unless you are a 7 ft tall lumberjack! This is not a gimmick though I think they could raise a lot of money having a pancake eating contest. I don't even know if they make any money, but this is the most cooked pancake batter I've ever seen on a plate, and I would caution the waitresses to use two hands when carrying this plate to avoid spraining their wrists!
The other breakfast item I think is fitting for us seafood lovers is the Cajun Catch & Eggs ($12), which has juicy chunks of yellow fin tuna sauteed with Cajun spice. This comes with two eggs anyway you want them with hash browns, toast, and tartar sauce and finadene. Jan Z's is being renovated so there's more seating and more space so look for positive changes down here in sunny Agat!
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