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March 16, 2012, Volume 12 Number 6

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

March has always been one of the busier months for food activities, especially since it's also Chamorro month! Next week's MCA Maila' Ta Fan Chesa event at the Hyatt is a don't-miss event if you and your family are on island. Coinciding with the Maila' Ta Fan Chesa event is the annual Pro-Start High School Culinary Competition, for which I will once again participate as a judge. I am always amazed and excited by the culinary demonstrations by these high school students, some of whom are gainfully employed at local hotels and restaurants after they graduate. The competition will include 10 teams representing both local schools and DODEA schools, and will be held at the Guam Community College. The winning teams (one from each system) will go on to compete against High School teams in the Mainland.

Happy 100th Anniversary to the Girl Scouts of the USA! This Saturday, March 17th, there will be a local celebration at Father Duenas Memorial School's Phoenix Center for Guam Girl Scouts and their families.

And, don't forget to wear green this St. Patrick's Day! Where can one get some Corned Beef & Cabbage? If you know, contact us!

Ken, the "Guam Food Guy"

New Restaurants Opening

There are a few new restaurants on the scene! I just discovered a new Thai eatery called Suphan Thai Restaurant in the DNA Plaza (home of Cost U Less Tamuning). They held their soft opening this Thursday and I got an enthusiastic two thumbs up from some of the attendees I met. Suphan Thai is in the same location that was occupied by D' Marianas Trench. They officially open today, Friday, March 16. We wish owners Brad & Thun every success! They will be open Monday-Friday 10am-10pm, and Saturday from 2-10pm. Call 686-4843 for information.

I was surprised to see that the Buzz Cafe has been resurrected and is open under new ownership. They've just re-opened and are serving breakfast and lunch. On March 19, they are launching their Cafe Serendipity Lunch Buffet for $9.95 (11am-2pm). Call 989-1289 for more information.

Finally, I was able to snap a photo of Mama Peaches Cajun Hut in Hagatna, just down the sidewalk from the DNA Bldg (home of PDN & Community First). This is the satellite location for Mama's Cajun Delight restaurant in Maite. The sign says they are "coming soon" and they'll be serving up some tasty Jambalaya and Gumbo in smaller take-out versions of their full plate belly busters served at Cajun Delight.

Desperados Restaurant & Cantina
2nd Floor Ocean Plaza Building
Next to Westin

I had to return to Desperados for dinner and brought reinforcements in the form of Zee, who needed to be impressed as I'd been during my solo lunch back in February. We opted to sit in the bar instead of the dining room. I prefer the bar as it is more open and active. The chips and salsa were brought out first after we'd ordered our margaritas. Zee had the Lime Single and I had the Mango Single (each $6.95). Don't fret over the price as these are no wimpy margaritas, they are grande with each lasting us throughout dinner. They were perfectly blended, too!

For dinner, I ordered the Chingalingas ($11.95), which is three flour tortillas stuffed with seasoned shredded chicken, jalapenos, and cheese, then rolled and deep fried, topped with sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, and served with Spanish rice and refried beans. I had a side order of Cheese Enchilada ($3.95).

I really liked the Chingalingas. They were not greasy or dried out but crisp and filled with a well-balanced combination of cheese, chicken and jalapenos. Very nice and it is with good reason this is one of specialties of the house. Again, my rice and refried beans were palatable, and I was very happy with my enchilada. My plate was clean at the end of the meal.

Zee ordered a Uno Combination Plate ($11.95) with a beef taco and a side order of Tamale ($3.95). She had to make do with a single tamale since there was only one tamale left and she had really wanted the Tamale Plate. Zee's comment about her meal was that it was pretty alright, although she did say she'd had better tamales.

Our servers, Jess and Chelsea, were mindful of our needs. All in all, this dinner was a second positive dining experience for me and I am pleased that Desperados is getting their game on!

MCA Presents Maila' Ta Fan Chesa
March 23, 2012
Hyatt Regency Guam Grand Ballroom
$35 Entry Fee Per Person

Come and join the Micronesian Chefs Association's first ever Maila' Ta Fan Chesa Culinary Event, featuring some of the island's top chefs who will be creating and array of appetizers, desserts, and beverages using farm fresh produce from local farmers from around the island. Booths will be built representing several villages where the farmers grow certain fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Among the chefs preparing food are:
Paul Kerner, GCC Culinary Arts Program
Christopher House, Hilton Guam Resort & Spa
Josef Budde, Hyatt Regency Guam
Bertrand Haurillon, Le Tasi Bistro
Peter Duenas, Meskla Chamoru Fusion Bistro
Geoffrey Perez, PROA Restaurant
Rey Dasalla, Sea Grill Restaurant
Mark Duenas, Sweet Relief Pastry Shop
Christopher Aguon, Table 35
Daniel Lenherr, taste Westin Resort Guam

Featured farmers are Bernard Watson (Yigo) known for bananas; Frank Cruz (Dededo) whose papayas are renown; Bill McDonald (Agana Heights) with sweet Coconuts; Ignacio Guerrero (Barrigada), king of Basil; John Naputi (Talafofo), who grows sweet mangos, and Angie Mendiola (Inarajan), with delightful Starfruit.

Non-alcoholic beverages made from the six featured produce items will be available, along with appetizers using a protein, such as lamb chops, onaga, chicken, spare ribs, shrimp and spanner crab.

The event will also feature displays, a slide presentation depicting MCA's culinary events and activities, entertainment, and a culinary competition by GCC's culinary arts program.

Come and meet the chefs whose food you love to eat and the farmers who are making a go of growing local produce!

Tickets are available at Meskla, Table 35, PROA Restaurant, International Distributors, The Deli at the Hyatt, and from all MCA Members, including Tools of the Trade.

Bring the family and friends to the fantastic culinary celebration and collaboration between local chefs and local farmers putting the freshest and best flavors in your mouth! Maila' ta Fan Chesa! This is a Zero Waste Event as well thanks to Peggy Denney!

Tumon Pochon Chicken Restaurant
Pacific Plaza (across from St. John's)
Upper Tumon

The "real deal" Pochon Chicken has recently arrived in Upper Tumon at the "other deal" Pochon Chicken location. Yes, the owner of Pochon Chicken in Mangilao (which is where the best spice, heat, and taste reside) has taken over the operation and is now offering the same taste, spice, and heat intensities served in Mangilao. The owner is Jay Park, and he also serves Hite Korean beer!

I had the Half Box Medium Hot wings ($10) and added a bowl of rice for $1. The box includes cubed daikon radish and a salad. These wings are crunchy, crispy and juicy, and if you get them Very Spicy, you will turn red and sweat! Korea has taken chicken to a new level here at Pochon, you haven't had hot wings til you try these!

Savouring Perfection - The Beer Gourmet Dinner
Enjoy a Culinary Experience with Mr. George F. Reisch
Anheuser-Busch InBev Brew Master
Tuesday March 27, 2012
Micronesian Ballroom
Hilton Guam Resort & Spa

A five-course Beer Gourmet Dinner is the highlight of this special dining event you don't want to miss. We're honored to have the wisdom and experienced guidance of George F. Reisch, a fifth-generation brewmaster, who is the Director of Brewmaster Outreach for Anheuser-Busch.

I've talked to Hilton's Executive Chef Christopher House about this fascinating meal for which he paired each course with a featured beer and he's confident it'll be another of those Chris House "Memorables" aka meals you don't want to forget! Just have a peek below:

The Featured Menu is:

First Course
Scallop and Lobster Medallion Bouillabaisse Tomato Broth Essence of Budweiser
Herb Crostini

Second Course
Braised Beef Lengua, Yukon Gold Potato, Baby Brussel Sprouts, Turnips
Chinese Ham Broth infused with Stella Artois

Cold Intermezzo
Orange Sorbet, Star Anise and Sesame Infused Tuile, Lemongrass and Coriander Simple Syrup, Finished with a Hoegaarden Pipette

Main Entree
Slow-cooked Becks' simmered Boneless Short Rib With Herbed Spaetzle and Pommes Frittes

Amberbock Creme Brulee with Scotch Infusion

Cocktails at 6pm with Dinner Seating at 7pm. Hors d'Oeuvres will be served prior to dinner. Price is $60 per person inclusive of menu and beers, plus a 10% service charge. Call 646-DINE for information and tickets.

11th Annual Reunion and Celebration
Izakaya Katsu Restaurant aka "The Green Door"
3rd Floor Central Building

It seems like it was only yesterday when I first met Dr. Jonathon Morris and his wonderful soul mate, Suzan, here on Guam. Dr. Morris is a psychiatrist based in Portland, Maine, who has been making annual two-week visits volunteering his time at the Department of Mental Health for the past 19 years. He does this at his own expense and has already been awarded the Ancient Order of the Chamorro by Governor Felix Camacho for his humanitarian efforts in assisting our island. On many of his Guam visits he brings graduate students for in-service training at the Department of Mental Health.

Over the past 11 years our friendship has grown deeper and we have a traditional reunion of dining at Izakaya Katsu (aka the Green Door) whenever he visits. Our initial introduction was made when Suzan read my review of Izakaya Katsu prior to their visit in March 2001. We exchanged emails and set a date to meet at the Green Door where Suzan flattered me with her recounting of my vivid food descriptions of the dishes we ordered.

We usually order most of the same entrees that we've had before since we want to expose the new undergraduates to Green Door's famous signature creations, such as their Tofu Steak. The two students accompanying Jon on this trip were Robin Caron and Michael McQuiggan. They both loved Katsu, even though Robin couldn't eat any seafood, she was quite satisfied with the Chicken Salad, Fried Garlic, Tofu Steak, and Ribeye Steak. Michael became enamored with the Fried Shrimp, the absolute best on island! We had the Fried Calamari this time, too.

Yokho Soma, Katsu's co-owner and manager, has been our perennial guide and hostess during these reunions which we commemorate at the end of the dinner with a group photo. On this night, her chef/owner husband, Takeshi Soma surprised us by preparing two splendid creations. The first was a potato pancake smothered in cheese and baked (it was lasagna-like and at first reminded me of an omelet). It had chunks of crabmeat inside. The other surprise dish was a Smoked Salmon that was baked as well. It was equally delicious and I felt bad enjoying myself so much since Robin couldn't share in our pleasure. (I did get over this soon!).

As I said, it was another happy reunion with an old and dear friend!

Thai Kitchen

We had the most wonderful dinner at Thai Kitchen last week with our special friend, foodie and neighbor, Toshie Ito. We ordered a selection of items including Spring Rolls ($6), Tofu Soup ($7), Som Tom ($8), Pad Kra Pau Thai Style with Eggs ($10), Combination Pha Neang ($14) and Garlic Shrimp ($14). Everything had varying degrees of temperature while the hottest was the Pha Neang Curry. We hadn't been to Thai Kitchen in a while and I really wonder why since the food's always been a delight.

My greatest pleasure comes from watching friends relish their food, especially when it's something I've recommended. The Garlic Shrimp came first. If you love garlic, then this is all you need to eat!

The Spring Rolls are crisp and made with bean thread noodle and seasoned ground chicken. Dip these in the sweet & sour sauce and you are good to go!

The Pha Naeng Curry arrived and I could tell from the color of the broth that this packed some heat! Unlike Red or Green Curries, Pha Naeng doesn't have the vegetable add-ins, and is mainly meat. We had the chicken and the shrimp. The curry gravy was spicy and Toshie and I went through our Thai Tea faster to lessen the painful burning sensations on our tongues. It was very tasty, though, despite the heat.

The Tofu Soup is one of my favorites, with its minced chicken, bean sprouts, sliced green onions, fried garlic chips, and tofu cubes. The broth is very light, enabling you to taste each ingredient.

My Pad Kra Poa was prepared just as I liked it, and Toy put two eggs on top so I could share one with Toshie. This dish used chopped pork with chili peppers and Thai mint basil.

Our final dish, the Som Tom, came when we were nearly through with dinner. In fact, Zee had already tapped out and I could only taste a little. Thai Kitchen's version of this classic papaya salad was fresh, crunchy, and had the right balance of sour and sweet, and medium heat. I wish it had come sooner because Zee really likes this dish. Toshie took it home.

We've known Toy for many years and were delighted to find out that she had just re-married. She introduced her new husband to us. His name is Bill Crick and we were able to have them pose for a picture together! It's nice to see her so happy again, and you know darn well that Bill's a happy man (and a lucky one) too. Congratulations to the Cricks of Thai Kitchen!

Bon Appetit!

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