Auf Wiedersehen, Chef Josef Budde!
Hyatt Regency Guam Executive Chef Retires
It was a night to remember for friends, colleagues, and guests who attended the retirement cocktail event for the Hyatt's Grand Master Chef, Josef Budde on Thursday, November 8th. The Hyatt's Main Ballroom was dressed up in a stunning modern layout which celebrated the various cuisines of the countries where Chef Budde has lived. His illustrious career as a chef has spanned 29 years during which he's cooked in exotic locations including Singapore, Bangkok, France, Germany, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Chef Josef was treated to an incredible series of greetings and well-wishes from his colleagues in the Asia Pacific region, who were channeled in with video messages displayed on the large screens. He was honored by the Governor of Guam (Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio attended and made the presentation), and the Micronesian Chefs' Association honored Chef Budde with an engraved chef's knife bestowing on him an honorary lifetime board member status.
A highlight of the event that touched the hearts of many (drawing tears for some) was the video call from Chef Budde's children, Josef, Jr., and Pia, who are attending universities in Edinburgh and London. It was a bit overwhelming for Chef Budde and his wife, Goye, when their kids said "Hi Dad! Hi Mom!" and the audience rippled with emotions. One of Chef Budde's lifetime friends and colleagues, Chef Gabriele Colombo from the Hyatt Regency Saipan attended the event. Chef Colombo was a young protege of Chef Budde when they opened the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. Chef Budde will be handing over the culinary reins to Executive Chef Mirko Agostini, who previously worked at Al Dente before leaving to Bali and most recently, Incheon, Korea. Chef Budde has bought a house on Guam and will be making Guam his home. Aren't we lucky??!!
Team MCA Guam Competes at the Pacific Rim Challenge
Port Vila, Vanuatu
October 30 - November 4, 2012
Team MCA Guam recently attended the WACS (World Association of Chefs' Societies) Pacific Rim Challenge in Vanuatu where they competed against teams from Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, and Vanuatu, the host country for the event which was held in tandem with their national competition, the Bred Bank Salon Culinaire. Members of the Micronesian Chefs' Association (MCA) represented the island in this annual competition which has teams comprised of a senior chef and junior chef. Executive Chef Chris Aguon (Table 35) was joined by Kennylynn Miranda, a 20-year-old GCC Culinary Student who is also culinary apprentice (Chef de partie) at Al Dente Ristorante in the Hyatt Regency Guam. Also attending the event was MCA's President, Chef Peter Duenas, as well as Chef Paul Kerner, Culinary Arts instructor at GCC and a MCA board member (as is Chef Aguon). Kennylynn has competed in the ProStart competition in high school as well as Skills USA.
Among the dishes the chefs created using a mystery basket of ingredients (farm-raised beef and prawns) was Beef Roulade accompanied by 3 sauces - roasted red pepper vinaigrette, mango coulee, and papaya relish as a first course. The main dish was a pan-seared prawn with a coconut lemongrass sauce over a sweet potato risotto and charred bok choy. For dessert, Team Guam made a fresh mint creme brulee with local bananas and a fresh mango puree. This year's competition was well-attended by Team Guam as we are looking to host the Pacific Rim Challenge on Guam next year. Won't it be awesome having chef teams come to Guam next year from Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, and Vanuatu?! It's going to happen!!! Congrats to Team Guam and especially to Kennylynn-we're all so very proud of your achievement, Chef Kennylynn!
Natibu Island Dance & Magic Dinner Show
Alize Restaurant in the Pandanus Pavilion (during renovation)
Monday - Sunday 6 - 9:30 p.m.
Guam Reef Hotel
If you are looking for a familiar place at the Guam Reef Hotel called Alize Restauarant, you will soon discover that it's "MIA" (Missing in Action), or more accurately, under renovation! The good news is that Alize has been temporarily re-located to the Pandanus Pavilion so you can still get your buffet on in this spacious room that has a stage made for theatre and performing arts. Did I say "performing arts"? Yes I did. In fact, you get a double bonus of a magic show (put on by "Magic Ryan" - Ryan Anderson) followed by a high-energy dazzling dance performance by Natibu Island Dance troupe, who offer riveting Polynesian and local dance routines.
A full buffet consisting of Steak and Seafood and a whole lot more from Japan and Asia. The Taiwanese Style Beef Noodle Soup is joined by Chicken Penang, Fried Lumpia with chili sauce, dim sum, spicy crab, tempura, fusion sushi, poki, charsiu pork, kelaguens, fresh baked desserts, and a halo-halo station. This meal includes Free Flowing Budweiser, Bud Light and Beck's Draft Beer, Soda, Iced Tea, Red & White Wine, and Champagne! The Regular prices are $42.00/adult and $25/child. Club Infinity Members get a 50% discount (for unlimited guests). Local and Military Guests are entitled to a 40% discount.
One of the fun things about the entertainment is how magician Ryan Anderson engages the guests...it seems that magic is a universal language. People are always puzzled by these cute and clever theatrics, especially when they are participating on stage. This is the same for the Natibu Island Dancers, who really give the audience and guests their money's worth in entertainment. The good-natured laughter at some of the selected or willing volunteers trying to move their bottoms in the same alluring manner of the native dancers demonstrates how much our visitors like to explore and try to learn new things...even if it's a new dance move! Being a resident of Guam, I can honestly say that I'm impressed by the quality of performance these dancers demonstrate. Their wide, cheery smiles and shining eyes make them great ambassadors of the proud and happy culture of our island. It makes you want to shout out "Hafa adai"! Stay posted for announcements about the new Alize Restaurant sometime in late December or early January.
Cup & Saucer Bakery & Crepe Cafe
Calvo Enterprise Bldg.
Hours: Mon - Sat 6:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sun 7:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
When you are in Hagatna near Designer's Direct or the Bank of Hawaii, you should consider rewarding yourself with a nice leisurely lunch at Cup & Saucer, just like I did the other day! You are not just limited to lunch here either! You can drop by early and buy a box of Cup & Saucer's famous giant cinnamon rolls (Cup & Saucer's are arguably the best on island despite the efforts of others who have tried to bake these delectable rolls, which happen to be 100% trans fat free). Cup & Saucer is also known for a variety of savory and sweet crepes, unique salads, hearty sandwiches and delicious home-made soups. One of their must have specialties is their Vegetarian Quiche ($4.95/slice). The display cases at Cup & Saucer are filled with an abundance of goodies: scones, eclairs, brownies, strawberry short cake, rolls, carrot cake, cheese cakes, and Chef Ronnie's Signature Macaroons! Seasonal cookies are baked and available for purchase in packages.
Cup & Saucer features a wide variety of hot and cold beverages, coffees, teas, smoothies, and frosties. One of the specials I had was a Cranberry Apple Shake ($5.95). This was an intensely flavored (tart and sweet and stimulating) drink that I really enjoyed. Over the course of a few years, I have had a number of items made by Cup & Saucer which are sometimes featured as daily Lunch specials. For the month of November, you can get a Pesto Pasta ($10.95 with chicken-add $4) on Monday and Saturday. Tuesday and Thursdays offers a Crispy Spiced Chicken Sandwich ($13.95). On Wednesday and Friday you get treated to Charo's Meatloaf ($11.95), which is a home-style recipe created by Chef/Owner Veronica "Ronnie" Calvo's mother. Of course, Chef Ronnie embellishes it with Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes and a Mushroom Cream sauce and buttered broccoli. This month's soup is a yummy Creamy Onion Soup with Gorgonzola-Jack Toast ($5.95).
My lunch today included a Deli-Style Sandwich (Turkey & Cheese - $5.95) to which I added an extra meat (ham, for $1.50). These are awesome sandwiches, made with fresh baked honey wheat buns with lettuce, tomato, red onions, and mayonnaise. I had half and had the other to go since I also ordered one of Cup & Saucer's signature salads, the Passion Salad (Small $7.95, large $10.95; with chicken - $14.95). This lovely salad is made with fresh, crisp mixed greens, toasted cashews, and drizzled with a Gorgonzola Passion Dressing. Other salads available are the Cranberry, Apple, House, and Caesar.
To end my leisurely "dream lunch", I had a large Cappuccino (the cup was 20 oz and the serving was 16 ($4.50), along with the famous Cup & Saucer Cinnamon Roll($2.25 ea. w/cream cheese frosting on the side). I don't know how to describe this but I was in an ultimate comfort zone! I felt so good that I rewarded my co-workers with a box of these sinfully delicious cinnamon rolls---they are that good! Treat yourself to a Cup & Saucer experience...you'll be glad you did!!
Tony Roma's New Menu Items
Royal Orchid Hotel
Agana Shopping Center
When you think of eating at Tony Roma's, you have images of racks of smoky, sauce-covered barbecue ribs, so good that you'll be licking your fingers after you toss down that bone! What's sometimes hard to do is to bypass the famous Tony Roma "Rib Experience" and opt for something new and different on their menu. Well that's exactly what I did over the course of 2 visits - ate something new and different, about which I can describe as being imaginative as well as satisfying!
I was at the Tony Roma's in Tumon where I was introduced to their Steak and Mushroom Flatbread ($13.99). This is a sight to behold! Brought out on a handled plank, it's as crisp flatbread sheet topped with grilled, all-natural beef tenderloin, melted Havarti cheese, crumbled Bleu cheese, wild mushrooms, red peppers, chives and their special bistro sauce. Once you start with a piece (these are cut into 6 pieces) and take your first bite, your mouth is filled with all of those amazing ingredients. Cheese lovers will go crazy...Havarti? Bleu cheese?!! Goodness! I can see why it's becoming a preferred favorite! The other new flatbread offering is the Chicken Caesar Flatbread ($12.99).
The second new item I tried was the Island Mahi Salad ($15.99). This lovely festive creation has Grilled Mahi drizzled with mojo sauce, on a bed of Asian greens, tomatoes, pineapple salsa, Italian cheese blend, macadamia nuts and cilantro, tossed in their homemade Hawaiian dressing. Talk about sensation flavors! They've really developed these amazingly fresh, fine tasting foods at Tony Roma's...they've been in business long enough to know how to get creative!
The third new item I tried was the Flat Iron Steak ($27.99), which is a special feature on the menu (it includes an iced-cold Carlsberg Beer). Accurately described as an all natural, lean flat iron steak topped with tangy sweet Katsu style steakhouse sauce, diced red onions, and red bell peppers, this is an excellent meal deal since the steak is so tasty and sizeable that you could swear you're getting a premium cut of beef for half the price! I've got to give profs to the cooks here (I understand that one of them enhanced the recipe for the Katsu style sauce by giving it a little kick). They've got a winner...the diced red peppers and red onions really add a world of texture and taste to this creation. I don't think people really appreciate the finer points of the grain and flavor of Flat Iron steaks. At Tony Roma's, you'll definitely have that opportunity!
My final item to try on a separate visit was one of Tony Roma' new burger creations, the Steakhouse Burger ($11.49), which the menu describes as a burger topped with Cabernet-Demi glace, creamy Havarti Cheese, and rosemary bacon. Yes, you saw it right--"Rosemary Bacon"!
What a novel idea! When I saw the rosemary sprigs on the bacon strips I was intrigued. Put a piece in your mouth and you're closed! (sold!!). Tony Roma's burgers are all natural 100% sirloin, and they are grilled to your liking and served with fries, lettuce, tomato, red onion and a pickle (unless noted). Another new burger is the Cajun Onion Burger. Others new to me are the Bistro Burger, Wild Mushroom Havarti Burger, and Sundried Bleu Cheese Burger! So many burgers, so little time! Guess we'll just have to keep on living our way through the menu, one bite at a time! Go to Tony Roma's for a feast of new flavors!