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November 29, 2013, Volume 13 Number 22

Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas! Yes, Thanksgiving on Guam has passed and Black Friday is already in gear! There's much to do this weekend and in the weeks to come! The famous Guam Girl Scout Christmas Trees are here and are healthier than ever, not even requiring fumigation since they've been inspected and certified "pest-free"! Get Guam's highest quality Nobel Fir Xmas Trees at the Guam Girl Scout Center this Saturday and Sunday! This week's newsletter contains a nice Christmas present from the Guam Food Guy to any adventurous cooks who'd like to try my famous Spicy Ham Hocks and Red Beans crock pot recipe. We'll also take you to the shores of Saipan to try out a seafood fantasy! As always, we love sharing our culinary journeys and experiences with you, our faithful readers, and for that we are thankful!

Ken, the Guam Food Guy

Docomo Pacific Presents the 34th Annual Autumn Festival
By the Japan Club of Guam
Saturday, November 30, 2013
2:00 p.m. - 10:00 pm.
Ypao Beach Park
Tumon

The Japan Club of Guam is once again celebrating the Japanese Akimatsuri Autumn Festival! This is a no-admission event that will be fun for the entire family. There are many Japanese food booths, arts, crafts, toys, games, and dance performances. If you've not ever been to one of these, you really should check it out. There will be free transportation in shuttle buses provided at 10 minute intervals (see buses designated as "Japan Festival"). Free parking is available in the space across from Oka PayLess in Tamuning. This is where the buses pick up and drop off passengers. There will also be transportation available on "The Trolley" for a nominal fee.

Shop Guam/Taste Guam This Sunday
December 1, 2013
Pleasure Island
Tumon
4 PM - 10 PM

 

Don't miss out on the fun and excitement that'll be rocking Tumon's Pleasure Island this Sunday where you will have the opportunity to both shop and eat! There will be five fashion shows on a 36 foot runway. The latest fashions from DFS, DNA Evolution, GAP , Macy's, and San Ai will be featured. There will be music provided by some of the island's best DJs as well as entertainment provided by several local dance groups. You can also buy food creations from local restaurants. Proceeds from food and beverage sales will benefit the Guam Community College's Culinary Arts Program, GHRA Scholarships, and the Micronesian Chefs Association.

San Vitores Road will be blocked at the traffic light near the entrance to the SandCastle. Free parking will be available in the Plaza garages and in the lot behind the DFS Galleria and in the empty lot next to the Green Lizard. Shuttle service will be provided from the Hotel Nikko and Lotte Hotel Parking lots.

Who Will Be Saipan's Next Top Chef??
2013 Saipan's Next Top Chef Competition
Saturday November 30, 2013
2:00 - 4:00 PM
Charley's Cabaret
Pacific Islands Club
Cost : $15

For the third year in a row, this fund-raising event hosted by the Empty Vessel Ministry Foundation has increased in popularity and garnered island-wide community support from a long list of sponsors. In this event, five chefs from top hotels and restaurants will compete for the coveted trophy and top prize. Last year's winner was Chef Emmanuel Pancha. For this year's competition, Ken Stewart, Guam's Food Guy, will serve as one of the judges. The 3rd Annual Saipan's Next Top Chef Competition raises funds for the Empty Vessel Ministry Foundations outreach projects in the CNMI, Kenya, the Philippines, and Bangladesh. The Empty Vessel Ministry Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity and all donations to it are tax-deductible. Tickets may be purchased at the PIC Saipan front desk, or at the Empty Vessel Ministry Office in Gualo Rai. For more information, contact Rose Smith at 483-0162, Chemere McField at 789-8211, or Vicky Benavente at 483-8425.

It's a New Day at King's Restaurants
King's Restaurant
Guam Premier Outlets
Tamuning

647-5464
Compadres Mall
Harmon

637-1700

It was just a matter of time for me to return to one of my favorite haunts of yester-year - King's Restaurant. It would be safe to say that I'd eaten at King's far more times than I've eaten at any other restaurant, and that's because we literally grew up with King's since its beginnings in the old Gibson's Shopping Center back in the mid-to late 70's. King's was the ultimate family hang-out, and for those who were leaving Guam it was where we'd hold a farewell dinner, and for those who were returning to Guam in the wee hours of the morning, it was where we would go for breakfast. King's was here before Shirley's and before Denny's. However, in the past few years King's was going through some challenges and the quality of their food and service had diminished. That was the case until recently, when Dave Alcorn was able to finally regain the helm and ownership of King's Restaurants and bring it into the GFS umbrella of enterprises (which operate Ruby Tuesday's and Chuck E. Cheese's).

Simply put, it is a new day at King's Restaurants, and this change is more than just a new paint job, or cosmetic appearances. No, this change is internalized in the staff as well as in the food! Even the coffee tastes a lot better (new coffee mugs and china ware are the latest fashion). We didn't really have a chance to go through the entire menu, in fact, we stopped by on Thanksgiving Day to have breakfast (and not the impressive looking Thanksgiving Dinner Special they were serving).


I had a hard time deciding since they now seem to have an abundance of choices. I know Zee just had the buttermilk pancakes along with her vegetarian sausage links (she brought). I ordered the King's Griddle Sampler ($6.95) with two pieces of King's cinnamon swirl French toast and two fluffy buttermilk pancakes. I had the two eggs scrambled with green onions added. I also ordered a side of bacon (4 pcs for $2.95). The French Toast was good as was the pancake, which was really thick and fluffy, requiring a lot of syrup. The eggs were moist and tasty and the bacon was meaty and not dried out as is sometimes the case.

The other breakfast item I ordered was the Local Skillet ($9.95), which has a hot skillet full of chorizo and country sausage sauteed with home fries, spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic and onions, and topped with two eggs your way and Monterey Jack Colby cheese. This was definitely an upgrade! I don't think I've ever had a better tasting skillet! Everything was fresh and very good. I stopped picking at my pancakes and went full throttle into this flavor-laden skillet filled with potatoes, meat and vegetables. I had the egg scrambled and it was still moist though it was on top of a pile of hot, steaming food. Another skillet they have is the Gollai Skillet (Eggplant), which sounds pretty appetizing too. Other pancakes they have are Swedish, Chocolate, and Peanut Butter Pancakes. They have $4 Value Meals and $6 Value Meals for Breakfast. They boast $10 Value meals for dinner - Fried Chicken, Lasagne, Pasta Loco, Meat Loaf, Ham Hocks, Salmon Stir Fry, and Broiled Chicken are some of the offerings.

I am very pleased and excited about the 180 degree changes I've seen take place at King's! I am going to return over the course of the next few months and eat my way through the menu! I also want to give a shout out to our server, Arlene, a long-time veteran employee of King's. She really gives that personal touch.

Guam Visitor's Bureau's 50th Anniversary Celebration
November 20, 2013
SandCastle
Tumon

It was a night to remember and a grand way to commemorate and honor 50 years of tourism on Guam! Established in 1963 (2 years after our family left Guam for Kansas and the same year we were stationed at Yokota AFB, Japan), the Guam Visitor's Bureau has seen amazing growth and change in the visitor arrival numbers, airlines serving Guam, the build-up of major world class hotels, and the latest trends in shopping. Though many of the original players have passed on, there are still a few remaining who can remember the glory days, and what it was like to build the first name-brand hotel (the Hilton) and the many others that followed. This night recognized and honored the industry members from ground agents to tour operators to airlines, hotels, retailers, and the employees of GVB to tirelessly promoted Guam. Familiar names like Ysrael, Kloppenburg, Baba, Kasperbauer, Jones, and Perez were resonating throughout, with stories being told about the early days and now their lifetime achievements.

As part of the Micronesian Chefs Association, we were honored to participate in this special celebration by preparing an amazing line-up of culinary creations in a four course sit down dinner prefaced by a butlered canape service with cocktails. Five member chefs created each course and served some 400 plus guests. The Canapes were prepared by PROA Executive Chef, Geoffrey Perez. They were his PROA STYLE BEGGAR's Purse Sushi Grade Ahi Poke Warpped in a Furikake Crepe with Wasabi Soy Ginger Butter Sauce. He also served HIBACHI TACOS Crispy Hibachi Chicken Taco with Peppery Papaya Salsa and Pupulu Drizzle.

Dinner was served during the event after the guests were seated. Below are the various chef creations:

1st Course - Cold Appetizer

Chef Chito Iglopas, Sandcastle

TERRINE OF SMOKED SALMON AND SCALLOP

Mousseline of Smoked Salmon and Scallops topped with Local Micro Greens, Crisp Croustille, Roasted Garlic-Balsamic Vinaigrette, and Cherry Tomato Relish

2nd Course - "Soup"

Chef Daniel Lenherr, Westin Resort Guam

ROASTED PUMPKIN BISQUE

Silky local pumpkin soup with Spicy Prawn Succotash in Crisp Phyllo Purse

3rd Course - "ENTREE"

Chef Peter Duenas, Meskla

TUMON SURF-N-TURF

Pan Seared Petite Filet Mignon with Wild Mushroom Reduction, Garlic Roasted Taro Stems, Panko-Crusted Smoked Taro Croquettes, Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass with Spicy Basil-Taro Leaf Nape, Arugula Sprouts

4th Course - "DESSERT"

Master Pastry Chef Suharto, Hyatt Regency Guam

MANGO-PASSION DELIGHT

Mango & Passion Fruit Cream Cheese Parfait with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Rice Crispy

The highlight of the evening was the recognition of the Pioneers and Honorees. Pilar Liguana, the GVB Marketing Manager, received the lifetime achievement award. She has dedicated her existence to promoting Guam to our prospective tourists. One name that was mentioned innumerable times was that of Guam's Mr. Tourism, Bert Unpingco, who had been called to the stage to be recognized but hadn't shown up to receive his awards. It was not until I left the event that I ran into Bert in the front of the SandCastle where he was with his family. I hadn't seen Bert in years (he had suffered a stroke that has left him physically impaired and unable to speak) and I was ecstatic to see him. I spent some time talking with him (he wasn't able to speak - he just nodded and there were twinkles in his eyes. I told him that this was his night and that he would have been very proud of the tributes and honors that were bestowed on him as well as on others. He was visibly moved by my words and I told him that this event was the culmination of so many of the dreams he had. Bert will always be remembered as Mr. Tourism. I know he felt the sincerity of the gratitude that so many expressed that night, especially those who saw him. I will forever remember his smiles, waves, and cheerful "hafa adais"! His enthusiasm was infectious! Biba Mr. Tourism - Bert Unpingco!!

Guam Food Guy's Famous Spicy Ham Hocks and Red Beans Recipe




Well it's been a while since I was tasked with putting a recipe on paper even though it was electronic! For the past few years I've been honoring a tradition of fixing Spicy Ham Hocks and Red Beans for my fellow co-workers during our annual Thanksgiving Party(it's happened during some Christmas parties, too. I usually make the Spicy Ham Hocks and Beans and a Mild Ham Hocks and Beans for those who can't handle the heat and spiciness. For this year's Thanksgiving feast I made 2 crock pots of Spicy and one crock pot that was mild, and for the first time, I made one crock pot for Zee that was vegetarian (using Tempeh as a meat substitute). This tempeh was smokey bacon flavored. The photo collage shows some stages of the process . As you can see, I use a lot of fresh vegetables, which is the secret to the deep flavors I get in my Ham Hocks and Beans. I spend a lot of time hovering over my pots as they are cooking. What I was doing is production cooking with home technology. It always turns out pretty good, and I receive positive comments from chefs about the taste. Yes, this is home cooking inspired by my mom, Toni Stewart. I've just kicked it up a few notches and degrees with an abundance of peppery add-ins! Enjoy!

Sunset Beach BBQ
Aqua Resort Club Saipan
Achugao
Saipan
Call for reservations. Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m.
670-322-1234

I'm often asked about where to get the best seafood dinner. It's been a bit of a challenge since so much of our seafood is imported. We do have some restaurants that specialize in seafood. How about eating great seafood only a few feet from the ocean? That narrows down the number of candidates. What if I told you I know where you can eat some seafood that comes from the ocean that's just beyond your table? This place has crabs crawling out of the water that scurry along the beach, scavenging for food!

This place happens to be the Sunset Beach BBQ at the Aqua Resort Club Saipan. This remote resort property is the ideal getaway from the "hustle and bustle" of the downtown Garapan "city" area. Although crowds sometimes have their appeal, there are times when you just want to relax and re-charge. That's what the ARC provides their guests. The ultimate serenity. For the Sunset Beach BBQ, there is a minimum of 2 and there are four optional courses. The Mix Grill, The Prime Meat, the Deluxe Seafood, and the Deluxe Mixed Grill. The Mix Grill , Prime Meat, and Deluxe Mixed Grill all have meats like Chamorro Sausage, Beef Short-Ribs, Chicken, Veal Loin, Lamb Chops, and Filet Mignon. Today, we're only talking seafood, and the Deluxe Seafood Course should satisfy the most demanding appetite for delicious, fresh seafood. The charge is $65.00/person and you get Jumbo Prawns and New Zealand Green Mussels. Then you have fresh crab legs from crabs that are caught just beyond the reef in some of Saipan's freshest, uncontaminated waters. You also get a whole reef fish (for tonight we had a beautiful Parrot Fish), and a live Maine Lobster. These are grilled by expert chefs and served in two courses.

When you first sit down for this meal you are treated to refreshing coconut milk right from the coconut's heart. You have warm tortilla chips and salsa to go with a beverage or cocktail of your choice. You also have a dinner salad. When your first course is served, you will see a gorgeous platter full grilled skewered vegetables (Zucchini, tomato, eggplant and onion, grilled red peppers, mussels, prawns, and grilled crabs), which are absolutely marvelous! The finadene is fresh made and is a tantalizing enhancement to everything on the platter.



While you are eating your first course, a local trio performs Chamorro chants and does a fire show. They engage the audience and later have photos taken with them. The second grilled course arrives while a solo troubadour wanders from table to table taking song requests from guests and then playing them on his guitar. The platter is breath-taking, with grilled corn on the cob, grilled yaki-onigiri (rice w/sesame seeds), the parrot fish, and the lobster cut down the middle. There is a ramekin with lemon butter sauce awaiting your first dip! You just have to do your best! When we were finished this course we were given an unexpected surprise - roasted marshmallow on a skewer! It reminded me of my early camping days with the boy scouts. For dessert (save room) you get a small dish of vanilla ice cream. Wow, what a fabulous feast this turned out to be! Our expectations were surpassed! So the next time you are in the mood for seafood, do it right and get over the Saipan's Aqua Resort Club's Sunset Beach BBQ!

Bon Appetit!
Ken the Guam Food Guy

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