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July 5, 2002, Volume 2 Number 27


Dear "Guam Food Guy" Reader,

We're all playing a "waiting game" as we listen patiently to the media updates tracking Tropical Storm Chata'an's progress towards the Marianas. This storm has the potential to dampen some of the planned July 4 celebrations, though it's still too early to say when, or if, it will actually "hit" Guam. Yet the impact of Tropical Storm Chata'an is already affecting us, specifically in the area of food. Consider all the preparation we must make in anticipation of a storm - stocking up on non-perishable food items, cleaning out the refrigerator, setting the refrigerator and freezer to their coldest temperatures, getting ice for coolers, etc. We all know about the post-typhoon barbecues when every kind of meat from the freezer is marinated and tossed on the grill! Typhoons provide an economic boost for the food industry, benefiting grocery stores, fast-food restaurants, hotel outlets, and literally any eatery that has power to cook food. People have to eat Egg McMuffins, drink their morning coffee, and munch down donuts and other "junk" foods they'd normally avoid to comfort themselves after "surviving" typhoons. There is a primal security in food. We also find a sense of camaraderie with others who are standing in fast-food lines and enjoy exchanging typhoon stories with them.

There is something spell-binding about an impending typhoon, and though no one publicly wants a typhoon to hit us directly, there are some who crave the "rush" a typhoon gives, the enormous power and fury of the ocean's waves and winds as they beat and batter the shorelines. It is an awesome and frightening natural phenomena, inciting thrill-seekers to literally throw "caution to the wind" as they drive around in Condition 1 watching flying debris and destructive winds knock down signs and break tree branches. These are dangerous forces, and though we on Guam have been fortunate so far in not having fatalities, there are other places who have not fared as well.

Our sympathies to the families of those in Chuuk State who, according to early reports, may have lost their loved ones in mudslides caused by the ravaging effects of Tropical Storm Chata'an, making it a killer storm true to its Chamorro name meaning "a really bad day".

Let's be prepared and count our blessings! Happy Fourth of July!

Ken Stewart, The "Guam Food Guy"

In Today's Issue:

  • Micronesian Chefs' Association Special Dinner Menu
  • Third Annual Tumon Bay Jazz Festival - July 5, Hyatt Regency Guam
  • Fourth of July Specials at Hilton Guam - Celebrate Independence
  • 7th Annual Guam Marianas International Fishing Derby - More than Fishing!
  • Lunch & Dinner Specials Expanding at Guamdiner.com
  • Somjai II Restaurant - Guam's Venerable Thai Eatery Features Chinese Favorites

Micronesian Chefs' Association Special Dinner Menu

When it comes to culinary creativity, there is nothing comparable to the collaborative efforts of the chef members comprising the Micronesian Chefs' Association (MCA) when tasked with preparing a special dinner menu.

At a recent fund-raising event, the MCA was contracted to prepare a special menu that utilized fresh local ingredients. Peter Duenas, Executive Chef of Sam Choy's Restaurant, lead a team comprised of PIC Executive Chef Patrick Kennedy, Hilton Guam Resort & Spa Executive Chef Christophe Durliat, La Patisserie's Owner & Pastry Chef Bertrand Young, Sam Choy's Sous Chef John Fernandez, and other members.

Highlights of the menu were:

Coconut Crab Kelaguen with Aboni Vinaigrette Drizzle
Sweet White Corn & Chicken Chowder with Crispy Tortillas
Grilled Pacific Snapper over Spring Greens, Fresh Avocado Salsa and Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette
Calamansi-Tequila Sorbet
Pan-Seared Venison Loin over a Breadfruit Mash, Topped with Natural Jus, Boonie Pepper-Coconut Cream and Tempura Pumpkin Tips
Exotic Fruit Pudding Served with Homemade Tongan Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Mosaic of Chocolate

Stay tuned for future MCA events that will showcase the culinary creativity of its members. Contributions made to the MCA are to be used to publish a cookbook comprised of member chef recipes.

Third Annual Tumon Bay Jazz Festival - July 5, Hyatt Regency Guam

Attention Jazz Lovers! This is your night! This event kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and lasts until 10:00 p.m., though it's possible it could run a little later. This is one of the best local celebrations of the popular musical art form called "jazz"...and if you want to feel the "coolness" of the "groove" and get "hyped" by the syncopation, this Friday's session should be your destination. Among the performers are Patrick Palomo, Prism with Rick Ash, Blues Scholar, Donavan Brooks, Otherside of the Planet, Shirley and Hermie, Los Del Barrios, Rick Zimmerman, Vol. Six, and Latte Stone Jazz with Linda Guerrero. Tickets are $15.00 for general seating and $20.00 for reserved seats, and available at Fuji Mart in Dededo, Primo Surf locations, Surf Break at GPO, and Cafe@crea in the ITC Bldg. I remember last year's event with Jazz legend, Tom Harrell, and how those who missed it wished they hadn't. Don't be left out!

Fourth of July Specials at Hilton Guam - Celebrate Independence

The Hilton Guam Resort & Spa wants to invite everyone to visit them during the Independence Day holiday. At the Islander Terrace Executive Sous Chef David Spitzer has prepared a special buffet dinner menu for July 3rd and 4th. Jim Beam drinks will be on special at both the Islander Terrace and the Tree Bar through Saturday, July 6. And, if you want to get out the house and enjoy being pampered, reserve our Y' Taotao Getaway Package which includes room, tax, breakfast buffet for two at the Islander Terrace Restaurant and welcome drinks for two at the Tree Bar!

7th Annual Guam Marianas International Fishing Derby - More than Fishing!

The 7th Annual Guam Marianas International Fishing Derby sponsored by the Guam Fishermans Co-Op and other local businesses, gets underway with the Captains Meeting on July 11th and will be much more than a fishing derby with the 4th Annual Fisherman's Festival "Gupot Y Peskadot" happening on Saturday, July 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the GFCA lanai.

The 4th Annual Fisherman's Festival "Gupot Y Peskadot" will feature a chef's competition, a kelaguen contest, seafood sampling, demonstrations and exhibits by GPD's Harbor Patrol Unit, GFD's Rescue Unit, the US Coast Guard, the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Managment Council, UOG 4H and UOG College of Agriculture & Life Sciences. There will be prizes and contests as well as fish paintings and Jumperoos for the kids! Bring the entire family for what promises to be a fun, educational and affordable event. Call the Co-Op for more information about attending or participating at 472-6323.

Lunch & Dinner Specials Expanding at Guamdiner.com

If you are looking for something new and different to eat for lunch and dinner, be sure to check out the Lunch & Dinner Specials featured at guamdiner.com. The listings are growing as more restaurants are posting their lunch and dinner menus to this popular section of the website. You can find the weekly Chef's special creations from Sam Choy's, the daily lunch buffet menu selections for the Holiday Inn's Orient Express, Old Hagatna Grill's specials, Le Tasi Bistro's weekly menu, and many more postings from local establishments. Our visitors to the site are discovering food and menu information not readily available anywhere else! Log on to see today's specials!

Somjai II Restaurant - Guam's Venerable Thai Eatery Features Chinese Favorites

If there is a restaurant that could rate as its own "Survivor" show, it would have to be one of Guam's oldest Thai restaurants, Somjai II Restaurant in Tamuning. Now located across the street from the new Lexus showroom on the sidestreet adjacent to Hong Kong Bank, Somjai is next to AC Auto Air Conditioning, whose Marine Drive sign you can't miss. Somjai Restaurant is owned by Somjai Vongalorn, who has operated Somjai for 16 years, some of which have been interrupted by calamities, some natural and others man-made. Her original Agana location, the Bangkok Lounge, was across from the Paseo and was destroyed by a fire. Her second location was in East Agana near Citibank, and it was ravaged by a typhoon. She then moved to the Hafa Adai Exchange where it eventually was damaged by another fire. Her present location is tucked away in a safe building which also houses her son Wanna's air conditioning business, and which makes Somjai feel more secure since she is surrounded by family.

Somjai Restaurant is a small, unpretentious eatery that's open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. It could be described as a clean, well air-conditioned "hole-in-the-wall", and has 8 tables of various shapes and sizes. Unlike other Thai restaurants that are jam-packed with lunch customers, Somjai's is relatively quiet and not crowded since most people don't know its location. Her food is quite good, and she has a menu that has more Chinese than Thai items! This is because she used to work for Istemewa Restaurant, which was a highly popular local eatery on Camp Watkins Road, now home to Shirley's. Her daily $4.00 Lunch Special menu offers Egg Fu Yung, Beef w/Broccoli, Chop Suey, Fried Noodle Pancit or Bihon, Steamed Chicken with Straw Mushrooms, and Beef with Oyster Sauce (all with rice).

Click here for the Full Story

Bon Appetit!

The Guam Food Guy

Don't miss this week's features at guamdiner.com!

  • Featured Recipe - Coconut-Mango Cheesecake from Chef Kotwal Singh
  • Wine Feature - The Degrees of Fizz - Sparkling, Cremant and CO2 Explained
  • Other Beverage Feature - Tea Tax Leads to American Revolution
  • Health & Nutrition Feature - Summertime Food Safety
  • View Past Newsletters - Click here for our Newsletter Archives
  • Submit Your Favorite Recipe - Click here to send

You can find Guam Food Guy links and reviews at the following sites:

www.guamdiner.com

www.k57.com

www.guam.net

www.guamcell.net

www.mymicronesia.com

www.guam-online.com

Copyright 2002 Guam Diner