Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

56545698It was a proud day for the people of Hawaii as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America on January 20, 2009. I’m still pinching myself knowing the leader of the free world was born here, went to school here, and is going to be running the country with the Aloha Spirit in his heart. Wasn’t it great when he flashed a “shaka” sign (see photo to the left) during the inaugural parade to the Punahou School band as they marched by? My friend and fellow blogger John Fischer was moved to tears by the local gesture.

Awaking to the morning news and seeing more than 2 million people gathered in Washington, D.C. to be a part of history was incredible. I can only imagine what it was like to be there in person amongst all the energy and anticipation as Americans united and witnessed a promise to move the country forward. The President’s speech was powerful and honest, and I loved the line when he said “starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.”

This was actually the first inauguration that I’ve watched and it was an amazing day of festivities. But now that all of the celebrating is technically over, there’s one thing I’m curious about.

What slices of Hawaii life will President Obama bring to the White House?

I initially thought Hawaiian music, Kona Coffee, and Spam musubi perhaps. But then I posed the question to my friends on Twitter and Facebook who came back with a more great suggestions:

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I guess only time will tell if any of these make it to Washington, but in the spirit of fun and Aloha let’s keep the list going.

What other slices of Hawaii life or traditions would you like to see President Obama incorporate during his time in office?

-NGK

[Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images]

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Very fitting that one day after we honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr., we inaugurate Barack Obama as president of the United States of America. Seemed appropriate to share this video of MLK’s historic “I have a dream” speech. I still get chicken skin listening to this. I couldn’t imagine America any other way.

It was also a chicken skin moment listening to Obama on election night.

YES WE CAN!

-NGK


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If you’re a foodie in search of a true taste of Hawaii, Alan Wong’s Restaurant is your answer. Just watch the video above and you’ll understand why. Chef Wong is all about giving his guests a true slice of Hawaii, serving things grown off our land and from the sea, in a style all his own. The result is a creative presentation of flavors, textures, and representation of Hawaii’s multi-ethnic heritage on each plate.

I’ve been a fan of Chef Wong’s Hawaii Regional Cuisine since the first time I dined at his King Street restaurant roughly 10 years ago. I’ve been fortunate to dine there many times since and I’m yet to have something on the menu I didn’t like. The Hamakua Springs Tomato, Beet and Avocado Salad with Li Hing Mui Ume Vinaigrette is reason enough for me to go back. It’s a nice restaurant tucked away in an unassuming location in a building you probably wouldn’t expect to find a restaurant of this caliber. The service is always great and the food always consistently delicious. Afterall, the restaurant was ranked #8 in America by Gourmet magazine last year and President-Elect Barack Obama recently dined here on his recent Hawaii vacation.

So when my mom asked “where should we go to eat on Christmas Eve?”, I didn’t even have to think twice before suggesting Alan Wong’s and I’m glad we went. The restaurant featured a five course prix fixe menu that was just remarkable. Here’s how the night went:

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AMUSE BOUCHE: Araimo Potato Croquette with Sevruga Caviar

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FIRST COURSE (Choice 1): “Oxtail Soup” - Braised Oxtail Terrine, Peanuts, Ginger, Grated Mochi

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FIRST COURSE (Choice 2): "Scallop Dumpling” - "Superior" Broth, Spinach, Shiitake Mushrooms

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SECOND COURSE: Seared Ahi with Edamame Mousse, Soy Calamansi Sauce

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THIRD COURSE: Butter Poached Lobster with Lobster Sausage, Miso Mustard Vinaigrette, Tokyo Negi Sauerkraut

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ENTREE: Smoked Kurobuta Pork Chop with Braised Red Cabbage, Foie Gras Bread Dumpling, Ohelo Cranberry Sauce

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ENTREE: Maui Cattle Company Beef Tenderloin with Black Pepper Coconut Sauce, Hamakua Mushrooms, Swiss Chard, Baby Beets

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ENTREE: Ginger Crusted Onaga with Organically Grown Hamakua Mushrooms, Corn, Miso Sesame Vinaigrette

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ENTREE: Red Wine Braised Duck “Sauerbraten” Style with Spice Roasted Pumpkin, Gobo, Hasu, Carrot

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DESSERT (Choice 1): “Caramel Dipped Apple” - Ohelo Berry Fruit Cake, House Made Hot Apple Cider with Green Shiso Kanten, Macadamia Nut Praline Ice Cream

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DESSERT: “Chocolate Wishes” - Waialua Chocolate Chestnut Cake, Eggnog Truffles, Chocolate Sorbet, Candied Chestnuts

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THE BONUS: Chocolate covered macadamia nuts

On this night, Chef Wong and his culinary team received two thumbs up from my mom and dad, my sister Erin, Kelly, Ensen, and me. Kelly and I also decided to go with the wine pairings on each course to enhance the experience, which I highly recommend. It’s amazing what a perfectly matched champagne, sake, and wine can do take a meal to a whole new level.

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Next time you’re looking for a wonderful meal in Honolulu, remember Alan Wong’s for that special occasion (and his other restaurant The Pineapple Room at Macy’s Ala Moana too). I’m looking forward to coming back soon!

-NGK

Alan Wong’s Restaurant
1857 South King Street, Third Floor
808-949-2526

The Pineapple Room
Macy’s, Third Floor, Ala Moana Center
808-945-6573

[Video of Alan Wong courtesy of Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.]

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Not sure if Joe the Plumber was there, but Barack Obama and John McCain’s performance at the Al Smith Dinner this past week proved they are quite the comedians…or at least their speech writers are. 😉 I love a good roast and this one was no exception.

If this was a “call in and vote” for you favorite performance kind of thing, I’d have to give Obama the edge. Check it out for yourself.

-NGK