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Sunday, December 2, 2012

CHAINE AT THE HALEKULANI

Chaine des Rotisseurs (CdR) is a 764 year old eating club having our annual dinner at the Halekulani Hotel.  I long ago belonged to El Capitan, another eating club, this one only about a century old, when I was at Stanford, but the club is presently no more for a variety of reasons, and primarily because the school a dozen years ago abolished all of them.  They were unceremoniously amalgamated into the LINX, a new dining hall featuring Asian fusion, Greek, new American and Mediterranean cuisine.  However, the last time I checked, LINX had disappeared and the place is now called NEXUS Cafe.  According to their web page, this is a well-crafted environmentally conscious restaurant using superior ingredients, professional cooking techniques and ethical practices.  There are inspired meals, friendly service and not just for lunch anymore.  How much more mysterious can this get? 

My day started with check-in to the Halekulani Hotel (no doubt the best, and most expensive, hotel on the island) on Waikiki Beach, where the festivities will occur.  From my room:


Like the Princess K last week, we have a blue egg:


I walked down to the upper edge area of the pool and had a staff member take this shot:


This was the spot where Pearl took my photo for what you see above in the heading.  I placed a capsule of Pearl's ashes next to the green circular bush containing a blossoming bougainvillea plant.

I guess eating club does not do justice to the CdR organization, which refers to itself as a gastronomical society, and well deservedly so, as you shall see.  I might still succeed in getting a copy, but I forgot the fancy menu which everyone got on the table, so the best I can do now is show you what we ate, and be assured that the wines were superior.

 The evening began with champagne and hor d'ouvres  Here are Cynthia, Ron and Kris:


Yes, tuxedos were won by men and the women were stylish.  We started with an appetizer:


It was caviar, etc.  Next came a lobster dish:


Most of my photos were not taken with a flash because we were told not to take any photos.  So I had to do this surreptitiously.  On my table were Judith, Bruce, Kathy, Patrick (the wine guy), Diana, Richard:


Note all those wineglasses.  All these individuals are famous in some way, and you'll recognize them, but I thought I'd only use first names for this posting.

Finally Richard, Rae and Nancy (well, at least her head):


I tried to get another shot of her, but it was way to dark, so here instead is Kathy, who was inducted into CdR with me last year:


Chef Vikram Garg and his staff (there was a whole bunch) are thanked by Maurice Nicholson (they all have very fancy French titles, and he is the equivalent of our President...I am a Chevalier, sort of a second class noble, the lowest CdM rank):


The evening ended with '80's disco dancing featuring a lively seven piece band.  Cognac, apple brandy and sweets accompanied.  A truly marvelous and grand supper.  While not exactly cheap, it was a bargain compared to the lunches I had in Rome and Seoul.

Next?  Bruce Liebert's Doomsday Celebration on December 21.  We are asked to bring a bottle of something and a high cuisine dish.  He thought it was appropriate for me to bring Zippy's chili, as a balance to the now illegal foie gras in California, caviar, truffles, gold flakes and the like.

The hotel provided the following for my breakfast:


As I think about it, I don't believe I have ever in my life had a whole papaya at one sitting.  I brought the two bananas and box of something home.  During the past few weeks I have just about stayed at every outstanding hotel on Oahu.  I will be at the Waikiki Sheraton later this week, and, maybe will add the Hilton Hawaiian Village before the year is over.  I saved a lot of money by spending my Fall/Winter vacation at hotels on Oahu, each linked to an event.  However, this coming Spring will feature the ultimate world journey.

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Typhoon Bopha, at 135 MPH, is expected to weaken a bit and make landfall over the Phlippines tomorrow.  It looks like Bopha will track sufficiently south of Manila, but that could still change.


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