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Monday, December 7, 2015


My Baillage de Kauai/Oahu Chapter of Chaine des Rotisseurs celebrated our annual Gala Holiday Dinner at the Oahu Country Club last night.  This was possibly my final meal with the organization, which has been around since 1248 at the time of French King Louis IX, who later was canonized as St. Louis.  Interestingly enough, the American city of St. Louis was named after this king.

Why my last supper?  I've reached an age where I am beginning to shift my lifestyle to more sensibly reflect my activity level and interests.  I'll miss these types of activities (just this year--some hosted by the Honolulu and Hawaii Chapters):
  • Caviar & Champagne at The Pacific Club (January)
  • Weekend at the Mauna Kea Beach Dinner (January)
  • Pre-Valentine's Dinner at Le Bistro (February)
  • Recognizing of Young Chefs at the UH Kapiolani Community College (February)
  • Mondiale Jarvis Wine Tasting at HASR Bistro (May)
  • Pasta Dinner at Four Seasons Hualalai (June)
  • Tour of Wartime Honolulu Town and Dinner at Grondin Restaurant (July)
  • Caviar  and Cristal at the Halekulani (September)
  • Afternoon Tea at MW Restaurant (October)
  • Great Gatsby Holiday Soiree at the Halekulani (December)
  • and January 2016--Tequila Tasting, followed later in the month by a Luxury Chocolate Event
This is my kind of schedule.  You say, that's only one event a month?  And, too, the cost of those extravaganzas are not all that high, compared to some of my over the top lunches I had on my recent Grand Around the World Adventure. As I think about it, perhaps another year.  We'll see.  This is how I looked:

So, anyway, it all began with a reception featuring Drappier Carte Blanche Brut Champagne NV (sounds noteworthy, but means Non Vintage) and:
  • Gran Speck Smoked Prosciutto with Dolcelatte Blue Cheese, Poached Figs, D’Anjou Pears, Pinot-Balsamic 
  • Foie Gras Torchon with Molokai White Honey
  • Charred Spanish Octopus with Roasted Tomatoes, Radicchio Salad, Basil, Nicoise Olives, Romesco, Pesto Dressing, Lemon-Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette
Those were just the appetizers.  (I might add that my computer changes words it thinks is in error, sometimes even the next day, so some of these gastronomical terms could well not be perfectly accurate.)

The cuisine was designed by Chef Rôtisseur and Executive Chef Alfred Cabacungan.  Wine Pairings were selected by Vice Echanson Donato Loperfido and Echanson Provincial Patrick Okubo.  Those fancy titles mean they belong to this organization, at least the latter two.  I am a mere Chevalier, which is the lowest you can get and still belong.  As I tend to do in this blog site, I just cite first names, so I'll continue this practice henceforth.

Our grand leader, Bailli and Consul General Societe Mondiale du Vin, and invidual who put the GALA together, Kathryn:

She opened the program, followed by two of my University of Hawaii colleagues, Bruce (who retires in a few days), and his wife, Judith (like, me, already retired), Hawaii/Pacific Islands Baillie Provincial (which means something like Emperor of the Pacific) and Hawaii/Pacific Islands Chargee de Presse Provinciale (places her way up in the leadership):

To continue, the first course: setting and Premium Italian Caviar and Lobster on gelee with creme fraiche (French for sour cream):

Unfortunately, I am allergic to crustaceans, so I passed this dish on to Christel, sitting to my left, here with Mirella, both also with florid titles, with Mirella as chief photographer, too:

Christel also was my disco partner, with very loud music provided by Dave Toma and Friends.  I liked it.  Enjoyed the dancing, too, and incredibly enough, my knee pains went away, and still seems fine enough for me to walk 18 holes at Ala Wai today.

  They mostly played tunes from the 80's, something that became deplorable to the character portrayed by Matt Damon in The Martian.    Dancing came in-between courses, unusual, except that this settled the food better.  A rotating disco ball would have added to the ambiance.  To my right were Natali and Vladimir, mostly from Hillsborough (close to Stanford University, and one of the priciest Zip Codes in the nation), and part-time residents here in Honolulu:

I did, though, drink the Lucien Crochet La Croix du Roy Sancerre, a Sauvignon Blanc.  A glass of Chateau Muser Gaston Hochar (I think this was a meritage of Cabernet, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvedre and Carignan) from Bekaa Valley, Lebanon (yes, this red wine came from the Middle East) was paired with the Hudson Valley (New York) Foie Gras with Perigueux Sauce (richly brown, flavored with Madeira wine and truffles) and apple gastrique (sweet and sour sauce), topped with a sunnyside up quail egg, plus an arugula salad...excellent, for duck liver (they are proud to indicate that their ducks are treated well):

Of course, the food temperatures in these kinds of dinners can never be optimal, but you kind of live with this flaw at large Chaine suppers.  A pause with a spot of Sgroppino Lemon Sorbet with Champagne.  Yes, that's the spelling.  Next, Indiana Maple Leaf Duck (this duck came from Maple Leaf Farms in Indiana) with black pepper crust, Morello (usually tart, sometimes bitter) cherry gastrique, chanterelles (gold leafy mushroom, left) and kabocha (Japanese winter squash), accompanied by a Montalbera L'Accento Ruche DOCG di Castagnole Monferrato from Piedmont, Italy (the DOCG is a long Italian term for the highest classification in Italy, and the Ruche grape is little-known and mysterious):

Grilled Entrecôte Ribeye Steak with Eryngi Mushrooms, Roasted Marrow Cognac-Herb Butter Sauce, Creamed Spinach and Potatoes Parisienne, served with two wines, Podere le Ripi, Amore e Follia Rosso Tuscano IGT Italy 2007 and and Fattoria La Massa Rosso Toscano IGT Italy 2013 (the older one is a mix of Merlot, Sangiovese and Syrah, while the younger a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Sangiovese--IGT is a lower quality, and thus, usually cheapest, next to table wines--the 2007 had a lot more character):

Not quite Japanese wagyu, but okay.  Entrecôte denotes a premium cut.

The dessert was a Poire belle Hélène (from the Jacques Offenbach opera, La belle Helene), poached pear and ice cream topped with raspberry coulis (the fruit is pureed and strained), almonds, a dark chocolate sauce with flakes of gold, and the wine a sweet Amaro Borsch San Marzano Elixir d'Italia, which is reasonably priced ($20 range/bottle), sometimes with a score of 95, but, to me, smelled and tasted grody.  (Offenbach, left, also composed The Tales of Hoffman.)

Just another truly outstanding Chaine Gala affair.  Maybe I might just hang around for another year.


1 comment:

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