A Fabulous Table Of Tastes At Halekulani

Jo McGarry
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Wednesday - June 17, 2009
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Halekulani Chef Vikram Garg

There’s a new dining concept over at Halekulani that should have foodies in town drooling into their glasses of Veuve Clicquot as Chef Vikram Garg unveils Table One By Vikram Garg sometime later this month.

A specially crafted table has been handmade for the hotel and will sit in the atrium area of Orchid’s dining room. You know the space, I’m sure. It’s the area that always looked like it was meant to be a dance floor.

“When I first came here as a guest chef I used to look at this space and think how beautiful it was,” says Garg, who joined Halekulani’s ranks as executive chef last October, “and I wondered what they used it for.”

At first he expressed a desire to put a complete kitchen in the atrium area, but instead the hotel invested in a circular table hand-made with exotic wood.

“It’s incredible,” says the chef. The hold-up on announcing Table One’s opening night isn’t because of the menu, however.


“It’s the chairs,” says Halekulani director of public relations Erika Kauffman. “The table is so amazing that it has to have the right chairs, and they’re not here yet.”

As soon as they are, call up and make a reservation. From what I’ve tasted so far of Garg’s food, it’s going to be one hot table ...

Sam Choy wasn’t in town for his friend Emeril Lagasse‘s guest chef appearance at The Kahala last weekend, he’s busy traveling doing cooking demos, spreading the Aloha Spirit and spending time as guest chef on Crystal Cruise Lines. His last trip to Alaska left guests 100 percent happy with the Choy experience.

“The cruise lines say I’m one of the most highly rated chefs they’ve ever had,” Sam says. His Oahu Restaurant, Breakfast Lunch and Crab, celebrates 12 years this month. Proceeds are going for the seventh year in a row to Ronald McDonald House ...

Hilton Hawaiian Village has a new water slide, a nightly luau and a newly renovated Tropics Bar and Grill - all in the hope of attracting local guests and keeping their occupancy levels steady.

The Tropics’ launch party is June 26 and Cecilio and Kapono will reunite for the evening to give a private concert at the beachfront location. The new menu will focus on Island cuisine that includes local produce, fresh fish and some exciting new twists from executive chef Jeff Vigilla ...

I found something dear to my heart while reading food news the other night. A farmer in Scotland is cross-breeding famed Aberdeen Angus beef with Japanese Wagyu.

The prized Japanese bull semen has been imported to Scotland, and the Scots-Japanese calves are expected to be on farms in the Highlands next spring. Apparently it will be cheaper for the Japanese to import Wagyu Angus beef from across the world than pay exorbitant prices for the coveted Kobe region-farmed beef.

Scottish farmers seem excited about the move, as it is sure to be profitable. The cross-breeding will not affect the ancestry line of the Aberdeen Angus herd, which in itself is highly prized.

I wondered if instead of sake and beer, the cows might be fed on whisky.

“We don’t go in much for that sort of thing here,” says my farmer source in Edinburgh.

Happy eating!

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