A Food Network Feast For Island Foodies

Jo McGarry
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Wednesday - March 31, 2010
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Guy Fieri with our columnist last October, when he shot an episode of ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’ on Oahu

Set your recorders to the Food Network this Sunday and Monday (April 4 and 5) and you’ll see no fewer than four local restaurants featured on two of the network’s most popular shows.

In a culinary coincidence, cakelava of Kailua will be featured Sunday on Food Network Challenge - the show dedicated to sending bakers where no sane pastry perfectionists have gone before - and Nico’s at Pier 38, Hank’s Haute Dogs and Highway Inn are featured the next day on Guy Fieri’s wildly popular show, Diners Drive-Ins and Dives.

Rick Reichart, owner and pastry maker extraordinaire, is featured on Food Network Challenge airing Sunday, April 4, at 2 p.m. The most challenging parts of the show for him has been to keep the results a secret.

“It’s been really hard telling people that I’m contracted not to say anything,” he says. (You can read more about Reichart and his amazing cakes on Page 6 of this week’s MidWeek).


Fieri has the highest rated program on Food Network. When he came to town last October to film a series of shows (the others, airing in April and June, feature Murphy’s Bar and Grill, Elmer Guzman’s Poke Stop and - incongruously - Germaine’s Luau), he took time to chat with me about the show and his impressions of food in Hawaii.

“To me, Hawaii is just a cornucopia of great food and beverage,” said the chef/host. “And there’s no greater pleasure for me than to share this with our viewers.”

Those viewers will be plenty. Triple D, as Fieri likes to call his show, reaches about 13 million foodies, many of them anxious to try the fare Fieri features.

“The great thing about this show is that it can improve these businesses by at least 100 percent,” Fieri says.

I wondered if anyone had mentioned this to Nico Chaize, Hank Adaniya and the folks over at Highway Inn. They’re all quite busy as it is.

“Guy told me to get ready. And so we are,” says the unflappable Chaize. Expect to see him dishing up fresh marlin burgers and fried ahi belly with lomi tomato salsa.

“The whole experience was hard work,” he admits, “but a lot of fun. Guy had a great time with us at the fish auction.”

Sharing the limelight with Chaize on Monday night is Adaniya of Hank’s Haute Dogs. He has been similarly warned to get ready for the rush.

“They told us to expect a dramatic increase,” says the ever cheerful and wickedly creative Adaniya. “We’ll just buy in extra supplies and get the adrenaline pumped up!”

Adaniya made each of his gourmet dogs for Fieri. “He loved them all,” says Adaniya, “but his favorite was definitely the Fat Boy.”

The Fat Boy aka DLT is a dog wrapped in bacon, deep fried and served with mayonnaise, tomato and lettuce. “Guy liked it for its ‘badness,’” says Adaniya with a smile. Fieri also raved about the signature duck fat french fries. Who could blame him?

You can check out Adaniya and Chaize’s adventures with Fieri, along with a trip to Waipahu’s home of Hawaiian food, Highway Inn, on Monday, April 5, at 7 p.m.

Then, unlike most of the 13 million people watching the Food Network this weekend, you can head to one of the spots for lunch.

I’d make reservations, though, if I were you.

Happy eating!

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