Last night, May and I had the pleasure of attending the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival's closing event, the Hukilau Beach Cookout, at the luxurious Kahala Hotel with our great friends, Scott and Patsy Saiki and Jill and Jay Kauka, as well as Hawaii's Governor David Ige and our lovely First Lady Dawn Ige. 11 of Hawaii's best chefs, including Alan Wong, Andrew Le, Ed Kenney, Elmer Guzman, George Mavrothalassitis, Lee Anne Wong, Mark "Gooch" Noguchi, Michelle Karr-Ueoka, Roy Yamaguchi, Vikram Garg, and Wayne Hirabayashi, gathered for the evening, serving their dishes fireside in the relaxing outdoor ambience. It was a great evening of friends and a wonderful showcasing of the culinary talent that Hawaii has to offer!
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Ward Village presents its Courtyard Cinema free community movie screening on every second Thursday of the month at its beautiful IBM courtyard. Last Thursday's was a special event in conjunction with the Hawaii International Film Festival, which began on November 12, 2015 and runs through November 22, 2015. Ward Village screened "American Epic," an extraordinary ethnography of music set in the late 1920s. The movie brought us on an adventure across America, into the Hopi nation and its music, to New Mexico and its Tejano music, to the bayou for Cajun music, and into the Avalon and its delta blues. We were proud to see Hawaiian slack-key guitar featured in the film; the filmmakers certainly honored the history of Hawaiian music. The film is the third part of a PBS 3-part series presented by Robert Redford, T Bone Burnett, and Jack White. It was a pleasure to have the film's Director, Bernard MacMahon, and producers present for the screening as well.
A huge crowd highlight actually happened before the movie showing. American blues music legend and Grammy Award-winning Taj Mahal got the crowd dancing on their feet as he played his hits like "Queen Bee" with this Hula Blues Band. The crowd gave him a standing ovation, and we were all truly privileged that he shared this night with us. Mahalo, Taj Mahal!
And mahalo, Ward Village and HIFF, for bringing this special event to our community!