“With so many options, what’s your favorite way to entertain in this house?”
“When we do the cooking, we entertain casually,” Aaron replies, “maybe a rustic menu of roasted meats or fish and vegetables, served family style. We start here near the kitchen with drinks and pupu, then move down to the lanai. If it’s a bigger party, we enlist the help of our chef and then we can be more elaborate.
“In all cases we try to come up with a special cocktail for guests to enjoy before dinner. Rhonda is a physical trainer and is interested in healthful food preparations. For this evening she made homemade cranberry cosmopolitans.”
“What about this is homemade?” I ask Rhonda, after sipping the pretty pink elixir.
“I coax the juice from fresh cranberries, then add a smidgen of sweetener, basil and mint, which are good healthy herbs. I also add coconut water, which has a slew of health benefits,” Rhonda says. “And there’s a bit of vodka in there, too, of course.”
You know the old song, “If I knew you were coming, I’d have baked a cake”? The Placourakis version is: “We knew you were coming, so we cooked everything from scratch really slow all day, using local ingredients.”
For this evening’s meal, Aaron and Rhonda have recruited Chef Geno Sarmiento, who has been with Tri-Star for twenty years. He looks right at home, prepping for dinner at the “cooktop with an ocean view.”
“I love cooking in this house,” Chef beams as he stirs the seafood sauce he will add to a new mahimahi entree. “The kitchen is perfectly designed and outfitted. The aisle between the prep areas is wide, so my two helpers aren’t bumping into one another. There’s an extra prep sink right behind me, which I filled with ice tonight to chill the fresh oysters. And there is a refrigerator drawer right here next to the range, which makes life so easy.”