Side Dish: Extreme Chef

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Story by Gossip Gourmet |  Illustration by Guy Junker

extreme-chef-illustrationSummer is a-sizzlin’ on Maui! After all the celeb spotting at the 2011 Maui Film Festival, let’s celebrate a homegrown star: Chef Rodger Shortell of Tiki Torch Productions. One of Gossip Gourmet’s zaniest, hunkiest friends, Shortell landed a spot on Extreme Chef, the new Food Network reality show that recommends a rather MacGyver approach to cooking. (Hmm . . . is edible duct tape involved?) To earn the “Most Extreme” title, competing chefs must dive for their daily catch, sear steaks on car engines, and prep praiseworthy feasts using naught but a Swiss Army knife. Sounds like a normal weekend in Nahiku, eh? Good luck, Rodg, may the forks be with you!

If you’re ready for some summer grilling, take a tip from Chef Jana McMahon, who delighted local foodies by hosting a Korean barbecue in her backyard. NY Times Magazine food writer Mark Bittman recommended bulgogi as the best bet for summer barbecues, and Miz G has to agree. Along with the sumptuous marinated sirloin, no Korean barbecue is complete without a multitude of banchan, Korea’s answer to Spanish tapas. Making all those small dishes of potato salad, kim chi, shredded squid, and stir-fried lotus root is a cinch, thanks to Maui’s well-stocked Asian groceries. Hit up Takamiya Market, 359 N. Market St., Wailuku, (808) 244-3404, or Paradise Supermart, 207 E. Wakea Ave., Kahului, (808) 877-6767.

Hosting more formal festivities? Try Chef Roger Stettler’s short-rib recipe at left. The Four Seasons Resort Maui’s executive chef dazzled guests at the 2011 ‘Aipono Awards with this mouthwatering entrée. Standing applause is due to the Four Seasons, Spago, and Capische culinary teams for an amazing performance at this year’s ‘Aipono gala. Maui Culinary Academy students (the evening’s beneficiaries) got a behind-the-scenes look at how the best in the biz throw a top-tier bash.

Speaking of the ‘Aipono Awards, how ‘bout Star Noodle and its executive chef, Sheldon Simeon, slam-dunking “Best New Restaurant” and “Chef of the Year?” The Hoaloha Na Eha family is on a roll—literally. To their award-winning restaurants, Star Noodle, Aloha Mixed Plate, and Old Lahaina Lu‘au, they’ve added a snazzy catering truck. Even more exciting: their menehune have been busy in Olowalu, reinventing the shuttered Chez Paul locale. Co-owner Michael Moore says Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop should open in mid-August. The apple green plantation-style general store will serve savory and sweet pies, sandwiches, and (hallelujah!) fresh-baked breads. As a scrumptious preview, the Leoda’s team donated French macaroons to the Bake Sale for Japan at this year’s Maui Ag Fest. If those gourmet dainties were any indicator, Maui is in for a real treat. Since the irresistible aroma of pie will surely pull nearby snorkelers out of the water in droves, Miz G suggests a new traffic sign: SLOW! Pies ahead.

Brit rock star (and Maui resident) Mick Fleetwood’s new two-story pub should open any day now. Overlooking Lahaina Harbor, the restaurant’s rooftop is destined to be one of Maui’s hottest destinations. Fleetwood’s on Front Street will serve Mick’s own wine label and, rumor has it, his signature drum kit will grace the stage. Miz G’s special request: can Stevie Nicks come out to play? Please?

Finally, for the keiki: Magic is afoot at Flatbread Company in Pa‘ia. Attention, apprentice wizards! Keep an eye on the fire-tenders shoveling piping hot flatbreads from the wood-burning oven. Every so often they toss a little fairy dust into the air, where it erupts in sparkles! Call ahead for your table and march right past the crowd camped at the door.

Until we eat again!

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