Side Dish: Tweeps

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Illustration by Guy Junker

cooking-illustrationDespite reservations, Miz G recently joined Twitter. Amid the tweeting foodies, she discovered some culinary wags. Claiming to be a mash-up of Anthony Bourdain of No Reservations and former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl, anonymous prankster @RuthBourdain pokes fun at gastronomic pretense. He/she riffs off of Reichl’s tweets, turning Comfort Me with Applesinto “Comfort me with offal.” And when witty @ElizabethBastos tweets “Weigh in, friends, on the ubiquity of hummus,” the Twitterverse erupts in hot debate. Turns out everybody has an opinion about hummus.

Perhaps the most intriguing tweet came from Maui Chef Peter Merriman, who recently declared himself via Twitter the “Second Sexiest Chef in the World?” Who’s first?

Time-wasting chuckles aside, Twitter led Gossip to a recent culinary happening at Archipelago Hawai‘i, the snazzy new kitchen-design shop in Lahaina. To christen the shiny Sub Zero and Wolf appliances, owner Rick Cowan hosted a cooking demo with Chef Sanam Lamborn, author of MyPersianKitchen.com. Lamborn traveled from L.A. to share the secrets of Persian cooking, which she calls “a mother cuisine.” The saffron-spiced fish and kuku—a frittata-like dish packed with fresh herbs—certainly was nourishing. (Note: Hummus was not served.)

The intimate event, a benefit for the American Heart Association, drew all kinds of food folk out of the pantry. Roxanne Tiffin of Kula Fields donated farm-fresh veggies so bright they might’ve been plucked that morning from Eden. (Sign up for Kula Fields’ subscription service and get local, sustainably grown vegetables, fruits, flowers—even eggs, fish, and meat—delivered to your door. www.kulafields.com; 808-280-2099.)

Chef James Simpliciano of the Westin Ka‘anapali donated fish from the aquaculture ponds at Lahainaluna High School’s Alternative Learning Center, where he volunteers. Little did local Chef Susan Teton know her duties as Lamborn’s sous chef would include corralling golden tilapia! Miz G was happy to see Chefs Mark Ellman (Mala, Maui Tacos) and Paris Nabavi (Cilantro, Pizza Paradiso) in attendance; here’s hoping they sprinkle Persian rosewater and pistachios throughout their menus. Who would’ve guessed, this whole community effort was arranged via Twitter by social-media maven Dania Katz of Edible Hawaiian Islands.(Or, as we tweeps know her: @DaniaKatz.)

How tweet—I mean, how sweet—is the al fresco dining at the new Pita Paradise in the Wailea Gateway Center! An ocean view and bubbling fountain encourage diners to linger and explore the expanded menu.

Stop the presses! No, start them—French coffee presses, that is. Coffee farmers witnessed quite an upset at the Hawai‘i Coffee Association’s Second Annual Cupping Contest this past July. Kona coffee farmers surrendered first place to Rusty’s Farm in Ka‘u, while Maui’s own Kupa‘a Farms snagged second. Congratulations to Gerry Ross and Janet Simpson! In addition to coffee, these Kula farmers grow a cornucopia of organic fruits and vegetables. They offer a subscription service, too—100 percent organic. Contact (808) 876-0678 to sign up, and join Market Fresh Bistro, one of their top customers.

More breaking news: Jennifer Nguyen finally hoisted a sign above her beloved—if hard to find—Wailuku restaurant. After years of wandering lost in the shadow of ‘Iao Valley, motorists can now easily read “A Saigon Cafe” as they zip across the Main Street Bridge. (For those who only knew it as “Jennifer’s,” there’s a little red sign for you, too.) Looks like Frommer’swill finally have to update its review. Jicama Buddha rolls, here we come.

Tweet you later!

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