I stood in line, heart racing with excitement, hands trembling uncontrollably. Two feet in front of me sat Nancy Oakes and Pam Mazzola, chefs of San Francisco's acclaimed Boulevard Restaurant, and they were about to sign my copy of their cookbook.
Halekulani and the Hale 'Aina 'Ohana put together a magnificent event yesterday, a sumptuous brunch featuring the chefs' famous modern Californian-Mediterranean cuisine. Braised chestnut soup with duck confit, shaved hearts of palm and cucumber with truffles, mussels stuffed with panzanella, roasted steak with creamy morel-Madeira sauce, bacon-wrapped duck breast stuffed with apples, five wondrous desserts including a homemade vanilla bean ice cream and shortbread sandwich...what on earth was I supposed to do with myself? Get DRUNK. Drunk with pleasure, I mean, not unlike the first time I ate at Chef Mavro.
The only person I recognized was food writer Joan Namkoong, but I met several fellow foodies, such as a fanatic Punahou school teacher, a former student dean at Chaminade, a Cincinnati-based dietician, and a local private chef. Were any of you there? I've never tried any recreational drugs, but after yesterday, I think I know what it feels like to be on uppers. (And not have the unpleasant after-effect of crashing.)