Dear Guam Food Guy reader,
It’s November and the holiday season is upon us! The recent elections (both locally and nationally) should bring positive changes to our island and the world so long as our elected representatives find common ground and ways to work together (and not against each other) so we can all move forward to improve the quality of our lives and security.
This week, a visit to the Guam Reef Hotel’s exciting dinner and magic show in the Pandanus Pavilion. We also want to congratulate our Team MCA who recently competed
in the Pacific Challenge in Vanuatu. Finally, we will be saying “auf wiedersehen” to a living culinary legend, Executive Chef Josef Budde of the Hyatt Regency Guam, who recently was honored at a fabulous retirement cocktail event, the likes of which we’ve never seen!
Natibu Island Dance & Magic Dinner Show
If you are looking for a familiar place at the Guam Reef Hotel called Alize Restauarant, you will soon discover that it’s “MIA” (Missing in Action), or more accurately, under renovation! The good news is that Alize has been temporarily re-located to the Pandanus Pavilion so you can still get your buffet on in this spacious room that has a stage made for theatre and performing arts.
Did I say “performing arts?” Yes I did. In fact, you get a double bonus of a magic show (put on by Ryan Anderson aka “Magic Ryan”) followed by a high-energy dazzling dance performance by Natibu Island Dance troupe, who offer riveting Polynesian and local dance routines.
There is a full buffet with steak and seafood and a whole lot more from Japan and Asia. The Taiwanese-style beef noodle soup is joined by chicken penang, fried lumpia with chili sauce, dim sum, spicy crab, tempura, fusion sushi, poki, charsiu pork, kelaguens, fresh baked desserts and a halo-halo station. This meal includes free flowing Budweiser, Bud Light and Beck’s draft beer, Soda, Iced Tea, red and white wine and Champagne.
The buffet and performances run daily from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Regular prices are $42.00 for adults and $25 for children. Club Infinity members get a 50 percent discount (for unlimited guests). Local and military guests are entitled to a 40 percent discount.
One of the fun things about the entertainment is how magician Ryan Anderson engages the guests; it seems that magic is a universal language. People are always puzzled by these cute and clever theatrics, especially when they are participating on stage. This is the same for the Natibu Island Dancers, who really give the audience and guests their money’s worth in entertainment.
The good-natured laughter at some of the selected or willing volunteers trying to move their bottoms in the same alluring manner of the native dancers demonstrates how much our visitors like to explore and try to learn new things, even a new dance move! Being a resident of Guam, I can honestly say that I’m impressed by the quality of performance these dancers demonstrate. Their wide, cheery smiles and shining eyes make them great ambassadors of the proud and happy culture of our island. It makes you want to shout out “Hafa adai!” Stay posted for announcements about the new Alize Restaurant sometime in late December or early January.
Ken the Guam Food Guy
“Auf wiedersehen” (farewell) Chef Josef Budde!
Hyatt Regency Guam
It was a night to remember for friends, colleagues, and guests who attended the retirement cocktail event for the Hyatt’s Grand Master Chef Josef Budde on Nov. 8. The Hyatt’s main ballroom was dressed up in a stunning modern layout which celebrated the various cuisines of the countries where Chef Budde has lived. His illustrious career as a chef has spanned 29 years during which he’s cooked in exotic locations including Singapore, Bangkok, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Tokyo.
Chef Josef was treated to an incredible series of greetings and well-wishes from his colleagues in the Asia Pacific region, who were channeled in with video messages displayed on the large screens. He was honored by the Governor of Guam (Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio attended and made the presentation), and the Micronesian Chefs’ Association honored Chef Budde with an engraved chef’s knife bestowing on him an honorary lifetime board member status.
A highlight of the event that touched the hearts of many (drawing tears for some) was the video call from Chef Budde’s children, Josef Jr., and Pia, who are attending universities in Edinburgh and London. It was a bit overwhelming for Chef Budde and his wife, Goye, when their kids said “Hi Dad! Hi Mom!” and the audience rippled with emotions.
One of Chef Budde’s lifetime friends and colleagues, Chef Gabriele Colombo from the Hyatt Regency Saipan attended the event. Chef Colombo was a young protege of Chef Budde when they opened the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. Chef Budde will be handing over the culinary reins to Executive Chef Mirko Agostini, who previously worked at Al Dente before leaving to Bali and most recently, Incheon, Korea. Chef Budde has bought a house on Guam and will be making Guam his home. Aren’t we lucky?
Team MCA Guam at Pacific Rim Challenge
Port Vila, Vanuatu
Oct. 30 – Nov. 4
Team MCA Guam recently attended the WACS (World Association of Chefs’ Societies) Pacific Rim Challenge in Vanuatu where they competed against teams from Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and Vanuatu, the host country of the event which was held in tandem with their national competition, the Bred Bank Salon Culinaire. Members of the Micronesian Chefs’ Association (MCA) represented the island in this annual competition which has teams comprised of a senior chef and junior chef.
Executive Chef Chris Aguon (Table 35) was joined by Kennylynn Miranda, a 20-year-old GCC Culinary Student who is also culinary apprentice (Chef de partie) at Al Dente Ristorante in the Hyatt Regency Guam. Also attending the event was MCA’s President, Chef Peter Duenas, as well as Chef Paul Kerner, Culinary Arts instructor at GCC and a MCA board member (as is Chef Aguon). Kennylynn has competed in the ProStart competition in high school as well as Skills USA.
Among the dishes the chefs created using a mystery basket of ingredients (farm-raised beef and prawns) was Beef Roulade accompanied by three sauces – roasted red pepper vinaigrette, mango coulee, and papaya relish as a first course. The main dish was a pan-seared prawn with a coconut lemongrass sauce over a sweet potato risotto and charred bok choy. For dessert, Team Guam made a fresh mint creme brulee with local bananas and a fresh mango puree.
This year’s competition was well-attended by Team Guam as we are looking to host the Pacific Rim Challenge on Guam next year. Won’t it be awesome having chef teams come to Guam next year from Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and Vanuatu?! It’s going to happen! Congrats to Team Guam and especially to Kennylynn – we’re all so very proud of your achievement!