“Riceipe” Cooking Contest Competitors – 2015

12pm-12:30pm Cooking (Main Cooking Area)
12:30pm-1pm Judging (Main Stage)

The popular “Riceipe” contest is back… with an exciting twist! This year, our chefs will each pair up with a local celebrity and compete against other chef/celebrity teams to prepare the most delectable rice dishes in history! They will be presented to our panel of judges until one team is crowned the 2015 Rice Fest “Riceipe” Champion based on TASTE (10 points), CREATIVITY (5 points), SIMPLICITY (5 points), and VISUAL APPEAL (5 points). The competition starts at 12pm, with the judging portion beginning at 12:30pm. Below are this year’s competitors.

Chef Andy Dalan (Proud Peacock Restaurant at Waimea Valley)
Chef Andy Dalan (Proud Peacock Restaurant at Waimea Valley)
KITV4's Yunji de Nies
KITV4’s Yunji de Nies

Chef Andy Dalan (Proud Peacock Restaurant at Waimea Valley)
Chef Andy Dalan is our defending “Riceipe” champ and is the Executive Chef at the Proud Peacock Restaurant at Waimea Valley. A graduate of the Kapiolani Community College Culinary Arts program, he has worked for such places as Marriott Management Services (Waikele Golf Club, Kapolei Golf Course), Sake Street, Roy’s Waikiki, Formaggio Wine Bar & Grill, and YogurStory.

KITV4’s Yunji de Nies
Yunji de Nies co-anchors KITV4 News at 5 and 6 o’clock with Paula Akana, and KITV4 News at 10 o’clock with Kenny Choi. Yunji is an active member of the Asian American Journalists Association. When not in the newsroom, you can find her exploring Oahu’s many hiking trails, or spending time with family along the Big Island’s Kohala coast.

 

Chef Hideaki 'Santa' Miyoshi (Tokkuri-Tei)
Chef Hideaki “Santa” Miyoshi (Tokkuri-Tei)
Hawaii News Now's Stephanie Lum
Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum

Chef Hideaki "Santa" Miyoshi (Tokkuri-Tei)
Chef "Santa" Miyoshi was born in the small town of Kagawa, Japan, which is well known for their "Sanuki udon". His first job was as a $5/hour dishwasher at a popular Japanese Kappo Ryori restaurant. When they opened a new branch here in Hawaii, they appointed him as the manager. Santa eventually left and became the Sashimi Cutter at Kengo's where he cut 200 pounds of sashimi a day. After a year of 10am-2am shifts, he quit and started a lunch wagon called "Munch Wagon" with his friend Kaz (Kazu "Kaz" Mitake). In 1989, Kaz found an investor which helped them open the first Tokkuri-Tei restaurant on Sheridan Street. Santa has won numerous cooking contests including the Aloha Shoyu and Sam Choy's Poke contests and previous Rice Fest “Riceipe” contests in 2010 and 2011.

Hawaii News Now’s Stephanie Lum
Stephanie started her news career in Guam where she spent two years before returning to Hawaii to work at KGMB 9 News, KHNL, K-FIVE, and Hawaii News Now, earning “Best Spot News”, “Best General News Story”, “Best Series Reporting”, and “Best Feature Story” awards individually, and even a prestigious Emmy award for “Overall News Excellence” as a team. In her free time, she enjoys training for triathlons and spending time with her family.

 

Chef Hide Yoshimoto (Izakaya Torae Torae)
Chef Hide Yoshimoto (Izakaya Torae Torae)
KHON2's Justin Cruz
KHON2’s Justin Cruz

Chef Hide Yoshimoto (Izakaya Torae Torae)
Chef Hide Yoshimoto was born in Osaka Japan and came to Hawaii at age 7. Cooking for about 15 years, he started in the kitchen, then to robata style cooking, then to sushi where he is known for applying his flair to otherwise traditional Japanese cuisine. Formerly of Doraku Sushi, Yoshimoto opened up his own Izakaya Torae Torae restaurant in McCully in February of last year (2014), which has quickly become a popular hotspot for the adventurous foodie seeking sushi with a twist.

KHON2’s Justin Cruz
At age 17, Justin Cruz became the youngest on-air personality (at the time) in his hometown of Guam. In 1996, he moved to Honolulu to attend the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Shortly after, he was offered a slot on a weekend radio show, which led to a decade-long career with KQMQ as program director and morning show radio host. Cruz joined KHON2 as a weather anchor in 2006. When he’s not in the newsroom, Cruz can most likely be found deep in the Koolau mountain range. “Let’s just say I’m addicted to hiking.” He also owns several businesses and is currently pursuing degrees at Mississippi State University and UH-Manoa’s Shidler College of Business.

 

Chef Christopher Gee (La Tour Cafe)
Chef Christopher Gee (La Tour Cafe)
OC16's Tiny TV's Tiny Tadani
OC16’s Tiny TV’s Tiny Tadani

Chef Christopher Gee (La Tour Cafe)
Chef Christopher Gee is a third generation culinarian who has worked in San Francisco and Hawaii; most notably at Chez Panisse, A’cote, and Hoku’s. He was also one of the co-founders of the popular pop up Miso & Ale. He is currently the Corporate Executive Sous Chef for La Tour Cafe.

OC16’s Tiny Tadani
Armed with his ‘Tiny Cam’, Tiny Tadani travels around town meeting the interesting people and places of our islands… Including the 9th island, Las Vegas! He is the host and producer of the popular The D Las Vegas’ “Tiny TV” show, which airs on OC16, Mon-Fri @ 10:30pm, Wed @ 11am, and Thu @ 8am!

 

Past Champions:

  • 2012 – Chef Andy Dalan (Yogurstory) – “Naghty & Rice” dessert
  • 2011 – Chef Santa Miyoshi (Tokkuri Tei) – Unagi Risotto
  • 2010 – Chef Santa Miyoshi (Tokkuri Tei) – Seafood Risotto