Big Aloha!

The Hawai’i Chamber of Commerce of Northern California (HCCNC) will honor renowned chef, cookbook author, television personality and restaurateur, Sam Choy, at its fourth annual Five-Star Aloha gala event on April 27, 2006, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., at San Francisco’s Westin St. Francis Hotel. Tickets are $100 in advance and $125 at the door. Ho, goin’ be one fancy black-tie kine party.

Sam Choy
Sam Choy will be the recipient of the HCCNC’s 2006 Kulia I Ka Nu’u Award, which is presented to individuals or groups who have helped to spread Hawai’i’s unique and wonderful culture and the Aloha Spirit to the Bay Area and beyond.

In addition to authoring nine top-selling cookbooks, Choy is a four-time nominee for the James Beard Best Pacific Regional Chef award and in 2004, Sam Choy’s Kaloko Restaurant was the recipient of the James Beard/Gallo of Sonoma American Classics Award.

Word about Sam Choy has extended well beyond the Islands, indeed. In 1999, Nation’s Restaurant News named him one of 50 tastemakers influencing America’s $360 billion foodservice industry. He has also been featured in numerous national publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Sunset Magazine, Bon Appétit, and Gourmet Magazine.

Food Network appearances on Extreme Cuisine, Emeril Live!, East Meets West with Ming Tsai, as well as recent tapings with David Rosengarten and Sarah Moulton’s Cooking Live! have given Choy many opportunities to promote his beloved Hawai’i and the extraordinary Island cuisine. Other recent television appearances include Iron Chef America , Live with Regis and Kathy Lee, Great Chefs on the Travel & Discovery channels, Good Morning America and the Today Show.

Kulia I Ka Nu’u Award

Past recipients of the Kulia I Ka Nu’u Award include: Mary Bitterman, Osher Foundation president and past executive director of KQED; Patrick Makuakane, 2001 recipient of the San Francisco Local Hero Award, and a leading innovator in contemporary hula; and retired Superior Court Judge William Fernandez, founder of the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Association Northern California Region

Other past awardees include: Saichi Kawahara, founder of Kapalakiko, the largest and most pervasive Bay Area newsletter about Hawai’i community events; Sara Sato, Menlo College administrator who has provided guidance and inspiration to scores of Hawai’i students attending Menlo College; Takahashi Market, a family owned San Mateo business for over 100 years that continues to serve as a “home away from home” for Hawai’i expatriates in the Bay Area; Vernon Chang, well known for his local Bay Area radio show featuring Hawaiian music and talk story and Ka’ala Carmack, a well known Bay area Hawaiian music authority who promotes Hawaiian music thru community based educational programs.

Keynote Speaker, Dick Tomey

The keynote speaker for the evening will be one of Hawai’i’s favorite adopted sons, Dick Tomey. From 1977 to 1986, Tomey, currently head football coach at San Jose State University, guided the University of Hawai’i football team to its first in-season Top 20 national ranking, establishing the program as a force in the Western Athletic Conference.

Coach Tomey, who has always regarded the 50th State as his second home, holds the rare distinction as the winningest head football coach at two different universities, the University of Hawai’i and the University of Arizona.

Good Fun!

Da chance fo’ say “aloha” to Sam Choy an’ Dick Tomey, alone, is worth da price of da ticket, but, ey, dats just da start. Garans goin’ be good fun, with planny ‘ono food an’ drinks, music and most of all, planny Big Aloha.

Guests will be greeted by the sweet slack key sounds of bruddah Patrick Landeza. Patrick Makuakane’s halau, Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu, will perform an opening hula, and the event will close with the “Island Fusion” sounds of Aloha Brewed.

Not goin’ be da kine formal sit-down dinnah. Wen you stay walkin’ around da room, visiting an’ talkin’ story wit old and new friends, goin’ get all kine food stations. Dey still stay planning da food stations, but we wen hea might get Roy’s Restaurant, Hukilau/Sam Choy poke, Butterfly Restaurant, Slanted Door Restaurant, Peking duck and Big Island Candies desserts. Maybe goin’ even get one Michael Minna food station. Fo’ real kine broke da mout!

Also, goin’ get one silent auction and raffle. We don’t know which ones goin’ be fo’ da silent auction an’ which goin’ be fo’ da raffle, but get good kine prizes like two roundtrip tickets on Aloha Airlines from Oakland to Honolulu, a two-night stay at da Hawai’i Prince Hotel, San Francisco Giants tickets, restaurant certificates and planny mo’ good kine stuff.

The HCCNC was founded in 1999 to help build a stronger community of former residents of the Aloha State and to establish bridges between businesses and individuals in the Bay Area and Hawai’i. With more than 2,500 individual members, it has grown to become one of the best-known Hawai’i organizations outside of the state, producing events such as University of Hawai’i football tailgates, business networking events and social functions. You can join HCCNC or purchase tickets to the event at .

See you at Five Star Aloha!

Keith Kamisugi and Kyle Tatsumoto are da Two Japanee Bruddahs. Visit them on the Web at Or e-mail them at

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