01.23Thai Cooking Demonstration | Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

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Courtesy The Gourmet Review

Four Season’s Chef James “Jim” Babian never disappoints. He is Executive Chef at Four Season’s Resort Hualalai and has become something of an expert on Thai food. You’ll remember he cooked a fabulous Thai dinnerfor my husband and me earlier this year. He surprised us with  a Thai cooking demonstration when we brought our family to the resort for the first time a few months ago. Everyone got in the act and we ate like kings.

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First course was Tom Yum Soup. Delicious shrimp, shitake mushrooms, lemon grass, Kaffir lime leaves and fresh lime juice were spotlighted in this appetizer. Most of the ingredients for the meal were grown in the hotel’s herb garden.

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Next up was Chef Jim’s Thai Beef Salad. The combination of heirloom tomatoes, prime New York steak grilled to perfection, Thai chili peppers, fresh cilantro and lime juice, along with a few “secret” Thai ingredients was definitely a favorite and easy to prepare.

Inside The Kitchen | Four Seasons Hualalai Resort

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OK. we were starting to get full now, but another course was being prepped. It just happened to be another of my husband’s favorites. We love Pad (Phad) Thai and it was fun to see how Chef Jim added his special flair to this colorful Thai dish.  Garden fresh seasonings combine with traditional thai condiments and you end up with one of Thailand’s most popular dishes.

FInally, we came to the end of the meal and Chef Sean made a fresh pineapple fruit sorbet in a matter of minutes. The taste was so concentrated we had a hard time believing there was no added sugar. Just lightly baked fresh pineapple slices to concentrate the sugar and add to a magic “$3,000 instant sorbet machine. It was a delicious way to end our meal.

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Nothing more fun than watching great chefs at work, showing us the step by step recipes for great Thai food. My “Blue Baker” helped with preparation and everyone in the family had a great time watching and eating. Our family wants to  thank Chef Jim and Chef Shaun Acosta, Sous Chef,  for a great afternoon of cooking and, more importantly, a great meal. This is one we we will remember, as we try to recreate the great food we enjoyed this afternoon.

– The Gourmet Review


All of Chef Jim’s recipes for our  Thai meal are included in links on today’s blog post. Give them a try!

01.20Tom Yum Soup Recipe | The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

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The Gourmet Review

Tom Yum Soup is a favorite Thai dish in our house. Executive Chef Jim Babian shares his fabulous recipe. Nothing quite like having your favorite soup at The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.


Total cooking and prep time 15-20 minutes


8 cups water

8 Shrimp peeled and deveined (save shells)

10 each shitake mushrooms (sliced)

3-4 limes

2-3 lemon grass stalks (tied in knot)*

6 each kaffir lime Leaves*

4 tablespoons fish Sauce*

10 sprigs cilantro

4 chili peppers*

2 tablespoons  nam prig pow* (chili bean paste with soy oil) split in 8 bowls

* These ingredients can be found at any Asian market. Four Seasons grows on the premises!

Read the Notes below and add whatever garnishes you would like to the list of ingredients.


Bring water to boil. Add lemon grass, shrimp shells and simmer 5 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients. Simmer 2 minutes and then remove shrimp. Simmer another 3-4 minutes until flavors have developed.

Adjust seasonings and flavor with lime juice and fish sauce. At this point you can serve or cool down and reheat later. (Remove shrimp shells and stems if desired)

When ready to serve, put shrimp in bowl . Then add hot broth and garnish with cilantro.


Chef Jim says there are a number of ways to serve Tom Yum Soup. If you like rustic, leave everything in and just eat around the stems. For a more elegant presentation, strain the whole soup.  Then have all the garnishes in warm bowls ready to go. At service, pour the broth on top of the shrimp (chopped and split perhaps), some diced tomato, fresh sliced thin shiitake mushrooms, scallions and finally the cilantro leaves. You can add some long, thinly sliced basil (chiffonade the basil) and even a few drops of scallion oil to be sexy.

-The Gourmet Review

11.03Pad Thai Recipe | Chef Babian at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

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The Gourmet Review

Pad Thai. Wouldn’t you love to make this at home? Look no further than Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.  Executive Chef James Babian shares one of his favorite Thai recipes. This is delicious paired with his Tom Yom soup and Thai Beef Salad.



8 oz flat Thai noodles (rice noodles)

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons chopped Garlic

1/4 cup green onions

4 oz ground pork

1/4 cup dried Shrimp (soak in sesame oil and fish sauce) optional


1/3 cup Tamarind paste (strained)

5 tablespoons Fish Sauce

2 tsp Palm Sugar

2-3 eggs (beaten)

1/2 cup chopped Peanuts

4 oz regular tofu, dust in corn starchEdit

1 tsp dried chili flakes

Juice from half lime

3 green onions, cut into 1″ lengths


1 cup bean sprouts green chilies

Lime wedges


Place noodles in a bowl and add enough hot water to cover, soak 20 to 30 minutes, soft but still firm.

Mix together tamrind paste, sugar and fish sauce hold.

Heat oil in wok, stir fry tofu to golden brown, remove and drain.

In pan add garlic and green onions cook briefly.

Add pork and dried shrimp, stir fry until pork is browned.

Reduce heat, add drained noodles to pan and carefully fold them in to heat.

Clear a spot in the pan add the beaten eggs, cook a bit to set up then break apart and stir in pan.

Add sauce mix, cook for a minute or so to flavor and noodles to absorb.

Add remaining ingredients, tofu, peanuts, chilies flakes, lime juice and scallions.

Remove from heat and add half the garnishes, serve the rest in bowls on side.

-The Gourmet Review

08.24The Hualalai Collins Cocktail Recipe | Four Seasons Resort

Collins Cocktail Recipe

The Gourmet Review

Four Seasons always offers something extraordinary. Doug, the head bartender at the Lava Lounge at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, shares one of his signature recipes: a collins cocktail recipe like no other.


1.5 oz Cucumber Vodka (Square One Organic)
.25 oz Elder flower Liquour (St. Germain)
2/3 thinly sliced cucumber (using a mandolin)
1/2  oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz agave nectar


Mix in glass with ice. Shake, and pour into highball/ Collins glass.

Add soda and garnish with a flower.

– The Gourmet Review

03.24Easy Seafood Chowder Recipe – Four Seasons Seychelles

Easy Seafood Chowder Recipe

Courtesy The Gourmet Review

Are you looking for an easy seafood chowder recipe?  Well, look no further.

Today, I’m bringing you one that’s served in  the middle of the Indian Ocean at one of the most beautiful hotels in the world.

Four Seasons Seychelles just might be the dreamiest place on earth. Buckle your seat belt, because half the fun is getting there. The other half is savoring fabulous food influenced from Europe, India and Africa.

I’m not proud when it comes to food.  I begged Executive Chef Dave Minten to share his easy seafood chowder recipe. After all, he created  this and many more international  and exotic dishes – each one presented with an an artistic twist.

I’m always looking for an easy dinner idea or a simple recipe that has a great story. What gets better than an easy seafood chowder recipe from exotic Seychelles, where ingredients are caught in the local waters surrounding the islands every morning.

Thanks to Executive Chef Dave Minten for an unforgettable gastronomique adventure during our stay and sharing your easy seafood chowder recipe with The Gourmet Review.


2 tablespoons olive oil

2/3 cup finely chopped onion

2/3  cup diced celery

1/2 cup steamed potatoes. Cube into bite size pieces.

1/2 cup finely chopped bacon

1 teaspoons chopped  fresh thyme

4 1/4 cups or 1 liter fish stock (I used chicken stock, because I couldn’t find fish stock)

 2 1/3  cups cream or 1/2 and 1/2

 8  tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 cups snapper filet (not frozen) cubed  (You can substitute true cod filet)

1 1/2 cup shrimp cut into pieces

1 1/2 cup chopped scallop

1/2 cup flour

Dill for garnish

Fresh thyme for garnish


Make sure the onions, celery and potatoes are lightly packed in the measuring cup when measuring. Cook bacon first.  Remove the bacon and blot to eliminate excess fat.

Saute the vegetables, potato, herbs and bacon in the olive oil and butter.

Add flour to make a roux.

Combine the stock and cream. Make sure you whisk the mixture until the flour in the roux is dissolved.

Add in the seafood and let simmer for 6 minutes. Don’t overcook.

Season with salt and pepper.

Just before serving, add the chopped parsley to the soup.

Garnish with freshly chopped dill and fresh thyme.

And voila! A gourmet, yet easy seafood chowder recipe. Enjoy!


Easy Seafood Chowder Recipe

Courtesy The Gourmet Review

Take a moment to check out the website for Four Seasons Resort Seychelles.   The videos and photographs are absolutely stunning. How does Four Seasons have such romantic destinations? It’s always the people who complete the experience.

All the rooms are about 2200 sf, with sweeping views of the clear blue ocean. Each one boasts an individual swimming pool and oversized decks – all nestled in the hillside. Best of all are the outdoor showers! This is truly a movie set location!

Here’s how you get to this paradise destination. US to London, London to Kenya (or Dubai)  for a short safari and then Kenya Airways (or Emerites from Dubai) to Seychelles. Landing over turquoise water and powder white sand definitely sets the mood for a romantic vacation.

Special thanks to Executive Chef Dave  Minten (center), Brice Delclos, Director of Food and Beverage (R)  and Maxime Regard, Assistant Director of Food and Beverage (L) in the photo above, for our fabulous experience.

If you can’t travel to the Seychelles, perhaps you can try another romantic destination at Four Seasons Bora Bora or Four Seasons Hualalai in Hawaii – two more of my favorites!

– The Gourmet Review

01.28Four Seasons Inspired – Blackberry & Basil Fizz Cocktail Recipe

 Blackberry and Basil Fizz Cocktail

Have you heard the buzz about the Four Seasons newest popular cocktail? We’ll let you in on a secret. It’s the  Blackberry & Basil Fizz cocktail created last week by Doug Shulman, the head bartender at the hotel’s fabulous U’LU Restaurant in Hawaii. You’ll find Doug tending this elegant bar at Hawaii’s five star Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Why not try this popular cocktail while watching the sunset? U’LU Restaurant is Doug’s domain and he reigns supreme. He is a busy man greeting guests, mixing drinks and most importantly, making every guest feel like family. Doug, the consummate mixologist, will even create a signature drink just for YOU.

I’m downright envious of Doug’s office. There are no windows as the bar overlooks  the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. Thanks, Doug, for sharing your new creation. It’s such an easy recipe, we can try it at home!



1.5 oz Grey Goose Vodka
0.5  oz Creme de Mure (Blackberry Liqueur)
3-4 whole  blackberries
4-5 leaves of Thai basil
1 oz fresh lime sour
3 oz Perrier


In a mixing glass, muddle basil, blackberries and Creme de Mure.

Add vodka and sour mix.

Fill with ice and shake thoroughly.

Strain into iced Collins glass.

Add Perrier water.

Garnish with a basil leaf between 2 blackberries on a pick.


Another one of Doug’s creations is the Chartreuse Swizzle. Check it out. It’s not just another tropical drink.

06.11Amazing Lobster Salad Recipe | Four Seasons Style

Easy Recipes | Top Food Recipes | The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Courtesy The Gourmet Review

The Four Seasons boasts incredibly talented chefs, and this Lobster Salad is an example of what can be done with fabulous ingredients and a drop dead artistic presentation.

One morning, Sous Chef Angela of the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai saw that a box of fresh lobsters had been mistakenly delivered to the kitchen at Beach Tree Restaurant. In a nanosecond, she saw an opportunity to create a fabulous new salad.

I’m not sure any of us can plate the salad quite so beautifully, but I’m going to give it  a try this summer. It is so fresh and you can keep the photo in front of you to recreate. Ready for a challenge? Give this a try.



Half of 1 pound lobster

2 ripe tomatoes (use yellow and red if you can find)

juice from 1/2 lemon

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – enough to drizzle over lobster

Avocado, ripe and halved and cut into 4 wedges

2 tbsp fresh sweet corn

5 each baby romaine leaves

10 each corn shoots (I’m still researching this ingredient!)

Black sea salt (or substitute course sea salt)


Steam the body and tail of the lobster for 6 minutes and the claws and knuckles of the lobster for 9 minutes.

Cool immediately in an ice bath.

Cut the tail in half and remove from the shell.

Crack claw and remove from shell. 

Remove knuckles from the shell and enjoy as a snack!

Toss the lobster in olive oil, salt and pepper.

Grill approximately 3 minutes on each side to heat briefly.

Once removed from grill, squeeze juice from half of one  lemon onto lobster, as well as extra virgin olive oil, so lobster will absorb te citrus flavor as it cools.

Cut fresh corn off the cobb and  toss in extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.

Pinch of black salt, any sea salt will do

2 oz Lemon Caper Dill Vinaigrette


Arrange the tomatoes, avocado, corn and lobster on the plate to your liking. Chef Angela says that this dish is like a piece of art – no two will look the same.

Drizzle with the Caper Dill Vinaigrette and garnish lightly with sea salt.

Toss the baby romaine in the vinaigrette and tuck the pieces in between the other ingredients as desired.

Finish by tucking in the corn shoots between the lobster tail and claw.

Drizzle the Lemon Basil Dill Coulis around the plate and serve. Enjoy!


1 tbls capers
2 tbls fresh chopped dill
2 tbls fresh lemon juice
8 tbls extra virgin olive oil
No salt because the capers already add the saltiness

Combine all ingredients and serve.


1/2 cup of fresh dill
1/2 cup of fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup of olive oil

Blend all ingredients together with a few ice cubes to keep it green

– The Gourmet Review

05.28Cornish Game Hen Asian Inspired | Four Seasons Style

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Enjoy this Asian inspired Cornish Game Hen from Four Seasons Resort Hualalai‘s new Ulu Restaurant. Healthy, easy to prepare, but sure to delight friends and family, you will love this secret restaurant recipe.



1 cornish game hen (you can substitute chicken)

1 cup low sodium soy sauce

1/2 cup sake

2 ounces sugar

1 ounce sesame oil

2 ounces dark soy

Plating: Fresh pea pods and pea tendrils


Place all ingredients (minus hen) in a small sauce pot.

Bring to a boil and turn off the heat.

Place the small sauce pan in the refrigerator to cool.

Once liquid is cold, combine half of the soy sake mixture with the chicken.

Marinade for at leaset 6 hours or more and reserve.

After 6 or more hours, remove the game hen from marinade.

Roast in a preheated 345 degree oven for 40 minutes or until bird reaches an internal temperature of 155 derees.

Once cooked, cut cornish game hen in 1/2 and serve with pea tendrils.

Drizzle leftover soy sake mixture over the hen.

YOu can add fresh pea pods and pea tendrils for plate decoration. Enjoy!

– The Gourmet Review

05.20Mango Mai Tai Recipe | Another Great Cocktail Recipe From The Four Seasons

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Courtesy Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Back by popular request is the fabulous Mango Mai Tai cocktail recipe. This is defiinitely my favorite Mai Tai drink, especially while enjoying at Beach Tree Sunset Bar at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. The Mango Mai Tai is  simple to make and slightly less lethal than a regular Mai Tai, but I dare you to stop after just one. I asked Frank, the head bartender, who introduced me to this magnificent creation,  about it’s origins. First, the recipe.



1.5 oz        (1 shot)           Cruzan Mango rum

1.5    oz     (1 shot)           pog juice* (you can substitute any commercial pot)

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai uses Pass-O-Guava, aka pog juice, but you can find pog sold in most grocery stores.


Combine ingredients and pour over ice. Garnish with pineapple.



The story behind the Mango Mai Tai is a humble one.  Hualalai’s assistant room’s division manager, Lanikai Lindsey, was in search of a new tropical cocktail amenity to welcome our tired guests to the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai that had a little taste of “Aloha”.  Lanikai needed the drink to be both tasty and refreshing, but simple enough for the front desk to make.


I love this type of challenge. It gets my creative juices flowing (sorry about the pun). I recommend using a shot of Cruzan mango rum (1.5 oz.) and Pass-O-Guava juice aka POG juice.  POG is the juice every keiki in Hawaii grows up drinking. It’s as “Hawaiian” as it gets. The Cruzan mango rum is for the “kick”. I once served this cocktail at a banquet function at the resort, and it got rave reviews from all the guests. The POG juice comes pre-made by the gallon. We add Cruzan mango rum. Simple.  That’s why I gave Lanikai that recipe and then didn’t give the drink a second thought.

Shortly thereafter, guests started sending back the regular Mai Tai we make at Beach Tree.  They wanted the “Mango Mai  Tai” they got at check in. All the bartenders were confused. What “Mango Mai Tai?” You see, I never actually named the drink.  Lanikai must have come up with the name Mango Mai Tai. It took the bartenders awhile to figure out what was going on. What was going on was my humble drink was a hit!”


-Frank Weiser


Frank Weiser has been a bartender at the Beach Tree Sunset Bar, since the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai opened on the Big Island of Hawaii in 1996. He’s a great guy and makes everyone feel welcome, as guests gather for nightly sunset on the beach.

– The Gourmet Review

04.09NCA Hamburger | Four Seasons Over The Top Decadence

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Courtesy The Gourmet Review

It’s fun to see fabulous chefs having foodie fun, especially at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.  And so it was that Executive Sous Chef, Nick Mastrascusa, along with Beach Tree’s  Sous Chef  Angela Kenyon  and General Manager, Chuck Wilson, got together one afternoon and decided to imagine the world’s greatest hamburger.

They created  the NCA Burger, which incorporates Nick, Chuck and Angela (NCA)’s favorite hamburger ingredients  .   .   .   ALL IN THE SAME HAMBURGER!

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Courtesy The Gourmet Review

Normally, I post a photo of the day’s featured recipe, but I couldn’t resist showing you some fun from the NCA photo shoot. Above, you see a lot of cajoling, as to who will actually be photographed sampling this burger.  “No, you eat it.   .   .”No, YOU eat it.”

The real problem here is that this is one messy burger and the burger ends up EVERYWHERE!

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Courtesy The Gourmet Review

After much fun and discussion, the NCA all-stars decided to go for a nice photo with the NCA Burger taking center stage. (Yes, I have some photos that will NEVER be printed) to preserve everyone’s dignity!

WARNING: You may need a Tums just reading this recipe.



1  8 oz burger patty (Have your butcher make meat from best meat you can justify.)

1 brioche hamburger bun

1 ounce Gorgonzola cheese

1 ounce BBQ sauce

2 ounce crispy onions

2 ounces avocado

1 ounce spicy Aioli sauce

1 Pepperoncini

2 slices crispy pancetta (have your store slice for you)


Seasons burger meat with salt and pepper on both sides.

Place on grill.

Once it is flipped over, cover with BBQ sauce and crumbled Gorgonzola.

Cut brioche bun in half and toast on flat top with clarified butter.

Place avocado on the bottom of the bun. Place burger on top.

Top with pancetta and crispy onions.

Spread Aioli on the top bun and close.


Place on even sheets of parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Cover with parchment paper and another sheet pan to keep the pancetta flat

Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown.



3 white onions

1 cup bread flour

1 cup corn starch

1 Tblespoon Fat Man Spice  (Paul Perdone Cajun seasoning or any Cajun seasoning)

Salt and pepper to taste


Slice onion thinly.

Combine flour, cornstarch and spices.

Dredge onions in flour.

Fry until golden brown. Store on paper towel under a heat lamp or on low in oven.


Make Garlic Paste with edge of knife (combine salt and Extra Virgin Olive Oil).

Slice Pepperoncini into rings and dice the pickles.

Combine all ingredients and adjust salt and pepper as needed.


Assemble.  Stick with a skewer and one pepperoncini.


Just forget the calories on this and have a good time. Might even be a good group dinner project with friends in the kitchen sharing a bottle of wine. Then, see if you can eat an entire NCA burger at one sitting!

– The Gourmet Review

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