Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Week

How do you define wonderful, extraordinary and incredible? I'm sure for each of us there are a multitude of words one would use to describe these individual ideas... or are they simply defined by the experience themselves?

For me, as far as my week was concerned, it would be the latter. I cannot put into words what would properly express that which I would like to convey...

Okay, I lied. I could. But I think as much as I shall convey the meaning of my week, it most certainly will be something that is going to be a part of me for a lifetime, in memory and experience.

To recap (and put into words):

The anticipation of my meeting with the Maui Food Tech Center at first filled me with trepidation and then ended with being incredibly refreshing. It's been a while since I ventured into new territory and this time it wasn't and new hobby, or an off shoot of something I was currently pursuing, but this is something that could possibly alter my life, and for that reason I was a bit anxious and, prior to the meeting, couldn't focus on anything more than cleaning and doing a bit of filing.

So, you think you want to get into the food business, eh? Do ya? YEAH I DO! A lot to consider, but if taken in stride, with the focus and attention it requires to get all the information and necessary licenses, permits, approvals, contacts, batches of sorbet and gumption it takes to make the prospect of marketing and selling my product to retail establishments and venues on the island   happen - I sure as hell will try my hardest to give it everything needed to, at the very least, try and make it concrete. With the added dose of reality check to make sure I don't run pell mell into it, of course.

The sample sale / garage sale was a success on all levels. Connecting with friends and securing relationships, check! New direction and approval on a new design collection, check! Making the proper contacts by being in the right place at the right time check! That week, a few weeks ago, where nothing seemed to go right is just a (laughable) memory now. Am I ready to rumble? CHECK!

Am I rambling? Check! So now, I'll allow images so hopefully express the unspoken portion of my life:

Three images from the jewelry and fabric sale this past weekend:

Keri's beautiful batiks and hand-dyed embroidery floss (with Keri's arm on the left)

Penny's display of miniature Hawaiian Shirts and hangings with her elaborate wire trees and earrings

My new bestest friend Dina having her coffee before the rush of shoppers at the sale (she had earrings and braided bracelets - like the ones on her wrist - and necklaces)

Progress Report


Buddha's Hand: Look at all the the blossoms!

Nasturtium Flowers from the garden which usually end up as garnish on my plates

Cherry tomatoes from wild tomato seeds


Braised Baby Bok Choy
Dry Fried Noodles with Sizzled Garlic
Raw, Unhulled Sesame Seed Crusted Steelhead Salmon Fillet, Spicy Mayo

Grilled Artichoke with Shrimp Butter-Whole Grain Breadcrumbs

 Grilled Rosemary-and-Mint marinated Lamb Chops
Spice Rubbed Wild Marlin Fillet, Roasted Tomato Bread-and-Butter Pickle Tartar Sauce
Cornbread Stuffing 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Munch

Having a day off and being what I consider lazy is probably different from what most would consider it to be. It means meandering through my space, moving from one project to another, in no considerable order, efficiency or purpose other than to get something done and be finished with it. Folding laundry. Repotted plants. Cooking. Make ice cream. Did some business... you know, a lazy day.

Enough of that... so here's pics of todays plates - I tasted them as they were prepared, and I have a half portion left over for some more eating tomorrow :)

Hibachi Roasted Green Beans, Goat Cheese, Charred Pumpkin Seeds
Guava Vinegar, Blood Orange Infused Olive Oil, Toasted Sesame Oil
Li Hing Mui Seasoned Hawaiian Sea Salt

Oven Roasted Tofu Poke
Red Onion, Toasted Sesame Oil, Kiawe Smoked Hawaiian Sea Salt
Red Shisho Leaf Sprig

Hibachi Grilled Line-caught Wild Marlin
Napa Cabbage, Kula Carrot, Red Delicious Apple and Ginger Slaw
Rice Vinegar-Fresh Lime Vinaigrette
Black Sesame Seeds - Red Nasturtium

Marinated White Bean Salad
Chopped Baby Arugula
Fresh lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, kosher salt, cracked black peppercorns
crushed dried chili pepper flakes

Grilled Kauai Shrimp, Artichoke Pesto

Sliced Kula Dave's Tomato. cracked black peppercorn

Ice cream, ice milk and sorbet coming soon!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I Made a Feather in Photoshop

I'm working on a South West, South of the Border, Tex-Mex, Cowboy, Desert
inspired group, and I needed an eagle feather for a design. So I decided to play, which in Mark-speak, means creatively tackling an unknown with the skills I had developed to date. Some of the work is "lost" meaning I didn't save it as an individual component but rather I have it as a composite image so I can't show you everything.

First was to create a basic feather that I would use as the foundation.

After filling in the rest of the basic shape above, I had what looked like a paper cut-out feather. I needed to put the individual "ribs" in the feather so I created the image on the left. This I pulled like a piece of taffy and made the lines as fine as I needed them, then warped them. I also used this same texture to create the downy-fluff where the feather meets the shaft of the quill.

Next was to blend the large solid areas of color and to give it more depth. The entire stem or center of the feather is highlighted. I try to give the images I use irregularity so there is an element to them which I think makes the viewer comfortable with it because there is an ease in the naturalness of it.

 Yet another layer of shading is added on top.

And the final finished feather as all the pieces are layered together. I think these are pretty good, are quite suitable for the project, and certainly exceed my expectations.



Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Previous Post 11 Days Thence

It's been a week and a half since I last posted, and I dislike it when I know I have done much since that time yet cannot seem to break it down into individual moments. It's all a great big blur.

The sun has just set behind a low-lying layer of clouds and the West Maui mountains. The sky is turning shades of coral, purple, lavender and steel blue-grey. It's the prefect time to write on the computer as it's just dark enough that there's no glare, yet still light enough to move about without any lights on.

Follow up to the Maui Ag Fest food competition is that I get two hours of consultation with a food specialist who'll go over the basics of what it takes to bring my sorbet to the marketplace. We're already planning on a couple of tastings at local retail establishments, with the hopes that the buyers might pick up my product and carry it in the frozen food section of their stores. I'm also coming up with a few flavors to introduce with the Mai Tai sorbet, and those fortunate enough to be coerced into being my guinea pigs will be eating a lot of ice cream and sorbet over the next few weeks. 

A new collection for Michael Miller has been approved, so there's new fabric in work, and I hope to soon be approving and merchandising the collections "Tiki-tini Lounge" and "North Shore" for the July release. As soon as I can, I'll be previewing them!

 A few images taken over the last week and a half, starting with the full moon Easter Sunday

 Free-range brown eggs; too nice in their natural shades not to show them hard-boiled before becoming an appetizer...

The lovely eggs turned into a tray of deviled eggs topped with furikake (dried seaweed, sesame seeds, bonito flakes and seasonings) with heirloom cherry tomatoes from Hana

 Wild raspberries from the garden; they have very tiny seeds and are fragrant - almost like jasmine - in flavor as opposed to berry-tart

 Pineapple up-date: about 8" from stem to top of the crown

Buddah's Hand: obviously loving it outside in the back where it's going to get full sun for most of the day now that the sun is tilting for the summer months

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Saturday 7

It's Saturday afternoon, and I'm taking it off, so to speak.Trying out a few new techniques to see how my thoughts on preparing a piece for "Art of Trash" this coming Saturday. Going to have another round with the downstairs storage room to get things further organized.

I was up early and in town to buy dry ice for the cooler to bring Hau'oki Mai Tai Sorbet to the Maui Ag Fest at 9:00.

Being an agriculture show, the spotlight is on cooking and food related venues.

 “Maui Food Product to Market Contest” is looking for a new locally made food product that utilizes the most amount of locally grown products. Submissions must have commercial viability and Maui Food Technology Center (MFTC) will help that local entrepreneur take the product from idea to the store shelf."

I've been making ice cream and sorbets for over a year now, and flavor combinations of my own creation, and I thought I would do what know best... so I created a Hau'oki* Mai Tai Sorbet. *Hau'oki is Hawaiian for frost, ice, cold.

I massed the ingredients for my concoction together.

I was very confident in what I had masterminded. The shade the sorbet finished after churning wasn't the color I was expecting, and the flavor could have been richer, with more intensity, yet it was enough to win me Second Place.

• 2nd place – Receive two hours of free consultation with Food Scientist and two free nutritional labels.

The finished product

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

When One of Those Days...

...turns into one of those weeks, you just want to throw your arms up in the air and cry uncle!

A chipped serving platter, a broken glass, dropped and smashed an empty jar with jagged little shards of broken glass everywhere, a shelf fell down after I put something on it, turned around and walked into a wall as if it had surreptitiously moved a few inches in the night and repositioned itself in the interior of the house, a stain on my new Ulupalakua Ranch sweatshirt...

At first I laughed at the misfortunes... now I'm into spitting out expletives. I think it might be the approach of the full moon in a few days... I HOPE it's the full moon! Just as long as I don't find myself down on all fours, head raised to the night sky, baying at the luminous orb shining down Friday PM.

Saturday is the Maui Ag Fest and I'm entering the one competition open to non-professionals. A food competition, of course. Don't want to talk about it too much beforehand as in the current state of affairs, I don't want to put a kibosh on it but I'll certainly do a photo-journal to post on Sunday.

That's it for now. Just checking in. A hui hou!