• Island Style Innovations

August SPOTLIGHT on Chefs

There is no shortage of delicious cuisine here in Hawai'i, with a plethora of world renowned chefs and amazing restaurants to choose from. This month we spotlight 3 of these talented chefs, where they each share a few of their favorite recipes to create a complete meal - appetizer, entree, and dessert. Prepare for your mouths to water!

Chef Bev Gannon - Gannon's Restaurant & Hali'imaile General Store

Chef Bev Gannon of Gannon's and Hali'imaile General Store

A celebrated chef, successful restaurateur, airline Corporate Chef to published writer, Bev Gannon is a culinary celebrity whose star continues to rise to delectable new heights. The recognition that Bev has gained for her island-influenced dishes has built a following of critical acclaim across the country, appearing on NBC’s Today Show, The CBS Morning Show, and multiple shows on cable’s popular Food Network. She was further honored as one of the Great Chefs of Hawai‘i, a series on the Discovery Channel.

To round out our meal, Chef Gannon shares with us a delicious Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

Chef Bev Gannon's Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

1 large pineapple


¼ cup butter

2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar


1 ½ cups sugar

6 tablespoons butter

8 egg yolks

2 ½ cups cake flour

1 tablespoon, plus ½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degree F. Have ready a 9 by 13-inch rectangular

baking pan or 9 (8-ounce) ramekins.

2. To prepare the pineapple, remove the skin and trim off the top and bottom.

Slice the pineapple into 9 thick rings. Remove the core from each slice. If you

are using ramekins, trim the pineapple rings to fit he ramekins. Set aside.

3. To make the caramel, in a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add

the brown sugar and stir until the mixture becomes smooth. Remove from

heat and set aside.

4. To make the cake, in a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter

and the sugar for 3 minutes. Add the egg yolks and mix for 1 minute on

medium speed.

5. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add the flour mixture to

the butter-sugar-egg mixture and mix on low speed to incorporate. Scrape

down the sides of the bowl with a spatula and mix for another 30 seconds.

Slowly add the milk, scraping down the sides of the bowl again. Add the

vanilla, and mix for another 30 seconds.

6. Spread the caramel evenly over the bottom of the pan or ramekins, leaving

no empty spaces. Place the pineapple rings on top of the caramel. Pour the

cake batter over the pineapple, leaving a 1-inch space from the top of the pan

or ¼ inch from the top of the ramekin.

7. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet; place the pan or the ramekins in the

oven and bake for 35 minutes. Rotate the pan or the ramekins and bake for

another 10 minutes. Bake until the center of the cake is cooked or when a

cake tester come out clean. Remove from the oven, cool for 5 minutes.

Carefully invert the pan or the ramekins and release the cake onto a serving


Serves 9.

Read more about Chef Bev Gannon HERE

Facebook: Gannon's & Hali'imaile General Store

Instagram: @gannonsmaui & @hgsmaui

Twitter: @gannonsmaui & @hgsmaui

Chef Peter Merriman - Merriman's Hawaii & Monkeypod Kitchen

Peter Merriman has been a culinary pioneer in Hawaii for over 30 years. Known as the original “locavore”, Peter is a vocal champion of Hawaii’s farmers, ranchers, and fishermen. His restaurants showcase island grown and harvested foods through simple preparations that reflect the myriad flavors of Hawaii’s multiculturalism. Dubbed the “Pied Piper of Hawaii Regional Cuisine” by The Los Angeles Times, he is a continuing inspiration to Hawaii’s thriving culinary scene.

Chef Merriman shares with us a delicious and beautiful entree of Cast Iron Chicken

Merriman's Cast Iron Chicken - Photo Credit Steve Czerniak

Merriman's Cast Iron Chicken

1 Chicken, spatchcocked, 1.5-2 pounds size

1/2 oz Canola Oil

1 teaspoon Salt and pepper mix

1 teaspoon Rosemary, fresh, chopped

1/4 teaspoon Coriander seeds, toasted, ground

1 ounce Cremini mushrooms

1 ounce Alii mushrooms

1/2 ounce Butter

1/2 Lemon, charred

0.2 ounce Garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon Parsley


Cayenne Powder

Dried Dill Weed

1) Preheat oven and heavy cast iron to 500 convection.

2) Season bone side of bird with salt and pepper, then turn.

3) Rub skin with 1-2 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Then season with salt and

pepper, garlic salt, cayenne, and dried dill weed.

4) Pull preheated cast iron from oven and place on high flame to super heat.

Immediately place chicken, skin side down in pan and then in oven for 10 - 12


5) Add mushrooms, shallots, and chopped celery. Turn bird skin side up, veggies

will create a bed.

6) For a 3 pound bird, it finishes in about 6 additional minutes.

7) If the cast iron is heavy enough, this process creates its own jus. In a thin pan, it

evaporates, but the heavy cast iron moderates the temperature allowing a tasty

natural jus, as much as 1 cup in volume.

Read more about Chef Peter Merriman HERE

Facebook: Merriman's Honolulu & Merriman's Waimea

Instagram: @merrimanshonolulu & @merrimanswaimea

Chef Lee Anderson - Sugar Beach Events

Chef Lee Anderson of Sugar Beach Events

Originally from Charleston, S.C., Chef Lee Anderson has been cooking professionally for 25 years. Her passion is food and entertaining and creating something special for each client.

"I love to do a Mediterranean Tapas Station. You can make it look really beautiful and you do not need to go through a lot of work if you do not have the time. There is a lot of variety on this station so you will have a lot of happy people and the items are filling so it goes a long way. The idea here is to make what you can and make it beautiful. If you have time, make the different dips and spreads to go with a lot of assorted crackers and breads. I like to do local tomato bruschetta, hummus, tzatziki, olive tapenade, stuffed sweet peppers, and a variety of olive oils and balsamic vinegars. When building a display like this, think height, shape, and texture. Your friends will be in awe at your party skills.

Here are a couple of my personal recipes for a great tapas bar. Have fun and remember, do what you can and buy the rest."

Beautiful Mediterranean Tapas Station

Tomato Bruschetta

5 local tomatoes, medium sized, diced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

¼ cup fresh basil, rough chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1 loaf French baguette, or bread of choice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Toss tomatoes with chopped garlic, basil, salt and pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Cover and put in the fridge until ready to serve.  Can be left for up to 2-hours in room temperature. Can be left room temperature up to two hours.

Slice baguette in ¼” slices and bake until crisp, about 5 minutes.

Remove and cool.

Serve bruschetta in a bowl with a slotted spoon and crostini piled nearby so guests can make their own.


1 cucumber, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons red onion chopped

1 garlic clove

2 cups Greek yogurt

1 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoon salt


Pulse cucumber, onion, and garlic in processor then add the rest and whisk.


6 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon yeast

2 cups warm water


Olives (or tomatoes and pesto, or grains of salt or garlic), optional

Mix the flour, yeast, and salt with water until smooth, not sticky.  Approximately 10minutes.

Let it rest until it doubles in size, then put it in the sheet tray with parchment paper and extra virgin olive oil. You can decorate it with olives or pesto or layers of fresh tomatoes

Let it rest for a couple of hours then put it in the hot oven at 325F for 25/30 min.

Read more about Chef Lee HERE

Facebook: Sugar Beach Events

Instagram: @sugarbeachevents

Twitter: @SugarBchEvents

If you weren't hungry before, we bet your mouths are watering now! If you try any of these recipes at home, tag us on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, or TWITTER so we can share!

E ‘ai kākou! (Let's Eat!)