Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ring in the New Year with a memorable feast at Chef Mavro

If you happen to be on Oahu be sure to book a table for what will rank as your best meal of 2016
By Patti Pietschmann

Wagyu beef, caviar, fresh truffles, lobster, foie gras,Champagnes, chocolate, and much more
 A Gala New Year's Eve Feast at Chef Mavro

There are only a few tables left so hurry up and book yours now. It's bound to be your best meal of 2016 and perhaps ever.  The ultimate Chef Mavro menu of "délices" from Hawaii and France will be expertly 
paired with rarely available wines.
The romantic restaurant will be re-imagined in black and gold
with balloons and  fun favors.

Sink your teeth into a menu of 

Chef Mavro's outrageously delicious signature ahi tartare & caviar
sustainable siberian baerii osetra
bigeye ahi taro root crisp
wakatake daiginjo "onikoroshi" sake, shizuoka

Keahole lobster salad, miso eggplant purée celery root shavings, escarole
crustacean essence vinaigrette
Paired with Comtesse de Cherisey, 2013 meursault-blagny 1er cru, La Genelotte Monopole
foie gras
Sauteed Hudson Valley foie gras, black mission figs, sumac accent
brioche & macnut snow
Royal Tokaji company, 2008 red label

Confit Big Island abalone and new potatoes, marseilles brandade
with Périgord black truffles
Paired with Guigal, 2013 Condrieu

Dayboat snapper in Provençale bourride
braised fennel, aïoli foam
Paired with Domaine de Terrebrune, 2014 Bandol Rose, Terroir du Trias
miyazaki wagyu
grade A5 japanese wagyu medallion
hobbs shore bacon kabocha, périgord black truffle jus
bergström, 2013 pinot noir, "silice," chehalem mountains a.v.a.
le grand dessert 2017
Waialua estate chocolate bar, burgundy poached pear & sorbet
truffled white chocolate ganache, tarragon pudding, cocoa nibs

Seven savory courses for $245 with six  wine pairings ad $85 plus Hawaii state tax 4.712% and gratuity (and yo will be grateful for this culinary journey).

Fresh Perigord Truffles Service
Fresh Perigord Truffles
 George Mavro's eponymous eatery caters to discerning palates with cuisine that raises your culinary senses to new heights. The intimate dining venue is located just 15-minutes by car or cab from Waikiki.

Click Here to Reserve Your Table or call (808) 944-4714

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

LA's Kentwood Players presents Moliere's satirical The Imaginary Invalid

Support your local theatre and enjoy a great production
By Patti Pietschmann
Image may contain: 4 people, people standing
As the New Year begins so should a new chapter in our lives of getting out to support Los Angeles's local theater. And what a good way to start is by buying tickets for Kentwood Players THE IMAGINARY INVALID by Molière. The  outrageous satire of medicine and its practitioners runs January 13 through February 18, 2017 at the Westchester Players 8301 Hindry Avenue.
Curtain s are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.

 There will be a champagne and dessert reception between 7 and 7:30 p.m.  for season  subscribers and members attending the Saturday, January 14 performance. The production is directed by Susan Stangl, who just happens to be a medical doctor adding her unique spin to the production, and produced by Sheridan Cole for Kentwood Players. Featured in the cast in alphabetical order are Harold Dershimer, Mitch Feinstein, Drew Fitzsimmons, Sydney Holliday, Daniel Kruger, Zachary Leonard, Aaron Merken, Lezlie Moore, Michele Selin, Beau Smith, and Jenna Tovey.

Argan (Harold Dershimer) tells his daughter Angélique (Jenna Tovey), "You will take the husband I choose for you or you will go into a convent!" Photo credit: Shari Barrett
THE IMAGINARY INVALID is  sadly relevant even today. The wealthy Argan revels in poor health, relying on laxatives, suppositories, bloodlettings, and second and third opinions from the leading quacks. Although his daughter Angélique loves the impoverished Cléante, Argan wants to marry her to Thomas Diaforrhea, a medical dunce who can assure his father-in-law a lifetime of free health care. Aided by Argan's wily, back-talking servant Toinette, the young lovers contrive to meet despite the scheming of Béline, Argan's mercenary second wife. All is resolved (or is it?) when the clever Toinette and Argan's sage brother Béralde concoct a hilarious, elaborate plan to teach Argan where to place his trust.

Reserved seat tickets cost $20  with a $2 discount for seniors and students. To purchase tickets, please call (310) 645-5156 or  purchase tickets online at For more information about Kentwood Players including current production and upcoming auditions,  visit the Kentwood Players website at You can also find Kentwood Players information on Facebook and Twitter.

Meet THE IMAGINARY INVALID production team and learn more about Kentwood Players and what goes on at the Westchester Playhouse,  free membership gatherings that are  held on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the playhouse which is located  two blocks west of the San Diego Freeway and two blocks north of Manchester at 8301 Hindry Avenue in Westchester.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Good grief Charlie Brown I called about a smartphone and was grilled about everything from…..

My health to marital relationship

By Patti Pietschmann

So I saw an ad in Parade Magazine about a simple smartphone with a price that seemed too good to be true (and was). So I called to get the skinny and the woman on the other end practically strips me bare. All of a sudden while  trying to learn about plans and prices she gives me the Third Degree barraging me with super personal physical questions as though I was applying for health insurance or a job instead of trying to find out about the phone plans and prices. She had the audacity to ask me if  I took medications, how my health is, did I have hearing or sight problems, was I ambulatory, why do I have to check with my husband about this, will he get object or get mad and more ludicrous queries.

I could hardly speak as I couldn’t believe they would ask such questions when you inquire about a cellphone.  I mean my tongue was tied truly. Finally I said just tell me the plans and prices and stop with the personal questions which she reluctantly did but by this time I’d had enough and told her I’d have to discuss it with my husband. I didn’t expect her response  that basically questioned why I would have to talk to him about about it, would he get mad or object?  She frightened me and I hung up.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Delta dishing out improved snacks in main cabin

Airline doing away with signature peanuts and pretzels for better brands
By Patti Pietschmann

As a frequent flyer on Delta I was pleased to learn the carrier is improving its main cabin noshes. After decades dishing out Delta Air Lines-branded peanuts and pretzels the airline will  now serve Snyder’s of Hanover® pretzels, Squirrel Brand Honey Roasted peanuts and NatureBox Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Bars. It will keep the beloved signature Biscoff cookies however.
The snacks will be bigger and better and more frequently refreshed. The upgraded snacks are a result of positive customer and employee feedback as the tested branded snacks and larger portions earlier this year.
“We know our customers love pretzels and nuts, but we also know they crave more choices and larger portions which is why we’re upgrading their snacking options on board,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s senior vice president - In-Flight Service. “Nearly all of Delta’s 180 million customers enjoy our snack offerings each year, which is why, in the future, we’re also going to look at ways to let them help choose our next lineup.” 
The free snacks will be available in the Main Cabin on flights over 250 miles. Customers on shorter flights within North America - from 251 to 599 miles - will get a choice of Biscoff cookies or Snyder’s of Hanover® pretzels, whereas customers were only offered one choice previously. Flights over 600 miles will now offer four choices, instead of three, offering Snyder’s of Hanover® pretzels, Squirrel Brand Honey Roasted peanuts, a NatureBox Apple Cinnamon Yogurt Bar or Biscoff cookies.
Additionally, customers on international flights will receive a choice of Snyder’s of Hanover® pretzels or Squirrel Brand Honey Roasted peanuts. To celebrate the new snacks, Delta has set up branded vending machines in Los Angeles, Seattle and New York to offer complimentary samples to customers.
Delta has also improved Main Cabin  service with upgraded blankets that are made with woven fabric in a sensory blue hue, complimentary beer, wine and spirits on long-haul international flights, sleep kits on long-haul international flights and more. 
We just flew Delta in First to New Orleans to catch Crystal Cruises Serenity for a Caribbean cruise. It was pretty good. It was a morning flight so we got breakfast, a nice omelet with fruit, bagel and excellent Starbucks coffee. However I really wanted a mimosa but the flight attendant said they didn't have Champagne on board but they did have Minute Mid oj. Oh well.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Chef Mavro presents parties for happy holidays dining

Oahu's top chef creates holiday happiness for couples, families  and friends
by Patti Pietschmann

Toss a holiday party at Chef Mavro with free house cocktails for  parties of eight or more  now through Dec. 23

If  you live on Oahu or are visiting for the holidays this is one restaurant--that is just a 15-minute drive from Waikiki--that you really need to try. It's festive, intimate, romantic  and open seven nights a week from December 18, 2016 to January 2, 2017 for you holiday enjoyment.

Couples will eat up the romantic setting  while friends and family   will feel  right a home as the friendly wait staff and amiable Chef George Mavro make  you feel like part of their family.  

Listen up, some dates you could enjoy:
  • Parties for up to 32 guests in our art-filled Semi Private dining room
  • Private lunch that will make sugar plums dance in your  head as you taste each delicious dish prepared with love and expertise.
Call in advance for quick pick up of a Chef Mavro Gift Certificate in a glossy logo box. Includes Menu Greeting Card (808) 944-4714.


Reserve Your Table  call (808) 944-4714 or email Mavro  us 

Chef decorated our tree!
 Chef Mavro Restaurant, 1969 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96826

Friday, December 2, 2016

Cat photo to that will definitely make you smile

Happy holidays from Patti Pietschmann hope they are the cat's MEOW

Breaking news: John Ned Walker returns to Delta as part of airline's growth stragedy

Walker will resume VP Chief Communications Officer post with more duties

By Patti Pietschmann

Delta Airlines has been deluging the media with news of improvements and transitions with the latest being a sort of reappointment of  John E. "Ned" Walker as its senior vip and chief communications officer. Ned will take over the post on Jan. 1, 2017. "I am delighted to bring Ned's talent and expertise back to Delta as we continue to move tot he next level, said company CEO Edward H. Bastian. Walker served as Delta’s Chief Communications Officer from 2008 to 2014 after 25-plus years elsewhere in the airline industry, and upon retiring continued as a senior advisor to the Delta executive team.“The opportunity to work again with Ed and the rest of the team at an especially exciting time for Delta was compelling and made me equally glad to return. Delta has led the industry for several years and I look forward to working to continue that success,” Walker said.

Walker replaces former CCO post Kevin Shinkle, who is leaving the airline to the Northeast to be near his family. “I want to express my appreciation to Kevin for all he has accomplished since he joined our team over two years ago. We wish him well in his future endeavors,” Bastian said.

An American in Santiago has experiences of a lifetime

Trip to Chile for a wedding proves real eye-opener for Chris Barnett

From Chris Barnett's Facebook page
Chris Barnett, a San Francisco transplant from LA, is a top US journalist,  world's best saloon writer, public speaker and bon vivant who loves the City by the Bay and traveling the world--and when he does he has experiences most people can only fantasize about. Here is one of them from Santiago that he shared with myself and husband Richard:

Today I am  hanging out at my new Santiago office at the Dunkin Donuts a long block from my AirBnB. Most reliable WiFi in this lovely hood.
The wedding exceeded everything I was warned about. Started at 5 p.m. in a remote resort area in a mountain range that surrounds one half of Santiago. The Andes is the other range. No bridesmaids or groomsmen. Just the couple with a minister who thinks he's a late night TV host. Roams with mic among guests giving 'instructions' to the bride and groom. Gives mic to guests who seemed to cheer them on with personal hozannnas. Such showbiz. Do not now the denomination.I couldn't understand a word.

Then minister/priest/whatever approaches B and G and gets serious. Real serious. Sounded like lecture. Then each whip out their vows and the tears start flowing including a few wails from attendees--virtually all of whom were handsome and lovely and raven or silver tressed. An hour later, they herd us all over to place on the lawn and took a panoramic photo plus videos. Very few of those after ceremony family shots.
Then we all drift over to what I might call and outdoor bar on the lawn and the drinks and food come cascading out. Pisco sours. Wine. Mohitos, Pisco punches. Tons of shrimp, cerviche, emphanadas, lobster rolls the size of croissants. Two solid hours of cocktailng. Great taped music from 70s, 80s, 90s.. BeeGees and Village People seem to dominate Then, by 9 pmish, we are herded up a mountain to a tent for dinner. Tender Chilean filet mignon, what I am told was great Chilean wines(or anything you wanted). I sat next to a handsome woman who was, brace yourself, a cemetery architect. On my right, was the woman assigned to me because she spoke English but we really didn't click. She says she is a "nomad"--a travel journalist.

Dinner goes almost four hours, With an emcee and toasts (I gave one in English that very few understood). Then an emcee plays games --how well do you know the bride and groom. Then a long, long dessert table is unveiled and champagne corks pop. Or maybe Chilean sparkling. I stuck with the Pisco sour. Rapid fire speeches.  By 1 a.m., we head down the hill, back to the lawn. Cigarettes and cigars are fired up. Chileans smoke openly with no apology, About 1:30 p.m., B&G have  the "first dance," No bride and dad, mother and groom. Then all hell breaks loose on the dance floor. Four (I counted them) bartenders break into action and the dancing, mostly and very sophisticated footwork where everyone adopts their "we're too cool for school struts).

Nonstop music. Nonstop dancing. except for cigarette breaks and drinks.

Around 4:30 I am starting to really fade. Mama sees me and gets us both out in one of those circle dances with clapping and twirling. Right before five, masks are passed out and it becomes a New Years Eve party with everyone guessing. I am about to cave. Maria, the bride, bless her, tries to get me a cab or an Uber but none would come up the mountain.  The New Year's eve theme is really rocking now. Maria's new husband, the French chef, and a good guy, found a couple to take me to the middle of the city and drop me off at a gas station,  in a funky part of town to put it mildly, because cabbies have to gas up.

The dancing would go until six or so whereupon breakfast would be served. I actually got home about 6:15 with the summer sun coming up, slept till noon. Amazingly, did not have a headache or hangover. It must be the pisco sours.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Hendrick's heralds in holidays with cucumber organ

The top-shelf liquor creates  the Corgan 

by Patti Pietschmann
"The Hendrick’s® CORGAN, or rather, the Cucumber Organ of Remarkably Glorious Auditory Nirvana, is the first of its kind. The organ keys are made of real, whole cucumbers which harness the energy of touch to translate electric currents from the organist’s fingertips though each individual cucumber resulting in a beautiful composition of some of the world's most beloved and unusual melodies. (CNW Group/William Grant & Sons Ltd.)".

The Hendrick's® CORGAN is the first of its kind, built completely from scratch using technology created specifically for this occasion. Hendrick's uses two very different types of stills in the production of their small-batch gin - an antique Bennet from 1860 and a rare Carter-Head still. Both hail from the opulent Victorian era, which is where they drew their inspiration for the design of this extraordinary apparatus. The actual organ keys are made of real, whole cucumbers - 49 to be exact - which harness the energy of touch to translate electric currents from the organist's fingertips though each individual cucumber, and the result is a glorious composition of notes arranged into some of the worlds most beloved and unusual melodies.
"We promise not to be offended by long stares or funny looks, and if you want to call it bizarre we will accept the accolade with pride," says Alvin Ramchurn, Canadian Hendrick's® Gin Brand Ambassador. "It would be silly not to expect an unusual reaction to such a peculiar contraption, because after all, that is what Hendrick's® Gin is all about!"
Set to unfold in the epicentre of the Toronto Eaton Centre, one of city's most popular tourist destinations, the Hendrick's® CORGAN delivers a never-before seen botanically-inspired, odditory experience, featuring some ofToronto's most highly decorated organists performing an array of fanciful holiday tunes. Accompanied by cucumber carolers distributing delightfully wrapped cucumbers and dainty red roses, Canadians can ease the chaos of holiday shopping by imbibing in a remarkably tiny and tasty Hendrick's® Gin & Tonic in miniature tea cups.
"We exist not only to tempt and tantalize the taste buds, with our essence of rose and cucumber, but also to open the mind to experiences typically attributed to those with A-typical tendencies," continued Ramchurn. "The CORGAN is a true manifestation of the unusual, the unimaginable, the whimsical, and peculiar persona that sets Hendrick's® Gin apart, and we wouldn't have it any other way."
Hendrick's® CORGAN is on display at the Toronto Eaton Centre today from  10 a.m. and 10 p.m. During the afternoons, between 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., adult (legal drinking age) shoppers will have the opportunity to experience the first-ever consumer facing alcoholic beverage tasting to take place inside the shopping center. Fancy that!
Note to Christmas shoppers, Hendrick's gin is a great gift for the discerning gin drinker.

The Phoenican decks out for the holidays

The iconic Arizona resort turns into a winter wonderland
By Patti Pietschmann

Looking to get away for the holidays? Search no farther than Arizona, where the sun shines over the mountains and the iconic Phoenician, Resort is providing a winter wonderland of diversions for the whole family to enjoy. We're talking trapeze classes by I. Fly Tuesday-Sunday through April 30, 2017 at the Tennis Garden at The Park
 for $70 per person. Under the guidance of I.FLY instructors, participants will learn timing and techniques for swinging, locking their legs on a bar and completing the celebrated wrist-to-wrist catch. Each session is offered to individuals 4 years of age and older. Group packages and workshops are available. Reservations required so call: 480-599-2345. 

A Holiday teatime is being offered everyday through December 30, 2016 between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the  Lobby Tea Court for $67  (and up) per person. Along with your tea you will enjoy pastries, sandwiches, freshly baked scones with Devonshire cream and preserves. Do make a reservation at  480-423-2530.

The Cactus Garden Light Tour takes place on  Wednesday, Friday and Saturday through this month at  Café & Ice Cream Parlor (Retail Corridor) and is free for all. You will see  250 varieties of cacti that grace the two-acre desert retreat that are adorned with sparkling holiday lights – during a narrated tour. 
and you'll be treated to free cups of ld-fashioned hot cocoa. Again you must book your spot at  480-423-2572.

The popular breakfast with Santa takes place December 10, 2016
between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. at Il Terrazzo and costs $49 per adult and $32 for children 3-12 years old.  This time-honored tradition includes yummy favorites to start the day off right, along with cookie decorating and a keepsake photo with Santa. Reservations required: 480-423-2530.

Christmas Day brunch is another favorite of Phoenician guests and is served  between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. at  Il Terrazzo for $115 an adult;  and $57.50 for kids  3-12 years old.  You will choose from offerings at the carving stations of fine cuts of meat; seafood selections, salads and seasonal offerings finished with decadent sweets. Reserve your table at  480-423-2530.

Addition holiday happenings include the Big Top Street Fair on the 30th of December from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. at The Park (located near the Tennis Garden). The free for all features specialty performers, balloon artists, face painting and crafts, as well as a holiday aerial and trapeze show by the I.FLY Trapeze Team, this unique event has something for everyone.

Ring in the New Year on the 31st from 5 p.m.-1 a.m. at The Thirsty Camel Lounge (off the main lobby)for $50 per person minimum (for those desiring indoor seats/tables; starting at 8 p.m.) Dance the night away the New Age and Pop selections of DJ D-Frsh, and therock sounds of the band, Talia. Craft cocktails and a specialty menu add to the festivities.
For a complete list of holiday happenings and dining options call 480-941-8200, 800-888-8234 or visit
The 250-acre Phoenician, which sits at the base of Camelback Mountain, provides housing in  two exquisite  facilities – a 585-room AAA Five Diamond luxury resort hotel and Arizona’s premier Forbes Five-Star, AAA Five Diamond boutique hotel, The Canyon Suites at The Phoenician.  There are newly redesigned, contemporary accommodations, nine distinctive restaurants/lounges, a 27-hole championship golf course, 10 tennis courts, eight swimming pools, The Centre for Well-Being and Salon Mila spa complex and an activities program for all ages and interests. 
For a more intimate and cozier visit stay in the 62-room Canyon Suites. Both The Phoenician and The Canyon Suites are owned by Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc., and managed by Marriott International, as part of The Luxury Collection.