Archive for September, 2013

Lotus welcomes Bootlegger to Oahu

By
September 13th, 2013



The Aqua Lotus Honolulu's Park Restaurant scored quite a coup this week with their introduction of Bootlegger 21 New York Vodka in Hawaii on Thursday, Sept. 12.

Produced by a three-person, family-run distillery in Roscoe, New York, the new brand is so limited, co-founder Brian Facquet hand-carried a few extra cases of vodka — which he helped bottle himself — across the country to make sure enough product was on hand for the launch party.

Bootlegger 21 New York Vodka is available exclusively at Park Restaurant in the Aqua Lotus Honolulu. Watch for it to arrive at retail locations in the coming months. (Star-Advertiser photo by Jason Genegabus)

Bootlegger 21 New York Vodka is available exclusively at Park Restaurant in the Aqua Lotus Honolulu. Watch for it to arrive at retail locations in the coming months. (Star-Advertiser photo by Jason Genegabus)

To help get guests excited, Park management decided to host a signature cocktail competition with a public vote that will decide which drink — or drinks — make it on the restaurant's permanent menu.

Ryan Kahl, who grew up in Kailua but now calls New York City home, returned to Hawaii to help Park Restaurant develop their new signature drinks. (Star-Advertiser photo by Jason Genegabus)

Ryan Kahl, who grew up in Kailua but now calls New York City home, returned to Hawaii to help Park Restaurant develop their new signature drinks. (Star-Advertiser photo by Jason Genegabus)

According to Lotus Honolulu general manager Joshua Gray, if the reaction is strong enough for more than one of the five cocktails to remain, they'll keep as many of them around as necessary.

The event also showcased the talents of New York-based mixologist Ryan Kahl, who grew up in Kailua and attended St. Anthony School. After getting his college degree at Syracuse University, he decided to stay on the east coast and get into the bar business with stints at New York's Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel, the Four Seasons NYC, Tomoka NYC and Take Me Out Tours.

These days, Kahl comes back to Hawaii for the annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, but this year he flew back to help Park develop their lineup of potential signature cocktails. He said he tried to focus on local ingredients and influences while working on the recipes, which he hoped would help better connect Park guests with Hawaii's unique sense of place while also enjoying a tasty, well-balanced drink.

The five cocktails that made it to the launch party are all based on Bootlegger vodka, but still offer quite a bit of variety when it comes to the character of each drink. Kahl also utilized ingredients like white wine, sake and homemade pineapple habanero juice to complement lots of fresh fruit used in the recipes.

Here's a look at what was poured for guests at Park on Thursday night:

Banzai Sangria

Made with Bootlegger 21 Vodka, Elderflower Liqueur, Peach Liqueur, Orjeat Syrup and White Wine

0912 bootlegger 006

Kama'aina Lemonade

Made with Bootlegger 21 Vodka, Lemon and Blackberries

0912 bootlegger 007

The Flaming Lotus

Made with Bootlegger 21 Vodka, Sake, Fresh Lime, Bacardi 151 and Fresh Apple

0912 bootlegger 004

The International Market

Made with Bootlegger 21 Vodka, Local Berries, Fresh Lime and Fresh Pineapple

0912 bootlegger 003

Lotus Ono Mojito

Made with Bootlegger 21 Vodka, Homemade Pineapple Habanero Juice, Coconut Milk, Fresh Lime

0912 bootlegger 002

THOSE WHO can't make it down to the Lotus Honolulu will have one other opportunity to meet Kahl and learn how to improve your own bartending techniques. On Saturday, Sept. 14, he'll be at Cookspace Hawaii, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd., to host "Shake, Rattle and Roll" from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Along with sharing proper techniques for mixing drinks that utilize fresh fruits, herbs and spices, Kahl will demonstrate how to make a deconstructed Mai Tai for a "modern take on this classic cocktail," according to the Cookspace website. Cost is $57.49; click here to register online, or call 808-695-2205 or email info@cookspacehawaii.com for more information.

———

Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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South returns to 'Runway' cast

By
September 8th, 2013



To say life has changed a lot for local designer Andy South since his third place finish on Lifetime Television's "Project Runway" in 2010 would be a gross understatement.

Ari South, left, at the grand opening of the Andy South Atelier in 2012. (Star-Advertiser File)

Ari South, left, at the grand opening of the Andy South Atelier in 2012. (Star-Advertiser File)

First, she is now Ariyaphon Southiphong — Ari South, for short — after beginning the transition to life as a woman in 2011. After the show aired, she opened the Andy South Atelier in Chinatown and her clothing line got picked up by Neiman Marcus.

While the majority of her designs are geared toward her ready-to-wear customers, you can also spot South's creations on local beauty pageant contestants who often search her out for handmade dresses that combine classic beauty with modern sophistication.

But South's true fans already know all this, as she has been forthcoming with her journey every step of the way via social media and press interviews. Those tuning in for the first time when "Project Runway All Stars" returns in October may be in for a surprise.

South herself was surprised to find out she was invited back for another round of competition.

"I was invited in April," said South, who turns 27 on Sept. 9. "It was strange because I was in the car talking to Andy Bumatai about hoping to get asked to do 'All Stars' and that's when they called!

"You really do attract the things you want if you send it out with intent."

The third season of "Project Runway All Stars" premieres Oct. 24 and will feature 11 designers.

Along with South, they are:

» Daniel Esquivel (season 11, fourth place)

» Melissa Fleis (season 10, third place)

» Seth Aaron Henderson (season seven winner)

» Mychael Knight (season three, fourth place)

» Viktor Luna (season nine, third place)

» Korto Momolu (season five, runner-up)

» Christopher Palu (season 10, fourth place)

» Jeffery Sebella (season three winner)

» Elena Slivnyak (season 10, sixth place)

» Irina Shabayeva (season six winner)

Judges for the upcoming season are Isaac Mizrahi and Georgina Chapman, with Zanna Roberts Rassi serving as a mentor to the designers. Alyssa Milano will host.

The designers set to participate in the third season of "Project Runway All Stars" on Lifetime Television. (Courtesy photo)

The designers set to participate in the third season of "Project Runway All Stars" on Lifetime Television. (Courtesy photo)

In addition to Mizrahi and Chapman, celebrity guest judges scheduled to participate include Kristin Chenoweth, Elisabeth Moss, Nick Cannon, Bar Refaeli. "Project Runway" judges Nina Garcia and Zac Posen, along with previous show winners Christian Siriano (season four), Anya Ayoung-Chee (season two), Mondo Guerra ('All Stars' season one) and Anthony Ryan Auld ('All Stars' season two) will also return this season.

South said she is ready to get back in front of the cameras.

"I am feeling so strong going back (after) having a few years to build my brand," she said. "That has been my goal from the start of the business soon after season eight, and I have not slowed down at all.

"I am both excited and nervous, but most of all, I am confident. This time, for keeps."

South returned to Honolulu Community College for "Andy South Day" in 2010. (Star-Advertiser File)

South returned to Honolulu Community College for "Andy South Day" in 2010. (Star-Advertiser File)

According to show's website, this season's winner will win the "largest prize package in 'Runway' history," including a feature in Marie Claire magazine as well as a job as contributing editor for a year, computer equipment from HP and Intel, a year's supply of resource Natural Spring Water and a trip for two to Southeast Asia (courtesy the company), hair styling and photography services from Alterna Haircare, beauty products from Mary Kay and a custom sewing studio from Brother Sewing and Embroidery — plus $150,000 to launch the winning designer's new line.

Viewers will also be able to vote for a "fan favorite" designer by visiting their designated profile online; click here to visit South's page. Social media users are also asked to include the hashtag #DesignerAri when mentioning South's appearance on the show.

———

Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at jason@staradvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.

Posted in Fashion, Latest News, SA | Comments Off on South returns to 'Runway' cast

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