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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

A Birthday Gift From Jimmy Borges

Jimmy Borges

Jimmy Borges, one of Hawaii’s favorite entertainers, is slated for a unique one-night-only concert with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. He’s a man who needs no introduction – a legend in his own right and the only person ever to receive free access to Frank Sinatra’s classic arrangements, an honor that “Ole Blue Eyes” conferred on Borges personally.

On Thursday, Borges joins the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and conductor Matt Catingub to perform an array of Sinatra’s classic songs, as well as Catingub’s own arrangements, in a dazzling show that celebrates the Great American Songbook. It promises to be an amazing night. For Borges, it’s a night he was told he wouldn’t live to see.

“Last year, I was told by more than one doctor that I would probably die on the operating table, trying to remove a liver tumor the size of a small football,” he recalls. “I didn’t believe that and neither did my surgical team from Kaiser Permanente. They not only saved my life, but had me singing five weeks after my November 2011 operation. I realized then that my purpose, through God, was to connect to the world through my music, and by tutoring and mentoring young talent.”

Borges, who turns 77 the day after the concert, plans to begin the celebrations early.

“I’ll be celebrating the whole month,” he says. “I learned that from Robert Cazimero. In many ways, I’m singing better than I ever have in my 57 years as a professional singer. I’ve learned a lot in all those years and it shows in my music. The Man Above gave me a ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ pass and I’m planning to use that as often as I can, making music and working with youngsters. This upcoming concert is special for me because I’ll get to be one of the first artists to make music with our brand spanking new and excellent Hawaii Symphony Orchestra.”

Now that’s definitely something to celebrate. Happy birthday, Jimmy!

Here’s a favorite recipe of his that he grew up with.

Tuna is one of the most widely eaten fish in the United States. Use tuna packed in water to cut down on fat. Tuna is high in protein, has zero carbohydrates and is low in fat and calories. It is high in vitamin B12, Omega-3 fatty acids and niacin, and contains a good amount of vitamin B6, as well as some vitamin A and E. It contains a lot of minerals including large amounts of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and selenium, just to name a few.

JIMMY’S TUNA ALLEGRO

* 1 can of mushroom soup (with chunks of mushroom in it)
* Add 1 can of tuna and heat until ready.
* Pour over a bowl of hot white rice.
* Sprinkle to taste with nori furikake.

Says Jimmy: “Now that’s delicious, and you won’t find it at Chef Mavro or Alan Wong’s. Trust me, you’ll love it – ask anybody from Kalihi …”

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