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Cooking Up A REHAB Fundraiser

When the REHAB Hospital of the Pacific held a cooking demonstration last week as part of its annual fundraising campaign, it chose the stylish yet unassuming Cookspace at Ward Warehouse to offer a demonstration, wine tasting and a glimpse of the coming fundraising events.

D.K. Kodama shared one of his favorite family recipes – one that has become a top-seller at his restaurant.


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D.K. Kodama and Melanie Kosaka

“This started as something that we used to like to eat late at night,” says Kodama, “and it just became so popular.”

Not difficult to see why. The Crab Ramen noodle broth is rich, and the noodles are topped with fresh crab meat, cilantro, green onion and then finished with truffle butter. It’s the perfect example of simple, local food being taken to a different stratosphere while it remains comforting.

And if you’ve ever wondered how chefs like Kodama and his team stay at the center of the culinary stage, you need only listen to them speak of their eating adventures.

This week Kodama’s team is headed to the Mainland for an eating extravaganza.

“We choose about five different restaurants a night,” says the chef, “and we order dozens of dishes from the menu, anything that sounds interesting or appealing or different. We eat a bite or two then move on to the next dish.”

Five restaurants a night is an impressive schedule. I volunteered to be note-taker on their next trip, but I need to start getting in eating shape now. Anyway, look for a new menu of creative dishes popping up this fall at Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar …

The cooking demonstration was held in Melanie Kosaka’s Cookspace – a bright, airy, beautiful open space on the second floor of Ward Warehouse, where Kosaka’s dream of a year-round cooking space is taking shape. The brand new cooking space is a living, breathing classroom for foodies. You can order gift cards for cooking classes online, find out the schedule of chefs and events, and even book a private cooking class for your own group of friends and family. It’s the perfect way to spend a few hours in a fun, relaxed environment where you can eat, drink and learn all at the same time. Visit cookspcaehawaii.com …

Kodama prepared his upscale crab ramen on some of the world’s most luxurious cooking appliances, as Sub-Zero/Wolf stepped up to help REHAB with its fundraising activities.

“We’re donating $100 for every appliance bought in Hawaii from now through December,” says Sub-Zero/Wolf owner Robert Riggs. “It’s always been part of our company philosophy to give back to the community, so when we heard that REHAB was fundraising, we were happy to get involved. It’s a great organization, and we’ll enjoy sending them a check at the end of the campaign.”

And even if you’re not in the market for a new appliance between now and December, there are dozens of other ways to help REHAB, including purchasing or donating artwork to the annual Art From The Heart Sale Nov. 7 …

I continue to be amazed at the ability of Wailana Coffee House to continue to offer complete meals, an all-you-can-eat salad bar and desserts – for under $15. Its annual Oktoberfest returns next week, with smoked ham shanks, bratwurst and smoked pork chop plates served with sauerkraut, German potato salad and Bavarian red cabbage, starting at – wait for it – $12.95. All meals come with Wailana’s traditional salad bar and include chocolate mint cake for dessert. Even if you don’t venture into Waikiki often, the prices at Wailana are worth the drive …

Happy eating!