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Kicking Up A Fourth Of July Barbecue

Joy of Sake

Joy of Sake is July 20. Photo from Diana Helfand

This column is dedicated to Chris Pearce, one of the volunteer organizers of the 12th annual Joy of Sake, the inaugural event unveiling Honolulu’s newest venue, the Pier 2 Cruise Terminal in Honolulu’s Foreign Trade Zone.

As an avid sake drinker, Chris says, “The interplay between exquisite sakes and delicious appetizers continues to draw guests each year and has established The Joy of Sake as one of Honolulu’s most anticipated events.”

This signature event, held Friday, July 20, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., is the largest sake tasting held outside of Japan, with more than 300 of the world’s very finest sakes, and provides Hawaii with a rare opportunity to experience sakes in peak condition, along with sake appetizers prepared by some of Honolulu’s top chefs.

Chris says that the Joy of Sake is actually the first and only public tasting event that follows the prestigious U.S. National Sake Appraisal. This blind tasting, held at Hawaii Convention Center and sponsored by Hawaii-based International Sake Association, is conducted by a team of 10 judges from Japan and the U.S. Philip Harper, the only western toji (sake brewer) in Japan, will be among the judges this year. Sakes with the highest scores receive gold and silver awards, and all 300-plus entries will be available for tasting at this year’s Joy of Sake. For more information and tickets, go to joyofsake.com or call the Sake Hotline at 222-0195.

Grilling season is officially here, so here’s a great recipe for a spicy rub for barbecued meat, fish and seafood. Just toss with spice mixture and grill, or sauté in a pan with olive oil. If you prefer a less-spicy flavor, omit or reduce the cayenne pepper and chili flakes.

Happy Fourth of July!


* 1 tablespoon paprika
* 1/2 tablespoon thyme
* 1/2 tablespoon allspice
* 1 tablespoon white pepper
* 1 tablespoon cumin
* 2 teaspoons onion powder
* 2 teaspoons garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon chili powder
* 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper
* 4 tablespoons oregano
* 1/2 pound dark brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons chili flakes
* 2 teaspoons mustard powder

Combine all ingredients and mix until well-incorporated. Can be made in advance and stored sealed for up to two weeks.