Sunday, November 29, 2015         


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Kahala brings blast from past to help dish up anniversary

By Ben Wood


MARTIN WYSS and Alfred Vollenweider, two of my favorite Swiss chefs, resurfaced recently. The Kahala Hotel and Resort was the Kahala Hilton when it opened in 1964 and Martin was its first executive chef. For the property's 47th anniversary, he and current exec chef Wayne Hirabayashi are teaming up Jan. 22 for a gastronomic extravaganza featuring signature dishes made famous over the years. The event will be held at the Plumeria Beach House, called the Hala Terrace when Danny Kaleikini put on a top Hawaiian show there starting in the '60s. Food booths will feature favorite dishes from the Maile Room, Hoku's, Veranda and Hala Terrace, as well as the Beach House. The $75 price -- $37.50 for youngsters -- plus tax and 20 percent tip, includes Kahala-tinis, Kahala mai tais, wine, beer and soft drinks. A "Mad Men" theme will be fired up by Paradise & Company playing music of the '60s. ...

...VOLLENWEIDER closed Alfred's at Century Center 10 years ago and moved to Maui three years ago. He was in town for a visit earlier this month. He opened the first Alfred's Jan. 16, 1978, in the Gold Bond Building and relocated to Century Center six years later in March '84. He closed out 23 years as a restaurateur by serving his last meal there Jan. 23, 2001. His right arm during all those years, Maria Rutter, is still in the food-serving biz. Alfred says among the highlights of his travels last year was a trip to Tanzania and a 5 1/2-day, 19,340-foot climb to the top of Kilimanjaro, followed by a safari and R&R in Zanzibar. ...

...GOOD NEWS: A much better and stronger-looking Michael Douglas, 66, was seen bodyboarding on Maui shortly before the end of the year on KGMB's "The Insider." After the vacation, Douglas, his wife Catherine Zeta-Jones and their two children returned to the mainland to get the results of Douglas' heavy chemo and radiation treatment for throat cancer. On Tuesday's "Today" show with Matt Lauer, Douglas said the tumor was gone. ...

...RUTH ANN BECKER, working at a desk in her living room, founded Becker Communications 25 years ago this month. Today she sits in an office on Merchant Street with a staff of 13. One of Becker's clients is Duke's Waikiki, which marks its 18th anniversary next Friday, along with an announcement of the 2010 Legacy of Aloha recipients, 3 to 5 p.m. Not a bad way to spend an Aloha Friday afternoon. ... "Al Waterson and You" Sunday celebrates 10 years at Don Ho's Island Grill, 6 to 9 p.m. Al hosts talent, pros and amateurs, on stage in singing competitions and "Spotlight Nights." ...

...------ Ben Wood, who sold the Star-Bulletin on Honolulu streets in World War II, writes of people, places and things Fridays. E-mail him at

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