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Duo wins ‘Sugar Showdown’ with their doughnut prowess

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    “We keep growing at this point, and somebody said to me the other day, ‘You’re a celebrity.’ I’m like, ‘Stop it, I make doughnuts,’” said Desiree Parada, the co-owner of Donut Dynamite on Maui

Ten days after the winning votes were revealed and the nation saw Maui’s Donut Dynamite prevail in the “Backyard Barbecue” episode of “Sugar Showdown” on the Cooking Channel, owners Desiree and Frank Parada received their $10,000 winnings.

“We just got the check today,” Desiree said Friday.

Donut Dynamite in Wailuku specializes in brioche-style doughnuts, but the timed competition was not conducive to the Paradas making their specialties for the judges.

So, in the 45-minute elimination round “we made ‘pate a choux’ because it’s quick, and for the second round I did a couple. One … was a cake doughnut, and the other one was a cornbread/hush puppy (batter), adjusted so I can push it through the doughnut hopper,” she said.

The husband and wife, just about to open their first brick-and-mortar location, were hesitant to compete on the show, given their commitments to clients. Then they realized they could use the money a win would bring.

“We just had to do it. We just signed the lease that day and flew out” — to Toronto, where the show was taped, Desiree said. That was a couple of months ago. Then they had to keep silent about the outcome until the show debuted.

Donut Dynamite was launched as a mobile operation before the couple even owned a vehicle capable of towing the doughnut-mobile, she said. But after five months of renting U-Haul trucks and depending on the kindness of friends, “we had a down payment for a vehicle with four wheels.”

Frank Parada graduated from the Culinary Institute of America’s culinary arts program, and both he and Desiree graduated from the pastry and bakery program at the CIA Greystone campus in California.

“If I look back we have a really good, solid growth pattern. We keep growing at this point, and somebody said to me the other day, ‘You’re a celebrity.’ I’m like, ‘Stop it, I make doughnuts,’” Desiree said.

She went by Madame Donut on the show and prefers to be called that because she would rather her doughnuts be famous than her, she said.

She registered what she calls her “stage name” as a trade name with the state.

No baloney, abalone

Kona Abalone, at Ala Moana Center’s Makai Market food court, is offering a timely dish just in time for winter.

Abalone miso soup, for $2, is billed as a way to stave off colds or just as a warm bowl of comfort that happens to contain five small abalone.

The store promotes the abalone as meaty and buttery, and high in lean protein, as well as a source of vitamins B1, B2, B12, zinc, iron, arginine and taurine. The abalone is raised by Big Island Abalone Corp. in Kona, using abalone stock from northern Japan.

Kona Abalone recently launched a program to offer smaller-size live abalone at industry prices. The SSS size, about 15 grams on average, will sell for $15 a pound, about 30 abalone. The SS size, which average 25 grams each, will sell for $18 a pound, about $1 each. The S size, 45 grams each on average, have about 10 pieces per pound, and that amount would cost $20.

A half-pound minimum is required for industry pricing, and walk-in orders are accepted, but requests for 5 or more pounds will require an advance order.

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