Westin "Steals" Local Celebrity Chef

Breaking News: You'll Only Hear It Here!

There's nothing like a little excitement in the Oahu culinary scene to start off this week's newsletter. If you remember when we broke the news that The Bistro at Century Center was closing due to a conflict between the restaurant owners and their landlord... the saga continues.

While the management and staff assured Bistro loyalists that they would reopen sooner than later, it looks like it might not happen-for good reason.

Former Bistro chef Rodney Yuehara was hired last week as the chef de cuisine at the Westin Surfrider's new high-end restaurant. He will man the helm at a "steakhouse, with Hawaiian influence," according to Yuehara.

Recently hired by Surfrider food and beverage director Keith Mallini, Yuehara is currently crafting the menu of the yet to be named restaurant, which will exist in place of the current Veranda eatery.

For now, the Veranda will remain open only for High Tea service, daily.

"We are expecting delivery of our super high-end and modern kitchen equipment by October 15th," chef Yuehara assured B on Hawaii in an exclusive interview yesterday. "And we hope to be fully operational and running by October 25th. We already have booked commitments and need to be open and running by that time."

While this is Yuehara's first time in the driver's seat at a resort eatery, it is not exactly unchartered seas; he was the chef that opened both Chai's Island Bistro at Aloha Tower and The Bistro at Century Center.

According to Yuehara, the new Westin Surfrider restaurant will have a plate glass window that allows patrons to see all the action taking place inside the stadium kitchen. Another interesting twist, according to Yuehara, is that resort management is eager to market the new restaurant as a stand-alone establishment. Although it resides inside the Surfrider and will be staffed by Starwood/Westin employees, it will advertise separately, offer outside catering, and host many special events, tastings and banquet-style dinners.

"It's a really unique opportunity," concluded Yuehara. "I spent the day today tasting the differences between Australian and American Wagyu beef. We're going to bring in some really fantastic stuff for people to try."

Bistro loyalists shouldn't be too upset by this news. Yuehara assured us that there will still be some of the rich sauces and dishes that were favorites in his former kitchen.

Visit www.moana-surfrider.com for more information.