Dave, Mark, Luca, and Hector Many of us have been thinking and wishing that we could all get together somewhere wonderful in the world and Hector has started the ball rolling with this mini convention of four. Wish I could have been there. It all began when Marc Cohen, about whom I have written in regard to generously teaching me how to use Dragon voice activation on the computer, e-mailed me telling me that he and his partner David (who had made their wedding cake from my book!) were planning a trip to Hawaii and wondered if they could contact Hector and Luca. Never having met any of the four in person but feeling as though I knew them well from our e-mails etc. I was sure they would all really hit it off. So I asked Hector for permission to give his contact info and the rest is history! I guess it will come as no surprise that Hector made a spectacular dessert: Luca turned himself inside out making a fabulous dinner, and having become quite a bread baker, made this magnificent bread as well.
Dave wrote such a delightful and detailed description I’ll add it exactly as it was written: (1) Marc and Dave (the vegetarians from San Francisco) had dinner with Hector and Luca (the omnivores in Hawaii) - we all met on Saturday (1/17/09) morning at the Hilo Farmers' Market and bought fresh, local food for dinner that evening. Dinner included: - fresh, homemade pasta with locally grown mushrooms (with mirepoix and vegetable stock) - baked eggplant parmigiana - homemade sourdough bread (baked by Luca from Rose's Bread Bible) - fresh tropical fruit between the main courses and the dessert (we bought a big bag of various fruits from the farmers' market, including: guava, wi apple, mangosteen, abiu, carambola (star fruit), and dragon fruit (we had so much fruit that we had to pass up the papayas, rambutan, longan, pomelo, tangerines, satsumas, and various bananas!)) - Hector's Baked Hawaii (with homemade pineapple ice cream - yum!) (baked by Hector from Rose's Cake Bible, photos and a description already sent) - Italian red wine selected by Luca (sorry, but I forget the name of the wine) - Hector gave Marc and Dave handmade leis (crafted by an artist friend) brought from Honolulu, we had some wine and talked, then all went to the kitchen and contributed to making dinner; we sat, ate, drank, talked, took photos, laughed, and shared stories for 5-6 hours and had a great time! (2) Marc and Dave had dinner again with Luca on Wednesday (1/21/09) after Hector had returned to Honolulu. Dinner included: - homemade pizza dough (from Rose's Bread Bible) - fresh pizza toppings: tomato sauce, fresh pesto, roasted cherry tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, grilled zucchini, mozzarella, feta, taleggio, Italian oregano - locally brewed beer (Mehana Humpback Blue, a Hawaiian-style Kolsch ale) - mango ice cream (made in Hawaii) for dessert - Luca had parbaked the pizza dough portions before Marc and Dave arrived, so after chatting for a little while we all went to the kitchen, and each was given a rectangle of pizza dough to top as we wanted, then we baked each one (in a great little convection oven!), sliced it up and shared each person's pizza with everyone else; I think we made 4 or 5 pizzas between the three of us, ate every bite, and still had room for ice cream! We chatted, cooked, ate, drank, and laughed for about 4 hours that evening - we had so much fun we forgot to take pictures of the food! (Sorry, Hector!) There is no feeling better than putting together wonderful people that you know will become friends. Now I hope I get to meet them all here, in San Francisco, or Hawaii!