CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes



Saturday, August 29, 2015


Last night was bloody HOT!!!!! It was the first annual Food Smack Down at the Lahaina Civic Center on Maui. I assisted my family selling lumpia and wontons. I was at the wok.. check it, I was at the wok with Uncle Lawrence, we were the slaves. Starting at 430pm in the hot Lahaina sun, coupled with the hot oil... man it was grueling!

The festival was interesting, with most of my favorite food trucks and restaurants representing themselves. Lulu's was right next to us, and we traded samples, lumpia and wontons for oxtail soup, furikake fries. And next to us on the opposite side we got some trades with mochiko chicken. Like Poke? food truck was at the other end. Teppanyaki 2 Go was there, and other local families making chili and rice.

The turn out wasn't that huge possibly because of high school football season, and Fourth Friday down in Kihei, we ended up taking home a lot of food, at least the family will have extra pupus when someone comes over. Food will always be used one way or another.

The brainchild for the event was Chef Adam Tabura from the island of Lanai, he was part of the Aloha Food Truck team that won the Great Food Truck Race on Food Network a couple of years ago. And one of the judges for the Smack Down was Chef Sheldon Simeon who was a runner-up on Bravo's Top Chef Seattle a few years back. Although they have that name recognition, locals in general really don't care, they don't, some do, but most don't care, it's just the culture. The crowd wasn't huge, but it was excellent, Lahaina style excellent. A small town event. I hope it continues, because it is local to the max. Locals here need to support what these two local celebrity chefs are doing, and that is to keep our culture going. 

Check it for next year if you are traveling to Maui.

Until next time

       © 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015


Hi there, Chef Ron here... ready to offer you guys a tip before opening up an eatery. And it's all basic common sense. Just one tip. Well, actually more but one major tip I'll give you is this. Get ready, are you ready? I can't hear you?!!!!!

Before you open up your first eatery, you need to know some very important things, and the number one thing in any business is MONEY!!!! I don't care if you are a fantastic cook, you got a buffalo wings recipe that rocks. If you don't know the business of making money, forget it! You'll probably get screwed by your accountant, if you can't read a basic financial statement, or answer financial questions when you need to speak to a bank or investor, forget it! MONEY, it's the language you need to master. Here's a tip, and it covers some basics.

1. Learn to manage an eatery first. (If you haven't yet)
One reason is that with experience, you'll be more savvy when running your own kitchen, you'll understand what business is all about. You need to know what your top line is, and all that other lines in between the top to the bottom line. If your bottom line is in the red ink, it's time to re-think what's going on, because anytime a business is in the negative, you're losing money... And you are not in the business of losing money, you need to break even and then some.

Okay no other number, just 1, we'll add on to this MONEY thang! If you are talented in the kitchen, you're a great cook, yay! Now it's time to study business, maybe take a class your local college sets up every year, or hang out with a friend that owns a business, it doesn't have to be an eatery, any business, and pick his brain. What is he doing after he closes, who is he calling? What are those numbers he's putting into his computer? Does he have a book keeper? An attorney? All these things may be confusing, but it's one thing to cook great food for your family and friends, it's another thing to be a professional. And you need to learn at the minimum on how business is run in your city or town.

Taxes, what's your sales tax? Don't know? You better. When paying your business taxes are you going to do that quarterly, semi-annually, annually? Don't know? Get an accountant that's reputable.

Laws, do you know what the laws are for you business? Do you know that business is all about written contracts? Let's say you want to do a catering gig, how are you going to protect your business and your clients? You'll need an attorney for that, cover your behind as they say. Law suits, if you so happen to serve a bad piece of apple pie that was contaminated by your negligence, maybe you sprayed some insecticide forgetting the apple pies weren't covered, and your client eats it and then dies, then what? That leads me to what kind of business set up are you going for? Sole proprietorship? Partnership? LLC? S Corp? Find out the perks of each. 

Keep in mind, the most successful business people are still in business because they know business! They understand that the economic climate changes for the better and for the worse, these people are prepared. Check that word...PREPARED. So before you get involved with your own eatery, before you sign any leases, for crying out loud, get some business knowledge, and talk to veterans in business, because you'll hear success stories which is Yay Yay. And you'll hear horror stories that are real, business is a dirty business where only the tough survive. If you want it cozy? Stick with your 9-5 gig. If you will become your own business person, you are in it 24/7/365!

Until next time

            © 2015


The burrito, the Mexican wrap filled with delicious goodies from beans, stewed beef, pork, or sautéed fish... copy cats are a coming!!!!
The wrap, you've seen it in restaurant advertisements in the Sunday paper, or on Facebook or Twitter, everyone is doing a wrap which is what a burrito really is right? Yay or nay? Or is it yea, I like Yay!!!! Wraps are coming in from all kinds of different cultures check it, the veggie wrap, the Korean wrap (Korean burrito) filled with kalbi beef, or bulgogi with kimchi... Foodies are getting damned creative, crossing different cultural dishes to make it their own. Heck I'm Filipino American, and one time I made a pork adobo burrito, well Mexican and Filipinos do share some Spanish influences so maybe my invention wasn't so original, but for Filipinos, we never eat our version of pork adobo in a tortilla wrap, we eat it with white rice, the sticky medium grain kind.

Burritos are one of my faves, anytime I see someone eating a huge burrito, I want one. Especially if it's made with stewed meats, where the flavors are all in concert, from the chilis, the paprika, garlic, onions, tomatoes, vinegar...hmmmm, I'm getting hungry just writing this blog. Burritos may be Mexican in nature, but heck, I'll fill anything delicious into a tortilla wrap, and that's a fact Jackson.

Until next time.

                   © 2015


What's delicious? What makes your living room smell with comforting aroma? Food! That's what food! There's nothing like simple food, that makes you feel good, and growing up, when mom would be in the kitchen, and she'd fry up some sausage, it made the house smell totally gooooood. Simple, easy. No need for anything but the sausage, and a hot pan, some good bread or rice, maybe some ketchup you are good to go. Well not just sausage, frying up anything delicious makes your living room smell good. Of course don't fry a mackerel, that'll mess up the nostrils. But some good quality meats and veggies seasoned with some good aromatics, mmmmmm, that's the one! That's what makes home a home, family family, good simple food coming from the kitchen, and cooked on a simple device called the frying pan.

Until next time


Ever had the late night munchies? And you're thinking, "I'll just walk down to Johnny's Late Night Diner and grab me a burger." I know you all had that a few times in your life, as a matter of fact like me it was probably early this morning after midnight right? Right? No lie, you like to stuff your face before you go to bed. Well last night was that night. Our version of Johnny's Late Night Diner is a corner eatery that serves plate lunches, shoyu chicken, pork and peas, sweet sour spareribs, chicken cutlet, roast pork with gravy. And sometimes I'll heat up a burger and some chips, or heat up some saimin noodles.

When the late night diner is closed with no warning, it is like someone died unexpectedly. "What? I had no freeking clue! Why? Why? She was so healthy!" In this case it was like, "Why? Why? I'm freeking hungry!" Yeah people the late night diner was closed! Like I did not matter. But there must be a reason right? There's always a reason for situations like this. Let's take a look at some of the possible educated reasons they did not open for me.

1. They had bad food inventory.
2. The chef called in sick and nobody wanted to step up to the plate to work, lazy bitches!
3. The plumbing was clogged.
4. They didn't prep enough food, they ran out super early by the time I showed up.
5. The chef decided to go and kill his roommate for stealing his 9 iron.
6. The chef decided to go and kill his roommate for sleeping with his girlfriend.
7. The cashier killed the chef.
8. The safe couldn't be opened.
9. There was a roach in the chowder, and a customer who has a gazillion followers on Facebook posted pics of it on her timeline and it went viral, so no one showed up and business was slow.
10. You fill in the blank_______________________.

So basically, there could be more reasons we don't know about on why they were not opened for business. So maybe tonight, if I'm hungry because I'll be off of work later in the evening, they'll be open. And hopefully the food won't have roaches in it, nor will the chef be in prison for killing someone.

Until next time.

              © 2015

Sunday, August 16, 2015


In Hawaii high school graduation parties are huge, it is a special event that brings the graduate to the forefront. What he or she will do with the rest of their lives? Who knows and all we can do is pray that they will follow the right paths for themselves and be happy and healthy along the way, to be decent human beings in society. 

Last Friday evening we celebrated my nephew's graduation, though it was two months after he did graduate, the party was a success. We ate the typical Hawaiian foods found at luau celebrations. Kalua pork, poke, squid luau, crab, opihi, fried fish, rice, salad and other desserts like cake, and haupia.

But the main purpose of any Hawaiian party is the gathering of family and friends to celebrate a young adult's journey into the real world. That's all it is, we do things simple in Hawaii, the food is simple though hard work to prepare it, it's just simple stuff if you get my drift. Nothing fancy that's what I meant. Just simple comfort foods to keep everyone well... comfortable.

© 2015

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


The propane cylinder you see here on the left is common in many a local's garage and backyard. Why?

Locals use this combination Liquid petroleum gas to light up their powerful on steroids wok burners to cook up their famous Chicken Hekka, Lemon Chicken, Chow Fun, Lumpia, Wontons, Chicken and Long Rice, or to steam lau lau.

It's pretty natural for a local brother ready to cook out with his wok only to find out that his propane cylinder is out of gas. Here's a typical funny situation for a local brother. He is off on a Saturday night, so he and his wife invite friends over around 5pm to start the cocktails, and conversations. Possibly set up some amps so the boys that play guitars can jam. The kids help out by washing down the concrete, mow the lawn, clean the inside of the house etc.

So once the shopping is all done by 1pm, the prepping begins, wife starts to chop veggies, husband starts to slice the fish, beef and pork. And the kids help by making the macaroni salad, and some desserts as well as help to ice down the soft drinks.

430 pm, half hour before SHOW TIME! 
Local brother sets up his wok burner, he sets up mise en place all ready to go, it's 5 pm, all his friends and their wives and kids are piling in. The amp is already plugged in, with the voice of Eddy the heavy equipment operator testing his mic, "Testing one two! One two testing!" Kids are laughing and running around, with an aunty shouting, "Hey don't run on the street!"

Brother man hooks up the supply line from the propane cylinder to the wok burner, he takes a cold beer, shakes hands with his buddies, he turns on the supply line to let the propane flow to the burner. He turns on the burner, "click," but no flame. "Hah?"

Long story short, he is out of propane, all of his other cylinders are empty, and all of his friends are also out. Next stop? The hardware store to refill the cylinders. Of course the wives are making fun of the men.... As usual! 

Until next time.


© 2015

Monday, August 10, 2015


 Today we had to go to OGG a.k.a. Kahului Airport Maui to pick up my sister that flew in from the mainland. After we picked her up we headed straight to the Maui Lani Golf Course and ate at Cafe O Lei.

I had the Cheese Burger made with home grown Maui ground beef, that was filling. (I blogged this same burger a month ago)... And I had to put some ketchup, mustard on the fries, and some Best Foods Mayonnaise on the burger itself.


My niece had the Mahi with Capers with white rice and veggies, looked good, delicious and fresh.
© 2015

And my sister had the Crab Sandwich, that looked good too. It was huge, she took the other half for her to go. Life is good when you can eat a good lunch with family at Cafe O Lei on Maui.
© 2015

Cafe O Lei has a location in Kihei in the Rainbow Mall, so if you are on Maui, and you're in the south side district, check them out upstairs, they got the same delicious ono kine grines! The prices are down right reasonable, and they do have a bar for those of you that want a nice cold one, also a t.v. with sports on it, well the one in Maui Lani is at the Dunes Golf Course, so the Golf Channel is always on, I'm not a good golfer by any means, but I like to watch golf it's relaxing. If I can't smoke weed, golf is relaxing.

Until next time Ron.
© 2015

Sunday, August 9, 2015


It's August 9, 2015 & it is time for a recipe, something I've gone away from lately. So let's get with the recipe for a Filipino influenced roasted pork tenderloin.


1- 2 1/2 lb. strip of pork tenderloin, trimmed of skin, brought to room temperature.

Cracked black pepper

Garlic Salt

2 inches fresh ginger sliced thin into thin pieces.

Stainless steel roasting pan

Sauce Ingredients

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. minced sweet onion

1 clove garlic minced

1 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth (12 oz can)

2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp. fish sauce (patis)

2 tbsp. heavy cream (or half and half)

1 tbsp. butter (as cold as can be)

Note: by adding the cream and butter at the end it will give the sauce a nice texture and gloss.


Chopped green onions


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F

1. Use a stainless steel baking pan large enough for the pork loin. Pour about 1/4 cup of olive oil on bottom of pan, and swirl around. Sprinkle some fresh cracked black pepper and garlic salt on the bottom of oiled pan. Set the loin on a flat surface, and continue sprinkling fresh cracked black pepper, and garlic salt over entire loin. Place some ginger around the loin.

2. Place the pan into center rack of oven. Roast loin for about 25 minutes, remove from oven and let rest. (Note: using an instant read thermometer, check the center of the loin, if it reaches around 150 deg F, it is good to go)

3. Remove the loin, but keep the roasting pan with drippings, and oil, but remove the ginger. Off the oven. Place pan on stove top over medium high heat. Using a wooden spoon, scrape bottom of pan to loosen up the fond, or bits of pork and the oil. Pour tablespoon of olive oil and swirl and scrape pan with wooden spoon. Sauté minded ginger onion and minced garlic for a minute, then add in the chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, and fish sauce (Patis).. Cook stirring with wooden spoon, until the sauce reduces to about half. Off the heat, remove pan to the side, stir in heavy cream and butter.

4. Slice the tenderloin into 1/2 inch pieces, and feather out on a nice platter. Spoon sauce over sliced loin. Top with green onions to garnish.

* Let the persons add salt if they want to, the fish sauce is salty.

If you go to your meat market, you can ask the attendant for good quality pork loins, and he an even trim it for you. Most markets now sell the loins completely prepped leaving you to do less work in your kitchen which is all Yay Yay.

© 2015

Until next time, have a good one.


© 2015

Saturday, August 8, 2015


Today is the 8th of August, and foodie blogging for those of you that love food period. Coming to Maui and want some good Chinese food? Located in the Lahaina Square Shopping Center is a little Chinese BBQ food counter called NO. 1 Chinese BBQ, and their menu is pretty big, lots of stuff you'd want from a Chinese eatery. 

I'll name some of the stuff they have, they got wonton soup, roast duck, chow mein, and lots of wok stir fries. Today, for less than eight bucks I got myself the Beef Chow Fun, and the container was filled pretty tight, two people could have shared this one...but I didn't share it, I ate it all.

I waited about seven minutes for it, and when I got it, it was hot! It wasn't lukewarm, it was hot! The girl at the counter opened it to display its neat and clean presentation, or possibly so I wouldn't grab this other guy's order whatever he had. Mine was perfect. The flat chow fun noodles, the thin sliced veggies, and the marinated beef, thinly sliced, the flavors were hints of soy sauce and ginger, and oyster sauce, can't forget that shell fish sauce. Take a look.

© 2015
As you can see from this picture, lots of food, just the way we locals love it, give us FOOD!
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Then I stuck my wooden chopsticks into the dish, steam flowed to the sky!
Here's another angle, mmmm good!

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Yours truly with that stupid ass selfie stick and ready to Mopp!
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And mopp I did, look at that take out container, it's empty, man I did good.

Alright all you foodies, Chef Ron signing out, be good to each other, I mean it, no fighting, no killing, just chillax.

© 2015