CHEF SAMBRANO Food Articles Video Recipes



Wednesday, August 15, 2018


Recently we locals in Hawaii have once again felt the violation of the powerful _______. You can imagine what I mean. 

I will not get into the legalities of this Chicago based restaurant company that trademarked the words (Aloha Poke). The company registered Aloha Poke, and had sent letters to several restaurants that use those words to describe a dish we all grew up with. For those of you who are not in the know. Aloha is a word we use in Hawaii to greet others, as well as to say goodbye. You can find out more on the word by visiting Hawaiian language websites. I won't delve into it. But this is my take on what has happened.

A group of business men in Chicago saw an opportunity to capitalize on the two words that are very popular. But first let's take a step back to the early 90's shall we? Poke (Po keh), is made up of cubed raw ahi tuna, and seasoned with various Hawaiian ingredients. Chef Sam Choy made poke very popular. And within several years hence, top restaurants all over the planet was serving poke in different variations. And the Food Network, and then social media helped define poke. It is so popular that in Hawaii, not only locals are jockeying for position in markets but visitors as well. 

Let's talk business. If poke is so popular, and some Manhattan restaruant can serve it in a martini glass and sell it for $75.00, you know that the capitalists are chomping at the bit. Was I suprised that this Chicago company did just that? Nope. My thinking was really? No Hawaiian businessman did it? They did not think as a business community "Hey somebody trademark it, so we can use it and control the name." I mean this is big business 101 right?

This is a learning experience for anyone with a business that rakes big bucks. The thing with locals in Hawaii, is they are too lax. Too much Aloha and see what happens? Hawaii people need to learn to be sharks, plain and simple. Heck, why not? See what happens when Hawaiians are too trusting? They haven't learned from the overthrow. I may get backlash from what I just said. But truth man. Protect your shit!

How do I really feel about this? I have no feelings period. The Hawaiian and local foodie community dropped the ball. Sorry. They did and I feel nothing. But I do feel this, the _______ will always find a way to take things for their own through the legal system. Sorry if I offended my fellow locals, but you all must wake up and smell the coffee, this isn't childs' play. You own a business and you got a line out the door, protect your shit, plain and simple.

© 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Anthony Bourdain's death is a sad event in culinary and entertainment history. He was definitely the rocker chef of this modern day. His cool rock star attitude started a new craze, chefs wanted to be him. They wanted to tell it like it is, "Hey I understand Tony, we did coke and weed, and shit like that in kitchens when we were starting out, and we're still doing it."

I first heard of Bourdain through my manager at a restaurant I used to do prep work at. She says, "Hey Ron I just read Kitchen Confidential, by Anthony Bourdain." Who is that? Well, I went out to the nearest Walden Books and read the book. I am cheap. But the stories he told I could relate myself. OK, I wasn't hard core like Anthony, but hard enough that I'd wake up on someone's couch dazed and confused. Or having a pitcher of beer in the chiller, and lines of coke in the restroom. Not trying to copy Bourdain's stories, but I understand myself what that book was all about. Thank God Bourdain wrote that book. In the past chefs were boring assholes. So full of themselves. But Anthony, he told a story, and man could he ever!

Well you all know him by now, I do not have to go and tell you what he was about, you can look it up yourselves. What I'm getting at is why did he have to take his own life? I'll miss his stories on CNN. He's gone forever, only his reruns on YouTube will keep him alive.

I wish Anthony would have talked to someone about whatever it was he was going through. So sad. When I heard of his death, recollections of the deaths of Kurt Cobain, Bonn Scott, John Bonham, Keith Moon, Chris Cornell, and Chester Bennington echoed loudly. Why those guys? They were rockers, much like Bourdain. They lived that life.

But with each suicide, I hope someone will learn, that taking their own life really is the easy way out. I'm not the most religious person, or God fearing, or spiritual. But I do believe Bourdain's life had much to offer. His test was not over yet. Maybe I'm wrong. But I question his soul if it is resting in peace, if there ever is such a thing. I mean I won't know until I die myself. Whatever. It's just sad this talented chef and story teller is gone from the fans, he taught more than what food was about, but people and the culture behind the foods. That's why I can't digest other food shows, where it's like scripted reality BS. If Bourdain's work was totally scripted, it was for the betterment of humanity, and I'll take those scripted shows any day. Well Tony, if you somehow are floating around us unseen, take it easy man.

Thursday, April 12, 2018


Yesterday me and a buddy went down to FRIDA'S MEXICAN BEACH HOUSE for some beers, grines, scenery, and a few shots of tequila. It was perfect, the sun was out, and the restaurant right around that time isn't packed with people. However when we left around 6 pm, people started to fill the place like Greta Van Fleet was playing a live show. Mark and Judy Ellman's restaurants are always filled with people ready to eat and drink.

Ahi Agua Chile
Ono slices of ahi, avocados, jalapenos, cucumbers, red onions
very refreshing raw ahi. Perfect for a warm day outside. Cool,
hits your mouth with a perfect blend of herby delight.

Cactus Fries
Crispy on the outside, and a good juicy cactus on
the inside.

Crispy Duck Wings
4 duck wings, crispy skin, tasty meat, if you
love duck, this is the one.

Grilled Octopus
This dish is really good, very tender braised
and grilled, you can cut it with a fork.

Fish Tacos

Pork Enchilada

All the food was fresh, tasted excellent, and our server Victoria was on it from the start. The hostess was friendly. After all that food we were stuffed man! Hey it was happy hour time, you get a few bucks shaved off the tab. We went to the bar to visit the man himself Chef and owner Mark Ellman. It was a perfect time. Talked baseball, food, family, had a few laughs. What more do you want? That's all we need, keep it simple. And happy.

Victoria (r) outta N.H.

Not too busy, the ocean is a stone toss away!

As the sun sets before the dinner rush Mark Ellman
shares some laughs, awesome man!

The setup, the ambience at Frida's, is ideal. If you're lucky you'll get the sunset, perfect for sipping a cold drink as we head into the summer months. Also the trades blows right inside, making God's AC cool off your body. The tequila shots at the end was our digestif. Gotta say mahalos to Victoria and Mark. OK, now it's figuring out my tax strategy. Anyone wants to just cut a check for me as a friendly gesture to the IRS? OK, I thought so.. LOL. OK, how about the state? OK, never mind just thought I'd ask.

Go check out Frida's if you are visiting, you'll enjoy the whole dining experience for sure. FRIDA'S MEXICAN BEACH HOUSE LAHAINA, MAUI