Grind Time: Seattle pop-up makes Oahu debut
BY JASON GENEGABUS / firstname.lastname@example.org
Local hip-hop fans should be very familiar with George Quibuyen, better known in recent years as rapper Prometheus Brown. He’s performed on Oahu under the alias MC Geologic as half of Seattle-based hip-hop duo Blue Scholars as far back as 2008.
FOOD AND SH*T: HI!
A Kamayan Pop-Up Dinner
» Where: Fresh Cafe Downtown, 1121 Nuuanu Ave.
But this weekend will be different. Quibuyen will return to perform with Los-Angeles based Bambu as The Bar with help from Seattle-based DJ Nphared. The Bar’s new album, “Barkada,” was released earlier this year.
He’ll also introduce local fans to his Filipino pop-up restaurant operation, Food and Sh*t, which offers a rotating menu of homestyle Filipino fusion dishes created with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.
“We did this a lot at first,” Quibuyen said of the music and food combination during a phone call on Tuesday. “The Blue Scholars, when we first started, our album release party was at a restaurant. We would have shows with no promoter. Just secure a spot and have lots of food. We stopped doing it and started again … in the last six months or so.”
Starting again, however, might be an understatement. Back in the day, those events relied on help from outside caterers. Now Quibuyen and his wife, Chera Amlag, maintain their own monthly culinary presence in Seattle, serving up dishes themselves that could easily fit in amongst the growing food culture here on Oahu.
In October, they presented a loco moco-centric menu, with prime rib and portobello mushroom versions of the classic local dish served alongside jicama and green mango with bagoong dipping sauce, ube cheesecake and pandan flan. (Getting hungry yet, Filipino food connoisseurs?)
And just this week, Food and Sh*t partnered with Seattle’s Lil Woody’s Burger and Shakes to offer a pork adobo burger and ube milkshake.
— Lil Woodys (@lilwoodys) June 3, 2014
Don't forget to try the Ube milkshake too this week! pic.twitter.com/7fxuu06Eet
— Lil Woodys (@lilwoodys) June 3, 2014
On Sunday, the Quibuyens will take over the kitchen at Fresh Cafe Downtown for a special Kamayan Pop-Up Dinner with two seatings at 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. In Tagalog, “kamayan” means “with hands,” which in the case of a meal translates into eating without the use of traditional utensils.
THIS WEEKEND’S menu is very sentimental for Quibuyen, who grew up on Oahu.
“Hawaii is where all my food memories begin,” he writes in a blog post published on Food and Sh*t’s website. “Even now, 20 years later, cooking Filipino food somewhere in the northwestern corner of the ‘mainland,’ I carry the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of my upbringing in that small island in the middle of the Pacific.”
“I’m thrilled to bring Food & Sh*t to the place I think of most when I recall the first time I ate many of my favorite dishes. … We’re bringing with us some of our popular menu items from our Pulutan, Kamayan and Luzviminda pop-ups and tweaking them to reflect local culture using local food products.
“What Hawai’i taught me is that every dish is a story you can eat; a past you can remember, a future you can invent. And, sometimes, out of necessity, a hustle.”
THE HUSTLE will continue all weekend, as The Bar will make appearances Friday and Saturday in advance of Saturday night’s concert at Crossroads inside Hawaiian Brian’s on Kapiolani Blvd.
With local openers The Horror Show, Kristofer Rojas and DJs Revise and Anton Glamb
» Where: Crossroads at Hawaiian Brian’s, 1680 Kapiolani Blvd.
First up is a meet-and-greet at In4mation Pearlridge on Friday at 4 p.m., followed by a Summer BBQ Pre-Show Celebration hosted by promoters Foes and About the Goods from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Kaimana Beach. (Doors for the all-ages show at Crossroads open at 8 p.m. Saturday; click here to purchase tickets online.)
Even with help from Foes and ATG, a lot of work remains for Quibuyen and his team. While he’s got the music side under control, he quickly points to his wife as the backbone of the food operation. Sunday’s pop-up will be the first time Food and Sh*t takes place the day after a Prometheus Brown performance.
“She’s the logistics and the brains,” he said. “My mind is on the performance aspect, (so) I kind of ask her to guide me. We do a lot of conceptualizing together, but when it comes to the day of (the pop-up), she’s the king and queen of operations. It wouldn’t really be happening without her.”
Sunday’s five-course prix fixe dinner will include the following:
» Shrimp Sinigang Shooter
» Pomelo and Mango Salad
» Tako Kinilaw and Taro Chips
» Inasal Pork BBQ Spare Ribs
» Chera’s Hood-Famous Ube Cheesecake
Dishes will be served with white rice, but once again, don’t expect to find any forks, knives or chopsticks on the tables during this kamayan-style meal. Tickets are $40 each and are available for advance purchase online.
In addition to the set menu, guests will be able to order select dishes a la carte, including balut ($3), sisig lumpia ($4) and adobong gizzard na manok ($4). (For the uninitiated, balut are chicken eggs with a “surprise” inside, sisig is finely-chopped meat mixed with seasonings and adobong gizzard na manok is adobo-style chicken gizzard.)
QUIBUYEN ALSO hinted at a performance by a special musical guest following Sunday’s second seating, which should wrap up around 10 p.m. The fun will continue through the late night hours with drink specials and DJs.
“We’re hoping people stick around and hang out for some of the entertainment,” he said. “We also welcome those who might be busy and can’t make the prix fixe dinner. They’re more than welcome to come through and try some of the stuff off the bar menu.”
“Grind Time” is always looking for the latest places to get your grub on. Email Jason Genegabus with restaurant, bar or any other food/drink-related item at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter and Google+.