By Susan Halas
Chef Joey Macadangdang demonstrated a composed salad featuring roasted beets, heirloom tomatoes with two dressing yesterday to a small but appreciative audience at Whole Foods in Kahului. His beet salad did not disappoint.
Even though the list of ingredients was long and included quite a few items that a home cook might not have on hand (shaved fennel, white balsamic, candied whole garlic, buttermilk), the explanation was clear, and conceptually straight forward.
He showed how something nutritious, tasty and visually appealing could be created from relatively humble core ingredients: small roasted beets, fresh heirloom tomatoes, mixed baby greens and a combo of creamy tangy dill accented crème fraiche and vinaigrette dressings.
Macadangdang explained how to plate the combo by first putting down a base of the creamy dressing. On top of that he added golf ball size roasted beets quartered. Next to the beets he placed chunky pieces of room temperature fresh tomatoes in a range of colors. The beets and tomatoes were topped with small salad greens lightly coated with oil and balsamic vinegar.
The multi-layer salad was accented with the crunch of sugar-coated nuts and shavings of fresh fennel. It was topped off with a subtle hint of garlic and the stems of the beets, cooked, marinated and chopped to provide an additional relish and spot of color.
Macadangdang is a native of the Philippines who moved to Maui at the age of 13. He was raised in West Maui and was a 1987 Lahainaluna graduate. He’s been with Roy’s for 17 years. He is self taught and learned his culinary skills on the job.
He is now executive chef at Roy’s Kaanapali where he heads a staff of 80. The West Maui venue is the newest addition to the Roy’s Restaurant group. The upscale eatery specializing in Pacific Fusion cuisine opened last month at the Clubhouse of the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course. It seats 175 and serves lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Macadang’s appearance was part of the free celebrity chef series held on the last Monday of each month pairing fresh local produce with creative cooks. It was jointly sponsored by the Maui County Farm Bureau and Whole Foods with assistance from the County of Maui.