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You hear a lot these days about restaurants going “green,”
but Jon Matsubara’s restaurant is going “blue.”
Jon is the executive chef at Azure, a fine-dining seafood
restaurant in Honolulu’s Royal Hawaiian Hotel, and ocean
sustainability is an important part of his thinking.
“It’s all about taking care of our own backyard and real-
ly featuring the freshness of what we have to offer,” he says.
Jon makes sure the species offered on his menu are not
overfished, and he collaborates with the United Fishing
Agency to provide guests with information about ocean
“I’m like the Lorax of the ocean,” he says. “I speak for
the fish.”
He’s also a multiple awards-winning chef, but it took a
while for that talent to emerge. After earning his degree in
Native-American history from Puget Sound, Jon enrolled
in law school in San Diego.
“I hated it,” he says. “At the time, for therapy and stress
relief, I would invite friends over and just cook for them. It
was my way of relaxing.”
A year in San Diego was all he could take. Jon returned
to his hometown of Honolulu and applied to the two best
restaurants in Hawai‘i at the time: Roy’s and Alan Wong’s.
But since he had no experience or professional training, the
restaurants told him he had to start out washing dishes. He
finally made his way up to cooking positions, working part
time at both places for about three years.
When he felt it was time to explore prospects off the
island again, he applied to the French Culinary Institute in
New York for a six-month intensive program. He worked at
Tabla and Jean Georges at the Trump Plaza (ranked third in
the world), before again going back to Hawai‘i, this time to
settle down with his future wife.
Jon is now an established culinary artist in Honolulu.
At Azure he oversees a kitchen staff of eight and enjoys the
luxury of a beachfront view from his “office.” Patrons are
people like Julia Roberts, Eddie Vedder, and Justin Bieber.
When he is not working, Jon says he dedicates all of his
time to his three young daughters, who he loves to cook for.
Jon says Puget Sound alumni should definitely stop in
when they’re in town to sample one of his off-the-menu
recipes: seafood pizza of Kona Coast abalone, king crab,
prosciutto, arugula, and two different types of cheese,
cooked in a special oven. Arrangements for the dish must
be made in advance.
— Lan Nguyen ’08
Jon Matsubara ’95
Executive chef
Your paper and ink social networking site since 1973
For Clay Huntington ’50
a memory lane
On March 27 the Tacoma city council unanimously approved
a proposal to rename part of South Cheyenne St. (from South
19th St. to the entrance of Cheney Stadium) Clay Huntington
Way. Clay was the “voice of the Tacoma Tigers” and worked
for more than 70 years as a broadcaster on radio and televi-
sion. He died last June at age 89. Clay served on the Pierce
County Athletic Commission and helped found the Tacoma
Athletic Commission, the State of Washington Sports Hall of
Fame, and the Pierce County Sports Hall of Fame. You can
read more about Clay in the autumn 2011 edition of
Jack McClary
retired on May 2,
after 57 years in the chemicals
industry. His career began as a
bench chemist and progressed
to lab manager, area manager,
and general manager. He
later owned and operated two
businesses and spent time in
the Gulf states, in the South-
western U.S., and in the Pacific
Northwest. Jack pioneered
mobile recycling of industrial
solvents using vertical thin-film
evaporation. He became the
largest industrial solvent recy-
cler in the Pacific Northwest.
His plant in Washougal, Wash.,
also manufactured chemicals
used in paper mills, sewage
treatment facilities, industrial
boilers, and oil refineries—
shipping to points from Wyo-
ming to Alaska. Jack served as
western regional vice president
of the National Association of
Solvent Recyclers. He and wife
Sandi look forward to more
camping, square dancing,
and gardening. For several
years Jack has enjoyed playing
French horn and trumpet in
three local bands and in an
orchestra in the Portland/Van-
couver area.
Fran Ellertson Trowbridge
was kind enough to call and
share her recent travel adven-
ture to Italy, touring the Amalfi
Coast and Sorrento in April.
The Road Scholar program
offered through Elderhostel
Inc. organized the 13-day trip,
which featured faculty speakers
from Trinity College in Con-
necticut. Despite a good deal
of rain and a case of bronchitis,
Fran says she had a fabulous
trip. Over the years she’s taken
more than two dozen tours
in the Road Scholar program.
Fran will give a travelogue
presentation for members of
her retirement community and
facilitate a discussion about the
history and political climate
in that part of Italy. Fran con-
tinues to volunteer as a tour
docent at the Seattle Public
Harold Ester-
his high school diploma from
Norwich Free Academy in
Norwich, Conn., in March—60
years after he attended. Harold
left school in 1952 to enlist in
the U.S. Air Force and fight in
the Korean War. After his tour
of duty, he earned his degree
at Puget Sound and taught
U.S. history. He went on to
earn his master’s degree at
Pacific University and served
as principal of Maplewood
Elementary School in Puyallup,
Wash., where he lives.
John Hughes
the subject of an
extensive article in his home-
town newspaper
The Daily
Alumni news and