#64 - Huli Huli Diamonds

Posted on Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 at 8:47 am by LaLonde Jewelers

In approximately 1985 a man entered my office; it was only a brief encounter, but he left a long-lasting impression on me. He came to my office with an appointment to have some jewelry appraised. As he entered with his wife, he said “I am Ernest Morgado and this my bride Fay.” Now this guy was in his 60’s and the way he introduced himself and his wife you would have thought he had just gotten married.

Shortly after my secretary returned from lunch, he jumped up and repeated “I am Ernest Morgado, and this is my bride Fay.” I looked at her and remember the smile on her face, from ear to ear.

Huli Huli Chicken on the Grill

While talking to him he said, "I am the Huli-Huli chicken man." Wow this guy was famous in the Islands and beyond, he had a recipe for a chicken dinner that had no compare. This brief encounter stuck with me for 30 plus years now and I must have told this story a hundred times. So, I decided to check into ol’ Earnest. He was a veteran of WWII and was married to Fay for 54 years until he died in 2002.

Earnest's recipe for chicken and his Huli- Huli namesake, means ' turn over turn over' in Hawaiian. He set these big iron grills about 20 feet long and laid those chickens on these fryers and cooked one side and then 'huli-huli'; turn over turn over. These would be set up as fundraisers around the islands, and you could smell the chicken from blocks away. You had to jump into you car and find the source of the smell.

So, I thought I should have a Huli-Huli Diamond Sale, with all these diamonds I need to turn them over.

I’ll get the banana leaves, some kind of fake palm trees, have my employees wear grass skirts and have songs with Gabby Pahinui singing and playing the slack key guitar. And while those diamonds are flying out the door, I will remember that smooth talking businessman and the impression he made on me long ago.


Written by Dan LaLonde, G.G., G.I.A.
Lalonde Jewelers & Gemologists
The Gem Expert