I spent quite a bit of time in Hawaii in my early chef life and I always been very fond of the culture, the people and of course the food of the islands. So when I heard that two of my favorite Hawaiian chefs Georges Mavro and Alan Wong were coming to town to cook a special dinner at the James Beard house I immediately offered my help. The dinner was to promote the 20th anniversary of Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement started by twelve of the islands most talented chefs to elevate the culinary experience in Hawaii by featuring local foods in each of the chef’s own distinctive styles of cooking.
I forgot how small was the kitchen at James Beard but the chefs came well prepared with 16 cases of food and a whole bucket of sunshine, they made it very clear they didn’t travel halfway through the globe not to enjoy themselves. When you work with Hawaiians there are smiles on faces and jokes abound.
The extraordinary Georges Mavro, a French expat in Hawaii, and winner of countless awards (James Beard award, Five Diamond status, Gayot Three Toques 18/20 rating, “Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S.”… ) made sure to smoke up the whole house while the rest of the crew was busy preparing for the 80 people dinner.
The other stars of the evening were Kevin chong, Chef Mavro talented executive chef and also a nominee for a James Beard award for the Pacific region. Lance Kosaka and Wade Ueoka, the executive chefs of the Alan Wong’s Honolulu restaurants (and also President Obama restaurant of choice when he visits Hawaii) and pastry chef Michelle Karr. Tony Liu, an Hawaiian expat and the Chef of Morandi in New York city came in also to help.
Of course, no festivities are complete in Hawaii without fresh flower leis for everybody.
Beside being the most recognizable hawaiian celebrity chef, Alan Wong is into Nikon cameras too so he had fun playing with my D700. For once you’ll see a few shot of me working, a rare occurrence on this blog.
Chilled Tomato Soup and Grilled Mozzarella Sandwiches with Foie Gras and Kalua Pig
Garam Masala–Dusted Shrimp with Hearts of Palm–Green Apple Rémoulade and Oahu Sea Asparagus Tempura
Maui Cattle Company Roast Beef Rolls with Pho Flavors
Winter Vegetable Meli-Melo with Sumida Watercress, Chickpea Fritters, and Eggplant Tahini
Poached Truffle-Infused Petersons’ Upland Farm Egg with Potato Mousseline and Jinhua Ham Ribbons
Chopped Ahi Sashimi and Avocado Salsa Stack on Crispy Wonton with Spicy Aïoli and Wasabi Soy
Crisped Onaga with Poha Rice, Braised Green Papaya, and Housemade Tamarind Curry
Butter-Poached Kona Lobster with Eryngii Mushrooms, Green Onion Oil, and Katsuo Soy
Lamb Pissaladière > Big Island ‘Wow’ Farm Tomato Tart with Lamb Bacon, Maui Onions, Black Olive Powder, and Lamb Jus
Kula Strawberries Romanoff > Goat Cheese Panna Cotta with Kula Strawberry–Hibiscus Soup, Yogurt Sorbet, and Hawaiian Vanilla Sabayon
A wonderful evening of delicious foods, new friends and laughter (okay, and some hard work too!)
Tags: Famous chef