This year’s Chefs’ Private After Party, part of the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival, took place at Japengo & SWIM at Hyatt Regency Waikiki, with amazing craft cocktails, spirits, late-night snacks, music and dancing.
The five midnight snack stations featured eats by Isaac Bancaco of Andaz Maui, Greg and Gabi Denton of Portland’s Ox Restaurant, Marc Freiberg of Neiman Marcus Honolulu, Japengo’s Jon Matsubara and Troy Terorotua of REAL a Gastropub.
Four mixologists slung drinks all night to keep the thirsty crowd happy. The group included Jacques Bezuidenhout of Plumpjack Group & Forgery Bar in San Francisco; Misty Kalkofen of Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal; Debbi Peek of Southern Wine & Spirits of Florida; and Andy Seymour of Liquid Productions in New York.
Here’s how the party went down:
Scenes from the After Party by Eric Baranda
One of the most raved about dishes was the Beer Braised Oxtail Pubslider by REAL a Gastropub.
Another very popular dish was this “balut,” made with egg mousse, pickled onions and salted meat.
Ali’i mushroom tacos, avocado yogurt, smoked chiles and radish salsa by Ox Restaurant.
Quinoa-crusted Kauai shrimp with black rice, luau leaf puree and lilikoi-chili sauce by Neiman Marcus.
Hosting chef Jon Matsubara of Japengo.
Chef Marc Freiberg of Neiman Marcus… doing his posterboy pose, just in case you didn’t recognize him.
Iichiko Shochu reps.
Later on, the dance party got started.
Chef, Chef, Chef!
Cocktails by Debbi Peek of Southern Wine & Spirits.
Moana Musubi with Opihi, Abalone, Smoked Kahala, Bigeye and Ikura by Japengo. Locally produced by: Big Island Abalone, Hawaiian Kampachi, Local Fishermen.
Greg and Gabi Denton from Ox Restaurant.
Chef Troy Terorotua of REAL a Gastropub photobombs chef Kealoha Domingo trying his slider.
Inside Japengo Restaurant.
Mezcal shots with Del Maguey’s East Coast director Misty Kalkofen.
Debbi Peek of Southern Wine & Spirits.
Kyle Reutner of Pig & The Lady’s bar and Hawaii Bitters.