Grand Wailea chefs Ryan Urig and Michael Lofaro served as hosts for the two-night event featuring award-winning chefs from around the country. I went to the event on Saturday, which brought James Beard Foundation Award winners Hubert Keller and Jonathan Waxman together with rising stars Kristen Kish, Michael Voltaggio and Richard Blais to create a memorable dinner around the resort’s mirror fountain. Mixologist Manny Hinojosa selected wine pairings and created cocktails with Cazadores tequila.
While the event gave us a chance to watch the chefs at work and (sort of) talk story, it was an opportunity for the chefs to see what Hawaii has to offer. Ryan and Michael of the Grand Wailea introduced their chef guests to the unique seasonal ingredients found around the state and our style of cuisine so they could create something distinctively local. Each chef introduced their dish and the inspiration behind it, told us personal stories of experiences in cooking and with the James Beard Foundation, and gave us a glimpse of how they work in the kitchen.
The James Beard Foundation is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City. Different chefs are featured in each city on the Celebrity Chef tour; to see the schedule, click here.
Mahalo to Yvonne Landavazo Biegel for flying me over and hosting me at the Grand Wailea!