An Alfresco Feast At LCC

Jo McGarry
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Wednesday - April 09, 2008
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Ola chef Fred DeAngelo
Ola chef Fred DeAngelo

The coming of spring and early anticipation of summer means only one thing for those of us who love to eat - outdoor food events. As Island chefs gear up for the biggest and best events of the year, here’s a quick guide to the ones I like best and why.

L’Ulu, formerly known as Taste of the Stars, is a star-studded evening because of its outdoor location at Leeward Community College and the appearance of some of the top chefs in town. The May 10 event works because there’s enough room to accommodate the crowds that flock to the campus, and because with almost 20 participating chefs, and additional beer, wine and spirits tents, there are no long lines for food. At just $100 per person (if you book by May 1), L’Ulu certainly offers more food and wine for your money than almost any other festival of the summer. Participating chefs this year include Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi (who will be honored for his contributions to the culinary industry in Hawaii), Russell Siu, D.K. Kodama, Fred DeAngelo, Chai Chaowaseree and Goran Streng. If you’re on the Leeward side, then this one’s a given, but if you enjoy the best of Island cuisine, then L’Ulu is worth the drive.

Another food event that’s changed its name in recent years is Easter Seals’Chefs Du Jour. As part of Taste Of Honolulu, Chefs Du Jour attracted a serious food-ie crowd and has now become a chef-driven signature event in its own right. Headlined by Alan Wong, this is a seriously fun evening of food and wine, with a menu showcasing Hawaii’s farmers and fishermen. Alan invites celebrity chefs to join him for the extraordinary evening; this year they include Hiroyuki Sakai (former Iron Chef French), Josiah Citron and En-Ming Hsu, the internationally renowned pastry chef who led the 2007 U.S. team in the incredibly tough Pastry World Cup Competition. Local chefs include Hiroshi Fukui, Donato Loperfido and Alan Takasaki of Le Bistro in Aina Haina. I’m especially thrilled to see Henry Adinaya, owner of Hank’s Haute Dogs, included in the stellar culinary lineup. This one’s for serious foodies - tickets are $200 and the event will be held June 21 at Tamarind Park.

For sheer fun and games, great food, a gorgeous setting and the best jazz concert you’ll hear all year, head to the Big Island, where Dolphin Days is celebrating 14 years of raising money for Shriners Hospitals. If you can take the time, this is an event for the entire family. Spend the day at one of the many pools on property at Hilton Waikoloa, sign up for Dolphin Quest or kayak across the lagoon, and at night enjoy outstanding food, wine and music. I have always found this to be one of the most relaxing and fun events of the year - and I’m not alone. You’ll find many of Hawaii’s chefs and sports personalities heading to the Big Island from June 19 to 22 to take part in the festivities.

And as the summer starts to fade, look for a celebrity-filled event celebrating Roy Yamaguchi’s 20th anniversary. Top chefs from around the world are coming to Honolulu to star on our culinary stage. Start saving now for this memorable three-day event.

Happy eating!


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