Creamy Burrata Makes Hoku’s Salad Special

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - November 18, 2009
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With holidays coming up very quickly, local folks can enjoy a special dining experience at the Kahala Hotel and Resort.

For the past 10 years, executive chef Wayne Hirabayashi has expertly directed The Kahala’s culinary operations. He aims to keep The Kahala Hotel and Resort at the crest of emerging food trends, and says, “I will continue the tradition of using fresh produce and Island products, but I also strive to identify new trends and flavors that we can incorporate into our cuisine.” Hirabayashi’s culinary philosophy is heartfelt. “Being a chef is not only about cooking. My love for eating and traveling, my curiosity, penchant for hard work, working with consistent suppliers, seeking the best and freshest seasonal products, satisfying our guests and last but not least, my family, have been the driving forces of my career.”

Chef Wayne is a McKinley High School graduate, attended Kapiolani Community College and trained at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. His professional experience includes stints at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, The Ritz-Carlton hotels at Mauna Lani and Laguna Niguel (California) and the Halekulani on Waikiki Beach. Prior to his current position, he was executive sous chef at Hoku’s, the resort’s signature restaurant and was instrumental in making Hoku’s one of the premier restaurants in Hawaii.

Chef Wayne has been kind enough to give me this delicious and refreshing salad for MidWeek readers to try at home.

Burrata cheese is mozzarella with a cream-filled middle. The outside is solid mozzarella, but when cut open a cream flows out, which gives the cheese a buttery flavor. It is best served immediately after cutting.


* 2 pieces burrata cheese, cut in half

* 12 ounces assorted tomatoes (heirlooms, vine-ripened, cherry pears), cut into different sizes and shapes

* 1 tablespoon pesto

* 1 tablespoon honey and balsamic reduction (you can purchase a balsamic dressing at supermarkets)

* 1 tablespoon Hawaiian sea salt (or to taste)

* 2 ounces assorted leafy greens, different textures, colors, etc.

* 4 leaves fresh basil

Cut the burrata in half and serve one half piece per person. Cut the tomatoes in different shapes and sizes and place around plate.

Scatter greens around the plate, drizzle the pesto and balsamic reduction, season with sea salt and freshly ground white pepper, and serve.

Serve tomatoes at room temperature.

Makes four servings.


(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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