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Phot: Rae Huo

Maui Chef featured in new inflight culinary program with Hawaiian Air

Hawaiian Airlines, the only U.S. domestic carrier offering complimentary meals to guests in all cabins, and Executive Chef Chai Chaowasaree are proud to announce the launch of a new inflight culinary program featuring specially-designed menu creations from five of Hawai‘i’s burgeoning top chefs including: Jon Matsubara of Japengo; Lee Anne Wong of Koko Head Café; Wade Ueoka of MW Restaurant; Andrew Le of The Pig & The Lady; and Sheldon Simeon of Mala Wailea and MiGRANT.

Through 2017, dishes created by each local chef will be featured on a six month rotation in the First Class cabin of all flights from Hawai‘i to the Mainland. Chef Chai will continue to prepare menus for all Mainland flights returning to the islands. Together, this all-star line-up will give guests the opportunity to enjoy delicious regional, savory cuisine when traveling domestically.

“We are dedicated to creating an authentic Hawaiian experience, calling on the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the islands so our guests can begin their Hawai‘i journey from the moment they board the plane,” said Renee Awana, senior director of product development for Hawaiian Airlines. “The guest chef program represents Hawaiian’s continued support of local talent, giving our guests the opportunity to sample world-class dishes from rising stars in our dynamic culinary scene.”

Chef Jon Matsubara, Chef de Cuisine of Japengo Restaurant, officially kicks off the Hawaiian Airlines Featured Chef Series today. Each of his locally inspired, handcrafted dishes will include distinctively Hawaiian ingredients like Maui Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Kalo (taro) Mash or Kalo (taro) poke with Seaweed, Inamona and Scallions.

“I’m so excited to join the Hawaiian Airlines’ ‘ohana,” added Chef Jon Matsubara. “I truly feel that our land produces some of the richest flavors, and I’m honored that guests will have a lasting impression of our beautiful islands through these dishes as they embark on their journey home.”

Executive Chef Sheldon Simeon of Mala Wailea and MiGRANT will be featured in 2017. One of Hawaii Magazine’s Top 5 Best Hawaiian Chefs of 2014, Chef Sheldon Simeon offers a playful, unexpected take on classic dishes. His mix of modern cuisine and tradition create a distinctive experience that legions of loyal fans have come to love. Simeon welcomes customers to his restaurant as he would his home with a relaxed family atmosphere and the slogan “Come My House. Eat!”

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