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Celebrity Chef Tour returns to Maui

Some of the greatest chefs in America have converged on the Valley Isle this weekend. The James Beard Foundation’s Celebrity Chef Tour showcases 11 award-winning chefs and one noted mixologist as part of a fundraiser for the foundation. In its sixth year coming to Hawaii, 4 years on Hawaii Island and 2 on Maui, the event director says “I love Hawaii, I love all the islands and you guys have the best food,” Jeff Black said.

The kick-off cocktail party was open to JBF members and the general public. It was a good mix of visitors and locals who wanted a chance to see some of the visiting celebrities, enjoy craft cocktails and delicious plates showcasing local ingredients. Held at the Grand Wailea, tickets for the kick-off were $50 and highlighted Hawaii chefs and local culinary students with the featured celebrity chefs roaming, eating, drinking, enjoying the night off with family and friends. The celebrity chefs will head into the kitchen for a family-style dinner Saturday night. The sold-out, $250 a head dinner has been the talk of the town all week.
“The money for this event goes to the general fund, so it literally pays for everything. Some of it will go to scholarships, salaries, education, sustainability, the awards, which are the Oscars of the culinary world,” he adds.

Participating chefs this year include:
Host Chefs Ryan Urig and Michael Lofaro

Greg Harrison
Morimoto, Maui

Cameron Lewark
Spago, Maui

Jojo Vasquez
The Plantation House, Maui

Lee Anne Wong
Koko Head Café, Honolulu

Saturday Night Chefs:
Richard Blais
Juniper & Ivy, San Diego

JBF Award Winner Hubert Keller
Fleur, Las Vegas; and Burger Bar, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Beijing, China

Kristen Kish
Boston

Michael Voltaggio
ink. and ink.sack, Los Angeles

JBF Award Winner Jonathan Waxman
Barbuto and Jams, NYC; and Adele’s, Nashville

Mixologist Manny Hinojosa
Tequila Cazadores and Tequila Corzo, San Francisco

Highlights from the kick-off cocktail party (Click to Enlarge):

Promotional Considerations:
Inter-Island Travel for Olena is brought to you by Island Air.
Travel Accommodations provided by Maui Coast Hotel.

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About Olena Heu

Olena is Executive Editor, Food & Lifestyle at MAUIWatch. The founder of Olena Heu Communications, a social media, digital marketing, consulting and freelance writing company, Olena holds a BA and MA in Communication and Speech from Hawaii Pacific University. An adjunct professor, lecturer and motivational speaker Olena is also an award winning journalist, writer, photographer and avid traveler.

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