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Chef Chai

Step Up to the Plate

August 5, 2018

Story By: Elima Pangorang | Photos by: CHEF CHAI


As the lava from the Kilauea eruption on the Big Island’s south side continues to flow, the world can’t help but watch as Mother Nature takes its course. Unfortunately, and as many are aware, countless residents have been displaced because of the damaging effects from the lava flow.

Relief efforts remain active for the displaced families of the lava’s path and many island residents have been looking for ways to help. Among those lending a helping hand is chef Chai Chaowasaree of Chef Chai. He’s teamed up with Salvation Army, in collaboration with Hawaii Chamber Music Festival (HCMF) and Hawaii International Music Festival (HIMF), to host a Big Island Benefit Dinner & Concert on Monday, Aug. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $125 per person and all proceeds will go to Salvation Army’s work in the Hawaii Island communities affected by this natural disaster.

So far, the organization has supplied more than 30,000 meals to Big Island residents who have lost their homes. It has set up three emergency shelters with Salvation Army personnel and volunteers, providing resources such as financial assistance, clothing vouchers, and emotional and spiritual support.

Guests who attend the benefit dinner will enjoy a four-course dinner with wines (generously provided by Young’s Market and Estate Group), and entertainment of classical, opera and pop sounds. This includes musicians from HCMF and HIMF, with a lineup showcasing ukulele player Given Yagi from Naehu Music, prize-winning virtuoso violinist Eric Silberger (pictured at center) and Amy Shoremount-Obra (left), who is a soprano with the Metropolitan Opera.

Also performing is HCMF founder Chris Yick (pictured right), a main organizer of this event. Yick, a bass player who believes music can help and heal lava flow victims, assembled the event to use it as a driving force to aid the community.

“I admire these young professionals, especially Chris Yick who spearheaded the help (to) make a difference in our community and for people who need our help,” says Chaowasaree in a Big Island Benefit Dinner & Concert press release.

More information, including the benefit dinner and concert’s menu selections, can be found at chefchai.com or hawaiicmf.org.

Coming out on top

A golden crown of puff pastry sits atop mushroom duxelles — a mixture of garlic, shallot, red wine and fresh herbs — and seared foie gras.

Stacked up

A traditional beef Wellington features a puff pastry wrapped around a cut of steak. In chef Chai’s version, deconstructing the dish with the puff on top makes it easy to control the doneness of the beef to one’s precise liking.

A tasty mash-up

Steamy mashed potatoes sit within a pool of merlot demi-glace and serve as a soft bed to this delectable dish, providing a smooth break between bites.

Veggie medley

Haricot verts (French green beans), baby carrots and sundried tomatoes provide a refreshing, crisp bite to the dish.


Monday, Aug. 13 • 6-9 p.m. • $125 per person

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