Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: Chefs for Hope – Kako’o Maui

Restaurant Insider

September 3, 2023

Story By: Anne Lee |

Kapa Hale’s Vegetable Laksa Curry. Photo courtesy Kapa Hale

We have all seen the devastation that took place on Maui. So many people want to help but do not know what the best and most effective way to show support is.

Chef Chai Chaowasaree reached out to leaders in the food and beverage industry from Kahuku to Kapolei to hold Chefs for Hope, a fundraiser from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at Neal S. Blaisdell Center. There will be more than 30 food and beverage stations and live performances from Robert Cazimero, Jake Shimabukuro, Honolulu Jazz Quartet and Tavana. All proceeds from ticket and table sales and silent auction items will go right into the hands of the victims of the fires through The Salvation Army and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement’s Hawaiian Way Fund.

Chef Chai’s Kataifi Prawns (back).Photo courtesy Chef Chai

AL: How did you come up with this idea?

CC: I started Chefs for Hope in 2005 when a tsunami hit Southeast Asia. Lee-Ann Choy, Michael Harris and I organized a group of local chefs and entertainers along with other business partners to raise funds for a great cause. We received support from chefs, entertainers and business partners and raised over $220,000.

We went onto Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, raising more than $185,000; Japan’s tsunami in March 2011, raising $140,000; and Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, raising over $100,000.

Bubbly & Bleu’s Cheesemonger Selection. Photo courtesy Bubbly & Bleu.

This Maui fire impacts all of us here in Hawaii. All of the proceeds go right to the victims, not just a portion. Our goal is to raise more than $250,000 and we can do that with your support. There were so many chefs that wanted to participate; the demand was there. In Hawaii, we treat everyone like family.

AL: What are the details of the event?

CC: There are VIP tables for purchase at the $5,000 level, which gives attendees access to the event at 5:30 p.m. and includes tableside service from culinary students. There is a $3,000 table for 10 for reserved self-serve seats. Individual tickets are available for $300, or $200 for grazing tickets and are available at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center box office. Tables may be purchased through me.

Da Bald Guy’s Red Wine Braised Short Ribs. Photo courtesy Da Bald Guy.

Please make your check payable to The Salvation Army of Hawaii or Hawaiian Way Fund – Kakoo Maui and drop off payment/pick up tickets in advance at Chef Chai (1009 Kapiolani Blvd.) from 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays.

It will be a great evening with fabulous dishes prepared by some of the best restaurants/chefs with live performances from Honolulu Jazz Quartet, Tavana, Jake Shimabukuro and Robert Cazimero benefiting a very worthy and needy cause.

AL: What are some of the items and why did the restaurants want to participate?

CC: James Martin from Da Bald Guy Food Truck was the first chef to respond. His popular food truck is in Kahuku and, although he’s busy, he wanted to find a way to give back to the people in Maui. He is featuring Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with demi glaze, garlic mashed potatoes and blistered cherry tomatoes.

Kevin Lee from PAI Honolulu shared that the sheer magnitude of the tragedy is beyond words, and they are honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with everyone offering support in need through this event. They will be featuring Strawberries & Creme Panna Cotta (pictured below) topped with an ume gelee, almond cookie crumble and matcha.

Chef Jonathan Mizukami from The Kahala Hotel & Resort was born and raised on Maui. He is short staffed but it was necessary for him to be a part of this event. His dish will be Hiyashi Chuka Cold Ramen with local tomato dashi, island cucumber, Waialua eggs, watercress, fish ball and Sun Noodle.

Chef Keaka Lee from Kapa Hale will be preparing a Vegetable Laksa Curry. It was very important for them to support this event. It’s a small way to give back and it’s going to be a long road, so they plan on participating in as many events as they can.

Chef Lance Kosaka from Mariposa will be preparing Veal and Pork Meatballs with pomodoro sauce and goat cheese crema.

Chef Fred D’Angelo of Bubbly & Bleu will be featuring Cheesemonger Selection of cheese and charcuterie. Part of Fred and Cheryl D’Angelo’s mission is to make a positive impact in the community.

We at Chef Chai will be featuring our signature Kataifi Prawns with pineapple vinaigrette. This is one of the popular items at the restaurant.


Basalt, Bubbly & Bleu, Chef Chai, Da Bald Guy Food Truck, FEAST, Fig & Ginger Honolulu, fresh BOX, Hot Pot Heaven, JINYA Honolulu, Kapa Hale, Kapolei Golf Club, Koko Head Café, KTER4U, Kuhio Avenue Food Hall, La Vie, Layers of Flavor, Mariposa, Miro Kaimuki, Nami Kaze Hawaii, Noi Thai Cuisine, Nosh, PAI Honolulu, Roy’s Waikiki, Side Street Inn, The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Tiki’s Grill & Bar, Hawaiian Soda Co., Republic National Distributing Co. and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.

Neal S. Blaisdell Arena, 777 Ward Ave, Honolulu, HI 96814

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