I am a lucky girl, I say this for a lot of reasons but the latest reason is the event I attended last Sunday for Roy Yamaguchi's 20th Anniversary. If you are not familiar with Roy Yamaguchi, he is a prominent Hawaii Chef, known as being one of the pioneers of Hawaii Regional Cuisine and has a couple of cookbooks and 35 restaurants in the US, Japan and Guam. The event was for a great cause, the proceeds going to culinary education in Hawaii and it featured well known chefs from Hawaii, Japan and the US mainland including Iron Chef Hiroyuki Sakai, Floyd Cardoz (Tabla, NYC), Alan Wong (Hawaii) and one of my chef idols (OK maybe one of my chef crushes), the wonderful Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger, Boston). Big thanks to my friend Yuri, whose son is in the Culinary Arts program at Kapiolani Community College. She was going to be out of town that night but wanted to buy tickets from her son to support the event and ended up getting tickets for my Mom and I as well as two other friends.
Sunday, a balmy warm evening with a light breeze, found us hungry, event wineglass in hand, wandering through the two tents set up to sample all the small plates the chef's were offering. It would take me forever to go through the entire evening so I will just hit the highlights. Also it was difficult managing plates, a wineglass and a camera so excuse the photos--I wish I could have gotten more.
First stop, Iron Chef Sakai. Although I was always a bit more of a Morimoto fan, Iron Chef Sakai was a favorite too. He was very friendly, giggling and posing for pictures. He offered a cold pea/potato soup with shrimp; good, refreshing but not a "wow" dish, however he more than made up for it by his sunny personality.
The next booth was my man Ming Tsai, thronged by an adoring crowd, trying to watch the Red Sox game on a small player, and serving one of our favorite dishes of the night--a melt in your mouth bite of miso butterfish accompanied by a buckwheat soba sushi roll.
There was an oyster bar from Hog Island Oyster Company.
Two kinds of foie gras. One under beef...
And one over beef...
Floyd Cardoz from Tabla () had another favorite dish (and a great table setting with pink sari cloth and dried lentils). His pork belly with a smoky taro and a vindaloo sauce was wonderful.
Even famous chefs who weren't cooking that evening were there hanging out. Here is Chef Nobu Matsuhisa with my friend Natalie and I. (I made his black cod with miso here)
The food just kept coming
and coming... and coming...
But where were the desserts?
All in all it was a great evening, with fun company, wonderful food and a chance to meet and greet some great chefs and see them in action, all for a good cause. (Even if there were no desserts!) And I am still crushing a bit on Ming!