New Chefs Coming To Inaugural Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

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If “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto, Hubert Keller of the famed Fleur de Lys and Rick Moonen of rm seafood weren’t star-quality enough, the inaugural Hawaii Food & Wine Festival added a couple of new chefs to its impressive lineup.

Mourad Lahlou (shown), chef/owner of Aziza, and Charles Phan from The Slanted Door — both acclaimed restaurants located in San Francisco — join nearly 30 other world-renowned chefs, four master sommeliers, top-tier winemakers, local farmers, artisan food producers and innovators at this international food and wine experience on Oahu.

Lahlou and Phan will take part in the festival’s debut event, “Streets of Asia: Morimoto and Friends,” on Sept. 29 at the Modern Honolulu (formerly the Waikiki EDITION).

The festival’s theme is “Taste our love for the Land,” a nod to the Hawaiian tradition of ahupuaa, a mountain-to-sea system in which everything necessary for survival could be grown, gathered or exchanged locally. It will highlight Hawaii’s sustainable food and agricultural traditions through three days of signature dining experiences, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, culinary workshops, industry seminars and field excursions.

Here are the three dinners you won’t want to miss:

• Sept. 29, Streets of Asia: Morimoto and Friends: Led by Morimoto, this evening dinner, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Sunrise Pool at the Modern Honolulu, will feature innovative interpretations of popular Pan-Asian dishes by chefs from around the world. Tickets start at $200 per person.

• Sept. 30, Inaugural Halekulani Master Chefs Gala Dinner Series: This formal dinner, which starts with a cocktail party at 6 p.m. at the elegant Halekulani, will showcase food and wine pairings by master chefs and sommeliers from around the world. Keller will be among the featured chefs. Tickets start at $1,000 per person, $800 of which is tax-deductible.

• Oct. 1, From Mauka to Makai, Hawaii’s Sustainable Future: Set for 6 to 9 p.m. at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, this event is the festival’s grand tasting, with dishes prepared by 15 celebrity chefs known for promoting farm-to-table cuisine and practicing sustainable sourcing and cooking practices. Among the chefs participating are Roy Yamaguchi, Alan Wong and Moonen. Tickets start at $200 per person.

Tickets can be purchased online at

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