Party Time: Haute 5 Galas in Hawaii

Social darlings at ConTempo

‘Tis the season to party and raise funds for charities. September is the unofficial start of event season around the globe and Oahu’s own glitterati has their calendar full with places to go and people to see. I turned to local social queen, Kimi Matar to give her verdict on the Haute 5 galas in Hawaii. Time to whip out the Mont Blanc and mark your social calendars!

Social queen Kimi Matar with husband, Ash Matar.

Joy of Food and Wine

The Joy of Food and Wine is an elegant evening of culinary excellence and select fine wines. This yearly event is a benefit for the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific (aka REHAB). This year’s event is on Friday, Sept. 10, at the Halekulani Hotel. Each year, supporters begin with a toast at an hour-long Champagne reception followed by a sit-down dinner which is typically an innovative collaboration with in-house Executive Chef Vikram Garg, Warren Shon of Southern Wine and Spirits, and an annual guest celebrity chef. 2010’s featured gourmand is Brian Etheredge, owner of Capische restaurant in Wailea, Maui. Tables are $5 to $10,000 and proceeds go to to REHAB, the only acute care medical rehab hospital in Hawaii.

*Kimi’s verdict: “What makes the event special is Halekulani’s exclusive service and attention to detail. Plus, the collaborative efforts between in-house and guest chefs is always impressive.”

For more information contact the REHAB Foundation at 808.566.3451.

Opera Ball

2010 Opera Ball

The Hawaii Opera Theatre (aka HOT) hosts this annual black-tie affair at the Sheraton Waikiki. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday Nov. 20, starting at 6 p.m. During a fun-filled cocktail reception patrons may shop silent auction items including a one-week stay at Red Mountain Resort and Spa in Utah, a two-day stay-cation at the Trump Waikiki, and fabulous foodie and fine wine packages. Following eye-ing and buying guests will indulge in a four-course dinner boasting a double dessert surprise — a serenade celebrating the operas past and future seasons. This event is all about the entertainment and giving to a good cause. Donations from table earnings go toward the education outreach program of Hawaii. Individual tickets are $350. Tables are $3,500 to $15,000.

*Kimi’s Verdict: “The performances which take place table side and are truly remarkable and this year diamond table purchasers get an extra special perk with door-to-door limousine services.”

For more information contact HOT at 808.598.7372.

Actor Daniel Dae Kim with his wife Mia Kim.

Kama’aina Christmas

Kama’aina Christmas is Honolulu’s premiere holiday gala. The seasonal soiree supports the Honolulu Academy of Arts operating fund. This years event marks the 25th anniversary making it an extra special must do. Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010 starting at 6 p.m. guests will graze the galleries and courtyards of the Academy taking in art, fashion, delectable food, and drink. Save your holiday spending as silent auction items are sure to include rare wines, haute couture, exclusive trips, private dinners, hotel getaways, and more. Tables are $6,500 t0 $25,000.

*Kimi’s verdict: “This is absolutely the most exclusive social event of the year. It’s always sold out and attracts Honolulu’s crème de la crème. Guests really dress to the nines. It’s also a Christmas theme which really gets people into the festive spirit.”

For more information contact Denise Nakano at 808.532.3761.



ConTempo is an annual fund-raising gala benefiting the Contemporary Museum of Hawaii. Proceeds from the event support our state’s public art programs. This haute ticket includes the infamous art sale called ConTempoRarities featuring local and international works along with a silent auction featuring luxury items and the finest wines. The table-only gala always boasts a beautiful dinner and dancing well into the night. The goal of Contempo is to tempt and please all connoisseurs whether their passion be food, wine, travel, art, or travel. Always held in April at a fabulous locale, 2011 event plans are still under way. Tables are $5 to $25,000.

*Kimi’s verdict: “ConTempo is the most fashionable and stylish soiree in Honolulu. Major art patrons come dressed in haute couture from Chanel, Fendi furs and Harry Winston jewels.”

For more information contact 808.237.5230.

Hawaii Theater Gala

Hawaii Theater Gala

This annual black-tie gala at the Kahala Hotel & Resort is the main fund-raiser for the historic Hawaii Theatre. The 2011 benefit will take place Saturday, May 7, 2011 from 6:30 to 11p.m. Although far away, this is absolutely one of Hawaii’s hautest galas. The evening will feature exquisite cuisine, inventive cocktails, and an exclusive silent auction. Tables run from $5 to $5,000.
*Kimi’s verdict: “The Hawaii Theater Gala traditionally marks the end of the spring social season. It’s heavily attended for that very reason in addition to the draw of the legendary venue which it takes place.”

For more information visit