Originally Published on Hawaii Mom Blog, September 19, 2017
Last night I had the honor of attending the Hawaii Restaurant Association’s 11th Annual Hall of Fame Gala. The event brings together people from across the state and beyond to pay tribute to those who have helped to create and shape Hawaii’s culinary scene.
The 11th Annual Hall of Fame inductees were:
Barry O’Connell – President/CEO – HFM Food Service
Stanton Ho – Award-Winning Pastry Chef, Educator, Mentor – Leeward Community College
Robert Chinen – Instructor, Kapiolani Community College
Tammy Fukagawa – Executive Vice President, TS Restaurants
Bill Tobin – Owner/Managing Partner – Tiki’s Grill & Bar
James and Allan Petersen, Sharon Peterson Cheape – Owners and Founders, Petersons’ Upland Farms
Chai Chaowasaree – Owner, Chef Chai and founder, Hawaii Island Chefs
Peter Yukimura – Founder – Koa Trading
Robert “Bob” Longhi – Founder – Longhi’s Restaurants
BIG ISLAND HAWAII
Olelo Pa’a Faith Ogawa – Award-Winning Private Chef and Holistic Life Coach, Glow Hawaii
The fantastic event not only honored these amazing individuals, but allowed guests to partake in libations during a cocktail hour, and tantalizing dishes during the Chefs of Aloha Dine-Around.
A portion of the proceeds from the event goes toward providing scholarships for six of Hawaii’s future chefs in need of financial assistance, as well as towards programs which allow students the opportunity to stay on the islands to be mentored and taught by Hawaii’s own culinary leaders.
This was my first time ever attending the Hawaii Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame gala. Event chair Anne Lee and the entire team behind the event did an incredible job, and it was truly memorable.
Although one of my favorite parts of the evening was eating all of the fabulous food by some of Hawaii’s most notable chefs, the real highlight for me was meeting some of the inductees and learning all about their different backgrounds, and how they continue to perpetuate a love for the islands and a desire to motivate future chefs.
After the event, I was fortunate to hear stories from renowned chefs Alan Wong and Mark Oyama (both former inductees themselves), and how they strive to continue to inspire the next generation of chefs, as their own mentors, whom they have the utmost respect for, had inspired them – and still do so to this very day.
And to me, that’s the heart of the Hawaii Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame – a way to honor the past and cultivate the future.
I can’t wait for next year’s event!