HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival (HFWF) will honor influential celebrity chef Rick Bayless at its second Culinary Heroes launch event. In his first appearance on O‘ahu, Bayless, who was part of a small group of chefs to introduce traditional Mexican cuisine to a Tex-Mex-eating America in the 1980s, will be joined by Hawai‘i’s James Beard Award–winning chefs George Mavrothalassitis, Alan Wong, and Roy Yamaguchi in preparing a five-course menu with wine pairings on April 25.
Then on April 26, Bayless will be part of No Borders, a 10-chef grand tasting at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, where guests can experience his Mexican flavors, as well as dishes by nine of Hawai‘i’s best chefs who will craft dishes inspired by the traditional cuisines of their own heritage. The chefs are: Rachel Alvarado of Kona Coffee Purveyors; Chai Chaowasaree of Chef Chai; Vikram Garg of TMG Hospitality; Daisuke Hamamoto of Arancino Ristorante Italiano; Wayne Hirabayashi of Kahala Hotel & Resort; Mark Noguchi of Pili Group; Xue Chong Ruan of Tim Ho Wan; Anthony Rush of Senia; and Sheldon Simeon of Lineage.
Bayless shook up the country’s dining scene when he opened his pioneering Frontera Grill in Chicago in 1987, introducing people to the multilayered flavors of Oaxacan mole and Yucatecan pork. Four years later he opened the more refined Topolobampo, a favorite of Barack and Michelle Obama. Both establishments have won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant. Bayless is also dedicated to giving back to community. With his staff he established the Frontera Farmer Foundation, which gives grants to small, sustainable farms serving the Chicago area, and created the Frontera Scholarship, which awards Mexican-American Chicago Public School students a full ride to Kendall College, Chicago’s premier culinary school. The public may know him best as the first Top Chef Master—he beat Michael Chiarello and HFWF regular Hubert Keller in the debut season of Top Chef Masters in 2009.
For tickets and more information, visit www.hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com