Michael Symon, Jonathan Waxman Host Hawaiian Gala During JBF Celebrity Chef Tour

Posted by on Jan 24

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Last night, James Beard award-winning celebrity chefs Michael Symon and Jonathan Waxman were both exhausted and delighted as they prepared an elaborate dinner during a JBF Gala in Mauna Lani, Hawaii.

Over 175 guests attended the Big Island six-course dinner, which was just one stop on the James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour. The main course featured six suckling pigs paired with other dishes involving mussels, foie gras, and leg of lamb -- all of which portrayed an intentional theme of simplicity, or "primal cooking," as remarked by the gala's sous chef.

""We can do direct and simple food because the ingredients here are so good," said Waxman as he prepared freshly-caught mussels to be cooked in a spicy broth. "We never get mussels this natural-looking on the Mainland.  These are beautiful, just beautiful."

Symon's masterpieces in the kitchen included a cheesy polenta made with butter, Parmesan and Mascarpone. "Polenta is the simplest food in the world," said Symon.  "But when it's made right, it can change your life."

Additional collaborative courses featured meatballs stuffed with foie gras, leg of lamb with fresh green onions, sauteed baby Swiss chard, and pork belly topped with a "sweet and spicy" papaya glaze.

"Nothing fussy," said Waxman.  "We're just going to put platters of great stuff on every table and let people enjoy."

San Francisco mixologist Manny Hinjosa was also on hand to serve custom drinks during a private reception on Friday. "I like to use ingredients other people are afraid of," Hinjosa admitted. His Maximiliano concoction is quite an example, consisting of a refreshing mix of Mescal, Green Chartreuse, red pepper puree, pineapple juice, and Grey Goose L'Citron.

Source:  Honolulu Magazine

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