Chef Chai Chaowasaree’s (known as Chef Chai) passion for the regional cuisine of Hawai’i extends far beyond his kitchen. He co-founded Hawaii Islands Chefs with a mission to provide the world with the best of Hawai’i’s diverse culinary resources from the culture of the people and the bounty of the land and sea.
Chef Chai is best known for fresh ingredients and a taste of the islands. His personal culinary style fuses fresh Hawai’ian ingredients with the flavors of Asia, embodying the cultural diversity of the Hawai’ian Islands. As owner and chef of Singha Thai Cuisine in Waikiki and Chef Chai at Pacifica Honolulu, he perennially receives recognition as one of the region’s preeminent chefs. Seeking out new ingredients from Oahu farmers markets and Honolulu’s Chinatown serves as a reminder of his childhood in Bangkok scouring for ingredients for his family’s popular restaurant.
And now he’s bringing his signature flavors to 30,000 feet as Hawaiian Airlines’ new executive chef, crafting the in-flight first- and economy-class menus and managing more than 20 kitchens worldwide.
“I’m excited about the challenge of offering customers a new selection of menus that will make the flying experience to and from Hawai’i even more enjoyable,” said the award-winning chef.
Safe to say, travelers are excited, too.
What three go-to ingredients are always in your home kitchen?
Garlic, sambal chili and shoyu (soy sauce) — with these three key ingredients, you can create endless seafood, meat and vegetarian dishes.
What’s your favorite season for cooking, and why?
I would definitely say summer, because all of the fruits and vegetables are in season and taste the absolute best. Local tomatoes are so juicy and flavorful, and the pineapple is the sweetest. There is also nothing like biting into fresh ahi (my favorite fish), and in the summer prices are reasonable.
Aside from your current position, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?
Honestly, I’ve loved all my jobs. I always count my blessings and strive to do my best in any environment. If I have to choose one, it must be when I hosted my own weekly TV cooking show with my best friend, BethAnn Nishijima, Two Skinny Chefs. It was a lot of fun. We met so many guest chefs and traveled the world together.
What’s the first meal you ever cooked?
Back in Thailand when I was 12 years old, it was mixed vegetables stir-fried with black tiger prawns. I remember walking to my family dinner table that evening and I couldn’t find anything I liked, so I went to the kitchen and cooked something for myself. After that, it became a regular thing.
What are your first thoughts when you hear “farm-to-table”?
What a fantastic idea, especially since I live in Hawai’i and sustainability is important. Waiting for produce from the mainland can take several days, and it can lose freshness and nutrients. If I had enough space in my restaurant, I would love to grow my own herbs, spices and greens.
Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, a light breeze dancing on your face, and views so beautiful you begin to think it is a simulation. The United Kingdom is teeming with unique accommodations that will please your eyes. Check out these stays with stunning views on your next U.K. adventure.
AdventureWomen, the travel company specializing in adventure tours for women, announced a partnership with African Wildlife Foundation. The organization supports the conservation of Africa’s wildlife through education, community development and sustainability projects. As part of the partnership, the two organizations will host a women’s safari to Zimbabwe in May 2022.
Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, where innovative wellness and balanced indulgence come together in one extraordinary beachfront setting, recently partnered with First Responders Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization providing financial support to children and families of first responders. This partnership formed the Carillon Cares: Summer of Heroes offers, including a donation to the foundation for each stay booked, which supports giving back to those who fought on the front lines during the pandemic.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Although much changed in the past year, Cancún still has the joie de vivre we need right now after months of cabin fever — even with safety measures in place. In fact, the first half of 2021 may be a good time to rediscover Mexico’s home-grown Caribbean resort town in a slower, more relaxed mode that contrasts its rollicking “spring break” reputation of old. One place to take in Cancún at its best is JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa, a mile up from the convergence of night clubs, chain restaurants, souvenir emporiums and shopping malls along Avenida Kukulkan.
June marks Pride Month, largely credited to bisexual activist Brenda Howard who organized Gay Pride Week and the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade in 1970, one year after the Stonewall Riots. The parade eventually become the New York City Pride March, leading to Pride Month and similar parades and marches around the world.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Haven Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, an all-suite, adults-only, all-inclusive oceanfront resort, announces a new experience suited for epicurean travelers: The Chef’s Table. At Haven’s fine-dining restaurant Olios Mediterranean, The Chef’s Table offers the best seats in the house, right in front of the chef’s working station and open, top-of-the-line kitchen. And the actual table is beautiful in its own right: made from reclaimed wood and complemented by a turquoise glass chandelier.