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.
Set to open in 2026, Rosewood San Francisco will be the last skyscraper developed in the downtown region for the foreseeable future. The projected 800-foot-tall property will host a hotel, residences, office and rental spaces. The brand’s third property in California will join Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park, and Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
It’s not even 9a.m. in the sleepy fishing village of Rawai on Thailand’s famous Phuket Island, but already the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea swarm with local fishermen casting their lines and releasing their nets from the bows of rustic long-tail boats. The scents of lemongrass, incense and sweet pandan leaves season the air as the villagers slowly rise from their beachside bungalows to start their day. In just a few more hours, the fishermen will return with their catches, filling the stalls of the iconic Rawai Seafood Market with buckets of shellfish and displays of fresh filets. Visitors line up each afternoon for the catch of the day, selecting their fish with care before hauling their purchases across the well-worn road to the restaurants opposite the market to have the fish cooked for 100 Thai baht per kilo.
MMGY Travel Intelligence released findings from its 2021 fall edition of its Portrait of American Travelers survey. It revealed the vast majority of vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers are planning trips in the months ahead, but the types of trips are different.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
Airbnb.org is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating temporary stays for people in moments of crisis, sheltering those displaced by natural disasters, offering frontline workers a place to stay at the height of the pandemic and, now, helping Afghan refugees.
Italian hospitality brand AG Group announced an international collaboration with Hyatt Hotels. AG Group’s IL Tornabuoni, slated to open in Florence in October 2021, will be part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. The Tribune in Rome will become part of JdV by Hyatt in October 2021.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Hotel diversity isn’t where it could be, but it’s a work in progress. Fueled with new energy that emerged from the racial reckoning of 2020, there’s more of a sense of urgency ... and with good reason. There’s plenty to do when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion in the hotel industry.