Headlined by Chefs Vikram Garg, Susur Lee, Lenny Messina, Christian Testa and Roy Yamaguchi, the dinner will raise funds for a scholarship endowment in Ginor’s name to provide stages for Hawai‘i culinary students in New York

HONOLULU, HI (February 24, 2023)—Hawaii Ag & Culinary Alliance® (HACA) will celebrate the life and career of the late, Chef Michael Ginor in a special tribute dinner and fundraiser at Halekulani on Friday, April 7 at 6:00 P.M. Tribute Dinner Honoring Michael Ginor: Foie, Duck & More will honor the culinary legacy and philanthropic spirit of Ginor—award-winning chef, writer and restauranteur best known for co-founding Hudson Valley Foie Gras and Restaurant LOLA in New York—who passed away suddenly last November during an Ironman Triathlon in Israel.

Having participated in every Hawaii Food & Wine Festival® (HFWF) since it began in 2011, Ginor became one of Hawaii’s greatest ambassadors, sharing the aloha spirit with everyone he met along his journey. This April, lifelong friends chefs Vikram Garg, Susur Lee, Lenny Messina and Roy Yamaguchi will be joined by Halekulani Executive Chef, Christian Testa to prepare an elegant five-course dinner that highlight’s Ginor’s signature organic foie gras and duck from Hudson Valley Foie Gras—the award-winning farm in Ferndale, NY where Ginor is credited by the culinary community as revolutionizing modern-age foie gras processing.

“I am beyond grateful to our Hawaii ohana for organizing this incredible evening in Michael’s honor,” said Lenny Messina, Executive Chef and Partner of Restaurant LOLA and culinary liaison for Hudson Valley Foie Gras. “I hold close so many incredible memories during our years at the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival and look forward to a fitting tribute for a man who meant so much to so many.”

The evening kicks off HACA’s fundraising efforts for a $100,000 fund in Ginor’s name, ensuring his contributions to the culinary world will be remembered for generations to come. The Michael Ginor Scholarship Fund will provide annual opportunities for Hawaii’s culinary students to stage (intern) at Ginor’s Hudson Valley Farm or Restaurant LOLA in New York as well as other HACA initiatives. “Compounding Michael’s love for food & travel, we aspire to share in his legacy with this scholarship and provide students with the opportunity to learn alongside our incredible team at LOLA and on the farm,” shared Messina. All proceeds from the dinner will be donated towards the scholarship fund.

Ginor, who was born in Seattle, WA to Israeli expatriate parents, made the revolutionary decision to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces—first as a Captain in the Gaza Strip, then as a patrol commander and later as the Israeli Defense Forces spokesman. During his time there, he connected with his Israeli culture through the unique cuisine and discovered the production methods for high-quality foie gras that would shape his future endeavors. Moreover, his experience in the Middle East would lay the groundwork for his own passion for culinary diplomacy—exposing chefs and colleagues to cultures around the world through his culinary adventures.

The culinary world was rocked by the news of Ginor’s passing in November, just weeks after he participated in the Twelfth Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (HFWF). Earlier that year, Ginor had won HFWF’s Kalo Recipe Contest as part of the Kalo—Nourishing Hawaii and Sharing It with the World initiative in partnership with Hawaii Executive Collaborative and Kamehameha Schools. He was selected to participate in a Kalo Journey that culminated with a special dinner highlighting the importance and versatility of Hawai‘i’s superfood, furthering his role as an ambassador of Hawaii’s diverse agriculture.

A limited number of tickets are available for the Tribute Dinner Honoring Michael Ginor: Foie, Duck & More on April 7 at Halekulani. Tickets are $500 per person or $5,000 per table and can be purchased online at www.HFWF.me. Those who cannot attend are encouraged to donate to the Michael Ginor Scholarship Fund at bit.ly/ginorscholarship.

For Press & Media inquiries, please contact:
Kristen Lau-Grover, Director of Marketing & PR | [email protected] or 808-721-1849

The Hawaii Ag & Culinary Alliance (HACA) is the parent organization of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (HFWF)—the premier epicurean destination event of the Pacific, and Hashi Media—the digital platform for curated culinary stories featuring the global network of HFWF ambassadors and talent. Founded in 2011 as a 501c3 nonprofit organization, HACA’s mission is to attract national and international attention for Hawaii’s extraordinary culinary talent and diverse, high-quality locally grown products—ensuring the islands maintain their competitive edge as a world-class destination. Since it’s inaugural year, HACA has donated over $3.1 million to local community and aina-based organizations that support food sustainability, culinary education and agriculture. For more information, visit www.HFWF.me, follow HFWF on Twitter/Instagram @HIFoodWineFest and Facebook at @HawaiiFoodandWineFestival.