Seven-time James Beard Award winner makes his Oʻahu debut


HONOLULU, HI (March 7, 2019)- Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival (HFWF) will honor the seven-time James Beard Awardee and the winner of season one of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, chef Rick Bayless, as the second Culinary Hero on April 25 at Ka ‘Ikena Lauaʻe at Kapi‘olani Community College.  He will also be featured as a chef at the launch of the ninth annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival on April 26 at The Kahala Hotel & Resort.  It will be Bayless’ first appearance on O‘ahu.


As a pioneer in introducing traditional Mexican cuisine to a Tex-Mex-eating America in the 1980s, Bayless has achieved national and international acclaim in the culinary world with numerous restaurant concepts including Frontera Grill, Topolabamba, Bar Sotano, Tortas Frontera, Frontera Fresca, Lena Brava, Ceveceria Cruz Blanca, and Frontera Cocina, and a highly rated public television series, Mexico: One Plate at a Time. Bayless has also won seven James Beard Awards: Midwest Chef of the Year, National Chef of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year, Who’s Who of American Food and Drink, Best Podcast, and two for his cookbooks. The Government of Mexico has also bestowed Bayless with the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle–the highest decoration bestowed on foreigners whose work has benefitted Mexico and its people.


“It is an honor to present chef Rick Bayless with our the Hawaiʻi Food & Wine Festival Culinary Hero award for his lifetime work and achievements in food and culture that have paved the way for many young culinarians,” says HFWF Chief Executive Officer Denise Yamaguchi. “His work to create authentic Mexican food with modern interpretations honors the traditions of the Mexican people while reflecting his own style and personality.”


Seats for the Culinary Hero dinner are priced at $350 per person, inclusive of sales tax, gratuity, and fees. The dinner will feature a five-course wine paired dinner by Rick Bayless himself, alongside James Beard award-winning HFWF Co-Founders Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi, and George Mavrothalassitis on April 25 at Ka ‘Ikena Laua‘e at Kapi‘olani Community College.

To purchase seats, please visit: www.HFWF.me.


Bayless will also be a part of the grand tasting launch party event, No Borders, on April 26, 2019 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 and a fireworks finale. The chefs who will be cooking at the Festival launch party 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 The Kahala Hotel & Resort; Mark Noguchi of Pili Group; Xue Chong Ruan of Tim Ho Wan; Anthony Rush of Senia; and Sheldon Simeon of Lineage.


Tickets for No Borders are priced at $150 per person inclusive of sales tax and processing fees. To purchase tickets, please visit: www.HFWF.me.


The HFWF mission is to showcase Hawai‘i’s food, farms, and young chef talent and has raised over $2 million for community organizations that support sustainability, culinary programs and agriculture since its 2011 launch. Through this Launch, HFWF is working closely with the culinary department and instructors at Kapi‘olani Community College to provide once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work side by side with chef Bayless by supporting his preparation needs, as well organizing dedicated time for talk-story with the culinary students and faculty. The festival proceeds benefit the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation, Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program, Hawai‘i Farm Bureau, Hawaii Seafood Council, IMUA Family Services, Leeward Community College Culinary Program, Maui County Farm Bureau, Maui Community College Culinary Arts Program, Paepae o He‘eia, and Papahana Kuaola.


Stay connected with the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival via www.HFWF.me or follow HFWF on Twitter/Instagram @HIFoodWineFest and Facebook at hawaiifoodandwinefestival.


About Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival

The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival is the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific. The Festival features a roster of more than 100 internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers. Co-founded by two of Hawai‘i’s own James Beard Award-winning chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, the Festival will showcase wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, one-of-a-kind excursions, and exclusive dining opportunities with dishes highlighting the state’s bounty of local produce, seafood, beef and poultry. Proceeds support local beneficiaries committed to sustainability and cultural and educational programs in Hawai‘i.