GOURMET COOKING HAWAII
In a private event for a local company, guests have the opportunity to prepare a main course with Chef Sam Choy. From left: Jean Villarimo, Solomon Ford, Chef Sam Choy and Carolyn Viola. CLICK FOR LARGE
A firm partners with big-name chefs for unforgettable events
Splurging on the spectacular
GOURMET COOKING Hawaii works with eight Honolulu chefs , including George Mavrothalassitis and Sam Choy, to create culinary events the chefs rarely have time to organize while running their own restaurants.
Possibilities include dinner parties in private homes with a celebrity chef, hands-on cooking experiences for guests, culinary events in restaurants, parties in showroom kitchens or private tours of local farms or the fish auction.
Gourmet Cooking Hawaii is part of Gourmet Events Hawaii, which specializes in larger, high-end culinary events, typically for businesses.
"I started this company four years ago because I love people who love food and wine, and I wanted to work with people looking for a unique way to entertain," said Kathleen Lin-Hurtubise, owner and president of Gourmet Cooking Hawaii. "We're definitely not a catering company."
If you request Mavrothalassitis, for instance, he will interact with the guests and explain the meal he's preparing. If it's part of the plan, guests might cook alongside him, and later eat what they've prepared. For this reason, culinary events tend to work best with no more than 20 to 40 guests.
Obviously, said Lin-Hurtubise, these chefs "come with a price tag." But no detail is left undone. The company prints the menus and/or recipes on linen paper, decorates, provides wine experts and assembles gifts bags, depending on the occasion. "It's a whole production, a whole package, and not just, 'Oh, that was a great meal.' When we do these higher-end events, they have to be impeccable."
For those who can't afford to invite Mavrothalassitis into their home, Gourmet Cooking Hawaii offers public events with a set time, date and chef, such as a wine dinner at the chef's Cassis restaurant. This includes a four-course meal with wine pairings and commentary for $130 per person.
The company provides a viable option for hosts who want the presence and performance of a celebrity chef to highlight their party.
Party idea: The company once put together a themed event that included a re-creation of a set from "Father of the Bride, Part II," with Asian carpets on the lawn overlooking the ocean
Typical cost: $130 to $185 per person for public events; private affairs vary dramatically in price
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.GourmetCookingHawaii.com; 735-7788