'Chefs du Jour' raises big cash for kids
Up until this year, a major source of funding for Easter Seals Hawaii was the annual "Taste of Honolulu," a three-day outdoor extravaganza that involved dozens of restaurants, thousands of eager eaters and an army of volunteers.
In its best year, 2006, "Taste of Honolulu" netted $282,000.
This year, partly out of exhaustion, Easter Seals turned "Taste" over to another charity, and in its place hosted "Chefs du Jour," held Saturday at Aloha Tower Marketplace. Eleven chefs, 500 diners, a 3- 1/2 hour event.
Net earnings: $200,000.
It's not hard to calculate the advantage.
"Chefs du Jour" used to be a part of the annual "Taste," started by chef Alan Wong as a way for upscale restaurants to contribute without having to commit to a three-day event. The chefs worked in a separate tent, and diners paid extra to get inside.
Wong gathered many of the same local chefs, plus Art Smith from Chicago and two California chefs, Stanton Ho from Chocolates a la Carte and Raphael Lunetta from JiRaffe.
John Howell, president and CEO of Easter Seals, says most of the tickets -- $200 each, with tables for 10 going for up to $10,000 -- sold out quickly through a mailing sent to those who'd attended the last "Chefs du Jour."
Proceeds will benefit programs for autistic children.
A one-hour special on "Chefs du Jour" will air at 7 p.m. Sept. 6 and 9 p.m. Sept. 9 on KHNL, and at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 on KFVE.|