Honolulu Magazine's Hale Aina Awards

Mahalo for joining HONOLULU Magazine
at the 25th Annual Hale Aina Awards.

Each year, HONOLULU Magazine honors the best restaurants in the islands with a gala reception and celebration.  The most recent celebration was for the 25th anniversary of the Hale Aina Awards, Hawaii’s first and longest established culinary award. With that milestone in mind, the Hale Aina awards recognized winners in 25 dining categories as well as a restaurant of the year. 

View the winners!

All of the restaurants and chefs selected to showcase their fare this year were past Hale Aina Award winners celebrating major milestones of their own.

Hale Aina Awards Celebration
Sunday, November 16, 2008
5  to 9 p.m.
Sheraton Waikiki Hawaii Ballroom
2255 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki


V.I. P. Reception ~ 5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. (invitation only)

The event started at 5 p.m. with a V.I. P. Reception for the award-winning restauratns and awards level sponsors presented by the Department of Agriculture's Hawaii Seal of Quality Program. The reception featured delicious pupu hosted by two of the Sheraton Waikiki's restaurants, RumFire and Twist at Hanohano as well as sophisticated cocktails and beverages provided by Better Brands and Glaceau SmartWater.

 Special thanks to Green Point Nurseries Inc, Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company, Hamakua Springs Country Farms, Wailea Agricultural Group and to all of the Seal of Quality products and programs who were able to participate with the awards.

Awards Presentation ~ 6 to 7 p.m. (invitation only)

Hosted by Kim Gennaula and Guy Hagi, the winning restaurants found out for the first time, which award and at what level they had won.

Winners in the 25 dining categories as well as a restaurant of the year were awarded and invitees were treated to a wonderful 3-course selection from the following chefs and restaurants:

Beverly Gannnon, Haliimaile General Store -
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
Crab Cannelloni with Ginger Cream Sauce
Paired with a Nobilo "Icon" Sauvingnon Blanc

George Mavrothalassitis, Chef Mavro -
Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year
Duo of Certified Angus Beef; roasted strip loin and braised short ribs, pancetta brussels sprouts, truffle accented celery root.
Paired with a Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot
Peter Merriman, Merriman's Hawaii -
Celebrating the opening of its new Kapalua location
and 20th anniversary in Waimea
Maui Gold Pineapple with Kula Corn Upside Down Cake
Served with Koa Coffee Plantation coffee











25th Annual Celebration ~ 7 to 9 p.m. (open to the public)

The time to celebrate! Guests enjoyed selections from Ten Hale Aina Award winning restaurants and chefs along with a number of sophisticated beverage options from Hawaii's top distributors, live entertainment from Willow Chang with Tom Chun and Miles Jackson as well as Vernon Sakata and Chris Rego and more. The Celebration was hosted by Frank B. Shaner and Mandy Suganuma from KUMU 94.7 FM!

The event also featured a silent auction with 100% of the amount raised benefiting the Hale Aina Ohana, a culinary non-profit whose mission is to support culinary education in Hawaii.

See pictures from the event!

The featured restaurants at the Celebration were:

Alan Wong's Restaurant-
Our current Hale Aina Award Restaurant of the year
Portuguese Bean Kim Chee Soup
Chai's Island Bistro-
Celebrating its 10th anniversary
Wok Seared Jumbo Day Boat Scallop with Roasted Garlic Chili Cream and Linguini Zucchini

Formaggio Grill-
Celebrating its 5th anniversary and new Kailua location
Grilled Lamb Chop with Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce
Halekulani -
Next year celebrates their 25th anniversary
Seared Tuna with Corn Chaat and Avovado Lime Dressing
Celebrating its 10th anniversary
Texas Wild Boar Ragu with kabocha pumpkin pappardelle, Hamakua mushrooms, and citrus pistachio gremolata
Roy's Restaurant-
Celebrating its 20th anniversary
Roy's Melting Hot Chocolate Souffle, vanilla bean ice cream
Ruth's Chris Steak House-
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in Hawaii
Sliced Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Casserole
VINO Italian Tapas & Wine Bar-
Celebrating its 5th anniversary
Ahi Nicoise-Style Salad, Hamakua Heirloom tomatoes, roasted yellow fin potatoes, marinated haircot verts, boiled egg and aged sherry vinaigrette.

beachhouse at the moana-
Hale Aina award-winning executive chef Rodney Uehara's new restaurant
"Moyer Farm Beef Wellington," Port Madeira Demi with Morels and a Vegetable Brunoise
Tango Contemporary Cafe-
Hale Aina award-winning executive chef Goran Streng's new restaurant
Hamakua Mushroom Risotto with garlic shrimp


The event was highlighted on Sunrise on KGMB 9 during their coverage of Hale Aina Awards Week, November 10 through the 14. Click the links below to see coverage from that week.

Monday, November 10 - VINO Italian Tapas & Wine Bar
Tuesday, November 11 - Ruth's Chris Steak House
Wednesday, November 12 - Merriman's Kapalua
Thursday, November 13 - Chef Mavro
Friday, November 14 - Alan Wong's Restaurant


This event would not be possible without the support of our sponsors:

V.I.P Reception Sponsor:
Venue Host:
Awards Co-Sponsors:
Event Co-Sponsors:

Beverage Sponsors:



Media Partners:

For more information on the history of the awards, click here.

QUESTIONS REGARDING THE EVENT OR FOR INFORMATION ON SPONSORSHIPS FOR NEXT YEAR'S EVENT? Call 808-534-7568 or e-mail haleainaawards@honolulumagazine.com