Chefs of Aloha

In addition to the Hawaii Restaurant Association’s Annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the evening also features the Chefs of Aloha Dine-Around gala. The benefit proceeds go to a scholarship fund for deserving Island culinary students. Each year distinguished chefs prepare dishes for the event. The 2013 Chefs of Aloha are:


Alfred Cabacungan

Executive chef, Oahu Country Club

Born on Kauai, Cabacungan spent 25 years working with top Hawaii hotels such as the Kahala, Halekulani and Starwood before leading the team at Oahu Country Club.


Chai Chaowasaree

Chef/owner, Singha Thai Cuisine and Chef Chai

One of the most recognizable names in Hawaii’s culinary scene, Chaowasaree is the executive chef of Hawaiian Airlines and hosts weekly shows “Dining Out with Chai” and “Chai’s Choices.”


Jesse Cruz

Chef/owner Lucky Belly

Cruz spent nearly 10 years working in restaurants in San Francisco, Las Vegas and Southern California before returning home to open Lucky Belly in Chinatown.


Cyrus Goo

Chef/owner Cafe Laufer

After graduating from HCC and KCC, Goo worked at some of Hawaii’s top hotels then opened Cafe Laufer to do what he loves best — dessert and food with fantastic coffee.


Abigail Langlas

Pastry chef, Cakeworks Bakery

Born and raised on the Big Island, Langlas trained in England and France before returning home to work at Alan Wong’s and Honolulu Coffee Company.


Jackie Lau

Corporate executive chef, Roy’s Restaurants

Lau grew up in California’s San Joaquin Valley and started with Roy Yamaguchi just a few weeks after opening his first restaurant. She started as a pastry chef and was soon opening new restaurants for Yamaguchi around the world.


Tim Petersen

Chef de cuisine, STAGE Restaurant

Petersen worked his way up from dishwasher to cook at The Pineapple Room before taking the reins at STAGE.


Derek Wong

Sous chef, The Pineapple Room by Alan Wong

Without any formal training, Wong worked his way up from Zippy’s into the kitchens at Michel’s, Roy’s and Morimoto’s then The Pineapple Room.


Kirby Wong

Executive chef, Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki and Golf Club

Wong oversees the Hawaii Prince’s five restaurants. The KCC graduate has more than 30 years experience in Island cuisine.