Chef Chai Chaowasaree (“Chef Chai”), owner and chef of Chef Chai at Pacifica Honolulu is recognized as one of Hawaii’s top Hawaii Regional Cuisine chefs. Known for fusing fresh Hawaii ingredients with the exotic flavors of Asia, Chef Chai has created a culinary style that reflects the cultural diversity of Oahu and the Hawaiian Islands.
To further strengthen the partnership with Hawaii’s local farmers and fishermen, Chef Chai co-founded Hawaii Island Chefs (HIC), the second generation of Hawaii Regional Cuisine Chefs. This group of HIC chefs is on a mission to provide the world with the best of Hawaii’s diverse culinary resources from the culture of the people and the bounty of the land and sea.
In addition to running his two restaurants, Chef Chai was named executive chef of Hawaiian Airlines for which he manages more than 20 kitchens worldwide. He also hosts the weekly cooking show, “Dining Out with Chai” and “Chai’s Choices”
Chef Chai is constantly seeking out new spices and ingredients at Oahu’s farmers markets and in Honolulu’s Chinatown, which brings back childhood memories of shopping the local markets in Bangkok to find the freshest ingredients for his family’s popular restaurant. His mastery at blending flavors are shown in many of his signature dishes including Fresh Ahi Katsu with Tomato Mango Salsa Wasabi Curry Sauce, Kataifi and Macadamia Nut Encrusted Black Tiger Prawn Rainbow Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette, Thai Style Oxtail Soup, and Fresh Mahi Mahi with Thai Red Curry Sauce.
Recently, Chef Chai was voted the winner of the 2011 Hale Aina CHEF’S CHOICE award, selected by Hale Aina Award winning Chefs. Chai’s restaurants also have been critiqued and recommended by many international magazines, from Bon Appetite, Brides, Sunset, Cooking Light, Travel & Leisure to Gourmet Magazine and many more.