The Battle of the Chefs


Kicking off the evening was the 2nd annual Battle of the Chefs. Chef Wade Ueoka (Chef and Owner of MW Restaurant), Chef James Aptakin (Executive Chef of Mac 24/7 in the Hilton Waikiki), and Chef Benjie Cabutaje (Sous Chef at the Moana Surfrider) were pitted against each other and put into a fierce food battle. Each of the three chefs crafted unique dishes featuring HFMA member products to win a vote from event attendees for the Best overall TASTE, Best Presentation, and Best Display of HFMA Products.

Kualoa Shrimp & Kona Lobster Coconut Trio, crafted by Chef James Aptakin, incorporated a Kualoa Shrimp & Kona Lobster Tom Yum Soup,  Popcorn Mousse, and Savory Flan.0032

Shinsato Pork with Kau Coffee & Hawaiian Macadamia Nuts, crafted by Chef Wade Ueoka, incorporated Kau Coffee, Island Princess Macadamia Nuts, and Sea Salts of Hawaii .IMG_0884

Mushroom-Kona Coffee Rubbed New York Steak, crafted by Chef Benjie Cabutaje, incorporated soy bean polenta, porcini mushrooms, and a MauiWine red wine truffle sauce.0057

After votes were placed and counted, Chef James Aptakin won for Best Display of HFMA Products and for Best Presentation and Chef Wade Ueoka won for Best overall TASTE!



Mahalo to Chef Wade Ueoka, Chef James Aptakin , and Chef Benjie Cabutaje for participating in the battle and helping make this event such a success. HFMA would like extend another mahalo to the students of the Culinary Institute of the Pacific for helping the chefs prep and plate the dishes, Mana Ai for making freshly pounded poi, and to Tea Chest Hawaii, Pau Vodka, Pacificool, Koloa Rum, and Ulupalakua Wine for providing drinks for the evening.