Rising Stars Gala

Wade & MichelleCongratulations to AWR Next Generation chefs Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka! Both were named Rising Stars by in the first-ever group of Hawai‘i chefs given this distinction by the online culinary magazine.

Thirteen up-and-coming chefs, and one mixologist, were named to the 2012 Rising Stars list. To see the full list (and they are all outstanding, talented individuals), visit the StarChefs site.

We are especially proud of Michelle, who is only the third pastry chef to ever take home the People’s Choice award, voted by the attendees at the Gala Dinner as the Best Dish of the Night! She had some tough competition for her Hanaoka Farms Lilikoi Brûlée. Her inventive layered dessert combines the traditional custard of a crème brûlée with pâte de fruit and lilikoi sorbet, topped by a tuile garnish, which is torched to a caramelized finish, in place of the usual burnt sugar topping.

Brulee_EdMoritaThis beautiful photo of Michelle’s dish is courtesy of Ed Morita (@NctrnlBst / Nonstop Honolulu), who did a fantastic Q&A with Michelle. Check it out on the Nonstop Honolulu site.

Wade, in keeping with his approach to re-creating home-style favorites (see his Mochi-Crusted ‘Ōpakapaka dish in The Blue Tomato), served up an Oxtail “Soup” consisting of an Oxtail and Corned Beef Roulade topped with boiled peanuts, ginger and green onion on a bed of shiitake mushroom risotto. Comforting and delicious!


To see the full list of dishes served up at the gala dinner, visit the StarChefs site.

Star Chefs - Mentor Award We are also proud of Chef Alan Wong himself, who was voted by the 2012 class of Rising Stars to be awarded the StarChefs Mentor Award. This award, presented by VitaMix is given to one influential chef who, in the opinion of the Rising Stars, has shaped a new generation of local culinary talent. Congratulations, Chef!

We have to say we’re not too surprised, given Chef Alan’s philosophy, as he writes in The Blue Tomato:

I still get the most enjoyment out of the creative process—the research and development. Be it a menu-planning meeting or a cocktail-development session, I relish the interaction with the staff and the discoveries we make as a team. This is the kind of activity that helps people grow and schools them in the creative process. …I like watching people develop and become more successful.

Accepting his award, Chef Alan remarked that the Rising Stars “kids” may think that he and the other mentor chefs have had an impact on their lives, but the reverse is true as well; the Rising Stars have had an impact on his life, and their mentors’, that they will remember always, too.

Michelle_AW_RisingStars Wade_AW_RisingStars


Congratulations to all of the 2012 Hawai‘i Rising Stars—your success is well-deserved, and we look forward to seeing great things from you in the future!

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