How To Plan a Hawaiian Menu With A Private Chef

If you are planning a trip to the beautiful islands of Hawaii or just want to create the Aloha experience at home with friends here are some tips on how to plan a Hawaiian themed menu with a private chef.

The first step is to identify if you want to have a traditional Hawaiian luau or more of a Hawaiian regional inspired menu. A traditional luau consists of some basic menu selections, which will make planning a menu with your private chef pretty straightforward but may be challenging to locate all the ingredients if you are not actually in Hawaii.

Traditional Luau foods: Poi (this is a Hawaii stable and is a starch dish made by pounding boiled taro roots and mixed with water until the substance is smooth), Poke (this is raw fish marinated in a variety of condiments such as soy sauce, garlic, ginger, coconut cream, Hawaiian sea salt, seaweed and onions, and other various items depending on the chef), Lomilomi Salmon (this is small pieces of salmon mixed with tomatoes, onions, and other tangy condiments and was first introduced into the Hawaiian Luau by western sailors), Kalua pau’a (Best know as roast pork this is a delicious Kalua pig which is seasoned with salt and cooked underground in tea leaves or banana leaves), and taro rolls (these purple colored rolls are made from the taro flour). Many other dishes are also eaten at luau’s, however, the mentioned items are the most popular and a must have for planning a Hawaiian theme menu with your private chef.

If you decided you would like a more elegant experience you can work with your private chef to plan a menu with regionally inspired Hawaiian dishes. This would include farm to table concepts and be closes to Asian-Pacific / Fusion menu concepts. Ingredients to keep you on track include using: Hawaiian Fish & Seafood – Opakaaka (Pink Snapper), Moi (known as Threadfish), Mahi Mahi (known as Dolphin fish), Ahi (know as Tuna), Opah (known as Moon Fish), Ono (known as Wahoo), Onaga (know as Red Snapper), Mong Chong (known as Monkfish), and Butterfish (known as Cod), Tobiko (Hawaiian Fish Row), Kahuku Shrimp, Big Island Abalone, Opihi (Know as Salt Water Snail), and Big Island Lobster.

Local Fruits & Vegetables: Mangos, Papaya, Leche, Pineapple, Coconuts, Coconut Milk, Molokai Sweet Potatoes, Kahuku Corn, Sea Asparagus, Taro, Nalo Greens, Tomatoes, Chinese Long Beans, Japanese Eggplant, Bok Choy, Hearts of Palm, Big Island Wild Mushrooms, and Macadamia Nuts. Local Condiments: Soy Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Hawaiian Chili pepper water, Hawaiian sea salts, Kona Coffee, Hosin Sauce, Sesame Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Wasabi, 5 Spice, Miso, Tea Leafs and Banana Leafs. A good combination of these ingredients will keep you on track while planning your Hawaiian themed event with your private chef.

Finally, make sure that your private / personal chef feels comfortable cooking Hawaiian inspired or traditional foods. If you are visiting the Hawaiian Islands you should have no problem finding a local chef who can plan an exquisite menu selection for you and your guests. Should you be on the continental united states it may be more difficult but just be patient and with time and by sticking to the food recommendations above you should have no trouble planning your Hawaiian inspired menu and event. Don’t forget to start your dinner with some tropical cocktails like a Mai Tai or Lava Low, showcase local decorative flowers like orchids and play some Hawaiian music like Brother Iz to set the tone for the evening. Now you should be all set to spreading the Aloha spirit and culture with loved ones any time of the year!

Covert Affairs is a private chef company in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ryan Covert is both the owner and head chef of Covert Affairs, which caters to both locals and celebrities alike. His dynamic cooking style is a global celebration with a highlight on Asian-Pacific, Mediterranean, and Caribbean cuisines, making him the Private Chef Hawaii prefers. For a unique affair on the islands look no further than Covert Affairs Honolulu personal chef services. For a full list of private chef services, customer testimonials, client lists, menu options, to view his published recipes or to read his restaurant and wine blog visit him at – http://covertaffairs.com

 

How To Hire The Best Private Chef For Your Rental Estate

The best way to hire a private chef for your rental estate / property is to speak to your luxury booking agent. This could either be the concierge services you are using, the estate manager, or your luxury travel agent. Often times your estate / rental property already has a list of reputable chef’s they can recommend for your culinary needs.

However, being a private chef myself I can also offer some insight and guidance to hiring the best private chef while on vacation. If you are renting the estate you have the right to use whatever chef you like to complete your culinary services while under contract. Although the estate has rules the chefs and outside vendors must adhere to while on the property you can still select another chef that is not “recommended” or “approved” by the estate. Often times rental estates select or recommend chefs which offer a bounce back commission for booking your services. This can often lead to the chef not being the best available or offer the most top-notch dinning experience for you and your guests.

Some tips I can share with you are to always ask if the person recommending the chef has tasted their food. This will absolutely clue you into if they are referring the work for an alternative reason besides offering you the best experience while on vacation. Most estates & vacation rentals goal is to provide the best experience possible for their customers so in most cases you have nothing to worry about and they are referring the chefs they are because they have had wonderful feedback from other clients are trust worthy. Regardless you should ask to see the chefs website so you can assess if this is the right chef for you and your guests based on their style of cooking, brand equity and feel of the website. Look for customer testimonials and specifically estate testimonials, which highlight the private chefs culinary techniques, service standards, and overall customer experience.

In my 17 years experience as a chef in Hawaii many return customers I have serviced are often disappointed with the chef they received while staying at an estate because they didn’t meet or exceed their expectations. The best words of advice I can give anyone looking to hire a private or personal chef while renting a vacation estate is to clearly outline your expectations and make sure that you clearly communicate them with the property. Tell the person in charge that you want to interview or speak to the chefs they recommend yourself to insure they will provide you with the type of services and standards you are expecting. Should you feel any doubt visit reputable private chef websites and look for additional recommendations until you find the chef that is right for you and your family and most importantly never let the estate dictate your final decision as they may have more invested in it than your best interests!

Covert Affairs is a private chef company in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ryan Covert is both the owner and head chef of Covert Affairs, which caters to both locals and celebrities alike. His dynamic cooking style is a global celebration with a highlight on Asian-Pacific, Mediterranean, and Caribbean cuisines, making him the Private Chef Hawaii prefers. For a unique affair on the islands look no further than Covert Affairs Honolulu personal chef services. For a full list of private chef services, customer testimonials, client lists, menu options, to view his published recipes or to read his restaurant and wine blog visit him at – http://covertaffairs.com

 

Spring into Summer Promotion

Spring Into Summer with my all-inclusive seasonal menu selections which include chef services, food and one server. Enjoy a lovely 4-course menu conceived with Spring in mind. It’s a wonderful way to say celebrate with friends and family or enjoy a special and elegant night at home.

Spring All-Inclusive Menu Selection for May & June 2012 

  • 6-7 people – $125 per person
  • 8-12 – $100 per person
  • 12+ – contact me to request a custom quote  

Small Bites

Surf ‘N’ Toast, Crab, Wasabi Ailoi, Mint Stuffed Cucumber Cups, Tomatoes, Roasted Peppers, Olives, Feta Cheese, Mint

Starter – Soup & Salad

Watermelon Gazpacho, Grilled Kahuku Corn Relish & Golden Beet Carpaccio, Baby Arugula, Herb Goat Cheese, Lemon Vinaigrette

Entrée – Surf & Turf

Garlic and Basil Marinated Grilled Fresh Catch, Oven Roasted Tomato Relish Braised Beef Short Ribs, Zinfandel Demi, Cauliflower Risotto, Grilled Asparagus

Dessert

Wild Berry Shortcakes, Strawberry Coulis

Coconut

Download – Spring Into Summer Menu

How to Find The Best Personal Chef on Vacation

Being a personal chef in Hawaii I have had first hand experience working with both good and bad chefs. Many of my clients are world-wide travelers and have told me that they wished they had some insider tips to finding a reputable and trust worthy chef while on vacation. I have put together a list of 3 steps on how to find a personal chef that you can trust and full-fills all your service needs and expectations while on vacation.

The first tip is to not just randomly search online for a chef, but rather to visit the American Personal & Private Chef Association website. This association has a vigorous approval process which insures its chefs have professional training as well as an established business. The association has a good reputation and national database which covers every state in the USA. Go to the website and select the location you will be vacationing in to view the chefs that are affiliated with this organization. Make sure you contact chefs, which are on the island you will be visiting or live on. Next you will want to view a few chef’s websites and beginning the information gathering stage. Important things to look for on the website are credentials which qualify that individual to be your personal chef. Good credentials include affiliations with prestigious organizations and attending a reputable culinary school. A trained professional chef understands about food contamination and proper cooking techniques, which insure the food is fresh, and bacteria free. Make sure the website contains privacy policies, terms & conditions and a clearly defined cancellation policy, which protect your interests.

Next you will want to read some clients testimonials so you can get a first had glimmer of what your experience will be like. The testimonials should be clearly outlined with client names and give you a sense of security about the quality and service of the personal chef you are selecting. Look for video and written client testimonials from reputable organizations and persons, which will increase your sense of security with the chef you are hiring and insure your vacation is stress free.

The final step is asking for a quote. Once you have viewed all the website information and are satisfied with the reputation and style of the chef or chefs call them and ask them what locations they service as well as for an estimate of costs. This stage is important because depending on where you are staying the associated costs for labor may vary. For example, If you are staying in Honolulu, you want to make sure your chef services Honolulu. After receiving estimates and menu ideas select whichever chef fits of style of communication, budget, and required services.

If you follow these steps above you can feel confidant selecting the right chef even if you have never meet them face-to-face. The most important thing is to trust your gut and go with the chef that takes care of all the details. The chef you select should offer to contact your estate rental for a visit to make sure the kitchen is fully equipped and stocked with food before you arrive. Aloha and I hope you enjoy your stress free vacation!

Covert Affairs is a private chef company in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ryan Covert is both the owner and head chef of Covert Affairs, which caters to both locals and celebrities alike. His dynamic cooking style is a global celebration with a highlight on Asian-Pacific, Mediterranean, and Caribbean cuisines, making him the private chef Hawaii prefers. For a unique affair on the islands look no further than Covert Affairs Honolulu personal chef services. For a full list of private chef services, customer testimonials, client lists, menu options, to view his published recipes or to read his restaurant and wine blog visit him at – http://covertaffairs.com

 

Covert Affairs Private Chef Tasting Party

few weeks ago Covert Affairs private chef services in Hawaii had a small tasting for local estate managers, business owners, and event planners. The purpose of the tasting was to showcase some of Chef Ryan’s new cuisines and also allow the guests to experience his culinary expertise and be able to knowingly endorse his company to their elite cliental. The event took place a clients home overlooking the ocean and was the perfect setting for networking and to relax with good food while enjoying a beautiful Oahu summer sunset.

The Tasting Menu Included…..

Lemon Grass Shrimp

Lemon Grass Poached Shrimp with Wasabi Cocktail Sauce….

Asian Beef Empanada

Irresistible Asian Beef Empanadas….

Pork Bow Buns

Asian Braised Pork Bow Buns

Edamame Hummus Recipe

Edamame Hummus Pita Crisp

Watercress Salad

Watercress Salad with Thai Marinated Hikama, Asian Pear, Mango, Cherry Tomatoes, and Avocado with a Sesame Miso Vinaigrette…..

After the small bites and starters the guests enjoyed some wine and conversation while the main entree was platted. Chef Ryan’s selected a client favorite his Braised Short Ribs to top off the savory dishes.

Short Ribs

Falling Off The Bone Braised Short Ribs Over Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Edamame

Covert Affairs’s offers guests a dynamic a global celebration with a highlight on Asian-Pacific, Mediterranean, and Caribbean cuisines making him the private chef for any special event or theme dinner! To top off the evening Chef Ryan prepared guests a sampling of two desserts.

Black Rice Pudding

Black Coconut Rice Pudding….

panna cotta

Leche Panna Cotta, Guava Coolie & Blueberries

The event was a huge success and the guests enjoyed themselves thoroughly…. No one left without a full stomach and a ear to ear smile. Click here to read some of my client testimonials

Top 5 Tips For Planning Your Next Party!

Insider Tips for Hiring a Private Chef in Hawaii

1. Know Your Dinning Preference – The first step to having a great experience with a private chef in Hawaii is to understand what type of event you would like to have. This includes whether you not you would want to have a platted dinner, buffet style or only passed hor d’oeuvres. This effects the overall feel of the party and can set the tone for the event. Other preferences might include whether or not you would like to have a wine paring planned with your dinner or a themed party cocktail.

2. Know Your Budget – Understanding your budget is important and sharing this information with your chef is crucial to ensuring your experience is enjoyable and stress free. When deciding on your budget you should take into consideration the costs of labor, food, beverages, rental equipment (this includes flatware, tables, tents, glasses, linens, etc), and state taxes. Calculating costs can be done based on a “per-head” cost or based on your reallocated savings. Speak to your private chef about your needs up front will help you feel in control and make sure everyone is on the same page.

3. Pick A Theme – Picking a theme for your cuisine is key to having a cohesive party for your guests and setting your private chef on the right track. The theme should be consistent and can include menu, drinks,  decorations, and entertainment. Some great ideas for party themes are a Mexican Fiesta, Hawaiian Luau, A Night In Paris, Swedish Midsummer, Italian Pasta & Pizza Party, Soul Food Slam, All-American BBQ, Chinese New Year, Easter Brunch, or even a group cooking class.

4. Pick The Right Time – Depending on your theme and dinning preference picking the right time for your event can make a huge difference for your guests and your overall experience. If you are having a Pupu party you should plan the guests to arrive 30-40 minutes before the sun sets so they have time to enjoy the scenery but not so early that its blazing hot and the food integrity may be compromised. Similarly if you are hosting a baby shower luncheon you should plan for your guests to arrive at 11:30am and end at 1:30pm. Picking the right time is important to discuss with your private chef so they can plan for staffing and make sure all the food & tables are set up and ready to go before the first guests arrive.

5. Schedule A Face-To-Face Meeting – Finally schedule a face-to-face meeting with your private chef at your home so you can walk through the kitchen and your floor plans so the chef can get a first hand glimmer of your expectations and you can overcome any objections that may arise before the big day. Objections may include if you need rental equipment, extra power cords, where you want to set up the bartender, how many guests you want to have and the seating arrangements. Finally your private chef will want to view the kitchen appliances and accessories to make sure they don’t need to bring any extra pots, pans or equipment to execute your agreed upon menu.

delicious Scallops

Hawaii's Best Private Cooking Class

Looking for a great cooking class for you and your friends? Hawaii’s private chef Ryan Covert from Covert Affairs is pleased to announce new cooking lesson deals! Chef Ryan specializes in creating unique cooking lessons for both small and large parties in any cuisine style. His clients include locals, estates, celebrities, diplomats, musicians and many other diverse individuals form all over the globe. For a limited time Covert Affairs is offering cooking classes for 50% OFF at only $75 per a person* (value at $150 per person) with a minimum of 4 people. Or if you are looking to improve your skills with a one-on-one lesson you can for only $250 (value at $300).

What To Expect?
– Private cooking lessons are conducted at the clients home and do not include the cost of food
– Private cooking lessons are a great way to learn new techniques and skills that can be applied to everyday cooking for personal growth and enjoyment!
– Private cooking lessons are a great way to spend time with friends or create everlasting memories in the kitchen with loved ones

To learn more about customized cooking class opportunity please fill out our complimentary contact form

Hiring a Personal Chef in Oahu

If you are planning a vacation and would like to hire a personal chef while on vacation in Hawaii it’s important to start the information gathering at least 45-60 days before you arrive as many vacation rentals and chefs are booked weeks in advance. The best way to find a qualified chef is to utilize prestigious American Personal & Private Chef Association pre-approved vendors or speak to your rental agent to see if they can recommend a chef who has a good reputation and has worked for that estate before. The next step is to visit each personal chefs website to get a feel of their cooking style and type of services offered. Before you start information gathering it is important to outline your expectations so its easier to make your final decision when comparing chefs to one another. A good example of your expectations would be did you want each meal platted individually or served buffet style for a family? what seems like a simple question can change the dynamic of your dinning experience and is an important to outlining your expectations in advance so you receive the best service possible while hiring a personal chef in our beautiful islands.

Furthermore, when hiring a personal chef in Hawaii the only way you will be able to communicate with the chef over the phone or email and will not get the chance to meet them face-to-face which can be stressful for many individuals. To insure your making the right choice its very important to carefully review the chefs credentials and website to make sure you feel comfortable with their level of expertise and brand equity. Visit each chefs website and look for clearly outlined clearly outlined Rates, Terms of Service and Privacy & Cancellation policy which protects your interests. Also look look for what culinary education they have received as well as previously held positions in the industry in there “About Us” section. Good credentials also include excellent client testimonials and client lists which validate and endorse the chefs quality of work.

Finally, the most important thing to remember when hiring a private chef in Honolulu, Oahu is you want to feel comfortable and relaxed while on vacation. Make sure to hire someone who has excellent work ethic and responds to your inquiry within 48 hours in a professional manner. This includes being flexible in their culinary style and menu preparation. If you have food allergies or sensitive conditions to gluten, nuts, dairy, shell fish, or are diabetic or vegetarian its important to let your private chef know up front so you can assess if they have the skill set to prepare meals for your and your families unique needs.

Aloha from Private Chef Ryan Covert with www.CovertAffairs.com and we hope you enjoy your vacation in paradise!

Finding a Personal Chef in Hawaii

Being a personal chef in Hawaii I have had first hand experience working with both good and bad chefs. Many of my clients are world-wide travelers and have told me that they wished they had some insider tips to finding a reputable and trust worthy chef while on vacation. I have put together a list of 3 steps on how to find a personal chef in hawaii that you can trust and full-fills all your service needs and expectations.

How To Steps – 1 – visit the American Personal & Private Chef Association website. This association has a vigorous approval process which insures its’ chef have professional training as well as an established business. The association has a good reputation and national database which covers every state in the USA. Go to the website and select “Hawaii” to view the chefs that are affiliated with this organization. Make sure you contact chefs, which are on the island you will be visiting or live on.

How To Step – 2 – View each chef’s website and beginning the information gathering stage. Important things to look for on the website are credentials which qualify that individual to be your personal chef. Good credentials include affiliations with prestigious organizations and attending a reputable culinary school. A trained professional chef understands about food contamination and proper cooking techniques, which insure the food is fresh, and bacteria free. Also look for privacy policies, terms & conditions and a clearly defined cancellation policy, which protect your interests. Next you will want to read their clients and testimonials so you can get a first had glimmer of what your experience will be like. The testimonials should be clearly outlined with client names and give you a sense of security about the quality and service of the personal chef you are selecting. Look for video and written client testimonials from reputable organizations and persons, which will increase your sense of security with the chef you are hiring and insure your vacation is stress free.

How To Step – 3 – Asking for a quote is the final step to finding a personal chef in oahu. Once you have viewed all the website information and are satisfied with the reputation and style of the chef or chefs call them and ask them what locations they service as well as for an estimate of costs. This stage is important because depending on where you are staying the associated costs for labor may vary. If you are staying in Honolulu, you want to make sure your private chef services Honolulu. The same is true for Kailua, North Shore or Hawaii Kai. Since Hawaii is locate on an Island their tends to be a lot of commuter traffic which could put added pressure on your stay should your chef have to commute a long distance to services you. Please keep in mind that most chefs will only offer you a general food estimate because Hawaii has higher food costs than on the Continental United States. After receiving estimates and menu ideas select whichever chef fits of style of communication, budget, and required services.

If you follow these steps above you can feel confidant selecting the right chef even if you have never meet them face-to-face.  The most important thing is to trust your gut and go with the chef that takes care of all the details. The chef you select should offer to contact your estate rental for a visit to make sure the kitchen is fully equipped and stocked with food before you arrive. If you still are not sure how to find a qualified private chef in Hawaii please visit my website at http://www.covertaffairs.com