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MDA Spring Soiree: Great food for a great cause

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Something Lite for the MDA Spring Soiree

For many food lovers, spring is a time to leave behind the hearty meat dishes of autumn and winter and look forward to more fresh fruits and vegetables. With longer days and fine weather it just seems to take a little less resolve to get out, get active and eat healthier. At this year’s Muscular Dystrophy Association Spring Soiree we are preparing a healthy but decadent vegetarian dish to celebrate the season and help raise funds for the MDA.

Supporting People with Muscular Dystrophy and ALS

The Hawaii MDA works year round to fund research toward finding a cure for muscular dystrophy and helps individuals and families in Hawaii that are affected by the disease. In addition to contributing to research the Hawaii MDA provides a clearing house for information and support for people with degenerative muscle diseases and their families. Each year the Hawaii MDA also runs a special summer camp on Oahu’s North Shore at Camp Erdman.

The Spring Soiree, now in its 17th year, is their biggest fundraiser and Tiki’s is proud to be returning as one of the gourmet food sponsors. If past events are any indication this will be another sparkling sold out success. Attendees at the evening will have a chance to sample dishes from a dozen of Honolulu’s top chefs.

Putting it all Together

This event has also been popular with the Tiki’s ohana as many of our staff volunteer to come out year after year. We are featuring Pecorino Soufflé and Cillengini Eggplant Roulade with Celtuce Puree and Veggie Demi-Glace this year. Putting out 600 plates can be hectic but we enjoy the challenge and guests at the event enjoy the energy. As much as possible I believe putting a dish together on site instead of just showing up with everything premade adds a lot to the experience. Guests at these events spend a good amount of money, not just to support a worthy cause but to enjoy a night out, and serving up a little action with their eggplant is the least we can do.

My thought for this evening’s offering was to offer guests an option that was not just a salad or the like, but a multi component vegetarian dish. I’m billing it as decadent vegetarian because after all, this is a big night and people still want to enjoy something special. The Pecorino Soufflé we are making for the event is not a traditional soufflé but more like airy crust-less quiche with a lot of cheese. I’ll bake and then chill them ahead of time and then fry them on site to bring them back to life. The Cillengini Cheese and Eggplant Roulade we do there. The finished dish is hot, tasty and decidedly decadent.

The Key to Quiche

Cooking airy and lite soufflés or in this case quiches to order at outside events can be tricky. During my years at Roy’s, a restaurant known for their chocolate soufflés, I didn’t personally cook many soufflés, but I did have to figure out how to make them in miniature for events like the Hale ‘Aina Awards and Bishop Museum fundraisers. That’s where I developed my technique. For quiches I simply blend the quiche mix in the blender and cook in flex molds; this makes them airy. I then fry them on site. They come out lite, hot and delicious every time.

If you would like to get a taste of this delicious and decadent dish join our staff at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel ballroom and lawn on Saturday, April 23 from 5:30 to 10:00 p.m. Tickets are available at www.mdasoiree.com and $70 of the $125 ticket price is a tax deductible donation. Along with a dozen gourmet food sampling stations, there are several cocktail sponsors, live entertainment and dancing all evening and some pretty impressive items up for grabs at the silent and live auctions. It should be a great time.

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Last year's friendly faces! Stop by and visit our booth!

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