MLB All-Star to Co-host Star-Studded Cooking Event

November 9, 2015, 8:37 PM HST · Updated November 9, 8:37 PM
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Major League Baseball All-Star catcher and Wailuku native Kurt Suzuki will return home to host two events on Maui, including Taste of Hawaiʻi in January, when he’ll partner with renowned chef and restauranteur Alan Wong.

For the second straight year, Suzuki has joined forces with Wong to host the unique fundraiser.  Taste of Hawaiʻi will happen on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016 at Four Seasons Resort in Wailea from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. A private VIP cocktail reception will take place between 5 and 5:30 p.m.

While several celebrity chefs feature their own dishes, professional athletes will be on hand to help serve their creations. Chefs Sheldon Simeon (Top Chef Finalist), Isaac Bancaco (Iron Chef America, Head Chef at Andaz Maui), Cameron Lewark (Chef at Spago, Four Seasons Maui) and Craig Dryhurst (Head Chef at Four Seasons Maui) will take part. The professional athletes have yet to be determined; last year’s athletes included MMA superstar BJ Penn, MLB All-Star Ian Desmond, NFL player Kaluka Maiava and HIC Pro champion surfer Ian Walsh.

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    Kurt Suzuki, Chef Alan Wong and Kurt's wife Renee at A Taste of Hawai'i 2015. Photo courtesy of The Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.

    Kurt Suzuki, Chef Alan Wong and Kurt’s wife Renee at A Taste of Hawai’i 2015. Photo courtesy of The Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.

    The tables are set and ready for A Taste of Hawai'i in 2015. Photo courtesy of The Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.

    The tables are set and ready for A Taste of Hawai’i in 2015. Photo courtesy of The Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.

    The tables are taken at A Taste of Hawai'i in 2015. Photo courtesy of The Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.

    The tables are taken at A Taste of Hawai’i in 2015. Photo courtesy of The Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.

    Crowds at A Taste of Hawai'i event in 2015. Photo courtesy of The Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.

    Crowds at A Taste of Hawai’i event in 2015. Photo courtesy of The Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.

    Chef Alan Wong with MLB All-Star Kurt Suzuki at A Taste of Hawai'i 2015. Photo courtesy of The Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.

    Chef Alan Wong with MLB All-Star Kurt Suzuki at A Taste of Hawai’i 2015. Photo courtesy of The Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.

    Dessert display at A Taste of Hawai'i 2015. Photo courtesy of The Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.

    Dessert display at A Taste of Hawai’i 2015. Photo courtesy of The Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.

    Kurt Suzuki at A Taste of Hawai'i 2015. Photo courtesy of The Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.

    Kurt Suzuki at A Taste of Hawai’i 2015. Photo courtesy of The Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation.

    Proceeds from A Taste of Hawaiʻi will help raise funds for the Kapiʻolani Medical Center, Pediatric Cancer Division. Kapiʻolani Medical Center aims to educate pediatricians for the next generation, participate actively in scientific discovery and improvement, partner and collaborate will all entities involved in pediatric services and above all, care for the children in the state of Hawaiʻi.

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    A Taste of Hawaiʻi charity event will also support the National Kidney Foundation. Kidney disease is very prevalent in our islands, along with a lack of resources to teach about prevention and maintenance of the disease. Organizers say the monies raised will make a tremendous impact on the lives of those affected with kidney disease. Kurt’s father Warren Suzuki is a stage-4 kidney cancer survivor and has been in remission for seven years.  Kurt’s wife Renee has a sister, Tricia Vignery, who battles a chronic kidney disease, FSGS Nephrotic Syndrome, but has been in remission for two years.

    A day prior to the culinary event, Kurt Suzuki will host his 5th annual youth baseball clinic at Ichiro Iron Maehara Stadium in Wailuku on Saturday, Jan. 16 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. In partnership with the All Pono Organization, the Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation has continued to make a positive impact on countless members of Hawaii’s youth by teaching them hard work, dedication and the values of being a team player. Registration forms will be available on November 1 for youth ages 8-12 and can be found on the Kurt Suzuki Family Foundation website here or All Pono website here. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited to 150 participants.

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