Romance Du Jour

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Personalize your Valentine’s Day with a Private Chef

THERE IS NO HARM IN FALLING IN LINE WITH THE MASSES DURING VALENTINE’S DAY; scrambling to book reservation at that top eatery and pick up some “bling” for your special someone. Yet, there’s something wholly unromantic about the subtle cattle-call vibe-a solution to which we procured.

Chef Jason Paul aims to take things to the next level for you and your love, ensuring that yours is the ultimate romantic dinner. In addition to creating a menu specific to your wants, Chef Jason also can put you in eloquent surroundings that pairs perfectly with your desired mood.

“For the city, I’d do something more modern, maybe even some molecular cuisine,” he explains, sorting through a list of almost unrecognizable ingredients during our interview and “romantic fare test run” for this story. “For someplace out on the North Shore, I’d do a more country menu-seafood, farm-fresh produce.”

“The Private Chef ” is a VIP concierge service Chef Jason created when he realized his exclusive clientele not only raved about his cooking, but his connections to the best that Hawai’i has to offer. (He won’t mention names, but Bono, Lionel Richie, Prince and Mariah Carey are rumored clients.)

“I have places on each island-I’ve done a private luau for someone on Maui complete with fire knife and hula dancers, Polynesian singers,” he explains. “We do Hawaiian food for them right there; no need for them to leave their secure property. If they want to try something, say, take SUP lessons, I can provide it for them.”

Starched up in his black uniform, Chef Jason is particular about a neat appearance. “I see guys cooking at other places, and I feel like telling them ‘what are you thinking?’ They have wrinkled shirts or a messed-up collar.”

It’s that same attention to detail that Chef Jason brings to the experiences he creates for his clients.

The Private Chef is now set to “go global.” Chef Jason is already following his jet-set clients around the world-some prefer not to travel without his tailor-made cuisine-so he plans to open up his comprehensive concierge services to an even more international set of discriminating clientele.

Back to that city-inspired Valentine’s Day menu, Chef Jason Paul creates a sophisticated spin on traditional romantic foods: oysters, champagne and chocolate:

Champagne with a Kiss & Oysters Nicoise

Fresh bay oysters with a brunoise of green papaya, spring onion, sweet and spicy peppers, with a shallot champagne Hawaiian ginger rice vinegar splash.

Greens & Scallops

An Island-grown bouquet of field greens, seared diver scallops danced aside a warm sweet citrus compote, a tangy lemon and clementine buerre blanc with candied zest. Paired with a dry Sauvignon Blanc.

From the Land

A dry-aged strip loin generously trimmed to sear perfectly, lathered in a Hawaiian salt, Chinese parsley, pink pepper, fresh garlic muddle companioned with consummé-poached asparagus and sautéed enoki mushrooms, Havarti Swiss cheese potato gratin and beef au jus. Paired with a bold Merlot.

Chocolate

A devilish amount of Swiss milk chocolate, Kauai Black Mountain coffee dust, flourless fudge cake with fresh strawberries, chilled melba and Hawaiian vanilla cream. Served with a shot of Kauai Black Mountain Espresso.

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