welcome to bonita lao catering
We bring to you a premier service that is catered to your personalized needs: a unique dining experience that showcases the elegant flavors of the Big Island of Hawaii in any size or venue. I am excited to share with you a culinary experience that unites a diverse culinary artistic approach with elite hospitality and service.
Our philosophy of consistently maintaining high standards provides our clients with excellent personal service and care. Bonita Lao works alongside the utmost skilled and trained professionals in Hawaii's food and beverage industry. From small gatherings to large events, we will tailor our menus to your every need.
With Bonita Lao Catering, your next best event is just waiting to happen.
I was raised in a family of chefs on the beautiful, Big Island of Hawaii. I developed a passion for food early on in my childhood as I worked in my family’s restaurants and was captivated by the abundance of unique flavors and combinations.
I left the island to pursue my studies and graduated from San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy. My constant search for new and unique flavors in different cultures brought me to some of the world’s best kitchens. The first being Nancy Oakes' Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco. It was the first major turning point in my career and attending school and working full time at one of the most prestigious restaurants in the city trained me in the ways of gastronomic excellence.
Upon graduation, I landed an international externship at Italy’s Badia a Coltibuono, Giaoli in Chianti. The prestige and principles of an Italian kitchen and language forced me to adapt quickly. I learned classic preparations and how best to identify and utilize the highest quality produce in Italy.
In 2004 I accepted a position at Hawaii’s five diamond, five star, Chef Mavro's in Honolulu, Hawaii. Chef de cuisine Kevin Chong, one of Hawaii’s leading and most influential chefs, fostered my inner passions and drive for perfection and dedication to the craft of cookery. After two years at Chef Mavros, my hunger to keep growing led me to Sydney, Australia.
I worked beside some of Australia’s most elite chefs at two three-hat restaurants including Tetsuyas, Marque Restaraunt, Longrain, and Lotus by Merivalle. The mastery and perfectionism of each kitchen pushed my understanding of cooking beyond I could have ever imagined.
I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to understand food not by merely following a recipe, but how the art of cooking can tell a story and convey real emotion in a meal.
My passion for food, wine, travel, and quality experiences led me to create this personal catering business. I aim to bring definitive flavors and combinations to capture the simplicity of Hawaii's bounty of fresh ingredients directed by season and sustainability.
My intentions beyond cooking are to express and reflect the global experiences and cultural influences that have shaped my personal direction. Inspired by the abundance of flavors Hawaii has to offer, I want to enrich the food culture, servicing one event at a time, making each one special for me, and my clients.
Whether you are planning a small dinner party or a larger celebration, Bonita Lao Catering can help plan and hold your function in the comfort of your own home or any venue of choice. From menu planning to service, we can assist you through all the steps to throw a seamless dinner party, allowing you to sit back and enjoy your company!
WEDDING AND EVENTS
Bonita Lao Catering goes the extra mile to help make your wedding day a memorable one. We work alongside with the best in the industry to ensure that every element of your wedding is perfect. Using refined farm to table practices and sensibilities, your menu is created unique to you and your guests! We can't wait to wow your guests with food they will talk about for years to come!
“Bonita is an amazing chef all the way around--her presentation is beautiful, the ingredients are fresh & locally grown and the flavors are out of this world! She is great to work with and fun to have at the house as well. We enjoy her food, service, and company!”
–Renee Parsons, Hualalai Resident
“It is not easy to find a five star chef or catering company on the islands, I would recommend Bonita Lao to anyone looking for high quality catering needs. Her food made our wedding day memorable and we were truly awe-struck by her incredible service. She is beyond a talented chef, a lovely person and produces high quality work.”
–Lila Miyamoto, Bride at Pua Kea Ranch
"Her food really deserves its own review, but truly it is the best meal I’ve ever had in Hawaii. Her years of professional experience, both as a chef and also as a business owner, showed throughout all of our interactions, but really showed during the event itself. Our food was the highlight of the wedding- our guests raved about it all week!!"
- Lea Rouse, Bride + founder of Le'ola Wellness
“We have known Bonita Lao for many years and have had Bonita and her staff at our house on many occasions to prepare dinner. She has prepared sit-down dinners for small groups and she has prepared extensive pupu menus for larger groups. The cuisine that she prepares is just exquisite!! Our experiences with Bonita are nothing short of extraordinary. Our guests always comment on the quality, consistency and outrageous flavors of Bonita's cooking.!!”
–Steve McFarland, Kukio Resident
farm to table
We make every effort to partner with local farms and provide you the best The Big Island has to offer. The following are just a few of the many farms we are fortunate to partner and work alongside with. They make what we do possible.
Ken and Roen Hufford operate their 10-acre Organic Family Farm sustainably, nestled in the rich soils of Kamuela, onto Hawaiian Homestead Land. They feature beautiful organic vegetables, Waimea lavender, and fresh cut flowers. Honopua Farms is also home to lei maker and native Hawaiian Marie McDonald, who was named a "living treasure" by the Smithsonian Institute.
HAWAII GOAT DAIRY
The farmstead goat cheese operation was established in January 2001. Award Winning dairy is owned and operated by Dick and Heather Threlfall, residing on 10 acres of retired macadamia nut tree orchard, nestled off the beaten path in Ahualoa, on the Big Island of Hawaii.
The herd consists of several dairy goat breeds, mainly Toggenburgs, Nubians, Alpines, Saanens, and various crosses. The goats range freely through several rotational pastures, browsing on tropical vegetation including, bamboo, ti, ginger, macadamia nut tree leaves, and pastures grass.
Another leader in the local farm movement is Paul Johnston. Johnston utilizes the windward side weather to grow a full spectrum of crops, from lettuces and other greens, to root vegetables, chile peppers, squash, beans, onions, and herbs. A family-run business dedicated to growing vegetables of the highest quality and with exceptional flavor.
Wow Farms is a family owned and operated farm in Waimea on the Big Island. Originally started growing tomatoes for personal consumption, they quickly entered the local farmers. The farm is located on 5 acres of Homestead Land in Waimea, growing a variety of vine ripened tomatoes including Mahiki Heirlooms, Noho’aina orange blossoms, and Waimea Red Romas. All produce are naturally grown in the soil, using no chemicals or pesticides, growing the sweetest tomatoes in the state.
KONA BLUE KAMPACHI
Kona Blue Kampachi markets across the Hawaiian islands. By combining a commitment to state-of-the-art marine hatchery science with a carefully selected, pristine deep ocean grow-out site, Kona Blue can raise Kona Kampachi without depleting wild fish stocks. Kona Blue was founded in 2001 by two Hawaii-based marine biologists who understand the delicate balance of ocean ecosystems, and have refined the technology behind raising fish through sustainable aquaculture. Their application of hatch-to-harvest approach separates Kona Blue from most other marine fish farms engaged in other yellowtail or tuna farming, which rely on the capture of wild fingerlings to stock their cages.
These menus are samples and a guide for you to design your own.
Big Island Hawaii Grown, and organic ingredients are used whenever possible.
kamuela cucumbers, aged aceto, opal basil
hawaiian chili oil
nori, snow peas, garlic aioli
Pork Belly Bao Bun
kiawae smoked, cucumber kaffir pickles,
cilantro, xo sauce
tofu, avocado, mango, chili miso
baby romaine, fromage blanc, candied walnuts, green goddess dressing
Wow Farm Tomatoes
maui onions, limu, macadamia nuts, scallions
watercress, miso sesame vinaigrette
Baby Field Green Salad
spiced chickpeas, pickled watermelon radishes,
feta, guava tahini dressing
Guava Honey Roasted Puna Chicks
rice pilaf, brussels sprouts, applewood bacon, jus
Big Island Grass Fed Filet
heirloom carrots, maui onion mashed potatoes,
green peppercorn, marsala
Roasted Pork Loin
brined in apple cider, cipollini onions,
kale, sweet and sour pineapple jus
Sweet Waimea Corn Soup
with crab cake soufflés
Roasted Duck Breast
frisee, hazelnuts, black berry ginger vinaigrette
Day Boat Scallops
64 degree egg, apple wood bacon, spinach, mustard
Steamed Hawaiian Opakapaka
in banana leaf
JR spinach, maui onions, limu
Broiled New Zealand Salmon
coconut rice, orange soy glaze, scallions
Mac Nut Chermoula Crusted Mahi Mahi
coriander coconut curry
kabocha pumpkin risotto, lobster jus
Sesame Seed Crusted Ahi
snow peas, okinawan spinach, wasabi ginger
Molten Lava Chocolate Cake
with vanilla bean ice cream
Angel Food Cake
tempura strawberries, haupia yogurt,
strawberry ginger jam
Apple Blueberry Crumble
lemon, vanilla ice cream
Local Meyer Lemon Tart
organic pine nut crust, honey cream