Chef Aurelio’s Fresh Kale Salad

David Nagaishi, vice president and general manager of Shore Bird and Ocean House restaurants at the Outrigger Reef Hotel, is a 35-year veteran of the food-service industry. He got into the business because he loves people and helping them celebrate happy events in their lives. He keeps up with current food trends to always add something new.

David has been married for 18 years to wife Wendy, chef concierge at The Royal Hawaiian for the past 25 years, and they reside in upper Kaimuki. He is an avid fisherman and also enjoys golfing.


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Ocean House’s David Nagaishi and executive chef Aurelio Garcia with Curly Kale Salad. Lawrence Tabudlo photo

Aurelio Garcia is executive chef at Ocean House. Chef Aurelio brings more than 30 years of cooking experience to the restaurant with his focus on creating healthy foods that are tasty and innovative. Ocean House feels like home, with comfortable yet elegant décor, gracious service and magnificent sunsets almost every day from its oceanside location in Waikiki.

The restaurant promotes sustainability, using organic local produce wherever possible, and will debut its new menu at the end of July. The new menu will feature healthier options and an expanded selection of gluten-free dishes, in addition to a wonderful array of appetizers, soups and organic greens, premium steaks, chicken, chops and fresh island fish. They also bake their own breads, and don’t forget to leave room for luscious desserts.

A big mahalo to David and Chef Aurelio for giving me this delectable Curly Kale Salad to share with MidWeek readers. When selecting kale, choose kale that is younger, smaller and bright green in color; larger kale is not as green and tends to be more tough.


* 1 bunch curly kale (2-3 leaves person ), wash, tear off leaves from main stem in bite-size pieces and chill
* 1 medium to large ripe papaya, peeled and seeded, 1-inch dice
* 2 small or 1 large avocado, peeled and seeded, 1-inch dice
* 8 strawberries, washed and cut in to quarters
* 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

For Basil Vinaigrette:

Brown 1 teaspoon minced garlic in 1 teaspoon olive oil, deglaze with 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and reduce to half. Set aside to cool. Place in blender and combine with:

* 1/4 cup papaya seeds
* 2 teaspoons capers
* 2 teaspoons lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
* 1 tablespoon orange
* 10 sweet basil leaves
* 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
* 2 teaspoons honey
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
* pinch salt
* 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Note from Chef Aurelio Garcia: If you want to cheat, just add basil to your favorite papaya seed dressing.

In medium mixing bowl, toss kale with dressing to coat leaves well. Evenly portion salad on four plates. Top salad with diced papaya, avocado and strawberries, and sprinkle with toasted slivered almonds.