11.03Pad Thai Recipe | Chef Babian at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

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Pad Thai. Wouldn’t you love to make this at home? Look no further than Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.  Executive Chef James Babian shares one of his favorite Thai recipes. This is delicious paired with his Tom Yom soup and Thai Beef Salad.



8 oz flat Thai noodles (rice noodles)

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons chopped Garlic

1/4 cup green onions

4 oz ground pork

1/4 cup dried Shrimp (soak in sesame oil and fish sauce) optional



1/3 cup Tamarind paste (strained)

5 tablespoons Fish Sauce

2 tsp Palm Sugar

2-3 eggs (beaten)

1/2 cup chopped Peanuts

4 oz regular tofu, dust in corn starchEdit

1 tsp dried chili flakes

Juice from half lime

3 green onions, cut into 1″ lengths



1 cup bean sprouts green chilies

Lime wedges



Place noodles in a bowl and add enough hot water to cover, soak 20 to 30 minutes, soft but still firm.

Mix together tamrind paste, sugar and fish sauce hold.

Heat oil in wok, stir fry tofu to golden brown, remove and drain.

In pan add garlic and green onions cook briefly.

Add pork and dried shrimp, stir fry until pork is browned.

Reduce heat, add drained noodles to pan and carefully fold them in to heat.

Clear a spot in the pan add the beaten eggs, cook a bit to set up then break apart and stir in pan.

Add sauce mix, cook for a minute or so to flavor and noodles to absorb.

Add remaining ingredients, tofu, peanuts, chilies flakes, lime juice and scallions.

Remove from heat and add half the garnishes, serve the rest in bowls on side.


-The Gourmet Review

01.23Thai Cooking Demonstration | Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

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Four Season’s Chef James “Jim” Babian never disappoints. He is Executive Chef at Four Season’s Resort Hualalai and has become something of an expert on Thai food. You’ll remember he cooked a fabulous Thai dinnerfor my husband and me earlier this year. He surprised us with  a Thai cooking demonstration when we brought our family to the resort for the first time a few months ago. Everyone got in the act and we ate like kings.

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First course was Tom Yum Soup. Delicious shrimp, shitake mushrooms, lemon grass, Kaffir lime leaves and fresh lime juice were spotlighted in this appetizer. Most of the ingredients for the meal were grown in the hotel’s herb garden.

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Next up was Chef Jim’s Thai Beef Salad. The combination of heirloom tomatoes, prime New York steak grilled to perfection, Thai chili peppers, fresh cilantro and lime juice, along with a few “secret” Thai ingredients was definitely a favorite and easy to prepare.

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OK. we were starting to get full now, but another course was being prepped. It just happened to be another of my husband’s favorites. We love Pad (Phad) Thai and it was fun to see how Chef Jim added his special flair to this colorful Thai dish.  Garden fresh seasonings combine with traditional thai condiments and you end up with one of Thailand’s most popular dishes.


FInally, we came to the end of the meal and Chef Sean made a fresh pineapple fruit sorbet in a matter of minutes. The taste was so concentrated we had a hard time believing there was no added sugar. Just lightly baked fresh pineapple slices to concentrate the sugar and add to a magic “$3,000 instant sorbet machine. It was a delicious way to end our meal.

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Nothing more fun than watching great chefs at work, showing us the step by step recipes for great Thai food. My “Blue Baker” helped with preparation and everyone in the family had a great time watching and eating. Our family wants to  thank Chef Jim and Chef Shaun Acosta, Sous Chef,  for a great afternoon of cooking and, more importantly, a great meal. This is one we we will remember, as we try to recreate the great food we enjoyed this afternoon.


– The Gourmet Review



All of Chef Jim’s recipes for our  Thai meal are included in links on today’s blog post. Give them a try!


03.10Thai Dinner For Two | Four Seasons Hualalai

Thai Dinner For Two

Executive Chef James Babian at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai always goes the extra mile for making its guests comfortable. And so it was that our trip to this dream destination came to an end.

We had an extraordinary Thai dinner our last evening, prepared just for us by Executive Chef James Babian.  You’re probably wondering what was so special about this dinner. It all started when I asked for a Thai restaurant referral for my husband on the Big Island.

Next thing I knew, there was a message from the hotel’s Executive Chef James Babian, asking my husband’s favorite thai food and when my husband might want to enjoy a Thai dinner. (So, to General Manager, Robert Whitfield, a special thank you and so glad I directed my question to you!)

Chef Babian offered to make any Thai food we wanted. All he needed was  an hour’s notice – afterall, most of the ingredients, from the thai basil, to the lemongrass and chilis were grown in the herb garden on the hotel property.

So, after much anticipation for our dinner, we started off with tom yom soup. It was beyond delicious. Most thai food is salty, but this dinner was punctuated by fresh herbs, which seemingly exploded with every bite. By the way, when I shared this taste sensation with Chef Babian, he opined that in addition to using freshly picked herbs,  the water used for cooking was Evian. Imagine!

Next, the beef salad. The secret is always in the ingredients. I’m told the decision to use local, organic ingredients at the Four Seasons Hualalai is more expensive, but worth the difference. Over 160 local farms supply the resort’s restaurants, and most of the ingredients used for dinner were organic.

It’s a small world on the Big Island in Hawaii. Chef Babian’s baby daughter was delivered many years ago by the same doctor, now retired, that delivered the fresh lettuce, tomatoes and herbs for our dinner that morning.

Then we had my husband’s favorite – pad thai. This dish raised the bar for Thai restaurants forever. Finally, rice pudding with slices of fresh mango finished our meal. Coupled with the ambiant sound of surf crashing on the beach just feet away, my husband and I didn’t want the night to end.

So, until our next visit, we bade goodbye to Chef Babian and “Tic,”  the lovely lady who served our meal. Tic was born in Thailand and advised Chef Babian to guarantee our Thai meal was authentic. Thank you both for a great dinner – best thai food my husband and I have ever eaten. Above all else, thank you, Robert, for connecting us with Chef Babian, allowing us to satisfy our Thai food cravings at the hotel and the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai for another great trip in paradise.

And so, as I write on the plane returning to the mainland, and until our next visit,  I will remember Chef Babian’s secret to cooking – regional, seasonal and artisanal.



Chef Babian was kind enough to share his recipes with me. They will be featured this week. What a difference healthy ingredients makes to these dishes, so remember Chef Babian’s advice on ingredients.


Chef Babian has appeared many times on The Food Network, has been honored to cook  at the James Beard House in NYC and has won countless culinary awards.



– The Gourmet Review


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