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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 23, 2001


The owners and chefs of Beau Soleil Catering Co. are husband and wife Moumen El Hajji and Holly Hadsell Hajji. Whereas Moumen had no formal training, Holly has trained in France.

Richard Ambo • The Honolulu Advertiser

Moumen El Hajji and Holly Hadsell Hajji
Husband/wife and owner/chefs, Beau Soleil Catering Co., Honolulu.

Born: Moumen in Rabat, Morocco. Holly in Honolulu.

Moumen's background: No formal training, just went to work with his uncle Hajji the day he landed in Hawai'i 11 years ago; has worked at France Hawai'i Catering, Hajjibaba's, Sergio's and Chez Michel. Can cook anything from loco mocos to classical French; loves to bake bread and cook with Terry's tomatoes (Hau'ula tomatoes).

Holly's background: Trained at La Varenne, Paris; worked at The Compleat Kitchen and Hajjibaba's. Classic French style with Italian Mediterranean notes; loves to cook with Kaua'i prawns.

Moumen's favorites:

Meal: Pressed caviar with '85 Krug Champagne and Parker Ranch beef carpaccio.
Comfort food: Couscous with lamb.
Cookbook: "Le Bernadin."
Cooking show: "The French Chef."
Kitchen tool: Chinese cleaver.

Holly's favorites:

Meal: Foie gras, seared, right out of the pan, washed down with Champagne.
Comfort food: Rainbow Drive In BBQ steak plate.
Cookbook: "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child.
Cooking show: "The French Chef."
Kitchen tool: A rasp as grater for ginger, chocolate, cheese, lemon zest – everything.

When they're hungry, Moumen grabs a tomato (Terry's tomatoes) sandwich on fresh bread; Holly grabs a cookie made by their pastry chef.

When they're not working, both like to spend time with their children, Zayn and Gabriel, reading or at the beach.

When they go out, Moumen likes Alan Wong's because it tastes great and needs no explanation. Holly likes friend Chris Miura's house because he makes the best bread and pizzas in his wood-fired oven and has good wines.

If they could invite three people to dinner, Moumen would invite James Beard, Julia Child and Tony Chan (a friend who would bring the wine); Holly would invite Julia Child, Henri Matisse and Elton John.