SAN ANTONIO – For the rest of August, chef Christopher Kaeka Buza said he’s preparing food at Best Quality Daughter with his family in the forefront.
“They’re everything to me,” Buza said. “The moment we hit the ground running, San Antonio came in and just started pouring their love for us.”
Buza was born and raised on the Hawaiian Islands. Days after the devastating wildfire swept across Maui, Buza said his family in Lahaina is alive but lost everything.
“It hurts deep,” Buza said. “It hurts my heart a lot because a lot of history is there in Maui, especially in Lahaina.”
As of Saturday afternoon, at least 111 people died in that fire and nearly a thousand others are still missing. Buza said when he first learned of the wildfire, he couldn’t get in touch with his family.
“I just kept getting my call dropped every time I called them, so panic mode set in,” Buza said. “I didn’t know what to do. I was super stressed because you play those scenarios in your head like, what if?”
Hours after, he was able to connect with his dad on Maui. Buza said relief set in that his family was alive, but that quickly turned to heartbreak hearing their home was lost.
That’s when his San Antonio family at Best Quality Daughter offered to step up.
“Your first reaction is like, what can I do to help?” Owner Jennifer Dobbertin said. “Hopefully, it can provide them even just a little tiny bit of relief.”
Best Quality Daughter is offering two dinner specials, the Spam musubi dish, and the Mai Guy cocktail. Earnings for both of these specials will go entirely to the Buza family.
Dobbertin said Buza has been a part of her restaurant’s family for more than two years. Hearing of the hardships his family is facing in Maui, she said the entire restaurant staff was ready to step up and help.
“It’s going to a family that we know and care for and you know it,” Dobbertin said.
That’s a feeling that Buza said still feels surreal.
“That’s the Aloha spirit,” Buza said. “Even though it’s something bad, you always look for the best in things because the moment we hit the ground running, San Antonio came in and just started pouring their love for us.”
These two specials will run through the end of August.
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