Cuisines of the Sun Brings World Renowned Chefs to Hawai‘i Island
Foodies from Hawaiʻi Island and beyond filled the ballroom of the Waikoloa Beach Marriott on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2017, to sample the superstar culinary talents of chefs from around the world who gathered to create and celebrate the food and wine of sunny climates.
Part of the annual Hawaiʻi Food & Wine Festival, Cuisines of the Sun was a showcase of Hawaiʻi Island’s agricultural and culinary diversity in an impressive six-course dinner paired with fine wines from Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Hawaiʻi.
The Hawaiʻi Food & Wine Festival is the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific. The popular festival takes place on multiple islands over three weekends and features an impressive lineup of over 100 internationally-renowned master chefs, culinary stars and wine and spirit producers.
During the three weekends, food lovers and chefs converge upon the islands of O‘ahu, Maui and Hawaiʻi to enjoy exclusive dining opportunities that spotlight the state’s local food sources from Hawaiian farmers, fisherman and ranchers.
Hawaiʻi’s culinary food scene began developing in the early 1990’s when the inaugural Cuisines of the Sun made its first appearance at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. The food series continued for more than 10 years and focused on dishes inspired by warm climates.
This year, the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival chose to bring back the original theme for its Hawaiʻi Island grand event.
One of the original participating chefs in Cuisines of the Sun and co-founder of the Hawaiʻi Food & Wine Festival, Chef Alan Wong, explained the important impact the event has had on Hawaiʻi’s food scene and how it was the start of Hawaiʻi being recognized for its unique flavors and ingredients.
“When you look back to Cuisines of the Sun, it was the beginning of planting the seed that there was a new cuisine happening in Hawaiʻi,” he said. “The chefs coming here brought that credibility, not only to the event, but to the state of Hawaiʻi… There are people in the world that still think we put pineapple on a burger, pineapple on a pizza and we call that Hawaiian food. “We don’t eat like that.”
The six chefs who shared the spotlight were Chef Wong of Alan Wong’s Restaurants in Honolulu, Chef Dean Fearing from Fearing’s Restaurant in Dallas, Chef Mark Peel from Prawn in Los Angeles, Chef Robert Del Grande, Chef Fracois Payard of Payard in New York City and Chef Jayson Kanekoa from Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.
The menu boasted a variety of local ingredients, from Big Island Abalone with Pono Farms Pork, to Cilantro Lime Kanpachi Corn Tamale filled with Kauai Prawn Salad and Thai Kona Lobster Rolls with Spicy Coleslaw and Aioli to Slow Roasted Hawaiian Berkshire Pork with Cocoa Bean Mole with Ginger Lemongrass Broth and Bok Choy.
The last two courses were Plum Glazed Big Island Short Rib with Whipped Tofu, Pickled Radish and Hamakua Mushrooms, and a delicious dessert of Island Pineapple with Lemon Thyme and Mascarpone Coconut Cream with Tapioca and Passion Fruit Sauce.
Cuisines of the Sun was an evening of great food, great wine and great friends. It’s easy to understand how Hawaiʻi Food & Wine Festival is the most anticipated culinary event in the state.
Until next year—a hui hou!