Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival: From Portugal to Spain: An Iberian Feast

October 11, 2019, 8:00 AM HST (Updated October 10, 2019, 7:20 PM)
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Leche Flan, featured at the 2019 Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. PC: Karen Rose

The ninth annual Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival hosted the Island of Hawai‘i event, From Portugal to Spain: An Iberian Feast, last Saturday, October 5, 2019, at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.

An enthusiastic, sold-out gathering of food afficianadoʻs filled the ballroom of the resort to enjoy an elegant six-course meal prepared by six culinary masters. The eveningʻs theme was a tribute to Hawaiʻiʻs rich and diverse heritage, incorporating the cuisines of Spain and Portugal with Pacific Island influences. Each dish was carefully paired with exceptional wines provided by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Hawaiʻi.

The Iberian Peninsula is known for its delicious savory dishes and phenomenal food traditions, which was expressed in the evening’s contemporary interpretations of this famous cuisine. Steve Yannarell, general manager of Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, expressed his excitement about launching the festivalʻs ninth year on Hawaiʻi Island.

“The theme this year is significant as it was inspired by the history of Portuguese and Spanish immigrants that traveled to Hawai‘i, ultimately influencing our culture and culinary traditions,” he said.

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During Hawaiʻi’s plantation days, the Portuguese were the second immigrants to arrive in Hawaiʻi. They brought with them the very popular malasada, which locals and visitors still enjoy today. However, much of Portuguese cuisine has evolved from the original food found in Portugal, and the Iberian Feast was an opportunity for local gastrophiles to learn more about this delicious cuisine.

The evening’s menu included Kanpachi Crudo made with avocado, crispy patata with saffron aioli and ham vin. The second course consisted of charred Hawaiian ahi in Portuguese curry, made with ginger, lemongrass, vanilla, pineapple, curry spices and coconut milk infused broth. Next up was mariscada, a Portuguese seafood stew comprised of opakapaka, Kona cold lobster and clams with saffron-tomato broth, braised potato sofrito and herbs.

Island-raised pork kaldereta featured at the 2019 Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. PC: Karen Rose

The second half of the feast featured island-raised pork kaldereta, made with Portuguese sweet bread, foie gras pate, pickled peppers and cipollini onions. The fifth course was entrecote, made with grass-fed Hawaiian beef filet, Roquefort, fern shoots, pine nuts, apples and sherry prune jus. Dessert was a rich and delicious leche flan made with pineapple, coconut, cilantro and macadamia nuts.

This yearʻs featured chefs were, Josef Centeno of Baco Mercat in Los Angeles, Antelmo Faria of Uma Casa in San Francisco, Jose Garces of the Garces Group in Philidelphia, Jayson Kanekoa of Waikaloa Beach Marriot Resort & Spa, Margarita Manzke of Republique in Los Angeles and George Mendes of Aldea in New York City.

The Hawai‘i Food & Wine invites local and internationally acclaimed chefs to create dishes from a list of 100 local products. The festival was co-founded by award-winning chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong. The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival is the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific.

For more information visit hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com.

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Mariscada Portuguese seafood stew, featured at the 2019 Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. PC: Karen Rose
Entrecote grass-fed Hawaiian beef filet, featured at the 2019 Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. PC: Karen Rose
Island-raised pork kaldereta, featured at the 2019 Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. PC: Karen Rose
Leche flan featured at the 2019 Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. PC: Karen Rose
Charred Hawaiian ahi in Portuguese curry featured at the 2019 Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. PC: Karen Rose
Hawaiian kanpachi featured at the 2019 Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. PC: Karen Rose
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