Last week, I attended the 3rd annual Hawaii Food and Wine Fest on Oahu. Although it wasn’t my first time to the island, it had been a long while (about 15 years!) since I was last there. Getting to return to the island, not just as a tourist, but this time as a foodie-tourist, a “food-ist” have you, I was experiencing Oahu with fresh eyes and newly refined tastebuds. I was eager to explore all that was awaiting me on the island; beautiful sunsets, nearly clear ocean waters, and of course, amazing food.
The first evening event held on Oahu for the fest, was a collection of 15 international chefs and 14 wineries and mixologists for Under the Modern Moon: Morimoto & Friends. The venue couldn’t be more perfect – the stunningly beautiful Modern Hotel on Honolulu.
Timed just right, a perfect sunset ordered up for the event and then this…
East met West as the talented chefs prepared unique dishes from Asia and the Pacific. Led by the one and only, Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, this was a great way to kick off the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival’s week long food extravaganza.
There were various “celebrity” chefs and quite a few well-known Los Angeles based chefs as well. At this event, I met Bryant Ng of The Spice Table and his wife who graciously posed with me for a picture.
Edible stand outs included two AMAZINGLY decadent desserts; one: a “Royal Hawaiian” made with Hawaiian Waialua cocoa beans, Big Island macadamia, Kokoleka chocolate mousse and haupia Hawaiian vanilla cream mousse from Stanton Ho, a pastry consultant from Las Vegas…
…and this melt-me-away macadamia nut mouse from Stephen Durfee. I had two of each of these desserts. Local Hawaiian flavors sensually massaging my tastebuds… They were so good!
Also, a dish that was as beautiful to look at as it was to eat, from Chef Amber Lin from Taipei, Taiwan. It was a shrimp cocktail with tea risotto and mushroom sauce accompanied by her herbal and light chamomile tea blend.
I also loved this spicy gochujang braised pork w/ watercress and vegetable rice by Chef Lucia Cho from Seoul, Korea. She paired the dish with a perfect shot of rice based sake which made it all the tastier. This girl’s got game.
Fancy a sake-vodka cocktail? Don’t mind if I do. Mahalo Chef Ming!
Here are some more photos to recap the rest of the beautiful evening, and of course to make you wish you were there.
Check back soon for a video recap on all the rest of the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival Events!
Learn about the origins of the festival from the founders. Click here to watch the video.
[I was a guest of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and their partners and thank them for their Hawaiian hospitality. All comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own. Mahalo Rebecca Pang, organizers of the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival and all the new friends I made on Oahu!]