Tipsy Tuesday - Food, Glorious Food!
Hawaiian Culinary Trends in Hawaii for 2019
For over twenty years I have worked with my dear friends and incredible chefs Michael and Dana Pastula. This beautiful couple are the owners of several hot spots in Maui, Hawaii including Cafe O'Lei Restaurants, 'Ami 'Ami, Kamaole Poolside Cafe and Cafe O’Lei Catering. As one of the original teams in the culinary field their businesses are thriving in the islands! Together they have brought vision and inspiration to life when it comes to food and beverage. I have asked them to share their insight as to what to look for in 2019 and here is what they said….
1. Sustainability will be foremost in any event this year, for example the Hawaiian Islands are known for their fresh fish. Sometimes they are available seasonally so you can enjoy varieties such as monchong (pomfret), opah (moonfish) opakapaka, or onaga (pink or red snapper). These specialties can add additional expense to your menu but well worth it as guests will thoroughly enjoy this. Locally farmed raised produce sustains the island eco culture and delivers the best flavors and quality. We pride ourselves on offering only the cleanest and finest. For casual dining we encourage the use of paper and recycled products as they are best for casual dining and not harmful to our oceans and 'aina.
2. Origin will also be a focus in todays lifestyle, knowing where the product comes from gives us an assurance that quality is at its best. Locally sourced produce is always high on everyone’s list.
3. Immersion is very much alive in destination weddings. Learn and share about the culture, food and people. After all, you have guests that come from everywhere that are on an adventure. Go ahead, do the pig! Lau lau, pa’i’ai, malasadas and ahi poke.
4. Street food or food stalls come to mind for a unique experience. You can serve it for your rehearsal dinner or a very casual reception where stations have different offerings allowing guests to mingle around the property and keep the party moving!
5. If you are doing a brunch, a bloody mary bar as a centerpiece can be a meal by itself the toppings are infinite… fried chicken, cajun shrimp, seared ahi, bacon, scallops, chitcharon.. creativity is endless!
6. Hawaii is known for having many different ethnic foods and it’s showing up in menus. As a Filipino chef I am happy to see Filipino food emerging in the food scene. Typically served family style to share with your family— you can simply add hints of this cuisine by adding lumpia, pancit or lechon to your menu. Sharing stories over food is always memorable.
7. Acai Bars have been popular and will stay especially for all the health conscious who still want to enjoy great flavors. With many options of island fresh fruit like papaya, dragon fruit, coconut, pineapple… a nice bar will be a great addition instead of a candy or dessert bar while guests enjoy the venue or want to refresh their palette after a fun evening of dancing and celebration.
8. Iconic dishes will always stay popular. Whether it be casual or a formal sit dow, from filet mignon to meat loaf and from bbq ribs to Mac and Cheese, these favorites will always be classic. Many couples want to share their comfort favorites with stories behind it.
9. Poke bars are appropriate to have when you are in the Hawaiian islands. This local favorite can be a big hit with your guests. It is a main Hawaiian offering and you can also be creative to add tako (octopus), shrimp and even a Tahitian poisson cru with coconut milk!
10. For the bar… a local, husking coconuts for you, just like what you see on the side of the streets, adds a fun element and also authenticity to your event!
So enjoy and experiment with our unique island offerings for a memorable soiree sure to be the talk of the town!