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    Complete Guide About The Hawaii Cuisine And Wine Celebration In Honolulu

    When it comes to Hawaii, most holidaymakers associate it with sunlight, waves, sand, and frozen sweet treats. However, well-informed travelers are aware that these sunlit islands have much more to offer. They immerse themselves in the Hawaiian traditions, the laid-back atmosphere, the luxurious hotels, unparalleled natural beauty, and the global gastronomy. Many organize their vacations around the renowned Hawaii Food and Wine Festival which occurs annually in Autumn over a span of several weeks and on three different islands.

    We relished our experience during the four festival days hosted in Honolulu. The first evening led us to the uppermost pool deck of the Alohilani Waikiki Resort to indulge in the acclaimed dishes crafted by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and his equally esteemed chef companions from various parts of the world. They came together to honor the “Year of the Tiger” by preparing creative Asian delicacies along with cocktails to tantalize and please the taste buds.

    One of the standout dishes for us was the Green Curry-Spiced Chicken Liver Pate concocted by Andrew Le from The Pig and The Lady Restaurant in Honolulu.

    The following night, twenty distinguished vintners and twenty top culinary artists collaborated at the Hawaii Convention Center to captivate wine enthusiasts and food connoisseurs with their inventive partnerships. A variety of cocktails and beers were also crafted to cater to diverse preferences. Michelle Karr-Ueoka from MW Restaurant in Honolulu delighted us with her Kona Coffee “Tiramisu” Brulee.

    For those still craving more, the after-party held on the rooftop of the Hyatt Regency Waikiki offered artisan cocktails and delectable bites from five esteemed chefs, making it a fitting end to a perfect evening of gastronomic delight.

    The morning of the subsequent day witnessed us honing our skills in creating an appetizing cheese and charcuterie board to please a crowd. From selecting the perfect ingredients, to expertly cutting and assembling, to garnishing, and finally pairing with suitable wines, we grasped every detail. And as a final reward, we took our handcrafted boards home to impress our acquaintances.

    Sunday morning welcomed drag queens to deliver a show-stopping performance that matched the sensational brunch bites and spirited beverages on offer.

    Among the delectable treats was the Butter Poached Kona Cold Lobster, Local Wetland Kale and Hollandaise known as “Mother’s Toast,” fashioned by Nikolaos Lobendahn of Easy Que in Kailua, HI.

    Chef Robynne Maii of Fête was among the participating chefs. In 2022, Hawaii earned a James Beard award for Best Chef in the Northwest and Pacific region, an accolade bestowed upon Chef Maii after nearly two decades.

    Fête, situated within a historical building in Chinatown, is deeply rooted in the local farm-to-table movement and showcases seasonal New American dishes. Each creation emerging from the kitchen was as visually enticing as it was flavorful, expertly seasoned, and mouthwatering.

    Our ride-share driver recommended we try the local pork ragu, and it proved to be exceptional, much like the charred carrots, beet salad, and the specially prepared twice-cooked Ludovico chicken filled with herbs and foie gras. The beverage selection and cocktails were curated thoughtfully and paired seamlessly with the dishes. Fête lives up to its well-earned reputation.

    Housed in the chic Velocity Honolulu Building, MW Restaurant, named after the initials of the talented duo Michelle and Wade, offers a Michelin-starred dining experience. Prepare to be enchanted by creative and delicious Pacific Rim cuisine, served by a dedicated and proficient team. Opting for the Five-Course Tasting Menu allowed us to sample some of Chef Wade’s signature dishes, enhanced by carefully selected wine pairings.

    The additional indulgence of Regiis Ova Caviar, a Fried OK Farms Egg with Wasabi Koji, was a luxurious treat worth the added cost. The Five Small Bites appetizer, paired with a Tasmanian Sparkling wine, set a high standard for the remaining courses.

    The signature Mochi Crusted Hawaiian Kanpachi drizzled with soy yuzu vinaigrette, matched with an Italian DOC Pinot Grigio, did not disappoint. The course featuring Kona Abalone and Kauai Shrimp Uni Pasta followed by the Brandt Brand Beef Tenderloin continued to impress. Without a doubt, Master Pastry Chef Michelle’s Kohana Rum Coffee & Crème Brulee stole the show and concluded a magnificent culinary experience.

    Accommodation options are abundant, so why not choose one of the preferred festival hotels, the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa. Offering a prime location mere steps from the main Waikiki beach, this resort caters to every kind of visitor. Whether it’s a family retreat, a wedding celebration, a girls’ trip, or a romantic escapade, the Hyatt has you covered. Their hospitable staff is welcoming and ready to fulfill any request.

    The essence of Hawaii thrives through the various experiences provided by the resident tutors eager to share their culture and customs. Engage in lei making or ukulele lessons to get into the spirit. Stay active in their gym and rooftop pool, cross the street for paddle-boarding, surfing, snorkeling, and sunbathing.

    Indulge in the opulent spa treatments and elevate your stay by upgrading to the Regency Club for exclusive food and beverage offerings throughout the day.

    Highlighting our stay were the attentive staff, impeccable service, and exceptional cuisine quality at the Regency Club, the luxurious and rejuvenating massage experience at the Na Ho’ola Spa, the diverse cultural enrichment programs offered to guests and the wider community by the enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff at Ho’okela Hawaiian Culture Center.

    Don’t miss the delightful dining experience at SHOR, where dinner and live music create the quintessential Waikiki night under the starry sky at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa. We particularly relished the Reef and Beef main course, featuring Kona Cold Water Lobster Tail, Foie Gras, and Asparagus. Treat yourself to a fine dining affair at SHOR or opt for more casual dining at their numerous food and beverage venues.

    The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort and Spa offers a comprehensive experience conveniently situated and ready for you to enjoy right at the property, ensuring you make the most of every moment of your vacation. With a view overlooking the iconic Waikiki Beach, the Hyatt bids you a warm aloha bon voyage, with the sights and sounds of the ocean setting the tone for your stay.

    Start planning now for a remarkable culinary journey that includes the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival and so much more.

    Image Source: Hawaii Food And Whine Festival

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