Drive around town, listen to Hawaii radio or a stop at the store, and notable Iberian influences on Hawaii’s cuisine and culture can be seen, heard and tasted around the Islands. On any given day, it’s a waiting game for malasadas at Leonard’s Bakery, a modern day version of the hot deep fried Portuguese “donuts” first introduced to Hawaii in the late 19th century by immigrants from Azores and Madeira.
Salmon Skewers with Romesco Sauce by Cat Cora of Iron Chef America and Chefs for Humanity
While The Mill House is a modern, open-air, architectural wonder of a restaurant that was built in 1982, it pays homage to that era with sugar-mill objects of art such as two, museum-quality antique steam locomotives that transported sugarcane to be processed along with other massive industry implements displayed both inside and on the grounds.
Kitchen Sink Fried Rice by Tom Douglas of Tom Douglas Restaurants
In the early 1980s, Dean Fearing was part of group of revolutionary Texas chefs who were blending the culture and ingredients of the Southwest into a new category of cuisine. Along with two other Hawaii Food & Wine Festival veterans, Stephan Pyles and Robert Del Grande, plus Anne Greer McCann and Avner Samuel, these bold chefs with different backgrounds created the flavors of Southwestern Cuisine — the flavors now recognized all around the globe.
Garganelli with Oahu Wild Boar Sausage Sauce by Celestino Drago of Drago Centro
The next time you find yourself on the west side of the island of Oahu, do yourself a favor and go get lost in the cane fields of Kunia for an hour or so. The greenery is lush, the air is crisp and clean, and you find yourself taking the time to breathe deep and pause for a moment. After about a mile drive, take a left to reach KoHana Distillery, the home of KoHana Rum.
Smoked Turkey and Sweet Potato Hash by Blackberry Farm’s Josh Feathers
or centuries, ulu, or breadfruit, has been cultivated in the Pacific Islands, first introduced to the Hawaiian archipelago as a canoe plant brought by Polynesian settlers. Ulu is touted as a sustainable starch for its low maintenance requirements to produce high yield in diversified cropping systems.
Island-Style Salade Nicoise by Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa’s Sven Ullrich