While Pacific foods have made their way around the world, when there’s an appetite for true aloha, only Hawaii restaurants do. An epicenter for culinary innovation and a premier destination for foodies from around the world, Hawaii treats business groups to tasting experiences like none other. As the host of many globally renowned food and wine festivals as well as world-renowned chefs, Hawaii has become a paradigm for the farm-to-table movement that’s transforming restaurant culture around the world.
Throughout the capital city, in the islands’ lively towns and on the grounds of top-rated meetings resorts, dining in Hawaii is a tantalizing experience for guests from around the world. Need to impress executives or VIPs? Book tables in the dining establishments of celebrated chefs like Masaharu Morimoto, Wolfgang Puck or Nobu Matsuhisa, or reserve entire restaurants for the ultimate off-site event.
Regional Meets Global
You’ll also want to introduce your event attendees to Hawaii Regional Cuisine—the collaborative culinary endeavor of twelve island-based chefs that propelled Hawaii onto the global food stage more than two decades ago.
Several of the masters among them — names like Alan Wong, Roy Yamaguchi and Peter Merriman — ignited epicurean zeal by infusing traditional Hawaiian fare with global flavors, so that dining in Hawaii today is shaped by traditions from China, Japan, Puerto Rico, Portugal and other countries around the world.
Even where the scene is dining global, the ingredients remain local. Long before “farm-to-table” became regular restaurant speak, Hawaii’s eateries featured island-acquired ingredients in their dishes. To eat in Hawaii is to eat fresh: seafood from surrounding Pacific Ocean waters, pasture-raised beef nurtured on the island of Hawaii and produce cultivated in Upcountry Maui’s rich volcanic soil.
There’s much to be said for eating like a local, too: its casual style. Introduce your program participants to a traditional ‘plate lunch’ or hand-wrapped lau lau (pork or fish wrapped in taro leaves) at an eatery that serves up traditional Hawaiian fare. Encourage them to savor a shave ice mounded over azuki (a sweet red-bean) and doused in fruity rainbow-colored syrups. Be sure they know about the shrimp trucks that have become mainstays on Oahu’s North Shore. Then teach them how to say this: ‘ono. Quite simply, “delicious.”