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Cover Story

Moana Surfrider’s Mango Medley

By Alana Folen Photos By Leah Friel
July 15, 2012

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Things are heating up this summer at Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, as it’s ready to celebrate anything and everything mango! Come July 21, this world-class resort will partner with Makaha Mangoes to kick off its fourth annual Mangoes at the Moana event. This highly anticipated day is jam-packed with festivities from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in which kamaaina and visitors are invited to savor this world-renowned tropical fruit.

“Mangoes are such a great summer fruit. We really wanted to do an event on property that featured something seasonal,” says Beachhouse at the Moana chef de cuisine William Chen. “Mangoes are summery, bright and tropical, and the name pairs well with the Moana Surfrider.

“Mangoes also have great nutritional value. The Westin brand is really all about promoting super foods and wellness. Mango has a bunch of nutritional complements to it that pairs well with what the Westin brand stands for,” he adds.

Indulge in a mango mecca and experience a variety of activities devoted to mango, including a mango food demonstration featuring guest speaker Hector Wong, who will showcase a Chocolate Mango Oblivion Cake and instruct you on how to decorate a cake with mango. Mango seminars also are scheduled, and contests such as Best Mango Contest and Mango Recipe Contest will dish up some friendly competition.

“As part of the Best Mango Contest, people can bring their own mango fruit to be judged to see who raised the best mango,” Chen states. “The Mango Recipe contest is always fun because people from the community submit their favorite mango recipes, and we’re still accepting applications for submissions. Some of the submissions we’ve received have been pretty wild — the contestants mix different ingredients and spices into their creations.”

According to Chen, an event highlight also will be Mangoes at the Moana’s third annual Mango Throw Down featuring celebrity executive chefs Kevin Hanney from 12th Avenue Grill, Russell Siu from 3660 on the Rise, Jon Matsubara from Azure, Celeste Pasag from Beachhouse, JJ Luangkhot from JJ French Pastry and Michael Imada from Japengo, to name a few.

“This is one of our traditional events where we invite local celebrity chefs to come and make their own mango-inspired dish. Then we invite our guests who come to the property to taste the dishes, and then they actually get to vote and participate in selecting who’s the winner,” Chen explains, adding that sampling is priced at $75 for adults (includes two drinks at the Southern Wine & Spirits booth); $45 for children (ages 5-12); $6 per script for one plate at each booth; pre-sale tickets cost $65 for adults and $35 for children, and are available for purchase through July 20. (A portion of the proceeds will benefit Leeward Community College’s Culinary Arts Program.)

Mangoes at the Moana has become a staple at the resort, and the event is growing in popularity each year. Passionate about mango, the Moana is adding a new component to its mango repertoire this time around as it introduces its Mango Cocktail Mixdown. This fun-spirited competition will bring together local mixologists who will utilize mango and Kettle One Vodka as main ingredients in a mixed drink. Guests will be able to taste the entries of the three finalists competing for the top prize along with other selections at the Southern Wine & Spirits booth.

“Mango Cocktail Mixdown is perfect for sunset, pau hana and Happy Hour,” Chen says. “All the mangoes that we currently use are all locally sourced — we work with our local produce purveyors and source the mangoes from the islands.”

Mango lovers may assume that one day isn’t enough to relish in the essence of mango. Therefore, Beachhouse at Moana Surfrider is offering an assortment of mango components on its menu.

“For the month of July, in honor of Mangoes at the Moana, we like to build the hype throughout the property,” Chen says, noting, “During each meal period we try to utilize the fruit and highlight it in a certain dish. So for breakfast we’ve been featuring our mango bread, For afternoon tea we’re offering a mango custard with our scones, mango tea, sorbet and mousse. We have a refreshing Mango Slush ($6) available during lunchtime and afternoon tea as well. For dinner we’re showcasing a Kurobuta Pork Chop ($46) finished with a chili mango gastrique — comparable to a sweet and sour sauce — and served with fried onion rings and dressed watercress.

“I personally love pork, I think it’s just fantastic. The Kurobuta pork chop is something that we used to do, and the guests have been asking for it back, so we kind of modified it a bit,” he adds. “We brine it for about 36 hours with some spices and citrus. Pork pairs well with the sweetness of mango, so it’s a very nice combination.”

Local crafters and vendors also will be on hand, and live entertainment will be provided throughout the day by local musicians Puuhonua Trio, Kamaka Fernandez Trio, Taimane Gardner Trio and Olomana. The Moana Lani Spa Table will have luscious and refreshing Sir Aubrey White Lion mango iced tea with a fragrance and flavor of fresh white mango available for purchase.

“Mangoes at the Moana will broaden your horizons as to what you can do with the fruit. It’s all about celebrating mango,” Chen says.

Moana Surfrider A Westin Resort & Spa

2365 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu
237.4794 or 921.4640
moana-surfrider.com/dining/