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Autumn Evenings of Eternal Bliss

By Alana Folen Photos By Anthony Consillio
August 31, 2014

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With summer’s heat dwindling and the beckoning of fall upon us, The Kahala Hotel and Resort celebrates with enchanting culinary soirees starting in September.

This five-star, award-winning resort invites guests to delve into the lap of luxury with its plush amenities, world-class views and premier customer service. For the ultimate dining enthusiast, The Kahala Hotel and Resort introduces avant-garde cuisine, brought to life with new ideas, fresh ingredients and the most innovative culinary trends and cultural influences.

To complement this philosophy, the resort boasts multiple venues, each distinctive with a unique ambiance and flair. Renowned for its immaculate culinary stylings and service, Hoku’s showcases fine-dining and contemporary island cuisine, melding Hawaiian, Asian and European flavors. For guests who desire a more casually chic experience, Plumeria Beach House offers indoor and outdoor terraces, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Adjacent to the resort’s lobby is The Veranda, a comfortable lounge — accented with lush, tropical decor — hosting afternoon tea, cocktails and light pupus in the evening. Then, take the opportunity to spend lunchtime by the beach, as Seaside Grill offers up a menu of casual favorites, served with refreshing drinks from the poolside bar. Finally, Arancino at The Kahala excites with its classic yet creative Italian cuisine, encompassing ingredients imported from Italy and locally sourced products from land and sea.

Executive chef Wayne Hirabayashi and his culinary leadership team, including senior banquet chef Ricky Kusuda, form a collaborative unit that produces stellar results.

“Together, we create unexpected, playful and locally focused food and beverage experiences that resonate with our guests and the people who live and work in the communities we serve,” says Kusuda.

Kusuda received his culinary training at Kapiolani Community College, having earned degrees in both the arts of culinary and patisserie. Eighteen years in the restaurant scene have allowed Kusuda to pursue his passion. “I love cooking! I enjoy eating and preparing all types of cuisines. It’s important to be well-rounded. I explore new flavors and cooking techniques all the time.

“This week, we will be journeying to the Canary Islands,” he states, referring to Friday Night Flight.

Join Kahala Hotel & Resort Friday, Sept. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. in The Veranda, as it ventures into the region of the Canary Islands. According to Kusuda, an enticing journey of spectacular eats awaits.

“Friday Night Flights takes place the first Friday of each month. Each series explores boutique wine-producing regions and takes you into exotic locales,” he explains.

Priced at $50 per person, featured dishes include Hamakua Mushroom wrapped in Brick Pastry, Panko-crusted Big Island Goat Cheese with Smoked Paprika, Seafood Paella composed of saffron-infused risotto, chorizo sausage, shrimp, clams and island catch of the day. Dessert is Caramel Roasted Banana Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnut Pistachio Cookies.

Then, Wednesday, Sept. 10, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Seaside Grill plays host to “Pigs and Pinot.”

“It’s a hot trend right now, pairing pork with pinot — they share a sweet tenderness and smoky undertone,” reveals Kusuda, noting that pinot noir has been a longtime favorite on the wine list, as it pairs beautifully with a wide range of cuisines, particularly ingredients and flavors unique to the Islands.

Priced at $50 for adults and $30 for keiki (ages 6-12), guests are invited to immerse their palates into all things pork. Crispy Pork Belly with Sauteed String Beans, Bell Peppers and Pickled Jalapeno will enliven your taste buds for a mouth-watering creation of Baby Back Tempura Ribs, slow-braised with eclectic notes of ginger, onion, garlic, star anise and orange peel, bathed in a zesty, Asian-inspired barbecue sauce. The grand finale is a sweet one featuring decadently delicious Caramel Bacon Truffle Lollipops.

“With Friday Night Flights and Pigs and Pinot, we wanted to keep it pure, simple and fresh; items that our guests can enjoy with hand-selected wines,” says Kusuda.

“We take pride in what we do, and make sure we deliver experiences that match our amazing location. It’s all about the food, atmosphere, service and ambiance that only The Kahala can provide.”

Mark your calendars in advance, as The Kahala Hotel and Resort also gears up for Friday Night Flight Oct. 3, “Kahala Sake Dinner” at Hoku’s Oct. 10, and “Wines of the Mediterranean” with Patrick Okubo at Hoku’s Nov. 6.

For more information or to make reservations for these upcoming events, call 739-8760 or email restaurants@kahalaresort.com.

Hoku’s

The Kahala Hotel and Resort
5000 Kahala Ave., Honolulu
739-8760
Note: Call or email restaurants@kahalaresort.com for reservations.