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The Best of the West

Cover Story

January 19, 2020

Story By: Kyle Galdeira | Photos by: LAWRENCE TABUDLO

Robert Dawson – Co Founder of Ko Hana Distillers, Restaurant Chef of La Hiki – Simeon Hall, Bryan Mayer – Director of Product Hawaii Meats

While award-winning chef Simeon Hall Jr. is accustomed to taking the lead in preparing delicious cuisine at La ­Hiki Steak, the veteran chef is eager to assume a “supporting actor’s role” for an upcoming special event spotlighting some of the best local beef and rum available.

La Hiki Steak serves up a memorable dining experience at the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina with an alluring open-air atmosphere.

Hawaii Meats Hot “Dogette” (part of ’I’O + KO dinner)

At La­ Hiki Steak’s ’I’O + KO, diners will be treated to a unique farm-to-bottle-to-table experience with grass-fed beef from local rancher Hawaii Meats and Ko Hana Hawaiian Agricole Rum — small-batch rum made from hand-harvested sugarcane pressed to juice and distilled to perfection. The special dinner event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. with a special cocktail reception starting an hour prior. Tickets are $125 per person, and a Ko Hana Rum pairing can be added for $35 per person.

“This journey has taken a while, but at La­ Hiki Steak, we have supported Hawaii Meats since day one,” chef Hall says. “While most chefs use wine in their cooking, we use rum, and I fell in love with Ko Hana Distillers. Chefs are at their best when you take away their ego, and let the ingredients shine through, so I literally dissected the menu and evaluated how I could incorporate elements from both distributors.

Hawaii Meats Carpaccio

“I’m here to support what’s already happening with the partnership, and it’s our way of supporting local as best we can in 2020. La ­Hiki Steak is up and running!”

The intriguing six-course menu begins with a pupu of Hawaii Meats Hot “Dogette” with sweet-and-sour pickles along with a banana rum-infused ketchup. Up next is Hawaii Mixed Meat Barbacoa with roti (flatbread), Maui onions, radishes and wild edibles.

’I’O + KO then transitions to a first course of Hawaii Meats Bone Broth with KoHana Rum flamed onions and Kahumana Farms root vegetables.

Assistant executive pastry chef Audrey Wang prepares bananas for the Flaming Rum Cake.

“Chef Simeon has been a phenomenal advocate for what we do, and the collaboration is extremely supportive of our effort to do everything the right way, even if it’s the hard way,” says Robert Dawson, co-founder of Ko Hana Distillers, which crafts 34 distinct varieties of rum without refined sugar or molasses. “We need to support each other, it’s a team effort.”

The delectable dinner rolls on with a second course of Hawaii Meats Carpaccio with Kahumana egg, brioche and truffle salt. The third course features Tableside Carved Rib of Grass-Fed Beef with Kahumana vegetable pot pie and oxtail rum demi-glace. For dessert, a flashy Flaming Rum Cake brings the meal to a triumphant close.

A closer look at the Flaming Rum Cake

“Because these animals are grass fed, you can really taste the rich beef flavor and it’s a clean canvas for chef Simeon to work with,” says Bryan Mayer, director of product at Hawaii Meats, which is dedicated to keeping cattle in the islands by collaborating with more than 70 ranching partners.

“We’re going to allow beef to be beef, and rum to be rum, and at the end of the night, we want diners to ask where they can get grass-fed beef, Ko Hana Rum and make plans to visit La Hiki Steak again,” Hall says. “I want people to walk away from the event appreciating that grass-fed beef is a choice, and there will plenty of rum involved, so it’s going to be a different experience — we don’t apologize for that. My cooking techniques are going to take a backseat to what the hard-working farmers produce each day.”

For more information and to make reservations, call 679-0079 or log on to lahikisteak.com.

Ko Hana Kokoleka Rum

If it’s meat you seek…

La Hiki Steak offers prime cuts along with locally inspired and sourced cuisine from award-winning chef Simeon Hall Jr., as well as classic cocktails and stellar service. Chef Hall lets his delicious menu items speak for themselves by bringing out classical flavors and ingredients.

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