Dine on the Islands’ Finest at Hawaii Convention CenterFeatures Inside Feature
July 27, 2014
Story By: Michelle Lee | Photos by: Nathalie Walker
Showcasing the best of what the Islands have to offer, Hawaii Convention Center welcomes all to experience a world-class meal unlike any other. “In most places, people do not usually associate convention centers with excellent food,” says Gary Matsumoto, executive chef for the venue. “Here, we specialize in using fresh, farm-to-table ingredients to highlight Hawaii’s diverse cultures.”
Home to one of the largest production kitchens in the state, Hawaii Convention Center features a state-of-the-art kitchen spread across more than 20,000 square feet of space. “The opportunities afforded to us by our advanced equipment and in-house culinary team allow us to truly take local dishes to the next level,” says Matsumoto.
With multiple banquet menus (call to inquire pricing) to choose from, the convention center is no stranger to Hawaii’s rich food culture. “Dishes like our Pan-seared Monchong with Pinakbet Vegetables are really popular, because they take traditional, local ingredients and present them in a more contemporary fashion,” explains Matsumoto of the traditional Filipino dish served with mung bean puree. “It’s about eating what the locals eat with finesse.”
Proving that dishes can be both simple yet innovative, the menu’s Bacon Bleu Cheese Guacamole is another winning spread served alongside homemade pork rinds. Creativity and modern elegance shine through with dishes such as Gazpacho Soup, a deconstructed version of the popular cold soup featuring locally sourced tomatoes and cucumbers, tomato mousse and a tomato-infused water base.
Pork Noodle Pho is another star item, which reinvents the revered Vietnamese dish. “This is our take on pho, so to create the noodles, we dehydrate and reformulate pork skin to resemble its texture and flavor,” explains Matsumoto. “We then render down our homemade pho broth until it becomes a rich demi-glaze.”
With half the year behind us, the convention center’s holiday calendar already is receiving multiple inquires for reservations each day. Companies in need of a venue for holiday parties and luncheons are encouraged to call the center’s sales office at 943-3500 or visit hccholiday.com for a complete menu and list of terms and conditions.
In addition, Hawaii Convention Center will host one of the island’s biggest culinary events of the year at Hawaii Food & Wine Festival Sept. 6. Chef Matsumoto will cook alongside world-renowned chefs, such as Nobu Matsuhisa, Ming Tsai, Jonathan Waxman and Christina Tosi, for a signature event featuring expertly crafted dishes, showcasing some of Hawaii’s freshest ingredients, as well as some of Napa Valley’s most sought after wines. Those interested in attending may purchase tickets at hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com.
Hawaii Convention Center
1801 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu