Jun 12 2010

Hawaii Food & Wine Paradise – Pairings in Paradise Marriott’s Ko Olina Beach Club – Part 2

Published by at 11:35 am under Hawaii

Pairings in Paradise

Pairings in Paradise

Part of a three-day culinary extravaganza, the 3rd Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Paradise, held an epicurean delight Saturday afternoon at Ko Olina Beach Club. It was a “foodie-face –off” between four of Hawaii’s top chefs and a Hawaii food critic, and best of all it was all for a worthwhile cause to benefit the Kapolei Foundation.

Enjoying the event Andrea, John & Cara

Ms. Andrea, Mr. John Heckathorn and Ms. Cara

Guests have been eating and drinking with a purpose as the culinary festival supports beneficiaries of the Kapolei Foundation, one of the charitable beneficiaries of the Hawaii Food & Wine Paradise. It was a win-win for everyone as guests were presented an amazing experience while helping to create bright futures for deserving Leeward Oahu high school students who benefit from the Kapolei Foundation college scholarship program.

Chef Matt Zubrod and John Heckathorn

Chef Matt Zubrod and Mr. John Heckathorn

The ever charming Mr. John Heckathorn, editor and food critic of Hawaii Magazine served as the “Pairings in Paradise” panel moderator. This four-course luncheon featured dishes by some of Hawaii’s top chefs. Heckathorn introduced each chef and their course. The twist was that there were two wines with each course, one selected by the respective chef, and one selected by Heckathorn. The guests and chefs then casually voted on if they thought Heckathorn selected the best food and wine pairing. As the winemakers were also in attendance, it

sparked some lively debate and laughs amongst all.

Wine Service with Each Course

Wine Service with Each Course

Serving the first refreshing course was Chef Scott Nelson of Sapori Enoteca Birreria. It was an unexpected “Stracciatella” hand pulled Mozzarella with fresh cream and Kamuela tomatoes. The wine accompaniment was the choice between a Levendi and Reynolds’ Chardonnay, the vote for this course was right down the middle. Half the guests thought the Levendi was a better complement and half selected the Reynolds.

Chef and owner Fred DeAngelo of OLA at Turtle Bay Resort presented the second course which consisted of fresh Kona Abalone with sauce a la “Nicks” rock shrimp dill citrus sauce. The wine

choice was between a Rombauer Pinot and a Twomey. It was a hard decision but in the end

Chef De Angelo’s pairing of the Rombauer was the favorite for this course.

Mr. Gerhard Reisacher of Delectus Winery

Mr. Gerhard Reisacher of Delectus Winery

Executive Chef at Monettes in the Mauna Kea Beach Resort, Matthew Zubrod served the third course. It was called “Monettes Steak and Eggs”, which according to Heckathorn is one of Zubrod’s signature dishes. The plate, braised beef short ribs with a farm fresh egg was accompanied with a Maui Brewing Company Coconut Porter. The wine options here were between a Delectus Petite Syrah and a Reynolds red wine blend called

“Persistence”. Again this was a fifty-fifty split among the guests. In addition to his crowd pleasing dish, Chef Zubrod also brought along his daughter Christina, who unfortunately for him, is too young to drink and could not weigh in on the vote.

For the final fourth course, Chef Russell Siu of 3660 on the Rise served a refreshing dessert. It was a medley of poached pears with ginger scented panna cotta, Ka’u orange, and Keawe honey consommé. As this was the last delectable course of the day, my attention to detail in my note taking had been diminished by this point. I do apologize as I cannot recall the Vineyards!

The Chef and Wine Makers

The Chefs, Wine Makers and Mr. D. Keola Lloyd

What I do remember is that Chef Siu’s dish was presented with the choice of a Riesling and a Viognier. Again it was a fifty-fifty split among the guests, but Chef Siu commented that he actually preferred Heckathorn’s wine pairing over his own.

Hawaii Food and Wine Paradise is by far, the best epicurean experience I have ever had in Hawaii. Event Chair, Mr. D. Keola Lloyd and his team deliver an outstanding event. Their attention to detail and level of service is exceptional. This is a must for anyone interested in food, wine, and island hospitality. With amazing venues, chefs, and winemakers, be sure to mark your calendar for next year. This is an event not to be missed! To view all my photos from the day CLICK THIS LINK TO GO TO THE PHOTO GALLERY.

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