This weekend affords the last of a series of Hawaiian escapes here in San Francisco, especially Aloha Fridays at Gordon Biersch, which would be especially idyllic in the Spring gorgeousness we've been experiencing.
But it's also a time to dream of stealing away to the islands not just for drinks but for food. A recent event at Burlingame’s striking Sub-Zero & Wolf Showroom highlighted the locavore, farm-fresh movements infusing Hawaii's culinary scene with new life.
It was a February night of island breezes and mai tais with three of Hawaii’s biggest chefs, Roy Yamaguchi (yes, that Roy of Roy’s restaurants), Alan Wong and D.K. Kodama, plus a mixologist, winemaker, Hawaiian products (like sweet and spicy Kilauea hot sauce), transforming Sub Zero’s kitchens into a Hawaiian luau.
Fresh-flower leis were draped over our necks as we were handed shiso, ginger, and elderflower soju-based cocktails, then escorted to a three-course tasting in a back room before other guests joined us in the main areas. The table was laden with flowers and artistic fish dishes from all three chefs. I was pleasantly surprised at the range and quality of tastes. Proud of Hawaii’s recent resurgence in locally grown produce and sustainable, local seafood and animals (they’re even raising Maine lobsters on the islands), everyone from chefs to farm owners (brought together by Hawaii’s Visitors Bureau) talked of Hawaiian grass-fed cows and a new iPhone app, What Chefs Eat, which gives Hawaiian chefs’ recommends for the best in non-touristy food joints. Keep up with Hawaiian food news at Share Your Table, and head to Gordon Biersch this Saturday, transported to Hawaii via the Bay.