Next week I’ll be heading to Oahu for the 2nd Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, as a guest of the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau. Besides all the amazing food, I’m most excited to experience bits of Hawaii that I hadn’t on previous trips.
Some of my itinerary includes a visit to Doris Duke’s 1937 “Shangri La” estate, Hawaiian Fire Surf School (taught by off-duty Honolulu firefighters!), and an afternoon at the Honolulu Museum of Art. My culinary schedule is packed with various food events and lectures, then winds down with a pop up dinner at Honolulu’s Miso and Ale.
The last time I travelled to Hawaii was a summer trip in 2004 with my two (then teenaged) nephews. We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and spent most of our holiday surfing (them), eating and drinking (me) with a little bit of sightseeing along the way.
The previous year, Peter and I booked a room at the Ilikai Hotel on Waikiki Beach. I’ve always been a huge fan of the original “Hawaii Five-O”, and if you remember the opening credits with the cool, balcony shot of Jack Lord (aka the legendary Steve McGarrett!), then you’ll recognize the Ilikai Hotel.
We had such a fun time visiting random locations from the show, and definitely made an effort to eat like the locals. Our favorite dish back then was the Loco Moco. The traditional version is made with white rice, hamburger, fried eggs and brown gravy. We first ordered the burger version for breakfast at our hotel, and also tried a SPAM version (instead of beef) that we loved as well.
My ex-husband Perry (we married in 1987) was an airline pilot and surfer. With his free air travel (my tickets were gratis as well) he would trek to the world’s best surf spots, including Indonesia and South Africa.
Since we lived in California, Hawaii was of course a favorite. I went on one of his surfaris in 1991 and pretty much spent the long days watching his extra surfboards (so no one stole them) as he caught waves on the North Shore.
In exchange for being Perry’s “board watcher” I insisted we check out the “Al Harrington Show” at the Reef Towers Hotel. Al Harrington played the roll of “Detective Ben Kokua” on, you guessed it, “Hawaii Five-O”. The dinner show was a mix of stand-up comedy, singing and Hawaiian dancing. Perry cringed throughout the entire evening, but I was thrilled at being one step closer to Steve McGarrett. I never got to meet my favorite TV cop, and when Jack Lord died in 1998, a good friend of mine sent ME a condolence card. I still watch H5O repeats to this day.
During the upcoming trip I’ll be tweeting (of course) and posting photos on instagram. Both user names are MyLastBite in case you’d like to follow along. If you plan on attending the event, feel free to drop me a tweet! Please do check back for a full blog post upon my return.
Aloha & Mahalo!
About The Festival:
The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival is the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific. Set in the lush island paradise of O‘ahu, our four-day Festival features a roster of over 50 internationally-renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers. Co-founded by two of Hawai‘i’s own James Beard Award-winning chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, the Festival in Honolulu and Ko Olina Resort will showcase wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, one-of-a-kind excursions, and exclusive dining opportunities with dishes highlighting the state’s bounty of local produce, seafood, beef and poultry.
Complete Schedule here
Download the FREE Hawaii Food & Wine App
Rebecca Pang. Account Supervisor, Travel & Tourism, McNeil Wilson Communications
More of my older Hawaii photos on Flickr