How To Plan a Hawaiian Menu With A Private Chef

If you are planning a trip to the beautiful islands of Hawaii or just want to create the Aloha experience at home with friends here are some tips on how to plan a Hawaiian themed menu with a private chef.

The first step is to identify if you want to have a traditional Hawaiian luau or more of a Hawaiian regional inspired menu. A traditional luau consists of some basic menu selections, which will make planning a menu with your private chef pretty straightforward but may be challenging to locate all the ingredients if you are not actually in Hawaii.

Traditional Luau foods: Poi (this is a Hawaii stable and is a starch dish made by pounding boiled taro roots and mixed with water until the substance is smooth), Poke (this is raw fish marinated in a variety of condiments such as soy sauce, garlic, ginger, coconut cream, Hawaiian sea salt, seaweed and onions, and other various items depending on the chef), Lomilomi Salmon (this is small pieces of salmon mixed with tomatoes, onions, and other tangy condiments and was first introduced into the Hawaiian Luau by western sailors), Kalua pau’a (Best know as roast pork this is a delicious Kalua pig which is seasoned with salt and cooked underground in tea leaves or banana leaves), and taro rolls (these purple colored rolls are made from the taro flour). Many other dishes are also eaten at luau’s, however, the mentioned items are the most popular and a must have for planning a Hawaiian theme menu with your private chef.

If you decided you would like a more elegant experience you can work with your private chef to plan a menu with regionally inspired Hawaiian dishes. This would include farm to table concepts and be closes to Asian-Pacific / Fusion menu concepts. Ingredients to keep you on track include using: Hawaiian Fish & Seafood – Opakaaka (Pink Snapper), Moi (known as Threadfish), Mahi Mahi (known as Dolphin fish), Ahi (know as Tuna), Opah (known as Moon Fish), Ono (known as Wahoo), Onaga (know as Red Snapper), Mong Chong (known as Monkfish), and Butterfish (known as Cod), Tobiko (Hawaiian Fish Row), Kahuku Shrimp, Big Island Abalone, Opihi (Know as Salt Water Snail), and Big Island Lobster.

Local Fruits & Vegetables: Mangos, Papaya, Leche, Pineapple, Coconuts, Coconut Milk, Molokai Sweet Potatoes, Kahuku Corn, Sea Asparagus, Taro, Nalo Greens, Tomatoes, Chinese Long Beans, Japanese Eggplant, Bok Choy, Hearts of Palm, Big Island Wild Mushrooms, and Macadamia Nuts. Local Condiments: Soy Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Hawaiian Chili pepper water, Hawaiian sea salts, Kona Coffee, Hosin Sauce, Sesame Oil, Macadamia Nut Oil, Wasabi, 5 Spice, Miso, Tea Leafs and Banana Leafs. A good combination of these ingredients will keep you on track while planning your Hawaiian themed event with your private chef.

Finally, make sure that your private / personal chef feels comfortable cooking Hawaiian inspired or traditional foods. If you are visiting the Hawaiian Islands you should have no problem finding a local chef who can plan an exquisite menu selection for you and your guests. Should you be on the continental united states it may be more difficult but just be patient and with time and by sticking to the food recommendations above you should have no trouble planning your Hawaiian inspired menu and event. Don’t forget to start your dinner with some tropical cocktails like a Mai Tai or Lava Low, showcase local decorative flowers like orchids and play some Hawaiian music like Brother Iz to set the tone for the evening. Now you should be all set to spreading the Aloha spirit and culture with loved ones any time of the year!

Covert Affairs is a private chef company in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ryan Covert is both the owner and head chef of Covert Affairs, which caters to both locals and celebrities alike. His dynamic cooking style is a global celebration with a highlight on Asian-Pacific, Mediterranean, and Caribbean cuisines, making him the Private Chef Hawaii prefers. For a unique affair on the islands look no further than Covert Affairs Honolulu personal chef services. For a full list of private chef services, customer testimonials, client lists, menu options, to view his published recipes or to read his restaurant and wine blog visit him at –


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