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For this meal, we will dive into the rich history of Hawaiian-style cuisine. From 1852 to the present, Hawaii has encountered four major waves of immigration - each wave bringing new dishes and culinary influences to the islands. As sugar plantations imported labor across the Pacific from China, Japan, Korea, and The Philippines with the intent to diversify and divide plantation laborers, cultures converged. Hawaiian Pidgin (a creole language made up of Hawaiian, Japanese, English, Portuguese, and Cantonese) developed between laborers and new food emerged on the Hawaiian culinary landscape. Thus, we have the inspiration for our pop-up series – Hawaii: A Culinary Crossroads.
My connection to Hawaii is deeply personal and spans back to my grandparents' migrating to Hawaii from the Philippines before and after World War II. Growing up, I spent nearly every summer with my grandparents in Hawaii. It was there I got my start in cooking by shadowing my grandparents in the kitchen. Under their wing, I learned to make traditional Filipino dishes from my grandparents’ provinces. During these summers I also developed tastes for local Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Native Hawaiian dishes from laulau, chicken katsu, to meat jhun, and to cold ginger chicken (just to name a few). I’ve spent my life making and personalizing these dishes, at first to eat, and then as the years went by, to share.
We are honored to have Lanai Tabura as part of the event. As we present each course, he will be sharing the detailed history of the different cultural influences that the immigrants had on Hawaiian-style food. With this special pop-up series, we invite you to continue a tradition of sharing culture and memories at the dinner table. Please join us for a sentimental meal, libations, and great company.
Ahi Poke' - Wild-caught and sashimi-grade ahi tuna, cubed and seasoned with Hawaiian salt, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, scallions, and toasted black sesame seeds.
Ube Haupia Pie - Purple yam, coconut custard, coconut/shortbread crust. Fresh whipped cream and crushed macadamia.
"Born and raised in the bay area, however, I spent a good amount of my childhood in Hawaii. My passion for cooking started at a young age. I was introduced to cooking by my grandparents and parents. I've been told by my family that I share my grandfather's passion for cooking. My grandfather would prepare meals for large groups of people using ingredients sourced from his backyard. To this day, I can still see his passion for cooking and food through the bountiful 50-foot mango tree that he planted in my aunt's backyard in Hawaii nearly 40 years ago. Growing up in a household with two working parents, I had to learn independence at a young age and it began with cooking. When my mom wasn't working she was showing me around the kitchen. Something that began as a responsibility soon turned into a curiosity, slowly turned into my hobby, and is now one of my passions." Chef Eric P.
Hailing from the tiny island of Lanai Hawaii, and a graduate of Lanai High School, this DJ, Comedian, TV host and Actor has done it all! Currently Lanai host’s Cooking Hawaiian Style in its 6th season, a tv show that air’s in 7 countries on the Lifestyle Network, Direct TV, and Time Warner Cable. Lanai is no stranger to international and local TV shows Food Networks Great Food Truck Race, co-host with Anthony Bourdain’s NO Reservations, Jake and the Fat Man, Da Braddah’s, Baywatch Hawaii, and commercials such as: Meadow Gold, Zippys, Hawaiian Tel Federal Credit Union and more. Most recently he played Jake in season 6 of Hawaii 5-0. He has been touring the mainland doing stand up comedy openings for Henry Kapono, Andy Bumatai, Augie Tulba, Wayne Brady and Damon Wayans to name a few. As a 25- year radio veteran, Lanai co-created the Island 98.5 radio station, and currently is on air in Tokyo and Fukuoka Japan