There is no way to really share and do justice to everything about this incredible feast...but I will do my best.
We received an invitation to attend the first ever Ranchers Dinner at Sam Choy's Kai Lanai and were quite excited to accept. The date was Friday, February 28th and I am sorry I could not share the event any earlier, but my computer had chosen to start acting up...but, as the saying goes...better late and all that...
The Kona Coast's golden setting
The house held a capacity crowd and I greeted and was greeted by quite a few people I know...it is always fun to see familiar faces, and at the same time got to meet several new friends and even meet in person others who were already 'friends' through social media sites.
Among the guests were many of the ranchers and providers of the food prepared for this extraordinary feast. See list of providors at the bottom.
The tables were laid with crisp white cloths overlaid with blue palaka runners and the centerpieces with live arrangements of amaranth and Rambo radish seedlings in the burlap covered trays and little Moringa oleifera trees in brown lunch size paper bags.
The menu folder tucked in a napkin in front of each guest listed five courses and three different Hors D'oeuvres which were passed around before the meal started.
Kim Chee Flank Steak Poke, Hamakua Mushroom Poke and Thai Lettuce Cups
I was flitting around the place so much, I missed out on the pupus..but never fear, there was plenty more to come.
Executive Chef Scotty Hiraishi explained each course as it was being served. He is explaining Course One in the photo above.
Course One started with a Honey Dew Melon Saketini ...the hefty steak knife by Walco seen behind the shot glass was a souvenir of the dinner and given to each guest. It is engraved on the wooden handle with Sam Choy's Kai Lanai logo and on the blade with 2014 Ranchers Dinner. A beautiful and useful keepsake that will bring some fun memories when we use it at home.
Course One: Ishi Yaki, Beef Tenderloin, Japanese Hot Stone Cooking served with Furikake Rice - Honey Dew Melon Saketini.
This was a fun beginning. The stones were already hot when the plate was brought to the table, but the server lit the salt surrounded it to keep it hot while the tenderloin cooked. Not sure what high proof beverage was used on the salt; maybe some of the sake used for the saketini?
Course Two: Sashimi Style Seared Cow Tongue & Garlic Hamakua Mushrooms served on Living Aquaponics Salad Greens, Sunshower Farms Watermelon Radishes and Honda Farms Heirloom Tomatoes with Sam Choy's Signature Oriental Dressing. Hawaiian 'Ulu Company (Breadfruit) Flour Cow Cracker - CK Mondavi Chardonnay
Course Three: Local Style Oxtail Soup with Peanuts, Cilantro, Bok Choi and Chopped Moringa Oliefera (Kalamungay) Pods - CK Mondavi Red Blend
Intermezzo: Tropical Dreams Guava Sorbet
Course Four: Asian Braised Short Ribs and Rib-Eye Steak with Shiitake Mushroom Cream Sauce served with Tempura Pioppini Mushrooms, Mashed Purple Sweet Potatoes and Garlic Sautéed Baby Bok Choi - Deloach Cabernet Sauvignon
(pssst...even after all the food already consumed, I could not get enough of the braised short ribs and the tempura pioppini mushrooms!)
Course Five: Chef Scott's Chocolate Macaroon Cow Pie, complete with horse fly, featuring Original Hawaiian Chocolate and UCC Ueshima Coffee Company's Kona Coffee Ice Cream and edible flowers as garnish - Onaka Cowboy 100% Kona Coffee.
What a way to end the meal! Despite all the food we were served, there was no way to not finish this absolutely onolicious dessert! If you look on top of the 'cow pie' you will see the cute, edible horse fly.
Chef Sam Choy ended the evening thanking everyone, especially the sponsors and partners, ranchers, and other providers of food served in his restaurant.