During your vacation in Hawaii, you're likely to indulge in many of the scrumptious Hawaiian culinary treats such as kalua pig, lomi lomi salmon, tuna poke, poi, and pork adobo. Hawaiian cuisine is unique and complex, combining the distinct oriental flavors of Chinese and Japanese cuisine with the tropical fruits native to the Hawaiian islands.
If you consider yourself a real foodie, you may be interested in learning the skills to take these foods home with you to share with friends and family. Rather than presenting them with a photo album documenting your trip, you can prepare a multi-course meal that transports them to the seaside landscape – as they taste your chicken char siu, they're imagining indulging in the tender meat while watching a luau, a seaside sunset, or the gentle cares of lazy waves as they reach the Ko Olina, Oahu shore. If you enjoy eating and cooking, consider participating in one of these cooking classes:
1. Kapi'olani Community College's (KCC) Continuing Education classes: KCC offers non-degree courses to local residents and visitors alike on a variety of culinary subjects ranging from barbeque techniques to pastry making. The "Cooking Local" classes focus specifically on traditional Hawaiian dishes, so you can learn the skills to mix the spices, prepare the glaze, and perfect your own kalua pork recipe. Students get to enjoy the dishes prepared in class, so be sure to show up hungry.
2. Gourmet Events Hawaii: Visitors also have the opportunity to participate in private cooking classes and farm tours for a complete culinary experience with Gourmet Events Hawaii. The three hour cooking experience is led by one of Oahu's renovated chefs and can be easily customized according to your food interests and preferences.
3. Hawaii Food Tours: For budding food enthusiasts interested in observing the cooking process, Hawaii Food Tours combines tours to small, hole-in-the-wall restaurants with a brief history lesson of Hawaii's cuisine and a luau feast and cooking demonstration. This option is ideal for people without intense experience in the kitchen yet, and it can serve as a gateway to building your confidence behind the apron.
Several smaller cooking classes are also held on a regular basis. Some locally owned restaurants will host both demonstration and hands-on courses on a semi-regular basis, so check the events pages of your favorite Hawaiian restaurants' websites for up to date information. In the meantime, these three courses offer great cooking experiences for anyone ranging from the budding chef to the experienced cook.
Enjoy each tasty morsel available during your vacation, but allow yourself to indulge in Hawaiian trips once you return home by learning the techniques, process, and ingredients required for your favorite dishes.