Hawaiian Cooking Class

A few weeks back I was lucky enough to attend a Hawaiian cooking class presented by the KIAKO Foundation. I already know how to make many Hawaiian dishes, but am always looking to add more to my collection. Plus with our wedding in Hawaii coming up, I'm very interested in learning more and more about the culture. But, what really sold me to sign up for the class was that they were going to be teaching how to make guava make. ONO! One of my favorite Hawaiian desserts.

The class started off with serving everyone a sparkling pineapple drink and then the chef got to cooking all kinds of wonderful dishes while telling us what she was doing step-by-step. We were given a cookbook to  follow along and make notes. I was happy to see that the cook book also included all of the past recipes that were used in the previous Hawaiian cooking classes.

Sparking Pineapple goodness with a toasty coconut rim. 

After showing us how to make the sparkling pineapple cocktail, a delicious shrimp salad with a papaya dressing was made. I loved how easy it was to make and put together. Oh, it was a sooo tasty. It was so good and easy that I'm thinking about making this for the Father's Day lunch we will be having next month.

Shrimp salad with papaya dressing. 

One of the great things about this cooking class was that there was something for everyone. From the meat eater to the vegan, there were dishes that everyone could make and eat. There was even a great BBQ dish, Hui Hui chicken. The secret to great Hui Hui chicken is to constantly turn it on the grill. You'll basically be at the grill the whole time is cooks, turning your chicken over and over. The time and work is so worth it though. You won't be disappointed when you take the time to BBQ Hawaiian style.

Hui Hui chicken. 

Next up was potato mac salad. A combination of the two salads created with pretty much what you have on hand. You know, when you don't have enough to make a full batch of either salad, but enough to make a partial batch of each so you just put them both together. This is one of those things that really reminds me of Hawaii.

Always feeling a bit intimidated, I've never made seared ahi. After getting to see how easy it was to make, I can't wait to try it out myself. I think I will have to make this when we are back on Maui in a little over a month. Not only is it the perfect dish for the islands, but it's also a lot cheaper to make there. 

Seared Ahi.

Adding some cock sauce aka Sakira and mango relish to the tuna. 

Don't you want to serve yourself up a plate?

Finally, we got to the guava cake. The whole reason I signed up for the class. I've tried making guava cake before in the past, but it always came out too dense. Sure, it was tasty, but the texture was a bit off. This cake was also easy to make, the texture was much softer and it was a fun parade in my mouth.

Guava cake
Finally, once everything was prepared, we got to sample all of the food. Everything was ono! (Hawaiian for delicious.) Everything was my favorite. I'd be eating one thing thinking it was my favorite, take a bite of something else and determine that was my favorite only to change my mind with the next bite of food.

Guava cake, shrimp salad, potato mac salad, seared ahi with mango relish and coconut curry rice. 

You can't be mad at that plate lunch! Well, maybe you could be mad at not getting any. 

At the end of the class my one questions was when would the next one be. I was told some time in autumn. I cannot wait to go to the next one and am sure now that many of you will want to be able to go, too. Don't worry, I'll be sure to let all of you know when the next class is as I know. The cost is worth every penny for the cooking tips and tricks you learn, getting to see everything prepared, getting a cookbook with all of the recipes, getting a blah apron and getting a late of that wonderful food. I'm salivating just thinking about it. You won't want to miss it.
Have you taken any cooking or other classes that teach parts of the culture of where you are getting married?

*All photographs are from our personal collection. 

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