Monday, January 12, 2015

Farm-to-Table @ 4 Seasons

We are enjoying the Big Island, or 'Island Hawaii' as they say here.
We are staying at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, 
right off (yes, this might seem obvious) Hapuna Beach.

Something that you may or may not know about the Hawaiian islands, though,
is that there is a big difference in quantity and quality of beaches from isle to isle.

Because Island Hawaii is the "youngest" of  the chain, there are fewer beaches here than, say, on Maui or Oahu.  Lots and lots of black lava that has not yet been broken down by the surf to turn into sandy beaches.  Lots and lots of harsh jagged black cliffs standing tall by the sea.  Makes for beautiful scenery and photos, but not-so-good for laying on the beach. 

So we are thrilled with this location, where our room on the 8th floor offers stunning views of the carefully manicured grounds and full beach beyond; where the sound of the pounding surf sends us off to dreamland each night; where the blue of the pool is echoed by the blue of the Pacific.

Because it's an Anniversary get-a-way for us, we splurge on room service on the lanai for breakfast.
Hard to want to go anywhere else with a view like this.

Then, we take a stroll around the property, checking out the amenities and the beach ~ the pool is beautiful, and it looks like it just drops off into the ocean; there are quiet (private) spots on the property if that's what you like; next for us is a couple's massage, which Mr. C has set up as part of our anniversary weekend.

We send a big "Mahalo" to our massage therapists, Kaika & Rebecca!  Thanks for adding so much to the enjoyment of our trip by un-tying all those knots and relieving those tense travel muscles.

After some clean-up & a short rest, we are headed for a romantic dinner @ The Four Seasons; 
right on the water, and right at sunset.  

This is a beautiful setting, set so close to the waves rolling into shore.  Four Seasons is always a treat for impeccable service.   Our food was fantastic!   Mongolian beef for him, Mahi Mahi, roasted with fresh pineapple for me.

Their homemade bread is a treat, and is served in this cute paper bag.  

I figure it serves a couple purposes ~ it's how they warm it up, and then the bag keeps it warm; it also keeps the resident humidity from making it soggy; and it's just a darn cute presentation when they tear it open and fold it down like this for you at your table.

But my surprise of  the evening was what was going on in the adjacent (outdoor) dining room.  
We saw the grill set up on the beach, and inquired what they would be cooking.  
The answer was unexpected.  

It's a 'Farm-to-Table' program, a dinner composed entirely of local farmer's market ingredients.  

 Once a week the Four Season's here on Island Hawaii offers this program to the public, to sponsor awareness and education about local ingredients and sourcing.  We were told that the chef would have purchased every single ingredient that morning at local market; and, in fact, is not even able to produce a menu until 3:00 that afternoon, because it would be composed solely of those elements that were available, and he wouldn't know til then what he would find that day.  They start with a social hour, and then serve a set menu to the collective dinner group.   What a great way to meet people when you are traveling!

I wonder where else on the map this program is available?   Anybody have info?  Just US, or can I find this world-wide?  Anybody?   I think this would be a wonderful way to have dinner with the locals when we travel.  We've had the opportunity, from time to time, to do so ~ and even when we don't speak their language, we've had an interesting and enjoyable evening.  Memorable.

So given the chance I would love to schedule a dinner like this with local ingredients, 
cooked by a local chef, and enjoyed with local residents ~ around the globe!

(He was cooking thin-cut pork chops.  He said they were using Acaia wood, much like our mesquite wood.  It's very hard wood ~ it took an entire hour plus to get the coals just-right.)  
I wanted to join the group, was our anniversary, remember.  Just didn't seem right. 

A wonderful evening by the sea.   Happy Anniversary, Mr. C!   Many more to come......

 And God Bless the Four Seasons ~ They said it in chocolate.  An edible chocolate leaf. Wow!

Aloha for now ~ tomorrow is volcano day, as we helicopter over the active (very active) Kilauea ~


  1. So wonderful! I loved the shots of the table. Mahi Mahi & fresh pineapple - yum! I'm looking forward to seeing the volcano photos.

    1. My research tells me that Colorado is big on Farm-to-Table programs, also. We'll have to look one up in your area for when we come visit ~ there is such a difference in flavor when things are fresh-picked. Delicious!


Join the conversation ... comment now!