Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2018

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/950112

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Page 29 of 91

H awaiian Airlines—which services 11 cities on the U.S. mainland, 11 destinations in Asia and the South Pacific as well as flights around Hawaii—has a rich history of culinary innovation, and has long prided itself on offering meals to all pas- sengers on its trans-Pacific flights. In fact, the carrier's foodservice program is so important to the passenger experience that it recently created its own foodservice brand, Pau Hāna Cafe. The brand includes boxed bistro meals—such as a continental breakfast for brunch and a hot sandwich and side dish for lunch—made exclusively for the airline and served to passengers in the main cabins from Hawaii to certain western hubs on the mainland. In addition to the new bistro meals, the carrier will offer its popular Koloa Breeze cocktail, featuring Koloa Rum from the Island of Kauai, and its signature Pau Hāna snack mix. But a program through which Hawaiian Airlines show- cases the state's best culinary talents has yielded more than just an innovative in-f light dining program—it also led to the hiring of the airline's new executive chef. The Featured Chef Series, which began in 2015, has tapped the talents of several of Hawaii's top chefs to create meals for first-class passengers traveling from Hawaii to the mainland. Each chef has crafted a selection of special dishes that are fea- tured for a six-month rotation. One of the first chefs to partici- pate in the program, Lee Anne Wong, will become the airline's executive chef this summer. She is owner of the Koko Head Cafe, an island-style brunch house in the Kaimuki neighbor- hood of Honolulu and author of "Dumplings All Day Wong." "We saw great success with Chef Lee Anne's menus dur- ing our Featured Chef Series program and more recently, on our Japan routes," says Renee Awana, managing director of product development at Honolulu-based Hawaiian Airlines. "We're thrilled to extend our relationship with her and look forward to sharing her popular Island cuisine with many more of our guests." Wong also appeared as a "cheftestant" on Season One of Bravo's "Top Chef," and later served as the show's supervising culinary producer. Other chefs who have participated in the series include Jon Matsubara of Japengo; Wade Ueoka of MW Restaurant; Andrew Le of The Pig & The Lady; and Sheldon Simeon of Mala Wailea and Migrant. "The guest chef program represents Hawaiian Airline's continued support of local talent, giving our guests the oppor- tunity to sample world-class dishes from rising stars in our dynamic culinary scene," says Awana. Ueoka, who is the featured chef to kick off 2018, says part of the goal of the program is to showcase the f lavors of Hawaii. "We try to support as many local farmers and producers as pos- sible," he says. Among the dishes Ueoka created for in-f light dining is a meatloaf made with Portuguese sausage and bacon, topped with home-style gravy and served with sautéed mushrooms and kale; another is seared tofu with watercress and kimchi salad. 1 HAWAIIAN AIRLINES: Fea tured Chef Series Showcases Sta te's Bes t Culinary Talen t Hawaiian Airlines offers boxed bistro meals under its own foodservice brand, Pau Hāna Cafe, as well as in-flight dishes like meatloaf made with Portuguese sausage and bacon served with mushrooms and kale, as part of its Featured Chef Series. PHOTOS: HAWAIIAN AIRLINES SPRING 2018 27

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