HILUXURY - Hawaii Luxury Magazine http://www.hiluxury.com Luxury Living In Hawaii Mon, 16 Feb 2015 22:56:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Hides to Seek http://www.hiluxury.com/hides-seek/ http://www.hiluxury.com/hides-seek/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 10:17:48 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17042 You won’t find any split-grain leathers within this supple selection.


Clockwise from top: JACK SPADE ‘Mason’ leather briefcase $388 from NORDSTROM; BURBERRY leather embossed check long zip-around wallet in bright clementine $595 from T GALLERIA HAWAII BY DFS; TOD’S sunglasses with braided leather arms $530; MARC BY MARC JACOBS wallet $78 from T GALLERIA HAWAII BY DFS; VIVIENNE WESTWOOD ‘Ezra’ leather cuff, price upon request; SALVATORE FERRAGAMO ‘Gancini’ belt $320 from NORDSTROM; TOD’S umbrella with leather handle and sleeve in whiskey $395.


GENTS leather baseball cap $99 from NORDSTROM

DIOR HOMME black calf ‘Optimistic Future’ metallic embroidered derby shoe with black rubber sole $1,350

LANAI COLLECTION suede aviator jacket $1,995 at lanaicollection.com

PORSCHE DESIGN ‘SkyLine’ briefbag MV in cubic black $1,800

Photos courtesy brands unless otherwise noted

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On the Waterfront http://www.hiluxury.com/waterfront/ http://www.hiluxury.com/waterfront/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 10:14:19 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17073 McCabe, Hamilton & Renny Co. owner and Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation director emeritus Tim Guard is chairman of the board—whether he’s in the office or in the ocean.

There’s a sink-or-swim moment in nearly every great leader’s life. Ironically, celebrated waterman Tim Guard experienced that moment during a consultation with the attorneys who represented McCabe, Hamilton & Renny Co.

The year was 2008, and economic downturn was about to push the largest and oldest stevedoring company in Hawaiʻi underwater.

“They said, ‘There’s only one way out of the jam, and that’s really to declare bankruptcy,'” says Guard, who is McCabe, Hamilton & Renny Co.’s owner, president and CEO. “I said, ‘I’ll save it, if I have to contribute my last personal dollar.

I’m not going to be the guy standing the watch after 110 years, and the ship goes down and the leader with it.'”

Righting the company was more than just business for the 74-year-old Guard, whose family has been part of the company for almost its entire existence.

“My dad (Jack Guard) started working for the company as a hired hand in 1913. He worked for them for 58 years until he passed away in 1971. My brother Charles worked for the company as an operations manager, and I worked for them as a stevedore while I was in high school,” he recounts. “My dad wanted me to get a dose of reality. For sure I got it from those guys. They were the salt of the Earth.”

After graduating from Punahou School, Guard earned an international relations degree from the University of Southern California. During the Vietnam era, he volunteered to enter into the U.S. Navy, where he earned a Bronze Star and Navy Commendation Medal. Upon returning to Hawaiʻi, Guard opened an executive recruiting company.

He accepted an offer to become general manager of McCabe, Hamilton and Renny in 1984 and purchased the company in 1987. The company thrived under his leadership until the super recession of 2007 to 2010 almost became its undoing.

Ruth Ann Becker, chair and CEO of Becker Communications, who is on the board of the USS Missouri Memorial Association, which Guard chairs, says she admires Guard’s fortitude during those difficult times.

Tim Guard Tim Guard with his wife, Devon, in Venice, Italy (photo courtesy Tim Guard). Tim with his son Matt after a canoe race Guard and his crew in Australia during a long-distance canoe-racing championship Tim and Devon, about to fly to the summit of Mt. Kenya (photos courtesy of Tim Guard). water_20150201_06

“It doesn’t surprise me at all that he told the attorneys that he couldn’t file for bankruptcy,” Becker says. “He has a strong sense of ethics and well-placed values that put people first.”

If the company had gone under, it would have put 250 people out of work on the docks, and it would have taken Matson and other affiliated companies a long time to recover, explains Guard’s longtime friend Mike Irish, who sits on McCabe, Hamilton & Renny Co.’s board.

“He had to get lines of credit and risk everything to save the business,” says Irish, who owns Halms Enterprise and its sister companies, Keoki’s Laulau and Diamond Head Seafood. “His business depends on healthy imports and exports, but he got down and dirty and held it together until the economy turned itself around.”

The welfare of the company and its people inspired Guard to apply paddling skills to move the company forward.

“Canoe racing is the ultimate team sport. It’s a selfless sport. Nobody is the hero. If you win a race, it’s a collective effort and if you lose everyone is responsible for the loss,” says Guard, who has paddled in about 18 Molokaʻi canoe races and four or five races on a one-man kayak across the channel.

For a paddler or a businessman, Guard acknowledges that a lot rides on who is in the canoe. Guard reduced his workforce by 20 percent, transferring about 70 of his 350 employees to jobs with major customers.

“We had to become far more conscious about costs and we had to make changes in our management structure, including several people who for one reason or another weren’t pointed in the same direction after we decided our strategic course,” he says.

He has since grown the remaining 280 employees to a workforce of over 300. “We’re doing well, but I don’t take it for granted,” he says. “You have to accept that you will win and you will lose. Learn from your mistakes, and strengthen your resolve to do better in the future.”

Guard said most of his employees embrace these tenants, because like him, many have come from athletic backgrounds and are deeply connected to the ocean. Guard said he was just 12-years-old when Duke Kahanamoku, who was a close friend of his father’s, introduced him to his first ride on a surfboard.

“To meet ‘The Duke’ was to elevate your spirituality,” Guard says. “He resonated the aloha spirit and kindness. Youngsters like me would do what we could to emulate him.”

Five years later, a 17-year-old Guard won the juniors division of The Makaha International Surfing Contest. As he got older, he turned to paddling serving on four crews that won an open division race and three or four crews that won a master’s division race. A past president of the Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation, he spearheaded the creation of the Hawai‘i Waterman Hall of Fame to honor Kahanamoku and all of the greats that have come in his wake.

“Really my whole life has revolved around the ocean—on it, or in it. It’s a playground for me, and an important part of my business. Second to my wife [Devon], it’s the love of my life,” Guard says. “I feel very fortunate to be doing what I’m doing.”

As such, Guard has no immediate plans to retire and cautions folks who are following him to watch out for the cloud of smoke.

“Keep up if you can,” he says with the satisfied smile of a man who has attained his heart’s desires.

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Lightness of Being http://www.hiluxury.com/lightness/ http://www.hiluxury.com/lightness/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 10:09:30 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17054 Photographer Mark Arbeit, exposed

In the early spring of 1997 in New York, I got off a bus at Port Authority on 42nd Street and headed to a shared apartment in Hell’s Kitchen. There I began my search for an apprenticeship with a New York City photographer.

Understandably, competition for apprentice jobs was fierce, and it wasn’t easy finding work with a famous photographer or, for that matter, a photographer whose work you personally appreciated. Yet, I carved out a career bouncing from one photographer to the next—picking up bits of knowledge along the way. I worked for many, but always chose photographers whose work I admired.

One photographer in particular captivated me the first time I saw one of his artistic nudes. I wanted to learn his technique, understand how his light shaped the image and see how he sculpted his models. I observed traces of Matisse, Renoir and Man Ray in his work. The classic training in his photography was apparent. It was then that I sought to understand Mark Arbeit.

I attempted to contact Arbeit, but found all correspondence went directly to his Manhattan agent. Over time, I faxed numerous resumes and called his agent a number of times, hoping to get an audience to no avail. With irony, it was only in Hawaiʻi several years later where our paths crossed.

Arbeit moved back to the islands after nearly three decades away, as he became a respected fashion and beauty photographer in Europe and the U.S., working for major magazines and brands. He returned to start a new chapter in his life and enjoy the Hawaiʻi lifestyle that so many covet.

Originally from Chicago but raised in Northern California, Arbeit was just 16 when his family relocated to Oʻahu, and he immediately fell in love with his new surroundings. As awestruck as he was in his new home, he was more astonished the first time he stepped into the darkroom at McKinley High School.

"Iris," November 1986 "False and Real Hands," February 1992 "Atelier Jean Piere Duroux," May 1994 Torso #2, January 2011 Protea #1, January 1987 The Dance, May 1994 Photogram #4 "Loops and Plastic Squares," December 2012 "Photogram #9-Marbles and Rope," December 2012 "Woman with Rose Head," March 1986

“The first time I saw a piece of white paper developing into a picture, I was blown away,” he says. From that point on, he knew he would become a photographer. After high school, Arbeit attended the renowned Art Center School of Design in Pasadena, where he met influential photographer Helmut Newton—someone who eventually became a life-long mentor and friend.

During the ’80s, Milan was the epicenter of the fashion world, and Arbeit longed to be a part of it—but not before making a stop in New York where, he started working with another big name photographer, Irving Penn. At Penn’s studio, Arbeit would retouch Penn’s platinum prints for eight hours a day but would sneak his lunches behind the master photographer to watch him at work. “I watched how he sculpted his models starting at her feet up to her chin,” Arbeit explains.

He did make his way to Italy as planned, and spent quite some time in Paris as well. There, Arbeit began shooting for such clients as French Vogue and L’Oréal, but more importantly, he began to focus on personal projects. “Being around the greats like Newton and Penn made me realize the importance of working on personal work,” Arbeit says. “…You’re always taking orders during a commercial job; personal work isn’t for anyone but yourself.”

Arbeit juxtaposed flowers and nudes for his first series, the In and Out of Focus project, in which he concentrated on the out-of-focus elements in his pictures.

His images became ethereal and dreamy, almost painterly in quality. For his next series, Polajunk, Arbeit experimented with different photography techniques to create montages all connected to Polaroid film.

After 19 years of living in Paris and working within the major photographic markets, Arbeit set his sights on Hawaiʻi once again and decided to return home in 2004. Since then, he’s been occupied with plenty of commercial and editorial projects, while his personal work continues to flourish. In fact, Arbeit showcased a series of photographs during a one-man show in 2013 at the Kaune, Posnik, Spohr Gallery for Contemporary Photography in Cologne, Germany.

This most recent personal project, Photograms, incorporates the human form exposed on photographic paper and processed in photo chemicals. The project was born out of knowing that the traditional photographic process is fast becoming obsolete. “The dark room is dying and it is getting harder to find photographic paper and chemicals,” he opines. So this last project incorporates darkroom techniques before they completely vanish from the marketplace.”

Arbeit and his work read like an art history book with his compositions coming straight from the masters. His personal work, along with his commercial endeavors, stand among some of the best the market can offer. To look at his images, you see the training and education that went into each piece. You also see how Penn and Newton influenced him to create work not in their shadow, but in their wake.

Eventually, I transitioned from apprentice to photographer here in Honolulu and used many of the skills and techniques I picked up on the bumpy road to becoming a professional.

Although I regret not being able to work with Arbeit back in New York, I did help him on several jobs here locally. What struck me most was how deliberately he worked. It irked me at times since I tend to be an impatient photographer shooting hundreds of pictures in an attempt to capture fleeting moments as they happen before me. In contrast, Arbeit doesn’t capture moments; he creates them. This key element is what I missed during my days as an apprentice and wished I had picked up from him back then. Now I try to imbue that approach today as a professional photographer. Alas, Arbeit became one of the last photographers I assisted— and seemingly the last one from whom I learned the most.


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Très Classique http://www.hiluxury.com/tres-classique/ http://www.hiluxury.com/tres-classique/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 10:09:03 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=18048 La Bourgogne serves up French country charm on the Big Island.

While many chefs dream of owning their own small restaurant one day, for Chef Ron Gallaher, it was less whimsical wishing than a purposely driven destination. He spent years preparing with formal training in San Francisco and time spent in some of that culinary capital’s most esteemed restaurants. That background, combined with a passion for cooking “really good” food, led to an impressive chain of experiences as opening chef for some of Honolulu’s trendiest, new restaurants during the flamboyantly decadent 1980s.

Then, voilà! Suddenly the destination was in sight with an opportunity on Hawaiʻi Island he simply couldn’t resist. Gallaher and Colleen Moore (wife and business partner) took the leap, purchasing the existing La Bourgogne French Restaurant in Kailua-Kona in 1993. They made the deal with the original owners, Guy and Juta Chatelard, who after many successful years, according to Moore, decided it was time to retire. The tiny gem of a restaurant is discreetly hidden in a non-descript office building set alongside busy Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway—a location belying the gastronomic treasures found inside.

In the ensuing 22 years, the couple has maintained their daily mantra: “Never rush guests; the table is theirs for the evening.” Not such-a-much you say? Consider this: The immensely popular, critically acclaimed, one-and-only truly Burgundian restaurant contains just 10 tables and serves only 35 guests five nights a week.

“During peak seasons, we turn away at least that many per night,” Moore, who manages the front of the house with both savvy and charm, says. She’s also the one charged with accepting—and declining—reservations. “Fortunately, most of our customers are repeat diners, so they know to book well in advance.”

While Gallaher heads up the stoves in a one-man show, his personable nature leads him to the dining room frequently throughout the evening, welcoming guests, suggesting wine pairings and sharing presentation responsibilities with his one server, Colleen.

Part-time Hawaiʻi Island residents, and frequent diners at La Bourgogne, Mike Sack and John Saul say, “That personal, warm service, along with Ron’s spectacular menu, is what makes dining here so special—it makes us feel as though we’re dining at a friend’s home. We love the food, and we love chatting with Ron and Colleen.”

It’s a sentiment shared by most diners at this quintessentially “country French” restaurant. From the brick walls and Provençale wallpaper, to the starched white linens with turquoise overlays and pink napkins, and of course, the menu itself, entering La Bourgogne is arriving in France without traveling through several time zones!

The beloved, carefully curated menu has changed minutely over the years. “We’re victims of our own success, apparently—each of our regulars has his or her favorite dish, and we don’t dare remove it,” Gallaher says.

There’s plenty of room, however, for creativity with nightly and seasonal specials—Beef Bourguignon in honor of Julia Child’s birthday each August and the most deliciously rich and soul-satisfying cassoulet this side of Paris, offered three to four times a year. Regularly scheduled prix fixe wine dinners, inspired by the couple’s annual trips to France each September, also are offered throughout the year.

“We use local ingredients as much as possible. Hawaiʻi Island’s produce, seafood, goat cheese, mushrooms and free-range chicken eggs are fantastic. I’m a regular at the island’s farmers markets,” Gallaher says. “Of course, some ingredients are imported from France. Snails, for instance—they’re just larger and more flavorful—are a must for our escargot,” he adds.

Additional traditional dishes include a luscious, ultra-cheesy la soupe à l’oignon, frog legs Provençale, seared Muscovy duck liver, slow-roasted rabbit in a white wine and French lavender sauce, and rack of lamb with the diner’s choice of garlic rosemary butter or Dijon mustard sauce. Nightly specials appear on a large chalk board and typically include one or two appetizers and entrées to complement menu offerings.

“We always feature nightly fish specials, selecting the freshest available on any given day. Over the years we’ve developed great relationships with our vendors, and I receive daily calls from local fisherman telling me about their ‘catch of the day,’ and growers sharing perfectly ripened fruit and garden fresh vegetables,” Gallaher says.

Some of his favorite fish are the meatier-textured varieties—Hawaiian sea bass, kampachi and onaga, among them. Prepared to perfection, diners choose among three or four different sauces to accompany the dish.

Desserts, all house-made, are more than worth the calories—be sure to save room! Allow 20 minutes for the heavenly chocolate Grand Marnier soufflé, or, if you simply can’t wait, we dare you to pick just one of these sinfully delicious classics: rich chocolate pots de crème, tarte tatin, profiteroles and chocolate-stuffed poached pear with port sauce, among many more.

La Bourgogne, 77-6400 Nalani St., Kailua-Kona, (808) 329-6711

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St. Andrew’s Schools’ Home for the Holidays http://www.hiluxury.com/st-andrews-schools-home-holidays/ http://www.hiluxury.com/st-andrews-schools-home-holidays/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 10:07:49 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17365 Honolulu patrons for the arts Jeri and Jerry Lynch again graciously opened the doors to their breathtaking residence to host The St. Andrew’s Schools’ Home for the Holidays benefit. The Lynch maison mirrored Germany’s whimsical Weihnachtsmarkts, transforming each room into mini Christmas markets filled with gift-able items; a highlight: the kitchen “Winter Wonderland” of handcrafted wreaths and tabletop trees. Priory students set the mood, filling portrait-decked halls with holiday music; afterwards, Sandra J. Theunick, head of school, provided warm season’s greetings. School dads, too, served tidings of good cheer with wine and Noël-themed hors d’oeuvres.

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It Takes a Village http://www.hiluxury.com/takes-village/ http://www.hiluxury.com/takes-village/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 10:07:30 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17986 Environmentally sound and loaded with a wide range of clubhouse amenities, Kohanaiki is a private residential community worth looking into.

Step into the main clubhouse at Kohanaiki, and you’re immediately greeted by sprawling views of the vast Pacific Ocean. The modern-day hale, with its open floor plan and intimate seating could easily be mistaken for someone’s private residence. In this case, it actually will be.

“This is our temporary clubhouse,” says Kohanaiki president Joe Root. “In fact, this is one of our Shay Zak-designed, custom hales.” The actual clubhouse—which began construction in March 2014 and is scheduled to open next year—is going to be a massive 60,000-square-foot facility, complete with a bowling alley, movie theater, restaurant, spa, game room, fitness area and wine storage, just to name a few amenities.

“Amenity” is the operative word. The private, 450-acre community, located off the coast between Kona International Airport and Kailua-Kona, Kohanaiki officially opened in April 2013. However, while those who have already purchased sites for their future not-so-humble abodes (townhomes designed by architect Warren Sunnland will also be available) wait for construction to finish, they can already experience the perks of being club members.

Members and their guests enjoy exclusive access to the Rees Jones-designed golf course, the golf and beach club, Kohanaiki’s spa and fitness center, not to mention the club’s dining sites, whether casual eats by the pool or farm-fresh fare superbly prepared by executive chef Patrick Heymann.

Kohanaiki boasts plenty of luxury features you would expect to find at a five-star resort, from the ʻOhana pool and lounge area with a spa and a slide, to the adults-only pool, to the beachside pool area where the Adventure Team staff awaits, offering a full range of activities and recreational gear. Kayaking? Check. Manta ray dives? They’ve got it covered. And for something extra, you’ll find “comfort stations” peppered throughout the property. Depending on which station you stop into, guests can enjoy a cocktail, have a handful of granola or get their dessert fix at the yogurt bar. “It’s just small touch our members can have fun with,” Root adds.

The community is also dedicated to sustainability, cultural preservation and restoration. Aside from having a farm filled with a variety of fruits and produce (whose bounty will be fully utilized onsite) and its own reverse osmosis (RO) plant for water filtration, it is also home to more than 200 anchialine ponds, historically used by Hawaiians to raise fish and shrimp, which Kohanaiki has restored and continues to maintain.

Shay Zak-designed custom Hales are pre-designed three- and four-bedroom finished luxury homes and start at $3.2 million, three-bedroom Hale Maiʻa Town Homes start at $2.5 million and custom, one-acre estate Hale sites are available from $750,000.

For more information visit kohanaiki.com

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Good Sports http://www.hiluxury.com/good-sports/ http://www.hiluxury.com/good-sports/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 10:06:40 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17598 Athletic-inspired timepieces to step up your style game.

Photos courtesy brands

Golden Hour

Photo courtesy Louis Vuitton

Photo courtesy Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton’s surprising Spin Time complication, visible through a transparent back, is an exclusive innovation in dazzling rose gold. This modernized take on LV’s classic tambour links high watchmaking and playful handling to bring about a posh design with big game appeal. A stylish step up for this LVMH member, constructed in La Fabrique du Temps, with unobstructed views of its Côtes de Genève for added intrigue. A doré case diameter measuring 44mm, gray dial and complementary Anthracite gray alligator strap reigns in a 40-hour power reserve and 12-hour GMT function. An agile ticker that oscillates with a LV119 calibre, masked by a reflection-proof sapphire glass coating and uncommon date display at 4:30. Established on a contemporary way to read time, hours are readable on Spin Time’s rotating cubes/cylinders; minutes remain readable by a hand.

Spin Time’s unseasoned, agile movement indeed makes a fascinating release from a Swiss-made, French marque. Price upon request at Louis Vuitton stores and louisvuitton.com

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Tropical Charm http://www.hiluxury.com/tropical-charm/ http://www.hiluxury.com/tropical-charm/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 10:06:38 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17881 Channel the effortless chic of a bygone area with these vintage and vintage-inspired spring hits.

Photographer: Ijfke Ridgley of ijfke.com
Photographer Assistant: Carsten Kalkman
Fashion Editor: Yu Shing Ting
Model: Annika Bauer, Niche Models and Talent
Makeup Artist: Kecia Littman of keciabella.com
Hair Stylist: Jake Acedo
On location: Turtle Bay Resort, Kahuku Farms

About the Setting

For this issue’s Women’s and Men’s fashion features, HILuxury did a little bit of time traveling—back to an era filled with what is now considered vintage Hawaiʻi fashions. Some of the pieces seen on these pages are true vintage wear; others are vintage-inspired. But, each setting is the real deal.

We found the untouched coastline and pristine greenery seen in these pages at Turtle Bay Resort and Kahuku Farms.

Turtle Bay Resort, the North Shore’s only resort, is a destination that celebrates adventurous travelers. This has never been truer than today, as Turtle Bay Resort honors off-the-beaten-path discovery through an unrivaled array of fresh experiences, served with a complete rebranding and a major, resort-wide renovation totaling $45 million.

Guests can revel in some of the resort’s legendary scenery at the new “outdoor living room,” The Point, which has been completely remodeled and expanded, and which now includes a stage and high-quality surround sound for live music and entertainment. Designed for kicking back and socializing near the pool and shoreline, The Point is known for its expertly crafted cocktails and locally sourced cuisine, unrivaled sunset views and close proximity to Kuilima Point. turtlebayresort.com

Kahuku Farms, a family-run farm that spans three generations, provided us with lush backgrounds: banana patches and fields of flowers. Located off Kamehameha Highway, visitors can stop in every day, except Tuesday, for a farm tour on a tractor-pulled wagon ride. Or, visit the Farm Café for a smoothie, coffee, panini, pizza or ice cream. (Do not miss the grilled banana bread topped with ice cream and the farm’s vanilla caramel and vanilla haupia) You can even take home some Kahuku Farms goodies, such as Kahuku Vanilla Caramel or bath and body products made from ingredients found at the farm. kahukufarms.com

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A Dash of Salt http://www.hiluxury.com/dash-salt/ http://www.hiluxury.com/dash-salt/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 10:06:28 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=18030 Fine dining on the North Shore? Turtle Bay Resort’s Paʻakai offers ocean-fresh fare in a tony setting.

One of the appeals of heading out to Turtle Bay Resort is the fact that it feels like it’s a world away from the bustle of Honolulu. It can seem as if it’s an area that exists in another place and time.

So too, does the dining experience at Paʻakai transport you. The only fine dining restaurant on the North Shore, its menu features what is billed as sea-to-table cuisine, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find an Oʻahu restaurant that’s closer to its farm source.

“We’re supplied by two farms in Pupukea,” explains Chef de Cuisine John Armstrong. Herb gardens growing on the resort’s roofs also stock the restaurant.

To get to Paʻakai, diners must make their way through a meandering pathway through a darkened hall. If you’ve been to Turtle Bay Resort’s oceanfront eatery in any of its past incarnations (most recently, 21 Degrees North), this is familiar. Now, as the resort has completed major renovations, the pathway is sleeker, yet just as powerful a lead-up to what one can believe will be a transformative dinner.

Throughout the walkway, signage explains the different sections of the ahupuaʻa, the traditional land divisions in Hawaiian culture, and how that land was used. In the kula section, the people would grow their fruits and vegetables. According to master plans laid out by Turtle Bay Resort, land just mauka of Kamehameha Highway will, in the future, supply Paʻakai and the entire resort with its produce. Fish was gathered makai. Paʻakai makes full use of makai, with its focus on fresh fish.

Likewise, the restaurant itself, with its expansive view of the ocean and deep teal color points and chandeliers that bring to mind bubbles of seafoam, channels its Pacific inspiration completely.

And chef Armstrong has plenty of experience with seafood. After high school at McKinley and Kaiser, he went to Kapiʻolani Community College’s culinary school. Afterwards, it was on to Johnson & Wales University, where he earned his degree. He went on to work for several restaurants along the Eastern Seaboard, including the exclusive Clambake Club of Newport.

“One of my jobs, they’d send me down, [and tell me], ‘Go get the lobsters,'” Armstrong reminisces. He’d head down to the dock and gather the amount of live lobsters required. “I had to walk back with two buckets of lobsters, clawing at me to get out.” After returning to Hawaiʻi, Armstrong worked at Nicholas Nicholas and Halekulani, before coming to Turtle Bay Resort.

“I love it here; we have fun,” he says. Part of that fun is building the menu with his team. “I always sit down with my guys; we have a meeting,” he explains. “I tell them, ‘You guys come with your ideas, and I’ll come with my ideas.'” In this way, the team builds a menu that is full of fresh takes on traditional menu items.

Take, for instance, the ʻAhi Tartare. It blends the idea of the bounty of both the kula and makai regions of the ahupuaʻa. Rich cubes of ʻahi are layered between crisp slices of land taro into a tower sitting on a plate adorned with dollops of chili mango salsa. It all results in a nice contrast of textures: crunchy, creamy and complementary flavors from the ‘ahi, sweet mango and subtle heat from the chili.

Other creative takes include the ʻInamona Crusted Scallops. The ʻinamona adds a nutty crunch to the tender scallops that sit in a Poamoho-farmed avocado purée with macadamia nut chili oil. It’s served with a Kahuku corn relish that’s provided with nice smokiness from generous morsels of pipikaula.

Even the Iced Seafood Platter—a delightful mound of the freshest ocean offerings: ‘ahi sashimi; Hamachi sashimi; Goose Point oysters; king crab; clams and Kauaʻi shrimp, are all given a unique twist with the sauces—no run-of-the-mill cocktail sauce will do here. Instead, Paʻakai presents a sense of place with Hawaiian chili pepper water and soy mustard. There’s also shallot and red wine vinaigrette, as well as a whole grain mustard dip.

However, it’s not just all seafood at Paʻakai. Land-based standouts include the Hawaiian Ranchers Filet Mignon with green peppercorn and poha berry; Double Cut Rack of Lamb, served with roasted cauliflower mash and sautéed Pupukea kale; and the Hawaiian Ranchers Bone-in Rib Eye Steak, served with ginger, string beans, eggplant, grilled Hauʻula tomato and pesto Parmesan fingerling potatoes.

Favorite salads include the Grilled Mango & Goat Cheese Salad. Its crisp arugula sits atop points of grilled pineapple and mango touched with creamy goat cheese that’s dotted with macadamia nuts, and luscious balsamic vinaigrette is drizzled throughout.

End things on a sweet note with something from the dessert menu. Popular choices include the Chocolate Soufflé with cream anglaise or the Signature Pie: Grandma’s Apple Pineapple that’s served with macadamia nut ice cream—don’t forget to share; it serves two!

Like the rest of the menu, Hawaiʻi flavors are evident throughout the dessert offerings. There’s the delightful Checkerboard Haupia Ice Cream Cake drizzled with raspberry sauce, Fresh Local Ginger Crème Brulee and Waialua Mocha Coffee Cheesecake.

There really is so much to experience on this menu that chef and his team have fun tweaking its offerings every once in a while. “We have a strong following on the North Shore,” Armstrong points out, which is probably a good reason to keep things fresh.

Coming in February, there’s a special Valentine’s Day menu, but otherwise, a good way get a feel of what North Shore fine dining is like is to take on Paʻakai’s Five-Course Wine Dinner that features the aforementioned ʻAhi Tartare and Grilled Mango & Goat Cheese Salad, along with a Fresh Island Catch served with Sea Asparagus Pesto, Hawaiian Ranchers Beef Tenderloin with Stout reduction and, to end, Tropical Fruit Sorbet with chilled lychee chiso broth. Each course is perfectly paired with a glass of wine.

Eventually, you’ll have to make your way back to the bright Honolulu city lights. But know that Paʻakai is there, waiting for your return, ready to share its bounty and beauty with you.

Paʻakai is located at Turtle Bay Resort, 57-091 Kamehameha Hwy., Kahuku. For reservations, call (866) 475-2569, or visit turtlebayresort.com.

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Hawaii’s Modern Masters http://www.hiluxury.com/hawaiis-modern-masters-2/ http://www.hiluxury.com/hawaiis-modern-masters-2/#comments Mon, 02 Feb 2015 10:05:51 +0000 http://www.hiluxury.com/?p=17584 Luxury Row shops transformed into mini Louvres for the ninth Hawaii’s Modern Masters benefitting Honolulu Museum of Art’s “Art to Go” outreach program. Combining world-class art and fashion, boutiques collaborated with Honolulu’s Cedar Street Galleries to showcase more than 350 original works by local artists, including Mark Chai and Kelly Sueda.

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