The Four Seasons Hualalai uses ingredients from Hawaii Island in its dishes. // © 2014 Don Riddles, Four Seasons
Sense of place is an appetizing subject for Massimo Falsini, executive chef of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.
“Our guests stay with us for any number of reasons, but one thing they all expect and enjoy is the fact that no matter where they are at the resort, they absolutely know they are in Hawaii,” Falsini said.
Four Seasons’ clients can savor that philosophy each time they eat on property as well. A champion of sustainable dining, the Hawaii Island hotel works with more than 160 local farmers and fishermen, and 75 percent of its restaurant ingredients come from regional lands and waters. Guests can even tour the resort’s partner farms to meet the growers and appreciate the effort that goes into their harvest.
At the hotel’s two main restaurants, both the setting and the food help visitors connect with the island. The open-air Beach Tree, set next to the sand and overlooking the ocean, invites diners to take in the sunset, listen to live music, watch a hula dancer and pose with a torch-lighter at dusk. The destination’s edible riches star in dishes such as hamburgers with grass-fed beef, wild boar sausage calzone and risotto with island short ribs and Hamakua mushrooms.
The elegant Ulu Ocean Grill borders the beach and sea, with an indoor/outdoor design concept and al fresco firepits for evening get-togethers. Its menu features local dishes such as Waimea corn and coconut soup, crispy local octopus, Kona coffee-crusted steak and sushi fashioned from the day’s fresh catch.
“There’s more awareness about the farm-to-table experience than ever before,” said Falsini. “People really can taste the difference with the freshest ingredients, and local is always the freshest.”
As it targets travelers with a passion for the best things in life, Four Seasons Hualalai is running a series of multi-day culinary events to sweeten the resort experience. Chef Fest will take place Oct. 22-25 and it gives clients a chance to interact with high-profile chefs during cooking classes, tastings, receptions and dinners showcasing island products. The commissionable five-night Taste of Chef Fest package runs from $895 per night, with a $750 resort credit good for Chef Fest events.