Food and Wine Pairing at the Mauna Kea

Teresa Giovanzana

Each March my husband and I attend his company’s reward trip to Hawaii.  This year we went to the Big Island of Hawaii and stayed at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.  The Mauna Kea is the oldest hotel on the big island – build in the 50s by the Rockefellers.  Although the hotel has been completely remodeled since the 50s (probably more than once!), the hotel has maintained an intimate feel – it felt like old Hawaii!  The property is a small boutique hotel, which sits on a coved beach with beautiful white sand.  Each of the waterfront hotel rooms have a beautiful view of the water with an amazing view of the sunset each night!  The cove is the best swimming I have experience in Hawaii in a long time!  I enjoyed long swims out to the floating anchored dock each day, where I basked in the sun surrounded by clear aqua water.  I got way too much sun on this trip and have the tan to prove it!


The last night of our trip, the company had our farewell event.  The hotel hosted for us a food and wine pairing with a number of restaurants from the area.  The event began right before sunset.  I am a devotee to Bravo’s Top Chef TV show and have watched it for years.  This food and wine pairing was similar to Top Chef’s cooking events.  Chefs from each of the six local restaurants stood under tents and cooked their dishes alfresco while hungry people watched them at their craft – waiting for their turn to be handed a freshly prepared dish.  I was so happy to enjoy a whole host of Hawaiian island ingredients prepared into delicious small plates.  Too fun!

Hapuna Prince Beach Hotel

Coast Grill Hawaii

Coast Grille at the Hapuna Prince Beach Hotel

Oyster Benedict

Squid ink house-made English muffin with a

Manalulu Farms quail egg sitting on a fried oyster

with bacon and Kona Lobster bernaise sauce – So yummy!!

Hapuna Prince Resort Hawaii

Coast Grille at the Hapuna Prince Beach Hotel

Grilled Chicken Flat Bread with grilled onions, herbs, pesto, and fresh mozzarella

Manta Restaurant Mauna Kea Hawaii

Manta Restaurant at the Mauna Kea Hotel

Sesame crusted Salmon pan seared with berre blanc butter served on Lentils

Manta Restaurant Mauna Kea Hawaii

Manta Restaurant at the Mauna Kea Hotel

Grilled Lamb Chops served on mashed potatoes with au jus and micro greens

Mauna Kea Resort

Copper Bar at the Mauna Kea Hotel

Crispy Fried Jidori Chicken Sliders served with swiss cheese, kale slaw, and pickled Maui onions

Sam Choy's Restaurant Hawaii

Sam Choy’s Restaurant

Big Island Poke served both regular and spicy

It melted in your mouth like butter!

Roy's WaiKoloa Bar & Grill hawaii

Roy’s Waikoloa Bar & Grill

Hoisin Marinated Baby Back Ribs served on island slaw

Roy's Waikoloa Bar & Grill Hawaii

Roy’s Waikola Bar & Grill

Cold Thai Poached Shrimp Noodle Salad

Mauna Kea Resort Hawaii

Wine pairing stations were set up at each of the restaurant tents.

Sansei Hawaii

Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar

Fried Tempura Shrimp Roll – Delicious!!  One of the best dishes of the evening!

The shrimp was fried and wrapped to order.

Mauna Kea Resort

Mauna Kea Resort Hawaii

Of course every dinner needs a few sweets!

Everything was delicious!  Thank you to the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and to our host company!  You throw a great party!



  1. I love this blog. I missed out on a lot of this food so thank you for sharing the photos!

  2. Jennifer Z. says:

    You’ve captured a truly spectacular evening of delicious, beautiful foods & wines amongst great friends! Bravo!! xo

  3. Kathleen S. says:


  4. Patrick F. says:

    It looks like fun to me! Hawaii and food…what could be better?!

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