So, how do chefs at the Four Seasons keep their cuisine new and exciting? If you oversee an Italian restaurant, nothing quite beats a trip to Italy to do the trick.
And so it was that Executive Sous Chef Nick Mastracusa spent time last fall in Tuscany. He came back to the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai inspired by the Tuscan influence that you’ll find featured at the hotel every Friday evening.
Before leaving for Italy, Chef Nick put the finishing touches on the Beach Tree’s signature wine that can now be purchased at the hotel. So, off Chef Nick and restaurant manager, Chuck Wilson, went and guests can now enjoy inspirational cuisine from their Italian trip.
First, Chef teamed up with famous Italian olive oil maker, Frantoio Franci, to make a signature olive oil blend that now exclusively connects two famous restaurants in Hawaii and Italy.
The olive oil is served with some of the best home made bread I’ve ever eaten. It’s baked quickly in the pizza oven and nearly combusts with delicious air pockets. I affectionately call it “poofy bread,” because it seems to nearlyexplode, and is drizzled with the signature Tuscan olive oil and a little Hawaiian sea salt and a hint of fresh herbs. Who could resist!
I love Friday Tuscan Night, with the grill fired up on the beach and farm fresh salad, fish, local steak and my favorite cannellini beans. Above, Beach Tree’s Sous Chef Angela Kenyon, Assistant Manager Kurt Umechara and Chef Chad Yamamoto, affectionately known as the “Tuscan Man,” get dinner started. The fire is red hot as the sun begins to set in the photo above.
Then there’s “Tuscan Man” sizing up the fresh fish beach side, which will be center stage tonight.
What is it about those cannellini beans simmering in a big kettle on top of the grill? Sometimes served as an appetizer and sometimes as a side with grilled fish, steaks and side vegetables, these beans are delicious. Fortunate for us, Chef has shared the recipe on The Gourmet Review.
Tuscan salads can vary, depending on what’s fresh at the market. “Farm to Table” is the mantra at Four Seasons. You can be sure that whatever it is, each dish will be light, healthy and made with ingredients picked by farmers or caught by fishermen that morning.
Take a peek at last Friday’s farm to table selection of entrees. Hungry? Try both the fish and steak with your vegetables and salsa. Hmmm. I’m getting hungry again.
Then, if you happen to be lucky and are with a large group, try Chef Angela’s creation of the ultimate antipasta platter. It’s not on the menu, but it’s a work of art and I guarantee your camera will be clicking. It takes two people to carry this Hawaiian wood platter filled with Tuscan inspired Italian goodies!
No better place to watch your Tuscan dinner being grilled than the Sunset Bar, where you can enjoy one of Frank’s specialty Hawaiian cocktails (Remember his Mango Mai Tai cocktail recipe)?
We love the nightly ritual of lighting torches along the beach, signaling the end of another day in paradise. Makes you want to pick up the phone and get some airline reservations, doesn’t it?
- The Gourmet Review