A Match Made in Paradise

August 20, 2019

On August 15, Hualani’s Restaurant at Timbers Kaua‘i and Kōloa Rum Company rebooted their fruitful partnership to provide locals, guests and Owners a culinary tour of Kaua‘i’s finest locally sourced offerings: Island-distilled rum paired with farm-to-table fare.  

Kōloa Rum produces artisanal, single-batch rum, distilled from Hawaiian sugar cane and pure mountain rainwater at its distillery in Kalāheo, Kaua‘i. As it approaches its 10-year anniversary, the company is growing “like hot cakes” but maintains its focus on community.

In the same vein, Hualani’s features dishes inspired by local Hawaiian cuisine and sourced directly from The Farm at Hōkūala.

“I’ve been trying to partner up with organizations that have the same values as us, and Timbers Kaua‘i is one of those,” said Christie Volkmer on behalf of the distillery.

“It just makes sense for our two organizations to pair up and collaborate on a dinner together. We both value sourcing local ingredients from this beautiful garden island of Kaua‘i,” said Food and Beverage Director Sean Appel. “I can’t think of anything more fun than teaming up with Kōloa Rum and showcasing what the Kaua’i bounty has to offer.”

The four-course fun started with a thoughtfully crafted menu by Chef Zach Cummings and evolved from there to include creative libations by celebrity mixologist Matthew Biancaniello, brought on by Kōloa Rum to feature their spirits in unique, scintillating fashion.

“He likes to take the menu and then build the drinks around it, so he did that,” said Volkmer of Biancanciello, who likes to call his culinary approach “farm-to-glass.”

For example, the coffee-crusted grilled pork tenderloin was complemented by a cocktail called “Seaweed,” a concoction of Kōloa Reserve, tomato, basil and fresh coconut milk. Sound layered? That is Biancaniellos’ modus operandi. 

“His drinks sometimes take months to create,” said Volkmer. “I like to joke that he took the Bloody Mary and took it to a whole new level. It’s a meal in itself.” 

Kaua‘i locals, owners and guests all joined together for an unforgettable, oceanfront dining experience. The evening began with a delicious white rum, basil and arugula cocktail, where the farm-infused concoction could be sampled through a hollow papaya stem, adding an authentic sip and savor–Hawaii style. Dishes were picked out in advance, and Biancanciello was tasked with the challenge to create cocktails to match the cuisine. The evening started with a Frito Seafood Salad with Hōkūala Farm Mixed Greens, Watermelon Radish and a Papaya-Chili Vinaigrette. Biancanciello prepared a spicy Smoked Cayenne cocktail with Kōloa White Rum, oregano and fresh carrot juice. The course was rounded out with a delectable sweet treat: Kōloa Rum Pineapple Bread Pudding with macadamia nuts, vanilla and dark chocolate. To sip? A Passionfruit Flower: featuring Kōloa White Rum and a passionfruit flower liquor.

“We believe deeply in the farm-to-life ritual and relish any opportunity to infuse our tables, our spa and even our drinks with fresh and exceptional flavors,” said Timbers Kaua‘i Senior Marketing Manager Noosh Black. “We are thrilled to support the dedication, tradition and hard work of our partners who also aim to push the bar of catered experiences.”