Starwood Chefs Create Innovative Cuisine with Distinct Island Flair

The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki
The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki

Chefs at Starwood Hotels and Resorts‘ Hawaiian properties experiment with new cooking styles and flavors, bringing the taste of the islands to the banquet table in a contemporary way. Starwood chefs incorporate local ingredients such as pineapple or mango in the dishes to give attendees the sense that they are dining in the tropics.

Sheraton Waikiki’s food and beverage operations are a prime example of this. Playing on the resort’s theme of “contemporary Hawaiian sophistication,” the property serves up fresh local fare. Newly appointed Executive Chef Matthew Naula was born and raised in the Palolo neighborhood on Oahu and continued his culinary career in the area. As such, the menus at Sheraton Waikiki reflect Naula’s locally derived culinary expertise. Kai Market highlights the cuisines served at Hawaiian plantation tables more than 100 years ago, featuring traditional island delicacies such as huli hili spiced chicken and molokai sweet potatoes.

At The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, some of the same signature dishes available at Azure Restaurant are being incorporated into a new Azure Banquets Menu that can be served to larger groups. The restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine Shaymus Alwin is designing the menu, which will introduce locally sourced produce and seafood to the resort’s banquets and catering department. The restaurant currently serves up ahi, opah, onaga, uku and moi that are selected each morning from the Hawaii fish auction. It also features Azure210, a private oceanfront dining facility that can accommodate up to 65 attendees.

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa’s Executive Chef Greg Gaspar specializes in creating contemporary American cuisine using Pacific Rim influences. He does this by blending traditional Filipino and Asian cooking styles inspired by his mother’s kitchen with farm-to-table methods learned from his San Francisco upbringing. Chef Gaspar leads the dining program at the resort’s two signature restaurants, Teppan-yaki Dan and Black Rock Kitchen, as well as two of the poolside restaurants, the Cliff Dive Grill and Mai Tai Bar and Hank’s Haute Dogs. He is also responsible for catering and banquet operations, creating specialized menus for large groups. Groups won’t want to miss the five-pepper-spiced black tiger prawns on the Black Rock Kitchen menu.