Sabor Gets a Hawaiian Touch

Hawaii chefs Lyndon Honda and Tom Muromoto made the 5,000-km journey to Alberta.

August 1, 2018

Grilled Prawns With Coconut Curry

In Maui, Chef Lyndon Honda has very little chance to work with bear meat. As in, zero chance. As in, never.

But, over 5,000 km away from home, on an Alberta farm, he made fried rice in bear fat. The dish was a hit with the diners who attended the special dinner.

Honda, the executive chef at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, and Tom Muromoto of the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, were in Edmonton earlier this week to collaborate with Sabor chef Lino Oliveira. And, the cultural/culinary exchange was documented by James Beard Award-nominated wild-food videographer Kevin Kossowan.

Many times, when chefs collaborate, they’ll meet, shake hands, go to their own corners of the kitchen, look over each other’s shoulders and say goodbye at the end of the night. This exchange, as Kossowan told me, was different. For the Hawaii chefs, this was an immersive experience. They went to the farmers’ market to learn about ingredients found in Alberta. They cooked at a rural dinner and worked with bear and moose heart. Kossowan took them into the river valley where they went foraging for mushrooms; Muromoto commented that some of the varieties they found looked like coral.

Chefs Lyndon Honda and Tom Muromoto

Photo by Theresa Tayler

On Monday, Oliveira, Honda and Muromoto collaborated for Sabor’s fifth annual Seafood Festival dinner. Highlights included grilled prawns in a coconut curry sauce, grilled octopus served with sea asparagus and clams served with the most Hawaiian of staples, Spam. Oliveira will take inspiration from that dinner to create a special fusion seafood menu that will be available at Sabor from the Civic Holiday weekend through the month of August.

The collaboration was put together by the Kaanapali Beach Resort Association. Hawaiian cuisine is heavily influenced by Japanese, Chinese, Puerto Rican, Korean and Portuguese cooking, so putting Oliveira together with Honda and Muromoto allowed them to play with the Portuguese influences. They’d previously met in Maui, and Oliveira will go back to the island to work with Honda and Muromoto again. (And, yes, he’s smart enough to go in winter time!)

“Through this collaboration, our friendship has just kind of blossomed,” said Muromoto. “It was a chance to see new foods and flavours. And, if we do this again, I’d love to come here and use only Alberta ingredients, and put a Hawaiian twist on them.”

And Honda said he learned a lot about Canada — really, he’d never tried Canadian wine before, and was surprised that there even was a large Canadian wine industry.


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