Molokai doesn’t show up on the foodie radar. In fact when people talk about Hawaii’s rarely visited isle, they skip over discussing the food entirely, save a dutiful late night stop to Kanemitsu’s Bakery to score sweet soft bread in a back alley.
And while I agree that most of Molokai’s eats don’t inspire poetry, there is one foodie experience not to be missed. A cooking class with chef Don Hill.
Armed with a battery of knifes, ingredients sourced from the island, and a warm personality, Don will arrive at your vacation rental and teach you how to whip up everything from your grandma’s apple pie to a traditional Hawaiian style meal.
I chose a Hawaiian style meal, and Don not only delivered a stunning array of fresh food, but also taught my five year old son, Kai and I how to prepare most of it.
Don Hill earned his chops in the armed forces, learning how to sling meals for hundreds of hungry servicemen and women, and then turned to restaurant kitchens. He soon took Molokai by storm when he realized there weren’t enough good eateries on his home island and started offering his services. Today visitors to Molokai can hire him—for a meal, for a week—to craft his memorable creations, to teach cooking classes, or both.
On my visit he gave Kai a knife skills class (hold it like a tiger, not an elephant!). He taught me how to select and slice ahi sashimi, and he then whipped up a traditional Hawaiian meal of the freshest poke paired with lomilomi, rice, kalua pork, and cheesecake.
After our meal, we talked story about life on Molokai, politics back on the mainland, and sipped white wine as the sun set over the ocean, glad we could experience a home cooked gourmet meal at least one night of our stay on Molokai.
Call Don to arrange classes and chef services. He also can cook for weddings and events. 808-553-5804.