Maui Food and Dining

Pork Patty Mofongo Takes Top Honors at First-Ever Rum Scrum

August 13, 2015, 2:33 PM HST
* Updated August 13, 4:59 PM
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Chef Lyndon Honda and Mixologist Gabe Harvey. Photo credit: Jessica Pearl.

Chef Lyndon Honda and Mixologist Gabe Harvey. Photo credit: Jessica Pearl.

By Kiaora Bohlool

You might say rum equals “yum” for those taking part in a first-of-its-kind competition in Kāʻanapali.

Three local celebrity chefs crafted six distinctive dishes, using Deep Island Hawaiian rum as a key ingredient, in the inaugural Rum Scrum Cocktail and Culinary Contest on July 25th.

Four Maui mixologists came up with creative rum cocktails, as event participants and judges sipped and sampled the entries. Event partners Deep Island Hawaiian Rum and The Westin Kāʻanapali Ocean Resort Villas have now announced the winners of the contest.

“We knew selecting winners was going to be a difficult decision,” said Shay Smith, CEO of Hawaiʻi Sea Spirits, makers of Deep Island Hawaiian Rum. “Each contestant presented a creative, tasty and quality product and really showed Maui what Hawaiʻi’s quintessential rum cocktail and rum dishes should taste like.”

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Chef Lyndon Honda of Laulima Events won with his Puerto Rican Pork Patty Mofongo, a plantain dish that featured the locally-made rum as the distinctive ingredient, and included chorizo black beans, cotija cheese and chicharrones (fried pork rinds). Honda tells us the rum was very versatile and easy to work with.

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“As far as the Mofongo, it’s something that no one really knows what it is,” Honda explains. “I did three-quarters green bananas, like plaintains, and then a quarter of it was ripe bananas, so you had a little sweetness in there as well.”

His Bahamian Papaya Rum Upside Down Cake also took home top honors. Honda says he used rum inside the cake mix, and a special rum glaze for the winning dish.

“I didn’t cook out the rum entirely,” says Honda, “So you get that rum on the front of your palette. You could really taste the rum in all aspects.”

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He competed against Chef Greg Gaspar of Black Rock Kitchen and Chef Alvin Savella of Pūlehu, an Italian Grill. The event benefited the Maui Culinary Academy, a cause close to Honda’s heart.

“Because it was a benefit for the students, and because I had culinary students,” he tells Maui Now, “I want to showcase technique, flavor, and everything that I do is simple by just using different techniques, thinking of different ways of showcasing the actual ingredients, but still keeping true to the theme.”

As for the cocktail category, winner Gabe Harvey of Kīhei mixed up a drink called Maikaʻi, combining Deep Island Hawaiian Rum, fresh-pressed lilikoʻi and lime juice, Orange Curacao, and homemade coconut orgeat syrup. You can experience the cocktail for yourself: Maikaʻi has been added to menus at The Westin Kāʻanapali Ocean Resort Villas. Officials there said they were proud to highlight a local product and support a local organization.

Deep Island Hawaiian Rum WAVE is made with organic cane sugar, and blended with ocean mineral water sourced 3,000 feet deep off the Kona Coast. Hawaii Sea Spirits, which also makes Ocean Organic Vodka, is located on more than 80 acres in Kula, and offers daily tours of its solar-powered facility, organic farm and one-of-a-kind martini garden.

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