Wedding Chicks

The Art of The Pupu

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Five of Maui's most talented chefs share their favorite appetizers.

(poo-poo) noun, Polynesian-Hawaiian Cookery any hot or cold bite-size appetizer, often served in a varied assortment. (Origin: Hawaiian pupu)
First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to fine dining. That first visual impact of a passed appetizer, the first aromatic fragrance of ginger and soy sauteing in the kitchen, and most importantly that first savory bite will set the tone for the entire menu. Similar to the wedding invitation, an appetizer gives discerning dinner guests a glimpse of what is to come. This first course selection is known throughout Hawaii as the pupu. We had the pleasure of combining the culinary artistry of five of Maui's top executive chefs who showcased their most famous, innovative, and of course, delicious pupu dishes.
The small-plates formula of the Polynesian appetizer has come to hold as much importance as the main course on any modern day wedding menu. According to executive chef James McDonald, co-owner of Pacifico on the Beach and I, Everyone in Hawaii knows that the pupu is as integral as any course of the dining experience, if not more so. The Hawaiian culture has long advocated serving as many tastes as possible, and the pupu has been that vehicle.

[left to right] spago's signature ahi trio by chef cameron lewark; salvo of sea scallops by mark and carol o'leary; kula beets and warm hawaiian goat cheese and ajo sashimi by chef cameron lewark

(article courtesy of Pacific Weddings)