Lunch at Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian-Airlines

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Today I flew from Oakland to Oahu to attend the 2014 Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. In the San Francisco Bay Area it is so convenient to fly to the Hawaiian islands! And there is no other way to fly than Hawaiian Airlines (seriously, my opinion!).

When I landed in Oahu I was invited to have lunch at the Hawaiian Airlines Headquarters. Hawaiian Airlines has generously sponsored my flight to Oahu this weekend and our hosting me along with The Modern Honolulu hotel and the Oahu Visitors Bureau.

My first flight with them was this past March when I came to visit the Big Island and Maui. It was an amazing experience and the more I learn about them the more I love.

chef Chai Chaowasaree, the Executive Chef, Hawaiian Airlines

Like being the only US airline that serves a free hot meal. I recently interviewed Hawaiian Airlines Executive Chef Chai Chaowasaree, and having experienced seen three meal services on board, I can tell you that there is a lot of care that goes into the meals and a keen sense of island pride in the products and snacks they support on board.

One of the other things I recently learned about Hawaiian Airlines is that they travel internationally! They service destinations in Asia and the South Pacific – Australia, American Samoa, Philippines, Tahiti, Korea, and Japan (4 spots) and they just added Beijing this year. What’s really cool about that is if you are flying to say Tokyo, you can stop in Hawaii for a stay…call it an extended layover, and then continue on your way – kind of cool!

I like the idea of going through customs on my return to the U.S. in Hawaii rather than San Francisco or LAX, just feels like it would be way easier!

Ahhh-customs-through-Hawaii

I met up with my Hawaiian Airlines hosts for lunch in their beautiful cafeteria. Look at all that light and airiness! A beautiful place to eat and interact with your fellow colleagues. One of the executives who stopped by to say hello said there is a company-wide rule that says if you are going to eat something that requires utensils, you need to eat it in the cafeteria. That instills a sense of community, people aren’t hunched overeating at their desks. They are taking a break, enjoying some natural light and Vitamin D and interacting with their co-workers, I like it!

The cafeteria is run by Chef Mark Noguchi a well-known celebrity chef born and raised in Hawaii. When I went to make my selection for my lunch, there were too many choices! One thing I went with was something I had never tried before, Pa’ i ‘ai.

It is taro (kalo) pounded by Mana’ai and sauteed with Hawaiian salt – it looks like pork belly but tastes like heaven! Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and with a pop of salt.

It was delicious with my Pork Luau Stew with roasted pork shoulder, luau leaves, pickled onion, smoked macadamia nut and Hapa Rice – at an office cafeteria…get out!

Stress-free flight to Oahu…check! Delicious lunch…check! Hawaiian old-style gracious (to quote a very smart lady)…check!

I could not ask for a better start to the weekend!

Throughout my weekend here in Oahu I will be attending several Hawaii Food & Wine Festival events including Corks & Forks presented by Hawaiian Airlines, keep up with me on Twitter and Instagram additional blog posts all throughout the weekend.

Mahalo!

61 Comments

  1. Maria Carla Perez
    September 6, 2014

    Wow! the foods looks delicious! And the place looks amazing!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 6, 2014

      @Maria, it was, such a cool company cafeteria!

      Reply
  2. Orsi
    September 6, 2014

    Hawaii is one of my dream location to visit! Although I’m not from the US, but it’s always nice to see people’s positive experiences with airlines that operates where I wanna go one day πŸ˜€

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 6, 2014

      @Orsi, the people of these islands are nothing short of remarkable, some of the nicest people I have EVER met.

      Reply
  3. Katie @ Domestiphobia
    September 6, 2014

    Soo…. is Hawaiian Airlines hiring?? πŸ˜‰

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 6, 2014

      @Katie, seriously! I asked the same!

      Reply
  4. laurie damrose
    September 6, 2014

    Sounds really nice and I’m glad you had a great trip.

    Reply
  5. Orsi
    September 6, 2014

    @andi let me just win the lottery and ill go and see it for myself πŸ˜€ But it’s so nice to hear^^

    Reply
  6. Nuresha Perera
    September 8, 2014

    i would love to have such an experience

    Reply
  7. Jacek
    September 8, 2014

    Hey, amazing adventure!:D

    Reply
  8. Nuresha Perera
    September 15, 2014

    soooo amazing

    Reply
  9. Natalie
    September 30, 2014

    That food looks delicious! πŸ™‚ Lucky you for getting to go to Hawaii–it’s on my travel bucket list. I’ll have to remember all of the great things that Hawaiian Airlines provides whenever I start planning that trip.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 30, 2014

      @Natalie, what island have you looked at going to?

      Reply
  10. Candace
    September 30, 2014

    That is amazing! I can’t believe you were flown there to eat and drink! What a life. I love wine and food tests!

    xoxo
    Candace
    http://www.FromCtoC.com

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 30, 2014

      @Candace, I feel very lucky!

      Reply
  11. Lindsay
    September 30, 2014

    I really need to go visit Hawaii πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 30, 2014

      @Lindsay, have you been?

      Reply
    2. Andi Fisher
      September 30, 2014

      @Lindsay, I hope you get there soon!

      Reply
  12. Lavende & Lemonade
    September 30, 2014

    Lucky you! I always look for their flights to Asia…I’d rather have a layover in Hawaii than Denver (no offence, Devner… πŸ™‚ )

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 30, 2014

      @Lavende, I agree, I am definitely going to look at doing that on my next trip over to Asia!

      Reply
  13. Nancy
    September 30, 2014

    WHAT?! Wait. What? How did you manage to get Hawaiian Airlines to bring you to Hawaii!? Can I go with you next time? I can drive right up to Oakland, haha! Not even kidding.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 30, 2014

      @Nancy, I was lucky enough to meet and work with them last spring and have continued the relationship – they are a wonderful group of people and a great airline!

      Reply
  14. Ayana Pitterson
    September 30, 2014

    Wow, hmmm, do you need a travel buddy..lol. This looks absolutely amazing. Enjoy your time to the fullest.

    Thrifting Diva
    http://www.thriftingdiva.com

    Reply
  15. Lana Lou
    September 30, 2014

    Just a wee bit jealous here. Wee meaning A LOT.

    Reply
  16. Brenda
    September 30, 2014

    Wow! Lucky girl! You took some great shots!

    Reply
  17. Jordan
    September 30, 2014

    Wow! I’m so totally jealous! I want free flights to hawaii!

    Reply
  18. Erica
    September 30, 2014

    Oh my goodness, how lucky are you! I’ve been to both Maui and Kauai and absolutely love everything about Hawaii!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 1, 2014

      @Erica, I haven’t been to Kaui yet, would love to go there!

      Reply
  19. Fi
    October 1, 2014

    How lovely! You’re so lucky to have experience the tastes of Hawaii!

    Reply
  20. Fatima
    October 1, 2014

    How exciting to be flown to Hawaii! The food looked great seems like u had a great time!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 1, 2014

      @Fatima, it was fun and the food was amazing!

      Reply
  21. jess
    October 1, 2014

    Looks like such an amazing time! I’ve never been to Hawaii!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 1, 2014

      @Jess, hope you get there someday, it is wonderful!

      Reply
  22. Jessica Doll
    October 1, 2014

    That food looks wonderful, and Hawaii is one of my favorite places to go, for sure. Have fun at the festival!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 1, 2014

      @Jessica, where’s your favorite island?

      Reply
  23. Liv
    October 1, 2014

    What a FANTASTIC opportunity! you are def close to hawii! how cool to interview the chef! Good stuff!!!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 1, 2014

      @Liv, thanks I was definitely lucky!

      Reply
  24. I would love to go to Hawaii one day. All of the food looks lovely.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 1, 2014

      @Jemma, everything I’ve had there thus far was delicious!

      Reply
  25. JoAnn
    October 1, 2014

    This is amazing office cafeteria food! Great rule about eating in the cafeteria. So many times, people are so concerned about getting the work done that they forget to enjoy each other.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 1, 2014

      @JoAnn, it was delicious, and I like the rule too!

      Reply
  26. Winter White
    October 1, 2014

    What an amazing oppourtunity and you captured it perfectly! Hawaii is def on my bucket list and now that I know they serve a hot meal I’ll have to take that trip with Hawaiian Airlines πŸ™‚

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 1, 2014

      @Winter, you won’t regret it!

      Reply
  27. Jessica Doll
    October 1, 2014

    Kauai is my favorite. Haven’t been to Maui yet though (April) so we’ll see!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 2, 2014

      @Jessica, I haven’t been to Kauai yet and I really hope to get there soon!

      Reply
  28. Katie Matthews
    October 2, 2014

    I’m so jealous, you’re so lucky. I’d love to fly to Hawaii from anywhere, Let alone for free!!

    Katie <3

    Reply
  29. Neely
    October 2, 2014

    So neat! Ill be in Hawaii in 2 weeks!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 2, 2014

      @Neely, what island?

      Reply
  30. Rebekah
    October 2, 2014

    I always wanted to go to hawaii! This looks fabulous!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 2, 2014

      @Rebekah, which island do you want to go to?

      Reply
  31. Rebekah
    October 2, 2014

    Any of them – I just want beach, booze, and sun!

    Reply
  32. Lauren
    October 2, 2014

    I had to check the date on this since I saw the party pics on another post you shared! Ahhhh I would love to go back to Hawaii soon. Thank you for virtually taking us with you!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 3, 2014

      @Lauren, what islands have you been to?

      Reply
  33. RobynK
    October 5, 2014

    My parents live on Maui and I’m on the mainland. Whenever I fly to visit them I ALWAYS fly Hawaiian — they have the best customer service and I love their meals (seriously). They are my favorite airline by far!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 5, 2014

      @Robyn, they are so friendly it is hard not to love them!

      Reply
  34. Jess
    October 5, 2014

    Yum! What a cool trip to take!

    Reply
  35. Camila
    October 12, 2014

    Would definitely love to head to Hawaii with such an airline – I’m not much for meat, but I’m sure they have amazing meals in general from what you’re saying! How lucky you were to interview the chef, such a cool experience it must have been!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 12, 2014

      @Camila, there are tons of non-meat dishes for sure, Hawaii has such great agriculture, especially on the Big Island – mushrooms and fruits – delicious!

      Reply
  36. Regina
    October 13, 2014

    You’re living the life of luxury! πŸ™‚

    Reply
  37. […] SPAMJam 2015 Lunch at Hawaiian Airlines Corks and Forks with Hawaiian Airlines Pau Hana Market Waikiki An Interview with Outrigger Resorts […]

    Reply
  38. The Modern Honolulu
    February 19, 2019

    […] had just flown in from Oakland thanks to Hawaiian Airlines and had enjoyed an excellent lunch at the Hawaiian Airlines Headquarters, so I was ready for a little rest. I went to my room to have a little down time before my dinner […]

    Reply

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