In March, I traveled to Hawaii Island for a photo shoot with Secret Supper, an amazing Portland-based company who creates unforgettable dining experiences in unique locations that aim to ‘inspire intentional living’. Having never been to Hawaii before, I was excited about the opportunity to discover ‘The Big Island’ with the promise of extraordinary food and drink, stunning scenery, and great company.
I flew to Hawaii four days in advance and, while I did spend a lot of time working remotely, I also was able to enjoy the cuisine and incredible sunsets in the evening. Two days before the event, I met up with the Secret Supper team and we went on a mini tour of the island complete with waterfalls, coffee farms, roadside fruit stands, jungles, and Kona Chips with furikake, which I’m still craving to this day.
The day before the dinner, I went with Danielle and Alba from Secret Supper to Hilo where we visited a distributor of exotic flowers. They ship beautiful native plants to the mainland and I photographed the team making selecting the arrangements for the dinner. In the evening, Alba and I went to Four Seasons Hualalai for drinks, dinner, and another incredible sunset.
In the morning, we packed up the cars early and headed to the event location. The supper was located on the ocean’s edge among the sugarcane fields of a rum producing farm. The team began the process of setting up a long table while I photographed the scenery, landscape, and the process of transforming the space over the course of the next 8 hours.
It was beautiful, incredibly photogenic, and so very hot. Although I had spent the last few days on the island, I wasn’t surprised at the experience of being directly in the sun and heat for so many hours. Water and sunscreen were our constant friends throughout the day.
When the guests began to trickle in, I went into high gear to capture the amazement at the atmosphere, the chefs cooking over the fire, and the rum cocktails and epic charcuterie spread that awaited the arriving guests.
With a warm breeze blowing the sugarcane, the guests enjoyed the delicious food prepared by Hawaii Picnics and Provisions. As one course followed another, the setting sun illuminated the sky with shades of orange, pink, and purple. It was magical.
It was a great trip and I’m looking forward to exploring more unique destinations in partnership with Secret Supper in the future.
Grazing Table: Artisan Cheese, Charcuterie, Local Honey, Crackers, Seasonal Accoutrements & Tropical Fruit
Oxtail Soup with Charred Baby Bok Choi
Ulu Sourdough Bread with Yuzu Honey Butter and Kiawe Smoked Butter
Fiddlehead Fern Salad: Local Gem Lettuces, Smoked Ahi, Waimea Tomatoes, Pickled Shallots, Watermelon Radish, Toasted Mac Nuts and Deep Sea Vinaigrette
Ti Leaf Roasted Pork with Charred Purple Sweet Potatoes and Hamakua Mushroom Poke
Dessert: Hawaiian Vanilla Bean Haupia, Chocolate Truffle Ganache and Hibiscus Poached Local Strawberries