Over the weekend, we did an event for a small hotel group at a private residence in Diamond Head. For those of you who were living under a rock for the past 300 years, Diamond Head is THE landmark feature of our island. When you think of Oahu, you think of Diamond Head. Having a property on edge of Diamond Head means you get two great views: one backward if you look up the slopes and see that iconic crater, and the other if you look out over the crystal blue ocean with it’s surf breaks.
This event was a clambake, which isn’t a common type of event. We do lots of sushi events here, lots of buffets, lots of pacific rim cuisine, but very few traditional clambakes, with your pot full of shellfish, hot potatoes, corn on the cobb, and all-American apple pies. There actually USED to be a company that specialized in clambakes (Clambake Hawaiian Style Catering), but their owner had some health problems, and they stopped doing events back around 2005.
Anyhow, this was a perfect little event for about 40 people. We used a 20×40 White Warner tent for the guest seating on the back-lawn (with an amazing ocean view), and put down long rectangular tables with a red underlay and a red-and-white-checkerboard overlay, to create a picnic style feel to the event. We used the rectangular tables to give each guest a decent view at the ocean (by looking either right or left), and so nobody’s back was to the ocean.
The buffet was the fun part. There was a LOT of food selection, from the steamed crab and shellfish in big pots to cold pasta salads and shrimp cocktail to a self-serve ice-cream bar. We used lots of buffet décor to add some character and keep the festive look going. We built mini chimneys with red brick from a hardware store around the crab pots with a few sternos underneath the pots to keep the pots hot. We put a mesh wire base inside the pots so that we could fill a few inches of water in each pot to steam-heat the crab, and the crab itself would be suspended above the water, so it wouldn’t dilute the flavor of the crab. We used a ice glow tray for the cold food, so each bowl and platter could be kept chilled even in the heat of the day. And we used high polish stainless steel utensils and chafing dishes for everything else, to keep the food properly presented.
The weather also cooperated, as it was a gorgeous blue-sky day. With a bit of light tradewinds to keep things cool. On the shore of the world’s best ocean. At the foot of the iconic Diamond Head Crater. What more could you ask for….