The Hilo Bay Cafe, suggested to us via Twitter, was a surprising standout. We had a very good lunch there one day and sent others there who were equally pleased by the experience. The emphasis on local, organic ingredients and cheerful service were a winning combination and the perfect ending to a long drive along the coast. On the flip side, ramen at an outdoor food court convinced me that mandating hats and hairnets in the kitchen is a good thing, much as I may have chafed at them in my youth. Unfortunately we hit Hilo on a Tuesday, and although the farmers market is open six days a week, the days to shop are Wednesday and Saturday. All I can say is don't judge it until you see it on one of those two days because the difference is immense, or so I'm told. My favorite farmers market was on Saturday in Waimea. It was a great blend of produce and prepared foods with beautiful flowers and flavorful sea salt to round out the mix. The malasadas were amazing and the we were able to pick up a variety of avocados to play with in our kitchen. There were friendly locals, some transplanted from the mainland, and a variety of dogs, some even boasting a Westminster pedigree.
Alex was lucky enough to make it over to the Four Seasons Hualalai to meet chefs Ludo Lefebvre, Josiah Citrin, Nancy Silverton, Matt Molina and Lucy Lean. He was invited to stay for dinner and it was, by his description, epic and beautiful. The cooks went diving in the morning for the slipper and spiny lobsters that were served at the meal. It simply doesn't get fresher than that. He was also gifted with some local butter that he shared with the rest of us and it was amazingly delicious.
We are back at home now and hard at work on the book. We are racing towards the finish line and excited that we will be able to include the What Iif Flour as part of our biscuits and gravy recipe alongside Batch 2 pound cake and many other exciting recipes that it is killing us not to share. The release date was pushed back to the end of August 2013, not because of us, but it will be worth the wait.