Among the festivals I visited during my stay in Oahu one was the Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festival. I was accompanied by my loyal island buddy Lorenzo Ruiz. Dressed in jeans and a chef coat, which made my companion smile, I read out directions for the GPS and we headed out for the day. Unaware I had forgotten to pack the data card for my awesome professional camera, I was innocently day dreaming about all the awesome pictures I intended to take.
When we arrived at Pier 38, I was amazed at the sheer amount of stands. They even gave out a map so one could properly navigate the festival! I was excited because I knew that I would soon be visiting the pier again to witness the fish auction, but more about that in a different post. The options were endless, with cooking demos, live music, old Hawaiian fishing traditions, kid activities, customized apparel and more! I made a game plan with Lorenzo on where to start and what points of interest would be most important.
We both agreed to go to the fish display area where they had local fresh whole fish on display in a huge refrigerated warehouse… We arrived and the line was HUGE. Now I don´t always follow the rules, but I try to respect social protocols when possible. However, Lorenzo and I together were a couple of rule breaking, sign ignoring, picture-taking, island exploring fools…no matter where we went. With a little incentive on his behalf we managed to ….*cue gasps*…cut in line!
Oh the horror! We got in real close and I having now realized my camera was useless, attempted taking my first cell phone picture ever! Lorenzo, not one to disappoint, quickly aided in the picture-taking with his smart phone or iPhone or whatever you call those high-tech gadgets everyone but me has nowadays.
I spoke to many company representatives about fishing practices, fish consumption and consumer education. I collected information sheets, business cards and recipe print outs. I purchased a poster to take home and then walked out of the cold warehouse and into the warmth of the sun. I made friends with a fishy coast guard and then took a tour of a coast guard boat, where I promptly fell in love…
…With the kitchen that is. Small, yes. Sparsely equipped, yes. But the kitchen was stainless steel from top to bottom and perfectly laid out for its purpose. Leave it to the military to design something almost perfect in such a simple and efficient way. I took notes, offered to volunteer if the coast guards needed a cook and made a mental reminder to contact someone in the military design field for future kitchen designs that I hope to have.
I reluctantly left the kitchen of the boat, trailing Lorenzo to Nico´s, the go-to place to eat when at Pier 38. We grabbed a bite, talked about the festival and made plans on where to explore next. The festival was informative and colorful. I would highly recommend you go, but I have to say it will only be half as good when you go, for you will not have the awesome company I did.