Farm-to-table dining accompanied by sweeping ocean views? Welcome to Kamuela Provision Company.
The epitome of tropical elegance, Kamuela Provision Company (KPC) has been welcoming diners with warm aloha for nearly 30 years. The signature restaurant at Hilton Waikoloa Village since the hotel’s debut in 1988, its dedication to sourcing the most stellar locally grown products prepared to perfection has never wavered and is stronger today than ever.
“Well before farm-to-table became the thing worldwide, the culinary team at KPC had been practicing the philosophy for decades,” executive chef Hans Lenz says.
Lenz, who is charged with overseeing operations at the property’s 13 restaurants, joined the Hilton team on Hawai`i Island in 2015, and is quick to applaud his predecessors and long-time culinary team members for creating and maintaining the ultra-high standards of the now iconic oceanfront restaurant.
Set in one of the dreamiest locations along the world-renowned Kohala Coast, KPC is perched on Ka`au`au Point with extensive ocean-side lanai seating overlooking scenic Wailua Bay. With a decidedly upscale vibe and menu pricing to match, the restaurant is at once welcoming and comfortable filled with true Hawaiian hospitality.
“When I walked into the restaurant for the first time, I realized immediately one of the biggest challenges any chef here has is delivering truly exceptional cuisine to compete with the amazing view. This incredible location sets a high bar,” Lenz says.
He adds he is fortunate to have inherited an outstanding team of the very best local farmers, ranchers and fisherman who consistently deliver products of absolute excellent quality. All great food begins with the finest, fresh ingredients, according to Lenz.
Preparations, he says, focus on slow-cooking techniques such as roasting and braising to deliver bold, robust flavors in the kitchen’s briskets, short ribs and legs of lamb. Many of the seafood dishes, including a menu classic (ginger-infused steamed monchong with cilantro, carrot, green onions and kabayaki and topped with sizzling peanut oil) are Asian inspired. This is also evident in a recently introduced tapas bar menu—the lightly battered tempura Maine lobster tail served with drawn butter and a soy-based dipping sauce on the side. Among additional tapas offerings are kalua pig dumplings and slow-roasted pork belly.
The professional team of servers is happy to “talk story” about the dishes and ingredients, and are equally knowledgeable about the extensive wine list and adept at suggesting selections to complement the meal.
In plating the dishes, Lenz says he and his team use color liberally to enhance the visual appeal and to match the beauty of the restaurant’s setting. Bright, appealing colors shine through most strongly in salads such as the Keala`ola Farm Organic Local Greens and the tantalizing selection of desserts.
Lenz is quick to caution diners to save room for these sweet finishes created by pastry chef Eddie Enojardo. Among his sinfully decadent treats is the award-winning Waialua Estate Chocolate Crunch Torte with Rosemary Macadamia Nut Brittle and Raspberry Peppercorn Coulis and a refreshing take on strawberry shortcake—Waimea Sweet Corn Tart with Local Strawberry Compote, Ube Ice Cream and Madadamia Nut “Sand.”
Affectionately known as “Uncle” Eddie in the kitchen, this super-talented pastry chef is what Lenz says is the epitome of the “American Dream.”
“Eddie came to the United States from the Philippines as a young man, worked very hard and from the first job he landed at an O`ahu hotel has advanced to an executive position as pastry chef for one of the world’s most respected international hotel groups,” Lenz says. “He is one of the most unusual pastry chefs I’ve ever worked with during all my years in the kitchen! He is very humble about everything, very approachable and easy to work with—and, in my experience, that is not usually the case!”
Lenz’s career with Hilton has taken him from Puerto Rico to Guam and now Hawai`i. And positions with other luxury hotel groups have been in far flung locations ranging from the Al Marjan at Al Bustan Palace Inter-Continental in Oman, the Hotel Inter-Continental Hurghada, Egypt, and Ceylan Inter-Continental Istanbul to the Inter-Continental Dusseldorf in his native Germany.
Prior to making the move to Hawai`i Island as top toque at the respected Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Lenz was the executive chef on the pre-opening team of Kempinski Villa Rosa Nairobi, Kenya and the Kempinski Olare Mara five-star hotel and lodge where lions and other wild creatures were frequent visitors—but never on the menu!
Kamuela Provision Company 69-425 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa Village, (808) 886-1234 or hiltonwaikoloavillage.com
All photos courtesy Kamuela Provision Company