I run a very small personal chef biz and was approached recently to cater a Polynesian/luau themed wedding party for 30-40. Now as much as I delve into different cuisines, this one is a little out of my range. Anyone have any specific cook books and/ or great recipes for this that would feed a crowd? I'd appreciate all the help I could get.
I have a recommendation for recipes, but know this - I've requested that the mods move the topic to General Chowhounding. I just don't want any post I make to you lost in the shuffle. I have a wonderful resource in the Time Life Foods Of The World Library on Polynesian food. If you make a new post to Gen CHing, or maybe Home Cooking, I'd be willing to give you a few recipes ( re-worded, of course).
Sounds like a fun party. Happy to help if I can.
If the mods didn't move it, I'm fine! Life has been crazy - on Sunday, I'll pull out my Foods of the World and re-interp. some recipes for you. Do you want mainly apps, or a mix of apps and entrees and desserts? Actually looking forward to it, as some warm weather food sounds good when the days are getting longer!
You can derive a lot of your inspiration for a Polynesian from Hawaii. Think luau pig, poi, ahi poke, haupia. Fresh clean flavors dominate. If you want inspiration for an original take you might check out the recipes from last year's top chef semi-finals in Hawaii.
You might want to check out Trader Vic's Tiki Party:
I haven't seen it, but it has good reviews, and his original cookbook was fun. If you want to go kitschy, you could serve Polynesian restaurant dishes like rumaki, pressed duck with plum sauce, fried butterflied shrimp, glazed ribs, fried rice, and such. But the main attraction was always the drinks: Zombies, Missionary's Downfall, Navy Grog, and other great rum drinks.
sam choys cookbook had some good recipes and ways to duplicate flavors without the exact cooking methods. How fancy is the party to be - I've catered two poly partys. One was very upscale - one was more on the plate lunch type foods.
Jungman has some great foods listed that really must be part of anything poly but it depends on your customer - do they want kitchy or authentic. I'll post more ideas later
Ps unless you've done pit cooking I would use the oven - its not a technique to master the first time out.
i saw a recent episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, where he went to French Polynesia. Every stop he made along his tour, someone gave him a bowl of "poisson cru", which is like a polynesian ceviche. it looked wonderful: fresh raw fish (often tuna) tossed with raw vegetables (carrots and peppers, i think. maybe some white onion), lime juice and coconut milk. it looked absolutely fantastic; there's really nothing not to like there.
here's a link to the episode, but i bet you can either wing it or google recipes for "poisson cru":
Going to depend on the crowd, but if you want "typical" Hawiian (read plate lunch crowd) you could dress up some clasics
Chicken Katsu on skewers
Manapua - with pork belly (interesting version in this months Gourmet)
Mini Loco Mocos with quail eggs
Shrimp truck shrimp
Poke is a must