Jungle to Table

By Laurie

My husband and I love food. So much so that we planned our trip to Italy several years ago solely based on delicacies we wanted to experience in their native location (Neapolitan pizza in Naples, Parmesan in Parma, balsamic vinegar in Modena, etc). When we lived in the Bay Area we had many options for interesting dining experiences, but in Hilo, these opportunities are fewer and further between. So when a dining event called From Jungle to Table magically appeared one day in my Facebook feed, we jumped at the chance to attend.

The Jungle to Table Supper Club is a monthly event started by Jane Howard last November and hosted at a private residence in Leilani Estates. The multi-course meal is prepared by local chefs using locally sourced foods and each event features a different theme. The open-air ambiance is both rustic and elegant. Tickets are $65 per person and advance reservations are required. The “Splendid Spring” dinner we attended was prepared by Chef Jasmine Silverstein of Heartbeet Catering, who specializes in creating whole foods-based, nourishing meals. It was the fifth in the series and many of the attendees were repeat customers from previous events.

The evening started out with music by local singer-songwriter Bub Pratt, while servers passed around pupus of sweet potato truffles with toasted sesame and avocado, and furikake crusted wild caught ahi.

After pupus, we were seated at the long table to begin the dinner. The event was BYOB and we brought a bottle of Shiraz to accompany the meal. There’s no corkage fee and glasses and openers are provided. Our first course was a spiced carrot and kabocha squash bisque with kalo fries. I thought at first that the kalo fries were pieces of Spam, but that would have been an odd choice for a farm-to-table dinner!

The meal continued with a salad topped with goat cheese and lilikoi vinaigrette, a main dish of beef bolognese over zucchini noodles with side dishes of roasted sweet potato and grilled mushrooms, and avocado cream pie for dessert. Everything was delicious, and also healthy!

We enjoyed the beautiful outdoor setting, meeting new people, and of course tasting all of the wonderful food. We look forward to becoming regulars at this unique monthly dining experience. Maybe we’ll see you there next time?

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(For more information on the Jungle to Table Supper Club, check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JungletoTable)

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