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Hawaiian Luau Ideas: A Taste of Paradise

By Andrew Burgon /
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April 11, 2014

Image Credit:  Lance Cpl. Miranda Blackburn

Image Credit: Lance Cpl. Miranda Blackburn


Hawaiian Luau Ideas to Wow Your Guests With

In ‘Hawaiian Luau Ideas‘ my aim is to take your Luau party to the next level and make it a truly memorable experience. The luau is an Hawaiian feast held to celebrate important milestones, special occasions or simply to get together with family and friends for some fun and entertainment.

Many of us are probably familiar with the big touristy luau’s in Hawaii. A lavish buffet of delicious Hawaiian food including a Kulua pig cooked in a traditional pit oven. Polynesian dancers retelling the epic stories of Hawaii and her remarkable people through ancestral song and their graceful and elegant movements. Fire dancers who dazzle those watching with their nimble mastery of fire. The question is how can we hold our own luau on a much smaller scale that’s affordable?

A luau should really be done outdoors ideally along the beach just before sunset or at the very least in the backyard. However, I’m going to hold it on the roof of the apartment building I live in. Below are my party plans which will cater to a dozen guests.

The Aesthetics

Hawaiian Art

I’m going to acquire a large image on-line of the kind of Hawaiian art I like from a stock photography agency. Then I’ll go to the local print shop and have them print it out ideally on a canvas kind of material. I will then use a thin rope on each corner to hang it up somewhere where everyone can easily see it.

Hawaiian Themed Table Setting

In the center of the table I’m going for something fancy but simple. Sand shaped like a long island on a long strip of light blue plastic that extends out from the sand three to four inches. Beautiful shells strewn along it and a small model ship behind the island. I also have some small dolphin figurines that I will place on the blue plastic. That’s the basic idea that I will start with.

Around this center decoration will be the food. Some of the food will be on top of platters that have large banana leaves on them. Pineapple tops, slices of citrus fruit like lemons, oranges and grapefruit and frangipani flowers will add a nice splash of color to the buffet.

Hawaiian Entertainment on Your HDTV

Many of the big touristy luaus feature dance and music styles from all over the Pacific Islands. From the alluring and seductive Tahitian dancing to the amazing Samoan Fire-Knife dance. For this party I will obtain the best DVD of such entertainment and play it later during the evening.

Polynesian Flowers

Flowers play such an integral part in Polynesian culture I’m going to connect with the local florist and have her come up with a nice display. Flowers like Tahitian Gardenia, frangipani, hibiscus, heliconia and jasmine.

All female guests get a flower lei to tuck behind their ear.

Image Credit: Cyron from Brisbane

Image Credit: Frangipani Flower by Cyron from Brisbane

Hawaiian Music

Polynesian music featuring the steal guitar and Elvis Presley’s Blue Hawaii first come to mind. I’m also thinking the Beach Boys, Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwo’ole and a best of compilation of Hawaiian music.

Image Credit: Hairy Dude / GFDL

Image Credit: Hairy Dude / GFDL

Hawaiian Food

I’m going for a fairly authentic luau dining experience. While some things will get cooked in the kitchen I will be barbecuing certain kinds of food on a grill.

* Roast Chicken with mango & green peppercorn sauce
* Barbecued fish
* Coconut Fried Shrimp
* Beef Kebab Hawaiian style
– Beef, pineapple, green pepper, onion, mushrooms and tomatoes.
* Baked sweet potatoes
* Lomilomi Salmon
* Chicken Long Rice
* Tropical fruits
– Pineapple
– Papaya
– Bananas
– Lychee
For convenience, I might just serve up a festive and colorful fruit salad.
* Coconuts
* Chocolate-covered macadamia nuts from Hawaii.

Check out Mike & Kim Crinella’s ‘Popular Luau Recipes‘ page for more ideas and recipes.

Image Credit: stu_spivack / CC-BY-SA-2.0

Image Credit: stu_spivack / CC-BY-SA-2.0

Drinks for the Hawaiian Luau

All guests are greeted with “aloha” and a Mai Tai cocktail

* Mango, guava and orange juice
* Luau Punch
– Pineapple juice, lime juice, vodka, lemonade, brandy, tonic and ice cubes.

Well, I think that’s just about it. It will take many hours of preparation in order to host a party like this.

If you have any ideas to add to ‘Hawaiian Luau Ideas’ please do so below in the comment section. Thanks.

Image Credit: Chuck Little [Public domain

Image Credit: Chuck Little [Public domain

Image Credit: Lance Cpl. Miranda Blackburn [Public domain]

Image Credit: Lance Cpl. Miranda Blackburn [Public domain]

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