Seattle Met Flavors of Hawai’i 2011 brought the islands to Seattle during the time of year when we need it the most. During the month of January, the Flavors of Hawai’i were in abundance in Seattle, in particular the most coveted pupu platter! Four of the city’s top restaurants—Spring Hill, Wild Ginger, Dahlia Lounge, and Joey Lake Union—created their own signature pupu platters, which were showcased at their promoted happy hour each Thursday of the month. Patrons were encouraged to go online and rate their pupu platter experience. On Friday, January 28, the entire month’s Hawai’i-inspired celebration culminated at Palace Ballroom with celebrity host, Tom Douglas. From the moment guests walked through the door they felt—and tasted—the riches of the islands: fresh lei direct from Hawaii, tropics-inspired cocktails,dancers and musicians from the Polynesian Cultural Center, and, most important, pupu platters. Each of the four participating restaurants brought their pupu creations to share with guests and win their vote for best pupu platter. The evening’s host, local Iron Chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas, invited each of the chefs to the stage to share their delicious platters with the audience.Once the guests sampled all and submitted their vote, which also entered them into a drawing for a trip for two to Maui, they were seated at a raised luau-style table setting surrounded by an amber glow and live palm trees. The island music and dancing continued as the mouthwatering four-course tasting dinner was served and Douglas walked the guests through the tasty experience. After the last course, Tom’s Famous Coconut Pie, the winners were announced. The best pupu platter went to Joey Lake Union, and Karen Yeakel will be enjoying the tropics in person as the winner of the Maui trip. And at the end, guests were given a taste of Hawaii to take home: sweetpotato chips from Hawaii Chip Company, organic honey from Big Island Bees, Cook’d Potato Chip and Milk Chocolate bars from Maui KITCH’N,and red sea salt from Aloha Spice Company, to name a few. The spirit and the mood of the islands during Seattle’s wettest, coldest season were evoked at Flavors of Hawai’i. Produced by Seattle Met; sponsored by Hawaiian Airlines; contributors include Spring Hill, Wild Ginger, Dalia Lounge, Joey Lake Union, Palace Ballroom, Alaska Airlines and Hyatt Maui Resort & Spa.