September 30th, 2011Dining & Travel, LifestyleMelinda 4 Comments

Recently, I my husband, and our photographer/editor, Ben and some others traveled to Lana’i Hawaii for some television content.  Travel is always exciting and this was no exception.

Jeff and Ben and some of our gear

I travel quite a bit, but I was a little concerned about the remote aspects of the small tranquil island.  I packed my usual travel snacks, but a little heavier than normal.

My day started at 2:30 am.  Yes, that’s right, I could not sleep!!  I had planned to get up at 4:00 am, but no, I’m awake at 2:30… so I grabbed my dog, Paco, relocated him to his bed in my office and decided to handle some last minute work.  Our plan was to leave the house at 6:00 am, pick up our camera man and editor, Ben at about 7:00 and forward to the airport about 2 hours away.  We were hoping 3 hours would be enough time to get all our cases and bags checked before our noon flight.  Boy, did we need every minute.  Our group of 6 had 30 cases and bags, weighing near 2000 pounds, so baggage check was quite the production.  The airport staff was awesome, then we headed off to security.

In my carry on I had a stash of pretzels, almonds, dry fruit, a little cheese and NutThins.  I did inquire if they had a gluten free meal option, which they did not, but I was adequately supplied.  The eight hour flight was really rather painless, a little reading, a movie on the iPad, and some napping and poof, I’m there.

We landed in Maui, took an inventory on all our cases and bags, then boarded shuttles to the Maui-Lana’i Ferry for the hour and fifteen minute ride to Lana’i.

the 6th time in 1 day we moved the gear, still 2 more moves to get it to the hotel

We finally arrived on Lana’i and boarded more shuttles to get us to our check in at the Four Seasons Resort, Lodge at Koele at about 7:00 pm Hawaii time, (Midnight, my time)  We freshened up and headed to dinner.   I presented my Dietary Card to my waitress and she promptly arranged for the Chef to visit with me.  Chef Cherie was great, I was already feeling very “safe” in my trip.  I had the Grilled Mahi, with Steamed Spinach and my bread basket boasted 4 slices of toasted, gluten free bread, with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dipping.   We finally called it a night at near midnight, Hawaii time (5:00 am my time)



My Gluten Free, Dairy Free Hamakua Mushroom Bruschetta

While visiting the other Four Seasons Resort, Menele Bay my husband and I had lunch at Fresco, by the pool.  I had a quick visit with Chef Dario Montelvere.  He was very sweet and accommodating.   Jeff enjoyed a pizza and I had the Hamakua Mushroom Bruschetta.  The dish is generally mushrooms and cream sauce served on a grilled baguette, but Chef Dario made it Gluten Free AND Dairy Free by grilling up gluten free bread and topping it with sauteed mushrooms, garlic, lemon, thyme and arugula.  It was phenomenal!!  Thank you, Dario.


Setting up for the shoot with Chef Kevin

Later in the trip I had a visit with Executive Chef, Kevin Erving.  He and I visited about their commitment to guests with dietary challenges.  Kevin’s daughter has an egg allergy, so he understands special dietary considerations not only from a dad’s perspective but from his 20 years of experience.  Kevin and I then went to prepare a Gluten Free Dinner that would be found at the Hulopo‘e Court Restaurant.  He made a Fresh Tomato Gaspacho, that can be served alone, or with gluten free toast or tortilla chips.  Then together (well sort of, we don’t exactly work at the same pace around the kitchen) we made a Hearts of Palm and Heirloom Tomato Salad and topped it with Pan Seared Red Snapper.  (that episode will be out soon)

Chef Kevin, preparing the salad


The Finished Dish

My Lunch

The dish was so good and really simple.  I was amazed at the fragrance and flavor of those Hawaiian tomatoes, and the snapper was so good.  It had a uniquely different, but not strong flavor.  I want to personally thank  Four Seasons Resort, Chef Kevin, and everyone else who helped for the wonderful opportunity to visit and explain about their services.


One of the other hotels on Lana’i is the Hotel Lana’i.  They have a wonderful bar and grill, The Lana’i City Grill.  For dinner that evening, I had a simple, however elegantly displayed shrimp cocktail.

Shrimp Coctail and Lana'i City Grill

with my Husband, at the Hotel Lana'i


Fortunately we did not work ALL the time and my husband and I really enjoyed a visit to the beach…  Finally, a little time to relax!

The view from our lounges at Manele Bay Beach, Lana'i Hawaii, on an afternoon off.


The Lodge at Koele is “up the hill” from the beach, about a 20 minute drive.  The weather there is cooler and it is abundant with wildlife.  We saw hen turkeys strolling the lawn every day.  They have a beautiful Orchid Garden House and several outdoor activities.  While on Lana’i you can visit the beach, the spa, ride horses, take a UTV ride, hunt for deer and ram and even shoot skeet.

Statues on the lawn at the Lodge at Koele

The trees outside our room and the Lodge at Koele

Shipwreck Beach, Lana'i


There was a lot going on during our visit to Lana’i , but the highlight of my trip was getting to go snorkeling.  The Crew on board the Trilogy, were super nice.  Lunch was provided and I had a… make that two, Gluten Free sandwiches.  The cool, clear water and all the varieties of fish were just amazing.  Thank you Trilogy Excursions for the great snorkel trip AND the Gluten Free Sandwiches.

The Trilogy

Ben trying to get a good shot!

Snorkeling off Lana'i

I hope someday I get to go back to Lana'i, it was amazing!





'4 Responses to “Gluten Free on Lana’i Hawaii”'
  1. Toni Tisdale says:

    Hey Melynda! Great site! I’m so proud of you! I’m still putting together exactly what y’all are doing. Sounds like a cooking show of sorts? Let me know where to see them. Looks like your have found your niche and doing great. : )

    Good job!

    • Discover Gluten Freedom says:

      thanks! the episodes can be seen here via the episodes tab. we have several to release over the next few months, including the continuation of my visit with Chef Kevin.

  2. John says:

    Melynda, thanks for documenting your experience. I read your story before my trip to Lanai. I’m actually staying at Lodge. I have gluten allergies. They do have gluten free menues. The selection greatly exceeded my expectations. They also have gluten free bread which is now my favorite. The restaraunt at the View made me a panini club that was perfect. Every server that I mentioned Gluten Free to informed the chef of my allergy. Every place I go I have to use caution when selecting. I’m using caution here as I do everywhere as anyone with this allergy should, but these two Fourseasons Resorts do a great job of helping me relax and not worry about what I going to be eating next. Also the local market has a wide variety of GF foods once you get here.

    • Discover Gluten Freedom says:

      Thanks John, Great to hear they are consistent, if not improving in their efforts. I hope you enjoyed your time in beautiful Lanai!

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