What Hawaii’s Food Network champions, Aloha Plate, are doing now

Aloha Plate's food truck. Photo: Lanai Tabura

Winning season four of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race” was just the beginning for Hawaii’s Aloha Plate food truck.

When Shawn Felipe auditioned for the TV show and chose brothers Adam and Lanai Tabura as his team members, the trio locked down one of eight spots for the 2013 competition after the judges tasted their braised beef loco moco—a recipe from the Tabura brothers’ mom.

Aloha Plate beat out seven other teams from across the nation. Each team was given a food truck designed by Food Network which they used throughout the competition. But only the winner gets to keep the truck after. So Aloha Plate got to keep the food truck and also won $50,000. 

Shortly after, they were picked up by SPAM and did a year-long tour doing food festivals and big events like California’s music festival Coachella, and other promotional events.

Earlier this year, the food truck came back to the Islands, as did Adam, Lanai and Shawn. They’ve been doing private catering and Hawaii events such as the monthly food truck rally, Eat the Street.

Aloha Plate’s approach to food is a nod to the plantation days—what Lanai says is the start of the unique melting pot of foods that came out during that time. They also utilize recipes from their parents and grandparents, and the food is prepared using fresh, local ingredients.

Here’s what else you can look forward to from these Food Network stars:

1. The creation of a Halawa kitchen
The trio recognized that there are other Oahu-based food trucks that don’t have access to a kitchen or facility where they can prepare foods and what they need for the day. So, Aloha Plate is currently working on a kitchen in Halawa that can accommodate up to four food trucks at a time and a place that can be rented out for food preparations. “Our parents always taught us to give back, so everything we do we try to make it work hand-in-hand and with the community,” says Lanai.

2. Look for Adam on Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”
Adam is Aloha Plate’s executive chef, who has cooked for big names like Steve Jobs and Four Seasons Hotels. He was invited to compete in Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen”—an elimination-round-based cooking competition that begins with four chefs. In order to advance rounds, each dish they create must impress the judge who has no idea what sabotages the chefs had to endure from fellow competitors during the cooking process. Lanai says the episode should debut in the next few months.

3. A Juice Drink
Aloha Plate is currently collaborating with Meadow Gold to make juice. Lanai says that’s all he can tell us for now, but they’re aiming for a release date during the holidays later this year.

4. Cooking Hawaiian Style
Lanai was recently scoping out locations for season five of his cooking show that he hosts called, “Cooking Hawaiian Style.” On it, Lanai hosts Hawaii chefs, celebrities and musicians who share one of their Hawaii-style recipes. Those in Hawaii and across the nation, as well as in New Zealand, Dubai and Europe can watch Lanai’s show on LifeStyle Network. But those outside of Hawaii have access to season one and two right now.

5.  Aloha Plate Food Tour
Lanai hosts a food tour five days a week for groups of four. No two tours are alike and they’re based on where Lanai decides to take the group. But with each group, he makes food stops along the way to give an authentic Hawaii-style experience. He shares his knowledge of Hawaii foods and culture and the origins of the unique melting pot of Hawaii foods. 

Categories: Food, Oʻahu