This article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of Montage Magazine.

Poke, the traditional Hawaiian appetizer of raw, sashimi-grade ahi, is going upscale. The name “poke” is Hawaiian for “section” or “to slice or cut,” and while it may be a trending dish on the mainland, it has been a staple in the Hawaiian diet for some time. In classic poke dishes, fresh fish is usually cut to a medium dice, then served with ingredients inspired by Asian flavors such as soy sauce, green onion and sesame oil. Now, however, poke is showing up in various renditions at gourmet eateries across the country.

Executive Chef David Viviano at Montage Kapalua Bay’s Cane & Canoe restaurant says he is not surprised about the new upscale poke presentations. “Poke brilliantly highlights premium fish, which often comes at a high ticket price. With the addition of other opulent products, this once basic dish is transformed into a much more sophisticated one,” Viviano says.

Viviano remembers his first poke fondly. “The varying textures and flavors truly inspired me,” he says. And with restaurants across the mainland offering their own delicious takes, you’ll look upon your first poke with the same warmth.

Click here to read the online version at Montage Magazine that includes a recipe for one of the poke dishes at Montage Kapalua Bay. Click here to open the PDF of the print version that appears in the Spring 2017 issue of Montage Magazine.

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