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Holiday DIY

Inspired by private chefs from Exclusive Resorts, these oh-so-tasty, regionally inspired recipes will leave family clamoring for your “secret” sauce—and have you craving a gourmet food vacation.

Kohala Coast, Hawaii 

The Kona Inn's famous banana bread is a Member-favorite, as is the on-site team's Miso Chicken recipe. 

Kona Inn Banana Bread 

  • 2 cups granulated sugar  
  • 1 cup softened butter (not margarine)       
  • 6 ripe bananas, mashed (approximately 3 cups)       
  • 4 eggs, well beaten       
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour       
  • 2 tsp baking soda       
  • 1 tsp salt 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. With an electric beater, cream together the sugar and butter until it’s light and fluffy. Add the bananas and eggs, beating until well mixed. Sift together the dry ingredients two times, then mix the dry ingredients with the banana mixture until just blended; don’t over mix. Pour into two lightly greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to one hour, until the loaf is firm in the center and the edges begin to come away from the pan. Cool the pans on a rack for 10 minutes and then remove the bread from the pans. 

Hawaiian Miso Chicken 

  • 5  lbs chicken thighs, boned  
  • 1 cup sugar      
  • 1 cup soy sauce      
  • 1 cup miso      
  • 1 cup beer 

Mix the sugar, soy sauce, miso, and beer together. Then, soak the chicken thighs in the sauce overnight in the refrigerator. Place the thighs in a baking pan and bake for 45 minutes (uncovered) at 350 degrees. You can also grill the chicken, which is what the private chef team in Kohala Coast does!

Sea Island, Georgia 

Nothing’s better than southern comfort food. This holiday season, impress your guests with this low country mainstay. 

Grits & Shrimp     

  • 4 cups heavy cream       
  • 4 cups water       
  • 2 cups stone ground grits       
  • 2 ears fresh corn       
  • 4 oz. butter       
  • Salt & pepper to taste     

Pour the cream and water into a large pot and turn the burner on high. Shuck the corn and cut off the kernels using a sharp knife. Pour the corn kernels and water into a large pot and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, pour in the grits. Turn the heat down to medium. Allow the grits to simmer, consistently whisking them until tender (about 20 minutes). Adjust the heat if needed so the grits don’t burn to the bottom of the pot. Fold the butter in using a whisk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sautée the shrimp in olive oil and serve over grits. Add creole sauce (see recipe below).     

Creole Sauce     

  • 1 ½ cups yellow onion 
  • 1 cup celery 
  • 1 cup red pepper    
  • 1 oz. minced garlic     
  • 1 ½ cups clam juice 
  • 3 cups whole peeled tomatoes 
  • ¼ cup Creole seasoning (5 Tbsp paprika, 4 Tbsp salt, 4 Tbsp garlic powder, 2 Tbsp black pepper, 2 Tbsp onion powder, 2 Tbsp cayenne pepper, 2 Tbsp dried oregano,  2 Tbsp dried thyme) 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • Salt to taste 
  • ¼ cup olive oil 

In a large pot, turn the heat to medium. Add olive oil. Cook the onions, celery, and peppers until tender (about five minutes), using a spatula. Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes. Add the clam juice and canned whole tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, crush the tomatoes with a whisk and add the creole seasoning and bay leaf and simmer for another 30 minutes. 

Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica 

Here, the sea inspires Chef Nicolas Devenelle. This Club favorite is best paired with a spicy cilantro margarita or crisp rosé. 

Poro Poro Ceviche 


  • 12 oz. fresh seabass (or Mahi-Mahi), cut in small cubes 
  • 4 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice 
  • 4 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • Pulp from half of a passion fruit (optional) 


  • 3 oz. red onions, finely sliced      
  • 3 oz. assorted bell pepper, finely sliced      
  • 1 oz. chopped cilantro      
  • 2 oz. fresh diced mango      
  • 2 oz. fresh lime juice       
  • 1 oz. fresh orange juice      
  • 1 teaspoon pulp from half of a passion fruit (optional)    
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

One hour before serving, place the fish filet in a bowl and add all the marinade ingredients (the juices should cover the fish). Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 40 minutes. Once the fish has been marinated, remove it from the refrigerator and drain the juice. In the same bowl, add the onions, bell pepper, mango, orange juice, lime juice, and passion fruit. Mixing delicately, add in the cilantro and season it to taste. The ceviche can be served with green plantain chips or tortilla chips.