A one-of-a-kind hands-on Polynesian cooking experience

A one-of-a-kind hands-on Polynesian cooking experience

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See it, smell it, taste it, love it! Experience the REAL Polynesia

If you venture beyond the urban buzz of Honolulu and head north, you’ll quickly find yourself in a tropical landscape that has remained relatively untouched. The small town of Lā’ie rests quietly on O’ahu’s North Shore and is home to Hawai’i’s number one paid attraction, The Polynesian Cultural Center! As detailed in our mission statement, our purpose is to “…share with the world the cultures, diversity, and spirit of the nations of Polynesia”. With our resolution in mind, we’ve created an all-new hands-on experience for those who want to experience the REAL Polynesia!


picture of fruits and vegetables prepared and cooked over an outdoor emu during the unique hands-on experience at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Vegetables and fruit prepared and cooked over an outdoor umu


Using a traditional Samoan umu (fire pit), guests now have the opportunity to fully immerse themselves into the Polynesian culture by preparing their very own home-cooked island meal! Our host, Creasepaul, thoroughly guides you through each step from beginning to end. As a native of Samoa, Creasepaul grew up learning how to efficiently live off the land and helped prepare fresh, healthy food for his family. After all, it is Samoan custom that men do the cooking! While the rocks in the umu are heating up, you’ll learn the proper way to prepare various Samoan cuisines including taro, green bananas, breadfruit, and even coconut-cream dishes such as palusami and fai’ai eleni. Once the food is placed on top of the hot rocks and covered in green leaves, you’ll then learn how to weave your own ma’ilo (coconut-leaf plate). You’ll soon discover that nothing goes to waste in Samoa! The real treat begins when you uncover the umu and get to enjoy the delicious food you made. Creasepaul can even teach you alternative methods of cooking that you can bring back into your own kitchen!


picture of man drinking from a coconut during the hands-on cooking experience at the Polynesian Cultural Center

Our guests are given the unique opportunity to experience Polynesian tastes, sounds and smells


In our effort to “preserve and portray the cultures, arts, and crafts of Polynesia” we offer you this one of a kind opportunity to learn from those who call Polynesia home! This is the perfect opportunity to get an intimate look inside the Polynesian culture. Why come all the way to the islands, only to never truly experience it? This offer, held on select mornings during the week, is designed so that participants are able to have a true, hands on experience, and where casual conversations are the rule rather than the exception. Reservations are exclusively offered through Airbnb Experiences. Registration is kept at 10 guests or less . Click below to find out more and to book your adventure today!



Here’s what people are saying:

“One of the best experiences we’ve had on our first trip to Hawaii! The hosts were kind, funny, knowledgeable, approachable and open to questions about their culture. This experience was the only one of it’s kind that I could find on the island. It is also very hands on but not overly difficult and they walk you through each step. The food is sooo good! I highly recommend this authentic experience!” – Shantae, Orem, UT

“If you visit Oahu and love cooking you need to put this experience at the top of your activity list! If you don’t, it’s a crime!! We learned to cook Samoan style hands on from the preparation of food and fire, to making our own eating bowls (woven from coconut palms) to eating fruits of our labor!…” – Matthew, Norman, OK


photo - Demonstrator prepares the umu during the recently added hands-on cooking demonstration available through the AirBnb Experience webpage

Creasepaul instructs participants in how to prepare food for the outdoor umu


Still not sure what to expect?

This video gives you a visual walk-through!

picture link to video clip regarding hands-on Polynesian cooking experience at the Polynesian Cultural Center



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photo of Ottley Wright in Japan


Ottley Wright is currently a social media and marketing assistant for the Polynesian Cultural Center. As a wee young lad, his family moved from Samoa to the United States, where most of his youth was spent in the Midwest. Some might even say he has an identity crisis. His hobbies include long walks on the beach with his wife and eating lots of food.


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