Gallery: 13th Annual Waikiki Spam Jam

Spam Jam: Kalakaua Avenue

Today, crowds packed Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki to celebrate Spam, which Wikipedia helpfully defines as “a brand of canned precooked meat products made by Hormel Foods Corporation.” It was the 13th annual Spam Jam, and reaffirmed the Aloha State as the state with the most love for the stuff.

Dozens of local restaurants set up shop to share their specialties, as well as special dishes that incorporated Spam. Stages featured live music and dance performances. And of course there was Spam swag.

Spam Jam Stuff

Once again, there was a tweet-up (a social media meetup) organized by Toby Tamaye of AT Marketing. Local food bloggers, Instagram addicts, Twitter lovers and Facebook fanatics were invited to Hula Grill at the Outrigger Waikiki Hotel, where we were able to photograph and sample the dishes featured at the Spam Jam in one place.

Spam Jam Staging Area

Toby and his team did a great job organizing everything, with the events many restaurants delivering special presentation plates of their dishes, as well as trays of their offerings to serve.

Spam Jam Staging Area

One good thing about a social media gathering is that you’re encouraged to photograph your food. And it was serious business. While there were quite a few smartphones, there were more complicated rigs as well.

Spam Jam Staging Area

Another good thing about a social media gathering is that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with standing around in a group in which everyone is focused on their devices rather than the company.

Spam Jam Staging Area

If getting to sample both classic and experimental Spam dishes, Toby gave out prizes at the event. In addition to Spam-branded gifts, there were other goodies from event sponsors Hula Grill, Outrigger Resorts, MYTH, and Alaska Airlines.

Toby Tamaye Announces Prizes

And we had a special appearance and photo opportunities with Spam Guy. Or gal. I’m not quite sure what the mascot’s name is. Here he is with an Alaska Airlines rep and the winner of the day’s grand prize, 80,000 Alaska Airlines miles.

Prize Winner with Spam Guy

Oh, and I was joking about not paying attention to people. We were in great company, and I saw many friendly and familiar faces. My daughter and I also got to meet a few online acquaintances in real life for the first time.

Katie and Avy

So what kind of Spam dishes did we try? I’ll only cover about half of them here, though you can visit the full photo gallery to see everything. I apologize, by the way, for the low-light images. I just can’t bring myself to use a flash.

From Chai Waikiki, Spam with fresh ahi katsu with wasabi curry and fresh mango salsa:

Chai Waikiki's Spam with Ahi Katsu Wasabi Curry and Mango Salsa

From Gordon Biersch, Spam hash cake sliders:

Gordon Biersch's Spam and Hash Cake Slider

From host Hula Grill Waikiki, Spam fried rice loco moco:

Hula Grill's Spam Fried Rice Loco Moco

From Jimmy Buffett’s at the Beachcomber, Spam rice bites (that look a little like Kauai’s famed Goterborg musubi):

Jimmy Buffett's Spam and Rice Bites

From Seafood Village, Spam manapua:

Seafood Village's Spam Manapua

From ABC Stores, spicy Spam poke:

ABC Stores' Spicy Spam Poke

From P.F. Chang’s, Spam lo mein:

P.F. Chang's Spam Lo Mein

From Hawaiian Crown, grilled Spam and cheese sliders:

Hawaiian Crown's Grilled Spam and Cheese Sliders

And there were desserts. From Hard Rock Cafe, Spam cupcakes:

Hard Rock Cafe's Spam Cupcakes

From Eggs ‘N Things, Spam cheesecake:

Eggs and Things' Spam Cheesecake

There were also Spam ice cream sandwiches from Uncle’s North Shore Gourmet, and Spam popsicles from Ono Pops. I admit, I didn’t try any of the desserts.

Like TV cooking contests with mystery ingredients, it’s always interesting to see what different chefs do with Spam. Some dishes were pretty good, although those tended to be the most traditional, “safe” recipes:

Some Dishes Were Winners

And some dishes were… at the very least daring.

Some Dishes Were Not Winners

See the full gallery on Flickr.

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1 Response

  1. May 8, 2015

    […] Frolic Hawaii • Spam-mazing! Guide to Saturday’s Waikiki SPAM JAM – Frolic Hawaii • Gallery: 13th Annual Waikiki Spam Jam – Hawaii Blog • Pics: 2015 Waikiki SPAM JAM – Honolulu Pulse • A Hawaii-favorite […]

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