Moana Cafe’s Chef James Walworth’s Mac Nut Romesco Sauce Recipe @MoanaCafe


Chef James Walworth. Photo by Sean Michael Hower.


Moana Bakery and Cafe



My Story…

All of our beef, fish, and about 85 percent of our produce is from local producers, and we make every effort to source locally. One recent example is that we added free-range eggs to our breakfast menu for a small additional charge. Our house-prepared black garlic is one of the things I have to have in the kitchen. It has a unique sweetness and depth of flavor. It’s quite versatile, pairing well with any meats and most vegetables. It’s also a phenomenal addition to our Bloody Mary mix. I enjoy the braising process from searing the beef, deglazing with wine and then layering the vegetables and spices in our Korean style Osso Bucco. The smell when it comes out of the oven is wonderful.



Constantly taste and adjust seasoning at every point in the cooking process.



Mac Nut Romesco Sauce


This is a variation on a classic Italian sauce. We use mac nuts instead of almonds and replace red wine vinegar with sugarcane vinegar. It’s served at room temperature and the combination of rich and tangy flavors works well with steak, chicken, any but the mildest of fish, and even vegetables like roasted cauliflower or grilled broccolini. We use macadamia nuts from Waihee Valley Plantation and peppers from Upcountry farmers when available.


2 large red bell peppers, charred, peeled and seeded

1 cup Mac Nuts, toasted

4 cloves of garlic, sliced

2/3 cup sugar cane vinegar (I prefer Datu Puti brand)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


Place everything but the oil in a blender and blend until everything is combined.

With the machine running on medium high speed, stream in the olive oil to emulsify.

Taste and add salt if needed.

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