The Hacienda at the River celebrated the waning of Tucson’s summer with a colorful and flavorful luau. When Christina Frias, Chef de Cuisine, was given word that a whole pig would be roasted, she headed online to find a roasting box. Locating a used La Caja China Roasting Box #2 in Phoenix, she headed up to purchase it. The gentleman selling it was so charmed by Christina’s description of the luau at The Hacienda that he gave it to her for no charge, telling her to enjoy it.
In the courtyard of The Springs, the pig was put on the fire at 11:00 in the morning and by 4:00 in the afternoon the aroma drew many to the festooned courtyard. By 5:00 the feast was served: organic baby mix green salad, blueberry coleslaw, organic grilled baby vegetables, grilled Spam with a mango chutney, smoked pulled chicken, Hawaiian rolls, marinated grilled pineapple and, of course, the 48-hour apple brined suckling pig with Chef Christina’s Hawaiian BBQ sauce. For dessert Chef Christina conjured up fruit skewers, chocolate chip cookies and an Ambrosia salad. Drinks included pineapple infused water, tropical tea, ice tea, white and red wine and Mai Tais.
People filled their plates and found a neighbor, friend and family member to sit and enjoy the feast with. In half an hour or so, different groups of dancers from Tucson’s famed Leiola Hula Hālau set up in the courtyard and treated everyone to dances from around the world. Their energy was captivating and soon residents, associates and family were joining in the dance.
Drawing on The Hacienda’s strong sense of community and mixing in just the right amount of joyful whimsy to welcome the cooler weather of the coming fall, the luau captured a perfect afternoon and evening – and was, we hope, the first of several uses of Christina’s La Caja China Roasting Box #2.
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