Blog

Archive: May 2016

Blue Dragon Restaurant on Hawaii Island

Blue Dragon Restaurant on Hawaii Island. Daniel Lane photo
The Living Salad at Blue Dragon Restaurant is as close to live food as you can get. Daniel Lane photo

The Living Salad at Blue Dragon Restaurant is as close to live food as you can get. Daniel Lane photo

The Living Salad at Blue Dragon Restaurant is served in a mini wood planter. Green and purple baby lettuces spill from the top along with a few wispy fennel fronds. Gilded gold scissors with ornate scrollwork are placed alongside. On a separate plate, wedges of roasted beets grown at Blue Dragon Farm are fanned in a circle and topped with cubes of perfectly ripe mango, crunchy pea shoots and intensely flavored strawberries. I am instructed to cut the lettuce along the edge of the planter box, so as not to get potting soil on my greens, roll the leaves around the vegetables and dip the lot into a jaboticaba honey vinaigrette, which is piped in circles around the plate. The salad is a blast to eat and the strawberries will forever haunt my memory.

Growing Garlic on Kauai

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Jessica and Rosa Stares and Cody Meyer stand in a field of garlic. Daniel Lane photo

Jessica and Rosa Stares and Cody Meyer stand in a field of garlic. Daniel Lane photo

Our tires crunch on gravel as we pull into Steelgrass Farm. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, the lot is full, but there are no chocolate tours today, so parking is easy. Dan and I are here to meet Cody Meyer, who

Touring Sustainable Farms on Hawaii Island

Tasting fresh cacao during a Kohala Grown Farm Tour. Daniel Lane photo.
(From left) Noah Hester, Nate Hayward and Leo Woods. Daniel Lane photo

(From left) Noah Hester, Nate Hayward and Leo Woods. Daniel Lane photo

Nate Hayward navigates a 15 passenger van along a rutted farm road in North Kohala. A steady drizzle of warm rain splats across the windshield. Eight foodies

Monkeypod Jam Cafe and Gift Shop

Aletha Thomas, Becky Umakoshi (sales), Colen Harrier (jam maker) and Kirra Yoshioka. Daniel Lane photo
Cara cara marmalade with fresh ginger. Daniel Lane photo.

Cara cara marmalade with fresh ginger. Daniel Lane photo.

Aletha Thomas, owner of Monkeypod Jam, is in her shop’s kitchen cutting rounds of cara cara oranges. The deep orange flesh perfumes the air. She puts them in a pot, covers them in water and leaves them to sit overnight. In three days, they will transform into a thick marmalade mixed with fresh ginger. Two hundred pounds of Kauai Sunrise papayas are piled in boxes, waiting to be made into fruit butter with cinnamon and nutmeg, or papaya and vanilla bean jam. Aletha walks to a gas stove and stirs 25 pounds of Meyer lemons in a copper pot. Bubbles slowly burst in the thick syrup and she turns off the heat.

Big Island Chocolate Festival

Chocolate comes from cacao pods. Daniel Lane photo

Beans in the cacao pod are soft, sweet, and a little tart. Daniel Lane photo

Beans in the cacao pod are soft, sweet, and a little tart. Daniel Lane photo


The Big Island Chocolate Festival is in its fifth year, and the gala’s theme is Lavalicious-A Chocolate Salute to the 100th Birthday of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Indulge in both savory and sweet temptations prepared by top chefs and chocolatiers while watching award-winning Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company, sculpt one of the largest volcanoes ever created in fine chocolate. Culinary stations will be judged on their depiction of the popular park, plus a host of “best” culinary categories such as savory, plated dessert, bon bon, bean-to-bar, Hawaiian cacao and People’s Choice.

Kauai Thai Food at Bangkok Happy Bowl

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Nora, Paula's sister, along with four other chefs cook authentic Thai food at Bangkok Happy Bowl. Daniel Lane photo

Nora, Paula’s sister, along with four other chefs cook authentic Thai food at Bangkok Happy Bowl. Daniel Lane photo

Fresh, flavorful and delightfully aromatic is how I describe the Thai food at Bangkok Happy Bowl. Inside, color abounds in the half Thai, half Japanese restaurant. After opening in the Poipu Shopping Village last October, the dual concept will soon include sushi. Original paintings of rock stars hang near what will be “Sushi Rock Bar” and every Friday night, Addison Bulosan and Juno Apalla play contemporary soul music.