Kickshaws' Kauai Tasting Menu
Seth and Paulette Peterson own Kickshaws, a food truck in Lawai parked in the gravel lot at Warehouse 3540. Seth prepares science-based comfort food from a small kitchen in the food truck. Their daughter, Sloane, helps where she can. She’s just a toddler so Seth made her a Montessori box that’s attached to the truck’s serving window. She’s dressed in a chef’s outfit and scribbles on a order pad while Paulette takes orders and talks story.
Science-based food, or molecular gastronomy as it’s commonly known, blends physics and chemistry to transform the tastes and textures of food. Kickshaws’ menu includes a list of sandwiches such as the 100% Awesome Burger ($12). Seth blends salt, chuck short-rib, sirloin and bacon and puts it through a meat grinder. As the mixture is extruded, it’s kept horizontal. When it’s cut, the strands are short, making the burger extremely tender. He tops it with pineapple, black pepper and onion marmalade, Gouda cheese, mayonnaise, arugula and tomato.
There’s the Quirky Cubano ($12) with pork belly, roast pork, mustard, house-made dill pickles and house-made pepper jack cheese sauce served on a baguette.
Tempting Tempeh Banh Mi ($10) is vegan and includes tempeh marinated in yellow curry served with arugula, cilantro oil, pickled carrots, cucumber, soy gel and coconut Sriracha sauce.
Daily specials have included the Duckin’ Hot Totty ($15), a waffle made of tater tots topped with duck confit, an onsen egg and miso-chipotle honey sauce; and wagyu flank steak cooked to order, seasoned with fleur de sel and paired with pea shoots, potato-parsnip puree and green beans sautéed in duck fat.
You can also find their truck every Friday at Hanapepe Art Night and once a month at Warehouse 3540, they do a tasting menu that costs $75 per person. The price covers the meal, tax and tip, but you have to bring your own beverage.
After we bought our tasting menu tickets (https://squareup.com/market/kickshaws), we received a text:
“The following wine pairings are suggestions made by the Wine Garden in Puhi: Terlano Pinot Bianco; Calera Chardonnay Marc Bredif Vouvray; Guigal Côtes du Rhône Montepeloso ‘A Quo.’”
We arrived at 6 p.m. with a bottle of Guigal Côtes du Rhône Montepeloso ‘A Quo’ and parked in the large concrete parking lot around back. I was glad I brought a light jacket for the chilly evening, but I wish I would have brought water, more wine and glasses (they provide plastic cups). Upon arrival, we were served a welcome cocktail of roasted lemon, cumin, cucumber and tequila. Guests sipped cocktails and sat along a convivial table set with paper plates, flatware, battery operated votive candles and ti leaves in vases. The crew from Kauai Beer Company rolled in with a cooler full of beer and water and enjoyed dinner while seated on a couch with coffee tables. There were 24 people with one thing in common: a food adventure. Seth promised to take us around the world in 12 tastings. Daniel and I ended up sitting by the Sheraton Kauai Resort’s kitchen staff including Executive Chef Michael Young, Jason Watson, RumFire’s general manager, Cory Sargent, RumFire’s chef de cuisine and Gabriel Balenzuela, sous chef of the Sheraton. The guys planned this relaxing night off with plenty of wine and sparkling water. It was a delight to share food with them and listen to their stories about eating great food around the world. Here’s a photo journey of our tasting menu:
The next Kickshaws’ tasting menu is Feb. 20 and Seth will feature the same menu that we had. They are skipping March and the April dinner is college themed.
All images copyright 2016 Daniel Lane. To purchase images, contact Daniel at www.PonoPhoto.com.