Pau Hana Friday for May 17
Last Sunday, we released the digital version of our book Tasting Kauai: Restaurants. There were some comments on our Facebook page that I’d like to address because there is a lot of anger and misinformation in today’s world, and I’d like our book to be a trusted source. One person was very upset that we attended a pop up dinner that had veal on the menu. Another person wanted to know if our book had GMO-Free listings.
At Tasting Kauai, we are very aware of how food gets to our table. That’s why we do what we do. We even have three pages on our website dedicated to conscious eating, food and farming definitions, and steps you can take. Our passion is to share our knowledge about the people and places that not only care about how food tastes but how it’s sourced. Everyday, we (at Tasting Kauai) make conscious choices so that the food we consume is wholesome for the people who grew it, the environment and ourselves. We have no desire to be perfect, rigid or militant about our choices. With that said, if you care about this sort of thing, using our guide will direct you to the places and people who cook good food from scratch with local ingredients whenever possible. If you don’t care about this sort of thing, then using our guide will direct you some great tasting food.
Kauai is a small island and 90 percent of our food is imported. That number makes us very vulnerable, and it’s impossible to do 100 percent local here. We don’t grow wheat, beans or grains, nor olive oil, onions, stone fruit or berries. Kauai is blessed with an abundance of small, family farms, most of who grow organic, some of who use a little commercial fertilizer. Local beef is grass-fed on thousands of acres of pasture. Experimental test crops (aren’t they all really?) of GMO corn seed grows on the west side, Poipu and Lihue. The “food” doesn’t get consumed here, but the biotech companies, which infiltrate our state, contribute a lot of money to government agencies, politicians, community events and schools. Because they have the money to pay ten times the normal rent for land, they get to stay. The best way to avoid GMO food is to avoid processed food that comes in packaging.
Tasting Kauai: Restaurants includes 67 options for great tasting food and features restaurants who make fresh food from scratch using local ingredients whenever possible. No one is perfect but we all do the best we can. Sometimes you’re going to get less than stellar food or service. That’s because we are human and sometimes, some of us have a bad day. If, for some reason, you don’t like something, say something and be kind. On Kauai, we have a lot of heart and a lot of aloha. This book comes from my heart. I know the restaurants in my book operate from their hearts as well.
Next week, my story on Makana Terrace will run in MidWeek Kauai. When I met with Antwon Brinson, the chef de cuisine, he told me how passionate he was about the local produce here on Kauai. This morning, I received this email from him.
“I would like to start by saying thank you for choosing Makana Terrace for the cover Tasting Kauai: Restaurants, we are truly honored! I also would like to share some new things we are doing.
“As you know from your last visit, I’m very passionate about local produce and farmers markets. In light of this, we started the Farmers Market Special, which we feature every Saturday at Makana Terrace. Last week we did a special with local kale, squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and a berry called jabuticaba. We never know what the special is going to be, I just let the produce inspire me to create! This Saturday at the Hanalei market, I will keep my eye out for mountain apples. I think this might be a fun one!”
Saturday, May 18th
Papaya’s Natural Food’s and Cafe 15th Anniversary Celebration
8 a.m. to 9 .p.m., free
- 15-percent off items store wide
- Free samples
- Free Tastings from local vendors such as Uncle Mikey’s Dried Fruit, Kauai Living Goodies, Kauai Kombucha, Lotus fudge, Da Cha Teas and Rick’s Hawaiian Gold Mustard
- Free Music by Madison and Paradise Found 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“We would like to thank the community for their continued support in making Papaya’s what it is today!” says event coordinator Chelsea. For more information, call 808-823-0190
Lei-making with Kauai Stories
10:30 a.m. to noon, Kauai Museum, $10 non-members
Join Kauai Stories author Pamela Varma Brown and Elvrine Chow, a Kauai lei maker who specializes in haku lei. Chow will talk story about her love of lei and why she still enjoys making them 30 years after she was introduced to the art. After her talk, Chow will teach the audience how to make a haku lei.
Chow, who sells haku lei at the Kauai Community Market on Saturday mornings, is often greeted by visitors who tell her that she is the only person they have met who makes lei. “I meet the most amazing people from all over the world,” she says. “Sometimes there are three or four languages being spoken under my tent at farmers market!”
Sunday, May 19
One Song Farm: The Garden As Teacher Workshop
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.,$36 per person, cash only please
Lisa and Sun will share their 30 years combined knowledge and experience in organic, bio-intensive gardening to the people of Kauai. Come prepared to be in the sun bring a water bottle, big hat, sunscreen and snacks. For experienced and novice gardeners. For more information, click here. My Napa cabbage article in MidWeek Kauai includes Sun and Lisa’s workshop, and this is what Lisa has to say about it:
“Lisa here from One Song. Read the article in Midweek. Thank you for such a great description of bio-intensive farming. One correction is that the sharing on Sunday, May 19th is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.— not 11 a.m. It’s four whole hours of information, garden walking, demonstrations and conversation about food growing on Kauai in a more sustainable way for anyone and everyone. So looking forward to sharing with the novice group all I’ve learned in the last seven years with Sun and I know he’s pleased to be sharing information with the intermediate and advanced gardeners/farmers about the deeper issues of food growing.
“Of course, Napa cabbage will be the highlight of the Namahana market this week, as well as four kinds of lettuce from our own seed. Check out the table for some celery which is a tough one to grow here but is doing well in the Kalihiwai Ridge area. Kale continues to be a performer as well as chard. Malabar spinach is a surprising sweet treat lately. If you haven’t tried it I highly recommend it for wraps, bulking up a tossed salad or possibly cooking. I prefer it raw myself and my belly thanks me every time I eat it. It seems very soothing to me and is a fully bodied green.”
For workshop reservations, call Lisa at 808-635-3020
Wednesday, May 22
Deschutes Brewing Company Tap Takeover and Beer-Paired dinner
6 beers, 6 courses, 7 p.m., $55 – SOLD OUT (Call to be put on waiting list)
Deschutes Brewing Company brewer Veronica Vega will be joining the Feral Pig for a 6 course beer paired dinner. Don’t miss the chance to meet one of the world’s most respected female brewers and listen to her talk about her beers. It’s going to be an unbelievably fun night of beer, food and knowledge! Space is limited so please sign up early. RSVP at the Feral Pig 246-1100
12th Annual Kauai Polynesian Festival
All Kauai residents and visitors are welcome to attend the Kauai Polynesian Festival. The event kicks off with “A Polynesian Evening of Stars”, a Polynesian cultural protocol ceremony with Hawaiian and contemporary entertainment.
The weekend festival May 24-26 features Tahitian, Maori, Samoan and Hawaiian entertainment, Polynesian arts and crafts, solo and group dance competitions, food booths, workshops, and much more.
On May 23, there will be a fashion show and a newly added event, “U TINK U GET TALENT” a contest for youth and adult singers, dancers and musicians.
For more information, visit the Kauai Polynesian Festival website.
Farmers Market Class
Wednesdays, 3 to 4 p.m., $30
Meet local farmers, learn how to select perfect produce as well as when it’s in season and how to cook with it during Tasting Kauai’s one-hour farmers market class. I saw friends at the farmers market who were visiting from Colorado. As we hugged and said hello, I saw a table full of near-rotten mangos. It was still snowing in Denver and my friends were excited about the big, beautiful tomatoes they just bought. Their faces fell when I told them they were not grown on Kauai. I felt bad for them, and was inspired to offer this class.
Farmers markets are an affordable way to immerse yourself in local culture and the best place to buy produce that’s so fresh, it was harvested that morning. But buying at the farmers market doesn’t always insure that it was grown on Kauai.
It happens all over the world. In Hawaii, customers want mangos year-round. In Colorado, they want tomatoes in May. To make that sale, vendors buy imported mangoes or tomatoes and sell them as their own. Customers unfamiliar with the seasons can insure their dollars are spent on local products by learning how to identify locally grown produce.
There’s a whole world of delicious produce that many residents never try. Let’s face it, some of it looks like it came from another planet. Once unfamiliar produce is demystified and cooking tips are shared, it may become a regular at dinner table.
Many factors can make exotic produce expensive and the last thing you want to do is buy a pineapple that isn’t at peak perfection. This class will also teach you how to tell when produce is ripe as well as how to store it for best results.
For reservations, call 808-635-0257.
Sunday, June 2
Taste of Hawaii
Smith’s Tropical Paradise, Wailua, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., $100
The Taste of Hawaii is Kauai’s biggest food event, and one we love to attend. It’s the only fundraiser the Kapaa Rotary Club does, and we’re happy the money goes to support the youth and community of Kauai, our country and our world by combining and leveraging member expertise, volunteer services, and financial resources.
Last year there were 50 chefs from Hawaii, more than 15 beverage makers and 10 bands. Some booths will have samples of what you can get at the restaurant, but others use the event as an opportunity to flex their creative muscles and try something new. There’s also live music. It’s a fantastic time. If you go, remember to bring a hat because it can get pretty hot.
Friday, June 14
A Culinary Romp Through Paradise
Various locations in Kapaa, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., $130
Tasting Kauai’s Culinary Tour offers an intimate glimpse into the Garden Island’s culinary scene. We start with a farm tour and learn about exotic fruit grown on Kauai. At the Kauai Marriott Resort, we join executive chef Guy Higa for an outdoor cooking demonstration and gourmet, four-course lunch made with Kauai grown ingredients. Our last stop is at Nani Moon Mead, where we’ll get an exclusive tour of Hawaii’s only meadery, and sample all five honey wines in the Nani Moon Mead collection. Ticket price includes a bottle of mead. You can read what LandingStanding said about this tour, or visit our Kauai Culinary Tours page. We have a Facebook photo album that shows how much fun the tour is, and our 5-Star TripAdvisor reviews. Chef Higa donates proceeds from his portion of the tour to the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen. For a complete list of 2013 dates, check out our Kauai Culinary Tours Calendar. Call 808-635-0257 to make a reservation.
Friday, May 17
A Taste of Old Kauai
Waipa, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., $115
Tasting Kauai’s north shore tour is part agritourism and part ecotourism. We visit Waipa, one of 67 watersheds homesteaded by the first Polynesians, which remains undeveloped. This one-of-a-kind experience was designed by Tasting Kauai and the Waipa Foundation especially for those who wish to learn about traditional agriculture systems, endangered wildlife, and enjoy real Hawaiian food saturated in Kauai’s rugged beauty.
Tucked in a valley and surrounded by towering mountain ranges, our guests learn about Hawaii’s culture and food. Waipa is nestled in the Hanalei Valley which is an is a Wildlife Refuge and endangered birds flourish here. We explore a vast loi (taro garden) fed by auwai, or irrigation system, that supplies water from mountain streams.
At the “Poi Garage” we learn about Hawaii’s staff of life: taro, or kalo as it’s called here, and guests sample cooked taro corms, poi and kulolo, a traditional dessert made with coconut.
We tour the farm and learn how Waipa teaches kids about the circle of life through farm animals and gardens. Continuing through the property, we’ll learn the difference between native, canoe and introduced plants, while we walk to the Halulu Fishpond.
Lunch, prepared by Waipa’s chef, changes seasonally and is made with vegetables grown in onsite gardens, locally sourced meat or fish, and mamaki tea with lemongrass and mint. Guests eat ohana (family) style while enjoying the beauty and breezes of Hanalei Bay. Proceeds from this tour go to restore native plants and to preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian culture through education. For more information, visit A Taste of Old Kauai, or visit check out our Facebook photo album. To make reservations, call 808-635-0257.