Pau Hana Friday for May 24
Tasting Kauai: Restaurants
Our new book, Tasting Kauai: Restaurants, includes 69 options for great tasting food and features chefs who make fresh food from scratch, using local ingredients whenever possible. The book will be a FREE Kindle download beginning Saturday, May 25 until Wednesday, May 29. You don’t need to own a Kindle device to enjoy Kindle books. Download one of the free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on all your devices. Enjoy!
We’d like to congratulate our friend and Kauai writer Pamela Varma Brown. Her book Kauai Stories has been named a finalist in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards in the Biography – Historical category.
Kauai Stories is a crisply edited collection of joyful stories told in people’s own words that illustrate life on the Garden Island. Told in the first person, Kauai Stories feels like each storyteller is talking directly to you over a cup of Kauai Coffee while sitting on the lanai of your own Hawaiian cottage.
Topics range from heartwarming anecdotes of people looking after one another, to personal memories of growing up on Kauai while living in sugar plantation housing “camps,” to adventurous tales of brave Kauai sailors journeying across the open ocean, navigating only by the stars, moon, sun and waves as their ancestors did 1,500 years ago.
Other stories in the book are about the spirit of aloha; keeping Hawaiian culture alive through hula dancing, traditional salt-making and sewing Hawaiian-style quilts; the island’s World War II veterans; a humorous chapter about Kauai’s ubiquitous wild chickens; tasting Kauai (a story by yours truly); ocean recreation; hiking and making music on the island. The artist whose colorful painting of a rustic Kauai cottage graces the front cover of the book also tells her story of how she became a professional artist by capturing the beauty and whimsy of the Garden Island.
Visit the Kauai Stories website for excerpts, testimonials, sound bites and videos of people whose stories are in the book. Kauai Stories is available on Amazon for Kindle and paperback, in stores island-wide including Costco, and we sell copies on our culinary tours.
“The Hawaii Department of Health has given the green light to Sunrise Capitol Inc., doing business as Kauai Clams, to become the first Hawaii company in 26 years to farm and sell shellfish,” writes Pacific Business News. “The company, whose operation is in Kekaha on Kauai, is currently growing clams, and it plans to introduce locally-grown oysters in the near future.”
Guests on our A Culinary Romp Through Paradise farm-to-fork culinary tour got to enjoy them last month. As some of the first people to try them, we all agreed they were big, fat and delicious. We can’t wait for those oysters! For more information about Kauai’s westside farm that grows shrimp as well, read my article, “Savoring Sweet Island Shrimp” in MidWeek Kauai.
New Safeway Shopping Center
Pacific Business News also reports that a subsidiary of Safeway Inc. plans to start construction on Hokulei Village, a new Safeway-anchored shopping center on 14.25 acres on Kauai, during the second half of this year.
The Hokulei Village center will be anchored by a 56,000 square-foot Safeway Lifestyle store and will include a Walgreens pharmacy, a Petco pet supply store, and a Jack in the Box restaurant, Property Development Centers, the real estate subsidiary of Safeway Inc., said in a statement. The center, which should open in 2014, will also include a bank and other retail shops and restaurants, Safeway said.
Kauai’s Best Outdoor Dining
The Star Advertiser reports that twenty Hawaii eateries offering outdoor dining have made the OpenTable.com 2013 Diners’ Choice list of the Top 100 Outdoor Dining Restaurants in the United States.
Kauai’s top restaurants that offer outdoor dining are Gaylord’s Restaurant at Kilohana Plantation in Lihue; Oasis on the Beach, at Waipouli Beach Resort in Kapaa; and Plantation Gardens Restaurant & Bar at the Kiahuna Plantation resort in Koloa. Congratulations!
Bamboo Workshop Cancelled
I feature bamboo in this week’s Farmers Markets column in MidWeek Kauai. Before I did the story, I’d never had it fresh and boy does it make a difference! If you read the article, and were planing on attending the bamboo workshop, it’s cancelled. Their next scheduled workshop is Saturday, June 29 and the topic is palm trees. They will cover general care, maintenance and how to select for residential landscaping.
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 people 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. For a complete list of restaurants and beverages, read my Taste of Hawaii blog post. Three companies at this year’s Taste of Hawaii are featured on our monthly culinary tours. They are the Kauai Marriott Resort, The Feral Pig and Nani Moon Mead. Stop by their booth and enjoy a tasting Kauai!
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 on site 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.
June 26 – 29
Red Clay Jazz Festival
National and local jazz and blues artists play at the 5th Annual Red Clay Jazz Festival, in an ocean-view outdoor setting at Kauai Lagoons, featuring Miss E.C. Scott and the Venissa Santi Sextet. The four-day event offers local evening jam sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, an invitational “Meet the Artists” party at Common Ground in Kilauea on Friday and the main concert late afternoon and evening on Saturday. Taste locally grown foods and wine. Enjoy a full line up of top blues and jazz artists. For more information visit the Red Clay Jazz Festival website or read the article I wrote, “A Smokin’ Red Clay Jazz Festival” in MidWeek Kauai.