Farm-to-table freshness? So yesterday. Farm-on-the-table freshness is what you get with a Snip and Serve Salad, as served by chef Elmer Guzman at a dinner last week.
Manoa lettuce from Mari's Garden was brought to the table as whole heads, roots still attached, in pots of water. Clusters of Okinawan spinach also filled the pots, adding splashes of purple.
Accompanying the pots were scissors, and for each guest a plate dotted with feta cheese, taro bread croutons and pickled radishes and okra.
The greens were snipped at the table by the guests. When tossed with the little pickles and a drizzle of papaya seed dressing, a salad was made.
Guzman said he wanted to showcase the fresh produce of Mari's Garden, a hydroponic farm in Mililani, the same neighborhood as his restaurant, Poke Stop. The act of assembling also added an engaging bit of interactivity to the salad course.
The dinner was not normal Poke Stop fare. It was one in a series of wine dinners that Guzman hosts in partnership with sommelier Danny Matsushita's West Oahu Wine Group. More on that in a future edition of Crave.
By the way, Matsushita paired the Snip and Serve Salad with Champalou Vouvray from Loire, France, and and American Poseidon Chardonnay.