Archive for the ‘Farming’ Category

Shep Gordon, Supermensch

By
October 6th, 2016



He still manages Alice Cooper, but Shep Gordon is otherwise retired and enjoying life on Maui, his home of the last 43 years.

Just out with a book, "They call me Supermensch," Gordon tonight talked about his life at an event that quickly outgrew its intended venue at CookSpace in Ward Warehouse. Instead, it was in a seating area next to the courtyard at the IBM building, and got started just after the evening's well-attended yoga class.

For those not versed in Yiddish, "mensch" means a person of integrity and honor.

Shep Gordon, manager to rock stars, movie stars and chefs, and a leader of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, appeared at a book signing in Honolulu Thursday night. Photos by Erika Engle.

Shep Gordon, manager to rock stars, movie stars and chefs, and a leader of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, appeared at a book signing in Honolulu Thursday night. Photos by Erika Engle.

The book represents "a backstage pass to the amazing worlds of film, food, and rock 'n roll," according to the cover, and yes, he's well-known in show-business circles. For Hawaii, though, he is likely best-renowned for helping to create and promote Hawaii Regional Cuisine (HRC) starting in 1991.

In the audience was chef Roger Dikon, one of the original 11 chefs of HRC, as well as chef and restaurateur Ed Kenney and Brandon Lam, an owner of La Tour Cafes, as well as recording artists Jack Johnson and Makana.

Denise Hayashi Yamaguchi, CEO of the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival and wife of HRC chef Roy Yamaguchi, introduced Gordon, as well as CookSpace Hawaii co-owner Melanie Kosaka, who led Gordon through a question-and-answer session.

CookSpace partner Melanie Kosaka led Gordon through a Q&A session before opening up questions to the audience.

CookSpace partner Melanie Kosaka led Gordon through a Q&A session before opening up questions to the audience.

It was a chef that saved his life, Gordon told the audience. He was at dinner with a bunch of movie stars and other noteworthy figures of the time, after winning an award at the Cannes Film Festival. He was young and "too successful," he said, indicating a proclivity for drug use back then, as well as the then-recent deaths of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, both of whom he'd known and with whom he had interacted. At that same dinner, when chef Roger Verge entered the room and Hollywood actor James Coburn leapt to his feet to hug him, Gordon thought of Verges, "this was the guy who was going to save my life," he said.Verge, who died last year at 85, told Gordon if he learned to cook, he could come work in his kitchen some time. Gordon took the classes, showed up at Verge's restaurant looking to cook with him, but instead traveled with him to Thailand. The journey made them fast friends and Verge, a leader in the nouvelle cuisine movement (along with Paul Bocuse and others), as well as Dean Fearing, a leader of the Southwestern cuisine movement in the U.S., came to Hawaii to help Hawaii's chefs lay the foundation of HRC.As for Gordon's decades-ago drug activities, he said it had been an awkward subject until friend and celebrity chef and TV personality Anthony Bourdain jokingly referred to Gordon's past activities as his pharmaceutical career, which got a hearty laugh from the audience. Gordon's book, published by HarperCollins, also is labeled "an Anthony Bourdain book." Bourdain has never been a client, Gordon said, but described Bourdain as a rock star, and it was clear the two are friends.Gordon also has cooked for the Dalai Lama more than once, along with a cadre of volunteer chefs and other team members. Even then-Kauai Mayor Joanne Yukimura volunteered to scrub pots and pans and wash dishes for his Hawaii visit, Gordon said, describing her as a short, hard-working woman whose daughter was taller than her, and saving her name until the end of the story as a punchline, not intended to be funny as much as surprising.Given his long and storied career, Gordon was asked about his passion, about what makes him get out of bed in the morning. "I don't have a record player, and I don't really watch movies," he said. The culinary world is what inspires him, he said, and to illustrate the point, he said he soon will be going to Italy for truffle-hunting.

Chef Roger Dikon, Shep Gordon, Jack Johnson and chef Ed Kenney gather for photos after Gordon's talk-story session.

Chef Roger Dikon, Shep Gordon, Jack Johnson and chef Ed Kenney gather for photos after Gordon's talk-story session.

Gordon and the HRC chefs launched a movement some 25 years ago …

http://www.staradvertiser.com/2011/02/27/business/from-a-small-fraternity-came-an-identifying-style/

… and some returned to the James Beard House in 2011 to blow away some mainland taste buds.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/2011/03/21/business/hawaii-regional-cuisine-pleases-palates-that-matter/

An alumnus of that Beard House dinner, chef Wade Ueoka, now owns and operates MW Restaurant with his wife Michelle Karr-Ueoka, and it was at MW that Gordon, the Dikons, the Johnsons and the Kenneys enjoyed a pre-event dinner.

Gordon's book is $25.99 and is available at bookstores and online.

Look for more insights into Gordon's thoughts about, and love for, Hawaii and its food, in next week's Crave.

 

Posted in Education, Farming, Food, Home Cooking | Comments Off on Shep Gordon, Supermensch

Artist captures spirit of Kona Coffee fest

By
June 8th, 2016



Kona artist Carol Tredway's image of a coffee picker at work will be the official image of the Kona Coffee Festival.

Kona artist Carol Tredway's image of a coffee picker at work will be the official image of the Kona Coffee Festival.

Each year the Kona Coffee Festival selects a work of art to represent the theme of the event. The 2016 theme, “Brewed with Tradition,” has been illustrated by Kona artist Carol Tredway with a representation of a coffee picker and Kona farm life. The piece will be featured on commemorative items and in the festival’s 2016 advertising campaign. Look for it in posters, buttons and other retail items.

The festival, in its 46th year, runs Nov. 5 to 13. The key event is a cupping competition that selects the region's top beans for the year. Other highlights:

Nov. 5: Holualoa Village Coffee & Art Stroll and Miss Kona Coffee Scholarship Pageant

Nov. 6: KTA Super Stores Kona Coffee Recipe Contest

Nov. 8: Council farm and mill tour

Nov. 10: Cupping competition 

Nov. 11: Lantern parade
Nov. 12: Ho‘olaule‘a

Nov. 13: Aloha Makahiki Concert with kumu hula Mika Keale-Goto and Halau Keale

For a complete list of events visit konacoffeefest.com

Posted in Education, Farming, Food, Shopping | Comments Off on Artist captures spirit of Kona Coffee fest

L'Ulu dinner a celebration

By
May 8th, 2016



Chef Lance Kosaka's Slow-Cooked Pork Belly with Ho Farms Vegetable Relish and Chili Lemon Sauce.

Slow-Cooked Pork Belly with Ho Farms Vegetable Relish and Chili Lemon Sauce by chef Lance Kosaka of Top of Waikiki.

More than 600 guests attended Saturday night's annual benefit for the Leeward Community College culinary program, L'Ulu, held in and around the school's instructional kitchens.

As always, the dinner celebrated connections between chefs and farmers, with displays of fresh produce set up next to cooking stations so that diners could sample products from local farms in raw form while tasting what a chef can do with them.

LCC students at work at their station inside the teaching kitchen.

LCC students Christine Atud, Maricel Campo and Cheen Shimao at work at their station inside the teaching kitchen.

 

Leeward culinary students assisted at each station and put out their own dish — a delicate smoked piece of butterfish with a salsa of pineapple and hearts of palm, created by chef-instructor Ian Riseley. Many guests called it the dish of the night.

Smoked Butterfish Luau wit Grilled Hawaiian Crown Pineapple & Hearts of Palm Salsa but Ian Riseley of the LCC restaurant The Pearl.

Smoked Butterfish Luau with Grilled Hawaiian Crown Pineapple & Hearts of Palm Salsa by Ian Riseley of LCC's The Pearl.

Dean Okimoto of Nalo Farms served a micro greens salad topped with pickled beets and a soy-yuzu vinaigrette and croutons made with fried paiai from Ai Manuahi Farms.

nalo

Local taro was pounded into paiai, then fried in cubes to make crunchy croutons.

Local taro was pounded into paiai, then fried in cubes to make crunchy croutons.

 

Other highlights from the night:

From Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Pan-Seared Small Kine Farms Mushrooms, Creamy Herbed Polenta, Arugula, Chicken Skin Cracklings and a Quail Egg.

From chef DK Kodama of Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Pan-Seared Small Kine Farms Mushrooms, Creamy Herbed Polenta, Arugula, Chicken Skin Cracklings and a Quail Egg.

From Pig and the Lady, chef Andrew Le's Laotian Fried Chicken with Pickled Chili, Kaffir Lime, Peanuts, Fried Shallots and Aromatic Sprouting Herbs.

From Pig and the Lady, chef Andrew Le's Laotian Fried Chicken with Pickled Chili, Kaffir Lime, Peanuts, Fried Shallots and Aromatic Sprouting Herbs.

 

And the prettiest dish, a dessert from chefs Jeff Wind and Ron Villoria that featured coconut and mango in many forms:

A custom chocolate wafer and edible flower topped the Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Mango, Mango Cremeux, Mango Pearls, Coconut Meringue and Coconut Powder from Aulani: A Disney Resort & Spa.

A custom chocolate wafer and edible flower topped the Coconut Tapioca Pudding with Mango, Mango Cremeux, Mango Pearls, Coconut Meringue and Coconut Powder from Aulani: A Disney Resort & Spa

 

 

 

 

Passport to free and local

By
April 15th, 2016



Island Popper popcorn is the featured item for Pearlridge Farmers Market's Buy Local, Get Local program tomorrow, where 100 customers can get a bag free after making purchases from five vendors.

Island Popper popcorn is the featured item for Pearlridge Farmers Market's Buy Local, Get Local program tomorrow, where 100 customers can get a bag free after making purchases from five vendors.

At the Pearlridge Farmers' Market tomorrow — and every third Saturday of the month — 100 customers can make the most of their shopping dollars during the Buy Local, Get Local promotion. Be one of the first 100 shoppers to receive the card, then make purchases from five vendors, get a stamp from each, then turn in the card for a free, local item.

This month, that's a bag of Island Popper Popcorn. It's a $4 value!

On May 21, get a freshly baked pastry from Baker Dude; a Mochi Lab cupcake on June 18; and a bag of seasoned Hawaiian salt from Salty Wahine Salt on July 16.

The Pearlridge market, which runs 8 a.m. to noon in the corner of the Sears parking lot, is part of the FarmLovers Farmers' Market lineup owned and operated by Pamela Boyar and Annie Suite. As do all the FarmLovers markets, it features all-local items.

Boyar credits Pearlridge marketing director Kelly Kauinana for creating the popular program.

Boyar and Suite also run markets in Waimea Valley (2 to 6 p.m. Thursdays), Ward Warehouse (8 a.m. to noon Saturdays) and Kailua Elementary School (8:30 a.m. to noon Sundays).

Visit farmloversmarkets.com.

Posted in Farming, Food, Shopping | Comments Off on Passport to free and local

Emmy-winning Hawaii food and travel series makes isle debut

By
April 6th, 2016



Chef Ed Kenney works the loi on Kauai in the season premiere of "Family Ingredients."

Chef Ed Kenney works the loi on Kauai in the season premiere of "Family Ingredients." (Photo by Renea Veneri Stewart)

Anyone who’s grown up in Hawaii understands the deep connection between what we eat and where we come from. “Family Ingredients,” an award-winning locally produced series about how food ties into our identities, made its isle premiere April 5 with the screening of two episodes at the 2016 Hawaii International Film Festival Spring Showcase.

The series, produced by Heather Giugni, Renea Veneri Stewart and Dan Nakasone, and directed by Ty Sanga, was picked up by national PBS and will begin airing in Hawaii on June 22. The first season comprises six 24-minute episodes.

The first installment of the evening is the first in the series. It introduced series host Ed Kenney — chef-owner of Town, Kaimuki Superette and Mud Hen Water restaurants — and explored his food history, leading back to the Kauai taro farms of his youth. The second episode followed an Oahu resident back to his homeland of Tahiti, where his family crafts winning canoes and Kenney delved into poisson cru, a classic Tahitian dish of raw fish doused in lime juice and tossed with coconut milk and vegetables.

Other shows travel to Okinawa, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Japan.

The Japan episode, which served as the series pilot, won an Emmy in 2014. It focuses on chef Alan Wong's food roots in Wahiawa and Japan.

Cooking up a big future

By
March 21st, 2016



PHOTO BY KAT WADE / SPECIAL TO THE HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER Pili Group's Kelley Pittman is headed to Boston where she will hone her craft, thanks to the James Beard Foundation's Women in Culinary Leadership intern program.

PHOTO BY KAT WADE / SPECIAL TO THE HONOLULU STAR-ADVERTISER
Pili Group's Kelley Pittman is headed to Boston where she will hone her craft, thanks to the James Beard Foundation's Women in Culinary Leadership intern program.

 

It was 4:13 p.m. and chef Mark Noguchi probably couldn't wait any longer. "Let me know when your article drops," said his text.

I've been working all day on a write-up about one of his Lunch Box cooks, Kelley Pittman, who found out today she was selected for an internship via the James Beard Foundation’s Women in Culinary Leadership program. He had been nearly bursting with pride this morning when I interviewed him for the article.

“With some people, you know immediately — they exude that energy that makes them stand out,” he said. "Kelley exhibits the ability to always push herself a little more, and she thinks about her actions. Fast cooks are a dime a dozen, but smart cooks are priceless. Plus, she has an empathy within her. You can't teach that."

Noguchi met Pittman in 2011, when Ma'o Organic Farms was celebrating its 10th anniversary. Pittman, a farmworker, assisted him in breaking down a 300-pound marlin — and she didn't want to stop working. Today, she brings that same work ethic to the Lunch Box kitchen, prompting Noguchi to urge her to apply for the internship.

“I didn’t really expect anything,” she said of her hopes when she filled out the application. “But I'm excited to move forward, explore, get off this rock.”

Pittman, 22, will do just that when she spends six months in Boston, working and learning from chef Matt Jennings of Townsman restaurant. She said she'll learn about working both the front and the back of the house.

She is filling one of 22 positions offered by 19 mentors. The program provides paid internships to help aspiring women chefs build leadership and management skills in the kitchen and in restaurant management and entrepreneurship.

COURTESY PILI GROUP Pittman, harvesting calamansi at Hirabara Farm, does it all. The cook was once was a farmworker at Ma‘o Organic Farms.

COURTESY PILI GROUP
Pittman, harvesting calamansi at Hirabara Farm, does it all. The cook was once was a farmworker at Ma‘o Organic Farms.

 

Pittman says cooking has been a lifelong passion, and at Lunch Box, her enthusiasm for her work shows. She's in charge of feeding the corporate offices, and she takes requests.

So what does she cook?

Her menu features items such as beef and luau stews and loco mocos for the local workers, kelaguen for folks hailing from Guam and salads for the “urbanized retro people.”

“What don’t I cook?” she quipped.

Pittman, who grew up in Waianae, says she’s had a lifelong passion for cooking. “It started with the Easy Bake, and being in the kitchen with Grandma. Working on the farm took me beyond just appreciating food, it helped me to know where it comes from — and that can benefit the way I cook.”

Pittman's attitude fits in well with Pili Group's — the company owned and run by Noguchi and his wife, Amanda, which oversees Lunch Box and other venues — corporate culture, which is: "You must be a good human being to be a good chef."

"If you look at Kelley's family, you can see why she is the way she is," said Noguchi. "If someone has a softball game, EVERYONE'S at the softball game. Kelley is very mature. She looks after her sisters; she's like the matriarch of the family.

"I think Kelley will get far. She's too young for us to see where her creativity will take her, but she will be instrumental to culinary in Hawaii. She will be inspiring to women in the field."

Read more about Pittman on Wednesday in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser food section.

Posted in Eating Out, Education, Farming, Food | Comments Off on Cooking up a big future

Rad roasting

By
February 23rd, 2016



photo 1(2)

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve been in root heaven. This is thanks to my supplier, a farming student who sells me weekly bags of her bountiful produce. I agree to buy whatever she harvests, and she fills the bag FULL of any and all combination of salad greens, dark leafy greens, the occasional bunch of bananas, cucumbers, radishes, turnips, herbs, even pickles.

The recent supply of radishes and turnips were not only plentiful, they were beautiful. Some roots were purple-hued, others classic white, and some were white on the outside and — surprise! — a gorgeous fuchsia inside. Some came packed with their leafy green tops still attached.

Here’s how I’ve been enjoying them:

Radish tops stir-fried with olive oil, garlic and salt have a mild bite and lots of deliciousness.

Stir-fried radish tops have a mild bite and lots of deliciousness.

I chopped the tops and stir-fried them in olive oil with crushed garlic cloves, seasoned with sea salt. Though they’ve still got a bit of a spicy, bitter bite, the lushness of the oil and tasty garlic flavor provide a nice balance.

As for the roots, I decided on roasting. The end result was a mellow, tasty and hearty veggie. The family thoroughly enjoyed them for dinner, and I packed a serving for lunch today.

My satisfaction extends further than my taste buds. It feels great knowing that I didn’t waste a thing. I know the farmer would be glad for that as well.

Roasted radishes are oh so satisfying.

Roasted radishes are oh so satisfying.

Make your own roasted roots:

Set oven rack to highest level. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil.

Scrub and chop roots into bite-size pieces and placed roots into a stainless-steel bowl. Add olive oil (I used a generous amount, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup for about 4 cups of root veggies) and toss well. Spread in single layer on pan, sprinkled generously with sea salt and cover with foil. Place in oven.

After 20 minutes, stir pieces, re-cover pan with foil and return to oven for 20 minutes. Toss again. At this point, roots will be softened and releasing quite a bit of water — remove foil cover to dry them out a bit and return pan to oven. After 10 minutes, check on them. When they’re nicely browned and tender, they’re done.

Posted in Farming, Food, Home Cooking | Comments Off on Rad roasting

Happiness is a warm egg

By
February 22nd, 2016



The cheery sign matched the mood of early-morning customers at Petersons' Upland Farm.

A cheery sign greets all at the Egg Room in Wahiawa, where brown and white eggs in various sizes are waiting for eager customers.

Petersons' Upland Farm Egg Room
>> Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays
(closed Sundays and Mondays)
>> Address: 141 Dole Road in Wahiawa
>> Phone: 621-6619
>> Also: 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursdays at Wahiawa Hongwanji Mission farmers market, 1067 California Ave.

Happiness is a warm egg, at least in my world. A freshly boiled egg is nourishment and comfort all packaged in one pristine orb. And there's no better time to partake than at breakfast, no better way to start the day on sure footing, which is why a boiled egg is my go-to food each morning.

I feel even better about the daily ritual because I know exactly where my eggs come from, and that they're fresh.

There's already a line first thing in the morning at the Egg Room at Petersons' Upland Farm.

There's already a line first thing in the morning outside Petersons' Upland Farm's Egg Room.

This is thanks to Petersons' Upland Farm's Egg Room in Wahiawa, not far from my Waikele home. There, the longtime egg-farming Peterson family sells flats of brown and white eggs in various sizes. (A flat is 30 eggs.) Prices change depending on supply, but they're always astoundingly affordable. Last Saturday, one flat of size large was $10!

When my husband and I arrived at about 8:05 a.m., we faced a considerable line. But it was a pleasant wait. Strangers chatted happily, no doubt because every one of us had pictures in our minds of all the delicious foods we'd be whipping up.

Though some may have had visions of cakes or quiches, I just thought of my quiet time, the solitary couple of minutes at my office desk peeling my warm meal, sprinkling it with salt, and that first, soothing, satisfying bite.

A flat of 30 eggs is precious cargo for egg aficionados traveling home from Petersons' Upland Farm.

A flat of 30 eggs is precious cargo for egg aficionados traveling home from Petersons' Upland Farm.

Posted in Farming, Food, Shopping | Comments Off on Happiness is a warm egg

Carbajal learning, living the dream

By
February 11th, 2016



Fledgling farmer Prisicilla Carbajal manages to grow beautiful produce even though her schedule is already bustling. She also has a job and three sons.

Fledgling farmer Priscilla Carbajal grows beautiful produce on land in Waimanalo as part of her GoFarm Hawaii education. Even though her schedule is already bustling with a job and two sons, her farm flourishes. 

Priscilla Carbajal is literally living the dream — farming an eighth of an acre of land in Waimanalo. As a student in the GoFarm Hawaii program, which teaches everyday folks to run a farm and grow things on it, she is producing some 15 different vegetables and selling them in weekly $10 subscription bags to a dozen customers.

“I live it, I dream about,” she said of her hands-on education.

Carbajal sells her produce to a dozen clients who subscribe to a bag of veggies weekly. Included in the bag recently were red bok toy, top, and head lettuce of the red butter variety.

Carbajal sells her produce to a dozen clients who subscribe to a bag of veggies weekly. Included in the bag recently were red bok choy, top, and head lettuce of the red butter variety.

Among her bounty are won bok, bok choy, kale, Swiss chard, cucumber, tomatoes, beans, fennel, radish, beets, various lettuces and edible calendula flowers.

Not all students choose to grow so many things, but Carbajal says she “wanted to experience all the different items,” and her lucky customers’ vegetable bags are stocked to the brim. Sometimes she even supplements the produce with a recipe, value-added products such as pickles or pesto sauce, and, for a few extra dollars, homemade sausages.

Though she’s working land that belongs to GoFarm, she’s named her plot Vida Farms, meaning “life farms.” She hopes the lessons she’s mastering now will turn into a real business someday.

These pretty "triangle flashback" calendula flowers growing at Vida Farms are actually edible and medicinal.

"Triangle flashback" calendula flowers growing at Vida Farms are actually edible and medicinal.

In early March, Carbajal will have completed the six-month AgPro course, which provides education on everything from farming techniques and crop planning to business planning and marketing. The next step is the AgIncubator program, for which she will farm a bigger plot of land. She hopes to sell her produce grown there to retail outlets.

When Carbajal finishes the program, her business plan involves selling vegetable kits, complete with recipes, for busy clients who have limited time to spend in the kitchen.

The extensive work and study required to sustain Vida Farms — not to mention her regular job and raising two sons — keeps Carbajal hopping. But she says she’s up for it.

“It’s doable if you put your mind to it.”

This pretty plant on Vida Farms is actually edible: It's known as huazontle, or Aztec spinach.

This pretty plant is actually edible: It's known as huazontle, or Aztec spinach.

Priscilla Carbajal grows some 15 different vegetables on a one-eighth acre plot of land in Waimanalo as part of her GoFarm Hawaii education. Among the bounty are won bok, top, and kale.
Carbajal grows some 15 different vegetables, including won bok, top, and kale.

Carbajal named her plot of land Vida Farms, meaning "life farm."

Carbajal named her plot of land Vida Farms, meaning "life farm."

 

Posted in Farming, Food | Comments Off on Carbajal learning, living the dream

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

Archives

Categories