Image by Luke Aguinaldo
The North Shore’s Elise MacClean won the inaugural Freshly Baked at Fresh Cafe on Saturday. Waiola coconut water was the featured ingredient of the month, and Eilse used it to make her “North Shore Tart.” She believes in the value of farm-to-table cooking and used ingredients from her backyard to create the pastry. For winning the bake-off, Elise’s “North Shore Tart” will be sold at Fresh Cafe for the next month. She also received a cash prize and a box of Waiola.
Image by Luke Aguinaldo
Starting Saturday September 28th.
Then every following 4th Saturday of the Month.
831 Queen St
Honolulu, HI 96813
A new addition to the booming Kaka`ako district aims to create a new table that flips the traditional restaurant model upside down. It’s not a restaurant, it’s not quite a pop-up, it’s more of a venue for everything food. TASTE, Hawaii’s first “Food Venue” is set to open this Saturday, October 27th at 6pm. TASTE will be under the direct supervision of Chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi. TASTE’s trio of young business collaborators include Street Grindz creators of Eat the Street, Poni and Brandon Askew; Under My Umbrella, owned and operated by Amanda Corby and Pili Hawaii, a food group recently co-founded by Chef “Gooch” and Corby. The diversity of this crew’s talent offers a powerful yet well balanced plate.
TASTE’s daily breakfast and lunch menu will feature many of the familiar faces eaters are used to seeing from a lunch truck window or at Eat the Street. During the day expect to find a delicious mix of popular food truck owners, street food vendors and pop up restaurants serving up their own twist on fast, affordable, fresh food.
“This is a great opportunity for Hawaii’s food entrepreneurs to have a chance at operating a brick and mortar space without all the risks involved in opening up one of their own” says Poni Askew. Our goals to provide them with a space and the training and knowledge needed to survive in this tough industry.
TASTE will feature a combination of in-house special series meals created by Chef Gooch intermixed with pop-up meals created by guest Chefs. For dinner, think a restaurant turned dinner party. Dinner will be served five days a week (Monday- Sat.) with a fixed menu that will change each day. The menu changes, the chef changes and sometimes so will the furniture.
Most always, there will be a set menu, pre-purchased reservations and an intimate group of diners sampling the featured chef’s latest experiment. Chefs already in line to fill the space include Leanne Wong of Food Network’s ‘Unique Eats’, Miso & Ale, and Pig and the Lady.
On the surface, TASTE is a “Food Venue” most easily explained as a permanent pop-up, just simpler because it’s always in the same location. In addition to the eclectic menu, TASTE will also be an open resource and hub to aspiring and ambitious food entrepreneurs.
TASTE will offer cooking classes, Chef demos, tastings, and culinary specific skills training. From workshops such as small-business insurance practices to marketing and sanitation skills, Taste will provide continued education for those interested in legitimizing their food businesses.
“Pop-ups” often get the reputation of representing creative-minds flying under the radar to avoid legal responsibilities and costly fees, but through TASTE, we want to help people interested in the culinary world educate themselves and one another before going all in,” says Corby.
Taste is slotted for their official Grand Opening on Saturday, October 27, 2012. To celebrate the evening Chef Mark Noguchi will be serving up a delightful nibbles along with peers from Pig and the Lady and Sweet Bread. A limited amount of tickets will be available for $45 and can be purchase on their website. For Taste’s hours, food calendar and future events visit www.tastetable.com. You can also follow them @tastetable on Twitter and Facebook. Taste is located at 667 Auahi St in Kaka’ako next to Whole Ox Deli.
The catering/pop-up duo better known as HayaHon, was founded by Kauai native Mark Hayashida and Johnny Honda from the Solomon Islands. Together they bring modern Japanese cuisine with an island touch to the Bay Area drawing inspiration from their heritage and cultural influences.
Founder & Partner of HayaHon
Lindsay: Who inspired you the most when it comes to your career?
Mark: My grandpa, Harry Miyake, used to own a couple of restaurants on Kauai and during the summers I would work at his restaurants and I really enjoyed it. My grandpa would cook with ingredients like opihi, his food was absolutely amazing and I loved everything my grandpa did. After studying law at UC Davis, I would remember the times I would cruise back to Hawaii during the summer time to help out my grandpa & how much I always enjoyed it. So I wanted to see if there was something more to it. At first my mom second guessed my new career choice because she knew what the lifestyle was like for someone who owned a restaurant, but I still wanted to do it anyways.
When did you make the big move to the Bay Area?
I moved to the mainland with my family when I was 15 to Sacramento. It is also tradition in my family to send us off to college in the mainland to see if we can learn to adapt. Life in San Francisco is so different, you either love the place and the many opportunities it provides or you end up missing home because of familiarity. By being here in the mainland, I got the opportunity to go to UC Davis and start my own business.
What motivated you to get out there and start your own business?
Any chef inspires to own their own business. I paired up with Johnny Honda who also understands Hawaii culture & now have the opportunity to teach people about what it means to be a part of a business that is based off of family morals, which is how a lot of Hawaiian businesses are ran. Being from Hawaii also helps you to surpass a lot of avenues that it takes to get to know someone on an even playing field, but having that Hawaii connection makes the process so much faster, there’s an instant connection. For example my fish vendors Henry & Chris, Henry is from Hawaii and Chris travels to Hawaii often so they both understand the culture therefore it was easy to make a connection.
Where was the first place HayaHon made its debut?
HayaHon made it’s first appearance at Mercury Lounge on Valentine’s day. My roommate Johnny and I have always talked about getting together and starting a business; he’s passionate about catering and I have 12 years of experience of working in the restaurant industry. One night, a friend of mine called me up because she needed some sushi chefs to come in to give a different element to an event they were throwing at Mercury. All of it was very nonchalant and everything kind of just fell into place since then. We were two different chefs who came together one night and realized that this could actually work. Johnny was also the one who came up with the name, it’s the first part of our last names smashed together. HAYAshida + HONda = HayaHon. Cool right?
Why bring Hawaiian/Japanese cuisine to the Bay Area?
There is heritage in the food we make. It’s a melting pot of all these different things, but based off of what Hawaii has to provide. There are such strong staples of Hawaii when it comes to food. Like when people visit Hawaii, they remember the ABC Store, Waikiki Beach & the food. The things people eat for the first time in Hawaii becomes part of a memory & it’s great to bring those memories back to them here in San Francisco. It’s more the opportunity than anything else, the opportunity to recreate memories.
Text, interview and photo by Lindsay Arakawa, our newest online contributor, a Hawaii transplant living (and hustling) in San Francisco. More on her later.
Tonight Saturday September 29th is the first annual Honolulu Night Market at Kakaako. Our homegirl Pineapple Ice is putting together the Fashion Show for the night. I will be at R&D helping out with our mini MakkuroMakkuro pop up. Come join us in the fun. The event runs from 7pm-12pm. Dont miss the fashion show at 9!
The day has finally come… Cupcakes are now available via ATM.Sprinkles bakery has installed an automatic cupcake dispenser at their Beverly Hills, CA location, and it has been a smash hit since they unveiled it last month.
Text and Images by Kaui Awong
Every Saturday, over 4,000 people flood the Kapi`olani Community College parking lot for a taste of Hawai`i-grown products at the Saturday Farmer’s Market. For many of these people however, it’s more than just filling their shopping bags with colorful produce or drooling over savory plate-lunches – it’s about rebuilding a community.
The Saturday Farmer’s Market at KCC has quickly grown since it began seven years ago. What started with just 14 farming, nursery and prepared food vendors has grown to over 60 today. The Hawai`i Farmer’s Bureau, which operates the market, now also manages three more O`ahu farmer’s markets at Mililani High School on Sundays, the Honolulu Market at the Blaisdell on Wednesdays, and the Kailua Evening Market at Kailua Town Center on Thursdays.
The goal of the farmer’s market is to provide a space for farmers to sell their local produce. Many of the regular vendors got their big start with just a small booth in the KCC parking lot.
“This is where we first started the business about eight years ago, and since then we’re in various restaurants throughout the island - Dukes, Pacific Beach Hotel, and in stores like Don Quijote, Whole Foods, Foodland, and all the military commissaries and exchanges,” said Brian of Kaiulani Spices.
Kaiulani Spices is a small cottage industry based out of Round Top Drive specializing in spices and seasoning. “Everybody who is somebody in the restaurant industry, comes here, you’ll see people like Alan Wong here and other famous local chefs.”
One of the reasons why so many people are choosing to shop at farmer’s markets over grocery stores is the difference in communication. Customers get the chance to talk to the experts themselves to get the most out of the products they’re buying.
“People have ten conversations more at the farmer’s market than at the local grocery store,” said Lisa Asagi of the Hawai`i Farmer’s Bureau.
“I see strangers talking to each other asking, ‘what is this?’, ‘how do you cook this’, ‘how do you tell if this is right?’ It’s a nice place to come together, exchange information, help each other out and feel like we’re all connected again.”
Asagi, along with her sister Kacie Robello head the O`ahu Farmer’s Market operations at the Hawai`i Farmers Bureau.
In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis to “buy local,” and according to Asagi, it is the one way that people can remedy a weakening economy.
“It’s about supporting local farmers, local business, and keeping the money here in our economy so we can expand our farms here instead of outsourcing,” said Tui of WOW Farms based in Waimea, Hawai`i.
Another perk of buying local is the visible freshness of the products. As long as it’s locally grown produce, it’s something that was harvested that day or the afternoon before. When it is imported from the mainland or farther, it’s something that could have been harvested from three weeks to several months ago
With such a growing appeal in recent years, the Hawai`i Farmer’s Bureau hopes that the farmer’s market becomes more of an everyday stop for people, integrating it into their weekly routines of where they buy food.
“Every dollar that gets spent in the farmer’s market stays in the local economy at least three transactions before being syphoned back into the global economy,” said Asagi of the importance of its expansion.
For now, the weekly farmer’s markets throughout the island will continue to draw in large, diverse crowds wanting a taste of something fresh, local, and unique.
“There’s a lot to see, a lot of different types of foods, fresh vegetables, all local, I try come here every week and always try to get something new, from fresh fruit, to plate lunches, it’s all so good,” said Kate, a weekly customer and University of Hawai`i student.
Cat food designed for badass cats only.