Show 559, January 6, 2024: Kohala Food Hub and Mauna Kea Resort, Hawaii Island

Maya Parish of Kohala Food Lab

A new collaboration between the Mauna Kea Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii and the Kohala Food Hub (KFH) is stepping up the use of food grown by Kohala farmers.

“The Hāwī-based KFH aggregates and markets food for small and mid-scale farmers who use regenerative and organic management practices. The fresh food is sold to island resorts, restaurants and residents who purchase a weekly Multi-Farm CSA subscription or buy food through KFH’s Online Marketplace.”

“I think there’s a special bond between Mauna Kea Resort and the Kohala community due to our proximity and that a large number of Kohala residents work at the resort, says Maya Parish, director of KFH.”

“On the food hub’s end, our goals are to create consistent standing resort orders that our farmers can count on and plant out for,” details Parish. “This will stimulate more regional food production, increasing revenue for our farmers and providing consistent quality and volume that the resort can depend on.”

“In addition, another identified goal includes providing an example to other resorts in the Kona and Kohala Districts to also “join more deeply” in supporting locally based farmers with their significant collective purchasing power.”

Todd Oldham of Mauna Kea Resort

“We were always heavy into purchasing local but it seemed after COVID, we had to do everything in our power to strengthen food security and the way we can do that is though our dollars,” notes Todd Oldham, Mauna Kea Resort food and beverage director. “When we buy local products, the money stays here and helps someone keep their land and expand to grow more food.”

“Oldham, a former chef who grew up with an agricultural background in Pennsylvania, shares a resort mission is to increase the use of local food. “It’s not just a verbal think; we do strategy sessions on how to increase local food usage, what steps we need to take and the initiatives needed.”

“With the collaboration starting in August, Mauna Kea Resort is currently purchasing around 450 pounds of produce weekly from KFH, initially using what farmers already had growing—grapefruit, dragon fruit, navel oranges, starfruit, bananas, green leaf and romaine lettuces. Now KFH is asking its farmer network to plant out crops specifically to supply the resort’s stated needs—carrots, eggplant, broccoli, cabbage and green beans— while negotiating price points that work for all.”

KFH’s Maya Parish and Mauna Kea Resort’s Todd Oldham join us with all the specifics of the important effort.

Show 224, May 20, 2017: Co-Host Andy Harris with an airline food story…

Collier Cook of Santa Catalina Island Company and Andy HarrisCo-host Andy Harris has a head-scratching airline main cabin food story to share. It’s just for laughs…Frustration and bewilderment with the lack of planning on the part of a major air carrier only goes so far! Other fresh food news of note, too, as time permits.

Late last month Producer Andy was at the Kona, Hawaii Airport about to board his Sunday midday return flight to Los Angeles. He was there for The Big Island Chocolate Festival. It’s a five and one-half hour flight. The flight is completely full. Lots of carry-on items from visitors returning to the Mainland from vacations. When the first boarding announcement is made it comes with an odd disclaimer about the limited availability of food and beverages on the aircraft and what the suggested course of action should be for the surprised passengers. Huh??? Listen to the podcast for the rest of the curious story.

Show 117, April 11, 2015: Show Preview with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel and Producer & Co-Host Andy Harris

Executive Chef Andrew Gruel of the rapidly growing Slapfish empire with restaurants in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and, now, Newport Beach is today’s special Guest Host.

Now a preview of today’s delightfully fully-leaded and always content-rich show.

In celebration of National Grilled Cheese Month in April Provisions Market (Chef Greg Daniels) and OC Baking Company (Dean Kim) will join forces to once again host The Big Cheese, Orange County’s grilled cheese festival and competition. Event Co-Founder Greg Daniels and his fellow Orange County Chefs will compete for the title of “The Big Cheese” on Monday, April 20th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Provisions Market. All proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to You Are Special, a local nonprofit that operates a food pantry to feed the hungry in the Orange community.

Two-time James Beard Award-winning author Karen Page revolutionized the way both professional chefs and home cooks think about and create new dishes – based on compatible flavors instead of recipes – with her bestseller, The Flavor Bible, which Forbes named as one of the ten best cookbooks of the past century. Now Page brings the same innovative approach to plant-based cooking with The Vegetarian Flavor Bible. Photographs are by Andrew Dornenburg (Karen’s husband.) Karen Page is our guest.

Craving premium chocolate ? Who doesn’t ? The fourth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (Hawaii) delivers with an array of fun, elegant and taste-tempting activities, seminars and culinary adventures May 7th to 9th. Most of the chocolately goodness will be offered at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, but three new events take place at Kona farms. Hawaii is the only state in the United States that can grow cacao. Farsheed Bonakdar, the President of the Kona Cacao Association and acclaimed chocolatiers and veteran pastry chefs Stanton Ho and Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company join us with a preview.

“My first cookbook, Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul is a love letter to both the flavors of my youth as an Indian girl growing up in the Middle East…and the flavors that embrace me in my new home here in the States.” “I’ll walk you through 101 recipes, some simplified versions of Indian classics…and some that show you how to use these same Indian spices to create exciting spins on American favorites.” Food Network’s Aarti Sequeira is our guest. She will be doing a cooking demo and book-signing at next weekend’s Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC.

Finally a chance to chat with Guest Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish. He’ll share some useful tips about selecting and preparing lobster. This is a conversation started on last week’s show. Chef Andrew will also advise us on what parts of the lobster are best for use in some familiar dishes. We’ll also talk about what is an authentic lobster roll. They are seemingly appearing on menus everywhere.

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Show 117, April 11, 2015: Big Island Chocolate Festival

BIg Island Chocolate FestivalCraving chocolate? Who doesn’t? The fourth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (Hawaii) delivers with an array of fun, elegant and taste-tempting activities, seminars and culinary adventures May 7th to 9th. Most of the chocolatey goodness will be offered at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, but three new events take place at Kona farms. Hawaii is the only state in the United States that can grow cacao.

On Thursday, May 7th from 5 to 9:00 p.m. is the farm-to-table, chocolate-themed dinner at Kokoleka Lani cacao farm in Holualoa. Dubbed a “Chocolate Soiree,” the scrumptious, seven-course meal will be prepared by celebrity pastry chef Stanton Ho, and others.

On Saturday, May 9th the 3-days of chocolate fun at The Big Island Chocolate Festival culminates from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in the Fairmont’s Grand Ballroom for the festival gala. Attendees can enjoy both savory and sweet chocolate cuisine created by top Island chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners while voting for their favorite culinary station. Diners can also visit the “all you can enjoy” mole and salad bars. Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company will be demonstrating the fine art of chocolate sculpting.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawaii Community College-Palamanui and a capital campaign to build a community kitchen at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Farsheed Bonakdar, the President of the Kona Cacao Association and acclaimed chocolatier and pastry chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Company and Stanton Ho (ex-Chocolates a la carte and the Las Vegas Hilton) join us with a tempting preview.