Category: Main Dish

Watercress: Explained

Sumida Farm, a watercress farm located in Aiea, grows foot-and-a-half long watercress which locals can taste in restaurants — and even in their own kitchen. Watercress is a versatile, nutrient-dense superfood, which can be used in many different dishes to make healthy and delicious food. Sumida Farm wants to encourage people to pick up watercress when they see it, and many people are experimenting with the unique vegetable.

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COVID Conversations: Michelle Bernstein

Chef Michelle Bernstein is a five-year veteran of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. A Miami native of Jewish and Latin descent, she has dazzled HFWF attendees with her sublime cuisine and a personality as bright and vibrant as the Florida sun. Bernstein and her husband/business partner, David Martinez, own and operate MBC Michelle Bernstein Catering Company, a full-service catering company as well as Café La Trova in Little Havana. These days, Bernstein is busier than ever adjusting to the effects that COVID-10 has had on the restaurant industry and independent restaurants.

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Exploring Unknown Activities during COVID-19

Businesses and individuals across the globe are grappling with the impact of COVID-19. As a state so wholly dependent on the visitor industry, Hawaii struggles with the immediate and long-term economic effect. For survival, local businesses rely on Hawaii residents to make ends meet. With visitors nearly nonexistent due to the travel restrictions, locals have the opportunity to explore Hawaii in a way they might not have previously.

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From Southwest to South Pacific

In the early 1980s, Dean Fearing was part of group of revolutionary Texas chefs who were blending the culture and ingredients of the Southwest into a new category of cuisine. Along with two other Hawaii Food & Wine Festival veterans, Stephan Pyles and Robert Del Grande, plus Anne Greer McCann and Avner Samuel, these bold chefs with different backgrounds created the flavors of Southwestern Cuisine — the flavors now recognized all around the globe.

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A Jewel Above Vegas

The new cocktail-centric concept by world renowned mixologist Francesco Lafranconi, MR. COCO characterizes its founder’s affinity for impeccably-refined cocktails and chic decor. In a brainstorming session, the distinguished lounge was named for the Lafranconi family pet, Coco the Scottish Westie. Lafranconi’s daughter agreed, noting the exempliary work ethic and style of the late Coco Channel.

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The Sunny Side of Pride

Fifty years after the Stonewall Riots in New York City, Honolulu celebrates Pride. Drag shows and brunch go hand in hand like champagne and OJ. This year, EFFEN Vodka Presents Drag Appetit at Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, the event’s first drag brunch and LGBTQ-themed event, all in support of the Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation and Honolulu Pride™.

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Mexico Meets Hawaii

Chef Rick Bayless discovers the intersection of Hawaiian and Mexican cuisines at the Papahana Kuaola ahupuaa.

Bayless, who was named Hawaii Food & Wine Festival’s second Culinary Hero in April 2019, made history in Hawaii at Papahana Kuaola and created his traditional Mexican dish, using Hawaiian cooking traditions. He had planned to prepare locally-raised pork for his dish, but rather than cook his pig in an oven, he cooked it in a Hawaiian imu (or pit) which is similar, yet different, from the Mexican method of cooking a pig in the ground.

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The Iberian Connection to Hawaii’s Cuisine & Culture

Drive around town, listen to Hawaii radio or a stop at the store, and notable Iberian influences on Hawaii’s cuisine and culture can be seen, heard and tasted around the Islands. On any given day, it’s a waiting game for malasadas at Leonard’s Bakery, a modern day version of the hot deep fried Portuguese “donuts” first introduced to Hawaii in the late 19th century by immigrants from Azores and Madeira.

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Ko Hana Rum Distillery: Work of the Cane

The next time you find yourself on the west side of the island of Oahu, do yourself a favor and go get lost in the cane fields of Kunia for an hour or so. The greenery is lush, the air is crisp and clean, and you find yourself taking the time to breathe deep and pause for a moment. After about a mile drive, take a left to reach Ko Hana Distillery, the home of Ko Hana Rum.

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