The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival aims to strengthen the connections among the islands’ food, land and people—and to share the culture behind the cuisine.
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.
Reality television has transformed the restaurant industry into entertainment, and has launched chefs into stardom. But after the cameras stop rolling, say chefs, it’s still simply all about the food.
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.
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™.
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.
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.
While The Mill House is a modern, open-air, architectural wonder of a restaurant that was built in 1982, it pays homage to that era with sugar-mill objects of art such as two, museum-quality antique steam locomotives that transported sugarcane to be processed along with other massive industry implements displayed both inside and on the grounds.
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.
or centuries, ulu, or breadfruit, has been cultivated in the Pacific Islands, first introduced to the Hawaiian archipelago as a canoe plant brought by Polynesian settlers. Ulu is touted as a sustainable starch for its low maintenance requirements to produce high yield in diversified cropping systems.