Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Sustainability delicious at Halekulani
Patricia Tam, vice president of brand development for Halekulani with the hotel's executive chef Vikram Garg, welcomed guests to "An Evening of Sustainable Cuisine."
Thinking about food sustainability is a luxury when many struggle to simply put a nutritious meal on the table, but it is a topic that should have been discussed long ago, when it might have been possible for a farm industry to thrive and grow with the population.
Living on islands, we're always just one disaster away from being cut off from the rest of the world. If planes couldn't land, if ships couldn't dock, it wouldn't take long for food supplies to disappear.
There are environmental benefits to sustainable cuisine—using products that are grown, harvested and processed with the least amount of impact on the environment—as well, and Halekulani is doing its part to raise awareness through events like "An Evening of Sustainable Cuisne," which took place March 11.
The event, a benefit for the Culinary Insitute of the Pacific at Diamond Head, featured cuisine by Halekulani executive chef Vikram Garg, Roy Yamaguchi of Roy's Restaurants, and Ed Kenney of Town.
The menus were made possible with the support of Big Island Abalone Corp, Kahuku Farms, United Fishing Agency, Nalo Farms, Hamakua Mushrooms, Shinsato Hog Farm and Ma'o Organic Farms.
There was also wine from Hall Winery, California's first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold-Certified Winery, as well as cocktails by Julie Reiner, beverage artist in residence, and herbal and kaffir and acai cocktails from Southern Wine & Spirits. Guests interested in the superfruit could also walk away with a bracelet made with acai seeds distributed to promote VeeV Acai Spirit.
Dishes put on the table proved that working for environmental and social good can be delicious.
Of course one part of sustainability is learning to use and appreciate all the food that comes from one animal, and not just savoring the "good parts." Ed Kenney put diners to the test with his coppa di testa or head cheese. Most people opted for sausage, instead. I passed as well, having come from a nine-course Chinese feast earlier that day.
Sorry, Ed! Maybe next time!
"Hawaii Five-0's" Alex O'Loughlin was there and I asked for a picture, which was OK until someone told him I was from the newspaper. He declined because he said he wasn't dressed for press, baseball cap and all. He looked good anyway and was the nicest guy nevertheless.