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Pau Hana Friday for October 25


Lunch on our tour includes dishes such as Kauai Fresh Farms salad with local pork belly and chef's garden vinaigrette. Daniel Lane photo

Lunch on our tour includes dishes such as Kauai Fresh Farms salad with local pork belly and chef’s garden vinaigrette. Daniel Lane photo

Tasting Kauai

This week, we have a nice round-up of island inspired food events, which include a farmers market cooking demonstration, chances to win free tickets to one of our culinary tours, a Halloween dinner and a Grow Culture pop-up dinner for our book release party.
I’d like to start by thanking you, our blog and guidebook readers as well as our food tour guests. Because of you, we have been able to donate $350 dollars to the Hawaii Food Bank – Kauai Branch and $100 to Stop Poisoning Paradise in support of Bill 2491. We were also able to donate two tours to the silent auction at this year’s Westin Princeville Jazz & Wine Festival, which benefitted the Kauai Lifeguard Association. Bonnie Ventis, one of Tasting Kauai’s  Facebook fans, won five of our restaurant guidebooks and a ticket to one of our food tours, after answering a question correctly for the Royal Coconut Coast Association‘s Scavenger Hunt. Bonnie, your prizes are being sent today!

Collin Darrell, Tortilla Republic general manager. Daniel Lane photo

Collin Darrell, Tortilla Republic general manager. Daniel Lane photo

There are still several opportunities to win one of our food tours this year. On Nov. 9, the Wilcox Health Foundation will host “The 75th Soiree: A Sparkling Birthday Celebration,” a fundraiser to support the not-for-profit Wilcox Memorial Hospital. We have donated one ticket and a restaurant guidebook for their silent auction. On Nov. 17, at the Garden Island Range & Food Festival, there will be two tickets given away as door prizes. Our book is now available at 17 locations across the island, but I hope to see some of you tonight, as I’ll be signing copies of our book during Hanapepe Art Night at Talk Story Book Store.
Mark your calendar for Nov. 12, because my favorite pop-up restaurant designer Collin Darrell of Grow Culture is designing a book release party for us, which will be held at The Feral Pig. You’ll have a chance to win one of Dan’s metallic landscape prints! You can see his work on Pono Photo’s website. I’ll list the details below, in the events section.
Last week, I was interviewed by Aaron Martin of Activity Kauai. He picked up a copy of my book at Paradise Bakery in Kapaa and asked me to meet. It was interesting being interviewed, since I usually do that, but reading his story “Kauai Restaurants: Culinary treasures in the middle of the Pacific” was a fun trip down memory lane. Mahalo Aaron!
Dark & Stormy, Kōloa Style with Koloa Rum will be featured on this month's A Culinary Romp Through Paradise. Daniel Lane photo

Dark & Stormy, Kōloa Style with Koloa Rum will be featured on this month’s A Culinary Romp Through Paradise. Daniel Lane photo

Koloa Rum Company

The recent issue of Hawaii magazine says Koloa Rum Company’s Kauai Dark Rum is the Best Hawaii Made Spirit.

“Man, we love this rum! Floated on a mai tai. Mixed into a classic Dark & Stormy. We especially love it straight, poured over ice, for slow sipping.”

Congratulations Koloa Rum Co.! We agree, and so do our guests. They sure enjoyed the Dark & Stormy at Oasis on the Beach at the end of last month’s culinary tour, and meeting president Bob Gunter as well. Cheers!

President Obama’s Sister Visits Kauai

This isn’t really food news, but it’s cool. Organizers Christina and Vajra work at Govinda Farm and deliver CSA boxes to The Feral Pig every Friday. They are organizing an event with Maya Soetoro-Ng, President Barack Obama’s maternal half-sister. Christina and Maya know each other because Christina used to work at the White House under the Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations. Christina now lives in Kauai and is a yoga instructor, along with her husband Vajra. The couple conduct yoga classes ($10) every Sunday at Kumu Camp in Anahola Bay. On Nov. 12, they will host Maya at Kumu Camp. For details, see “Events” Nov. 12 listing below.

What Are GMOs?

For the next 3 days, you can find out the truth about GMOs, health and labeling from top experts. Institute for Responsible Technology’s Jefffrey Smith along with some of the world’s leading experts to reveal relevant news about the health and environmental effects of genetically modified foods.
Some of the topics that will be covered are:

  • AllergyKids founder Robyn O’Brien will be speaking on GMOs and food allergies
  • Activist Vandana Shiva will speak about the global impact of GMOs
  • Former pro-biotech scientist Dr. Thierry Vrain will blow the cover on the way-to-cozy relationship between government and industry
  • U.S. Farm and food policy expert Ken Cook will demonstrate how to protect yourself and your family from dangerous pesticides in foods
  • Senior staff scientist at Consumer Reports Dr. Michael Hansen will reveal what the science tells us about GMOs

They will also cover topics such as the gluten-allergy-GMO connection and what the latest science says. Registration is free. For more information, visit
Friday, October 25

Tasting Kauai: RestaurantsRestaurant Guidebook Signing

Talk Story Bookstore, 5:30 to 9 p.m., free
Join Tasting Kauai at Talk Story Bookstore during Hanapepe Art Night. After hubby and I enjoy some fresh made pizza from Midnight Bear Breads, and maybe a slice of pie from The Right Slice, we’ll sign copies of our new book, Tasting Kauai: Restaurants. Come, enjoy a delightful evening of food, music and art, and talk story with us. We’d love to meet you! A portion of the proceeds from book sales go to the Hawaii Food Bank – Kauai Branch.
Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26

13th Annual Fall Festival

Kauai Christian Academy campus, 4000 Kilauea Road, Kilauea, 4 to 9 p.m., free
Kauai Christian Academy celebrates its 40 anniversary during their Fall Festival. The carnival atmosphere will have games, food, entertainment, and a “super-deluxe” silent auction. Live entertainment includes a bluegrass band and adult and keiki hula. Silent auction prizes include top hotel stays, zipline tours, boat tours, helicopter clothing, artwork, spa treatments and food items. For more information, call 808-639-4307.
Saturday, October 26

Farm To Table Dinner

Makana Terrace, $90
The Saturday night Market to Table Special at Mahana Terrace was transformed into this special five-course menu and chef Antwon’s menu features produce from all over Kauai.

  • Kona Lobster Terrine & Sunrise Papaya Soup with Tamarind Gelee, basil and toasted coconut
  • Smoked Kauai prawn with Hanalei taro pave, Makana garden herb salad, citrus butter, avocado, Kaffir lime emulsion
  • Banana leaf braised pork belly, alii and oyster mushrooms terrine, warm seaweed salad, lemongrass infused diakon broth
  • Kauai beef duo with pan-seared beef tournedos, egg fruit short rib ravioli, roasted kabocha squash pudding, sautéed fiddlehead fern and cherry tomatoes, Koloa Rum beef jus
  • Coconut sorbet and pineapple granita
  • Pineapple wine sabayon, ling hing mui dust, vanilla soft cake, passion fruit salted caramel

For reservations, call 808-826-2260.

Compost Tea Workshop

Kekaha Community Garden, 4552 Aukuu Rd., Kekaha, 9 to 11 a.m., suggested donation $5
Instructor and gardener Kelly Ball of Greenfire Garden Service will share tips and techniques for creating healthy soil. Workshop covers how to make:

  • Spirulina compost tea ~ A perpetual fertilizer formula. Demonstration will include the set up of a compost tea brewer, showing us the basic components of a brewing system and where we can get them.
  • Nutrifying plant formulas using home appliances
  • Essential micro-organisms formula
  • Bio-active “High Bloom” solution
  • Seawater Solution

There will be mulch and spirulina for sale. For more information or to make reservations, call 808-631 4982 or email
Sunday, October 27

Lisa and Sun work the land by hand. Daniel Lane photo

Lisa and Sun work the land by hand. Daniel Lane photo

Sustainable Island Tastes from the Garden

One Song Farm, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., $36
After this workshop, bio-intensive farmers Lisa Fuller and Sun will offer a tasting of foods that grows well on Kauai. During the workshop, Lisa will teach bio-intensive gardening basics and how to grown a lot of food in a small space. Sun’s workshop is for advanced gardeners and focuses on overcoming the challenges of growing food on Kauai and how do it successfully. At noon, sample plants that grow well and are good for you. Discussion includes recipes and plant care. For reservations, call 808-635-3020.
Wednesday, October 30

Cooking Demonstration

Judith Capertina of Haole Girl Island Sweets is doing a chef’s cooking demonstration at the Wednesday Kauai Culinary Market at the Shops at Kukuilua. She will make a Kobucha Squash Panna Cotta, with carmelized local macadamia nuts. The dessert is naturally gluten-free and afterwards, you get to try some! If you’re one of our Facebook fans, you may recall the picture of her croissant I posted the other day, which are available every Wednesday at the market. My article on her will be in an upcoming issue of Kauai Midweek (as it’s now called) so you’ll get to learn about her extensive skills as a pastry chef.
Thursday, October 31

Halloween Dinner

Roy’s Poipu, all evening, $50

  • Kabocha Pumpkin Ravioli, Kunana Dairy Chevre, Veal Demi Glace, Local Watercress
  • Lemongrass Kaffir Lime Crusted Hawaiian Mahimahi, Forbidden Rice, Aromatic Tamarind Coconut Curry
  • Candy Bar Cheesecake, Toasted Marshmallow, Smoked Caramel

Friday, November 1

Chardonnay and a view of Hanalei Bay. Daniel Lane photo.

Chardonnay and a view of Hanalei Bay. Daniel Lane photo.

Princeville Wine Tasting

The Cliffs at Princeville, 5:30 to 8 p.m., $65 ($30 tax deductible), $75 at door
The Rotary Club of Hanalei will hold its annual wine tasting event at the Cliffs at Princeville. Paradise Beverages, Chambers & Chambers and Southern will showcase close to 25 wines.
“We also have a very special guest,” says John Young, assistant general manager at the Cliffs at Princeville. “Barry Kinman, owner and winemaker for Bear Cave Cellars, will be pouring one of his winery favorites. This event is unique because  guests may purchase wine directly from the vendors, at reduced prices. So, everything being poured will also be available for purchase!”
Wine orders will be delivered one to two weeks after the event.
“We will have the Kapaa Middle School ukulele band and choir performing to support their annual Mainland competition fundraising efforts,” explains Young. “They have entertained our guests in the past and are always well received, so we are thrilled they have agreed to join us for this event.”
Kauai Coffee will close the evening and a Kahiko chant, with sounds of the Pacific ocean, will follow. The event will be on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. There is plenty of parking and guests will be shuttled to and from their cars. The onsite parking lot is at the end of Edward Road, in front of the property.
Nanea, the Westin Princeville’s signature restaurant, will provide pupus. Here’s the menu:

  • Crispy crab cakes, Moloaa shaved fennel, grain mustard aioli, togarashi
  • Grilled flat bread, two ways
  • Kalua chicken, Kauai tomato, buffalo mozzarella, macadamia nut pesto
  • Caramelized Maui onion, prosciutto, Kauai Kunana Dairy goat cheese, balsamic gastrique
  • Ahi poke salad station, onions, carrots, heart of palm, tomato, won ton strips, miso ginger hoisin vin
  • Edemame guacamole, lomi tomato, taro chips
  • Watercress tofu salad
  • Cheese tray
  • Assorted fruit
  • Triple chocolate brownie
  • Haupia pie

For more information or reservations, call John Young at 808-826-2008.
Friday, November 8

Breezy and beautiful gourmet lunch and cooking demonstration at the Kauai Marriott Resort. Daniel Lane photo

Breezy and beautiful gourmet lunch and cooking demonstration at the Kauai Marriott Resort. Daniel Lane photo

A Culinary Romp Through Paradise

Various locations in Kapaa, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., $140
Tasting Kauai’s Culinary Tour offers an intimate glimpse into the Garden Island’s culinary scene. We start with a farm tour and sample exotic fruit grown on Kauai. At the Kauai Marriott Resort, we join executive chef Guy Higa for an outdoor cooking demonstration and gourmet, four-course lunch made with Kauai grown ingredients. This tour ends at The Feral Pig with a presentation from Kauai Beer Company. After meeting the brewer and sampling craft beer, Dave Power, co owner and bartender of The Feral Pig, will make a la minute cocktails. This is a special treat as Dave has been written up as one of Hawaii’s best bartenders and he excels at making drinks customized to individual taste.
For more information, visit our Kauai Culinary Tours page or our Facebook photo album. Chef Higa donates proceeds from his portion of the tour to the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen and Tasting Kauai donates proceeds to the Kauai Branch of the Hawaii Food Bank. For a complete list of tour dates, check out our Kauai Culinary Tours Calendar. Call 808-635-0257 to make a reservation.
Sunday, November 10

President Obama’s Sister Visits Kauai

Maya Soetoro-Ng, President Barack Obama’s maternal half-sister will talk story Maya at Kumu Camp in Anahola. Afterward, she will sign her book, “Ladder to the Moon” ($20). Proceeds go to provide mindfulness practices, such as yoga and meditation, to Native Hawaiian youth. The book, which is beautifully illustrated, is a lyrical story where a deceased grandmother relays wisdom to her granddaughter in a moonlit dream. For more information, visit the Yoga on Kauai website.
Tuesday, November 12

Dave Power pours from a mason jar with charred cedarwood, apples and Campari. Daniel Lane photo

Dave Power pours from a mason jar with charred cedarwood, apples and Campari. Daniel Lane photo

Tasting Kauai Popup Dinner and Book Release Party

6:30 p.m., The Feral Pig, $95 (all inclusive)
My husband Dan and I would like to invite you to the celebration of the release of our book, Tasting Kauai: Restaurants ~ From Food Trucks to Fine Dining, A Guide to Eating Well on the Garden Island. Collin Darrell, Kauai’s pop-up dinner maestro and founder of Grow Culture will design a five-course meal with super fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Barb Ka’auwai, executive chef at The Feral Pig, will create a menu based around these ingredients. Since the menu is based on hyper-local ingredients, we won’t know the menu until it’s served! Dave Power, co owner and esteemed bartender, will start us off with a champagne cocktail, and pair each course with Kauai Beer Company beer, cocktails made with Koloa Rum Co. rum, and cocktails made with locally sourced ingredients. Each course will showcase a local farm and before it’s served, we will hear from the farmer. At the end of the evening, you will receive an autographed copy of our book and a chance to win one of my husband’s metallic, landscape prints. He will also have prints available for sale. You can see his work at Dave is closing The Pig for this special celebration. To secure your place, call Dave, Shannon or Jessica at 808-246-1100. You will be asked to leave credit card information as a deposit. Cancellations made less than 48 hours will be charged full price.

Winemaker’s Dinner

Dondero’s, $110
Dondero’s Italian restaurant at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa is partnering with The Wine Shop in Koloa to bring four famous winemakers and owners together for a special dinner. The evenings begins with a reception including a seared ahi canapé served with J. Cuvee 20. Dinner includes four courses, each paired with exceptional wines, beginning with Selbach-Oster “Old Vines” Riesling and lemongrass cured Grand Banks Scallop.
Renowned Owner and Winemaker, Johannes Selbach, will be here from Germany. Despite a history dating to 1661, Selbach-Oster produces wines that are modern and fresh and reflective of the philosophy of the family: Let the fruit and the soil do the talking.
The second course will feature Foxen, Pinot Noir, from Santa Maria Valley, California and roasted Palmetto Farms squab.Dick Dore, Owner and Winemaker of Foxen, is dedicated to the creation of very small production, sustainably farmed, vineyard-focused wines using a “minimalist” approach to winemaking.
Next Larry Turley will present Turley’s “Juvenile” Zinfandel, from California paired with smoked Martinez Farms Washington lamb loin. Old vines are the key to Turley’s success. Turley wines are full flavored, yet refined, and express the distinctive character of Zin and the classic old vineyards from which they come.
The final course, before a sweet ending, will feature Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa with Alii Kula Lavender rubbed Snake River Farms Kobe rib eye. John Williams, Owner and Winemaker of Frog’s Leap, has lead the charge of environmental stewardship in the wine industry. Frog’s Leap Winery was eco-conscious long before “sustainable” entered our daily vocabulary. Williams employs “old school” techniques to sustainably coax exceptional quality from his grapes, creating great wines noted for their finesse, restraint and complexity.
Dinner is crafted by Dondero’s chef de cuisine, Alexis Gutierrez. Cost is $110 per person. For reservations, call Heidi at 808-240-6434.
Tuesday, November 19

Merriman’s Benefit Dinner

Merriman’s Fish House, 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., $65
Merriman’s Fish House in Poipu will host a dinner and all proceeds will benefit the Kauai United Way and Hale Opio Kauai. The meal includes a selection of signature Merriman’s menu items, mai tais, beer, wine, live music, a drawing and a live auction. For reservations, call 808-742-8385.

Oahu resident Tara McKellar samples three preparations of taro. Daniel Lane photo

Oahu resident Tara McKellar samples three preparations of taro. Daniel Lane photo

Friday, November 22

A Taste of Kauai, Yesterday and Today

Waipa, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., $115
Tasting Kauai’s north shore tour is a magical tour that’s part luau, part agritourism and part ecotourism. Our exclusive tour takes place at Waipa, which is nestled in the Hanalei Valley and is a National Wildlife Refuge. Guests explore a vast loi (taro garden) fed by auwai, or irrigation system, that supplies water from mountain streams, and learn about significant foods, growing methods, and overall Hawaiian agricultural and land management concepts and complexes in ancient times and their transition to today. Afterwards, guests sample Hawaii’s staff of life three ways.
Lunch changes seasonally and is made with vegetables grown in onsite gardens, locally sourced meat or fish, and mamaki tea with lemongrass and mint. Guests eat ohana (family) style while enjoying the beauty and breezes of Hanalei Bay. Proceeds from this tour benefit the Hawaii Food Bank – Kauai Branch, help to restore native plants and preserve and perpetuate Hawaiian culture through education. For more information, visit A Taste of  Kauai, Yesterday and Today, or visit check out our Facebook photo album. To make reservations, call 808-635-0257.

Thanksgiving Pies

The Right Slice will announce two new seasonal flavors in the next week or two, and are also offering autumn decorated pies for $2 more. Autumn decorations include fall leaves, pumpkins, acorns and swirls in dough cut outs. They will take orders thru Monday, November 25th. Pick up on Wednesday, November 27, either at the shop from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., or at the Kauai Culinary Market at The Shops at Kukuiula from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Extra pies will be on hand for those who forget to order, but no orders will be taken after Nov. 25. The Right Slice will be closed 11/28-12/1 and re-opening on Monday December 2.

Farmer John Wooten holds a jackfruit, a favorite of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers. Daniel Lane photo

Farmer John Wooten holds a jackfruit. Daniel Lane photo

Farmers Market Class

Wednesdays, 3 to 4 p.m., $30
Meet local farmers, learn how to select perfect produce as well as when it’s in season and how to cook with it during Tasting Kauai’s one-hour farmers market class. I saw friends at the farmers market who were visiting from Colorado. As we hugged and said hello, I saw a table full of near-rotten mangos. It was still snowing in Denver and my friends were excited about the big, beautiful tomatoes they just bought. Their faces fell when I told them they were not grown on Kauai. I felt bad for them, and was inspired to offer this class.
Farmers markets are an affordable way to immerse yourself in local culture and the best place to buy produce that’s so fresh, it was harvested that morning. But buying at the farmers market doesn’t always insure that it was grown on Kauai. It happens all over the world. In Hawaii, customers want mangos year-round. In Colorado, they want tomatoes in May. To make that sale, vendors buy imported mangoes or tomatoes and sell them as their own. Customers unfamiliar with the seasons can insure their dollars are spent on local products by learning how to identify locally grown produce.
There’s a whole world of delicious produce that many people never try. Let’s face it, some of it looks like it came from another planet. Once unfamiliar produce is demystified and cooking tips are shared, it may become a regular at dinner table. Many factors can make exotic produce expensive and the last thing you want to do is buy a pineapple that isn’t at peak perfection. This class will also teach you how to tell when produce is ripe as well as how to store it for best results. For reservations, call 808-635-0257.

Hanapepe Friday Night Festival and Art Walk

Hanapepe Town, 6 to 9 p.m.
Every Friday evening, Old Town Hanapepe bustles with people. A dozen art galleries stay open late, local crafters sell their wares, and there’s stilt walkers, classics cars, live music and entertainment. Two of our favorite food artisans are there. The Right Slice sells fresh-baked pie by the slice and whole and Midnight Bear Breads makes pizza fresh from a wood-burinig oven. parking is tricky. Call 808-335-6469 for more information.

Kapaa Art Walk in Old Town Kapaa. Daniel Lane photo

Kapaa Art Walk in Old Town Kapaa. Daniel Lane photo

Kapaa Art Walk

Old Town Kapaa, 5 to 9 p.m.
On the first Saturday of the month hundreds of people party in Old Town Kapaa. The street is filled with the sounds of laughter and music, smells of delicious local food, and the work of Kauai artists. In front of the Dragon Building, Anni Caporuscio (owner of Small Town Coffee and Blue House Booksellers) sings to a three-piece band which includes a guitar player, drummer and washboard player. Art Cafe Hemingway and Java Kai open a new exhibit and serve food late. The Buttery hosts jewelers and other Kauai Made jewelry is available throughout.

Second Saturday at the Shops at Kukuiula

The Shops at Kukuiula, 6 to 9 p.m.
Meet local artists on the second Saturday of each month. Six art galleries are featured and previously, an electric violin was played while an artist completed a painting; jazz was played outside of Halelea Gallery where local artist Robin McCoy was featured. Restaurants pair with artists and provide food inspired by their work.

Kilauea Art Walk

Stone Building, 5 to 8 p.m.
Join more than 20 artisans on the last Saturday of the month at the Stone Building in Kilauea Town. There’s live music, original art, hand-made apparel, jewelry, photography, custom slippers, painted glass bottles, ice cream and unique creations. Face painting henna tattoos. Stop by Kilauea Fish Market for dinner.

Photos for this blog post were contributed by Daniel Lane of Pono Photo.