Ready to take Kanu Hawaii’s Eat Local Challenge?

Posted: September 27, 2010 by Nathan Kam in Eating and Drinking, Random Raves & Rants
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The more I eat, the more I’ve started thinking about where the food I’m eating comes from and who’s cooking it. Are ingredients used grown locally or from the mainland?  Is the protein local or from another part of the country? What’s the story behind the restaurant? And more recently, does the person preparing this meal care really give a “shirt” about these things or are they just going through the motions trying to make it through another shift? I blame it on a client who I traveled with to New York and D.C. years ago. I’ve never looked at food the same way again.

Eating has become somewhat of a spiritual thing for me. But eating local has definitely become a pride thing for me. There’s something enlightening these days about eating a dish so perfectly cooked and constructed from local ingredients on your plate that it’s almost like reaching nirvana…that out of body experience that makes you say…well usually nothing…kind of just leaves you speechless and rushing back for a second bite. And honestly, I’ve found this rush is intensified when local produce and products are involved and moved from farm to table as quickly as possible.

A long intro to help you understand the point of this post…why I’m taking Kanu Hawaii’s “Eat Local Challenge” and asking you to do the same. Between now and October 2, eat locally-grown and make an ongoing commitment to support our local food systems. According to Kanu Hawaii’s website, “Hawaii’s food supply is extremely vulnerable. If barge and air freight to Hawai‘i were interrupted, our islands’ food supplies would last only 14 days. We can build a healtheir, more sustainable and secure food supply with our consumer power.”

So what are you waiting for? Let’s all work to make a difference in Hawaii’s future by starting off with a pledge. For me, I’ve committed that “l will eat all locally-grown food for at least one meal during the Eat Local Challenge” and “I will spend at least 10% of my food budget on locally grown food year-round.” You can participate by eating at restaurants that use local ingredients or buy local yourself from your favorite grocery store or farmer’s market.

In case you’re wondering, I upheld my end of the deal and began today by having lunch at Town, one of my favorite restaurants on Oahu where the motto is “local first, organic whenever possible, and with Aloha always.” What I admire most about Chef/owner Ed Kenney and Dave Caldiero is their commit to using Hawaii ingredients first and their ability to execute a menu of clean, simple, and delicious dishes. The food isn’t pretentious, it’s just damn good.

It was the perfect place to begin the challenge and the food was excellent as always. I was fortunate enough to share the meal with travel guru Rudy Maxa and his girlfriend Ana who were returning to Minneapolis today after a week on the island. We had one of those close to nirvana experiences today. Here’s a few photos from lunch.

Today's menu at Town.

antipasti: long bean, fried okra, fresh flaked ahi.

bruschetta, mozarella, hamakua mushrooms, basil.

Kanu Hawaii Eat Local Challenge Item: local bibb lettuce, mao radish, sweet onion, spicy ulu (breadfruit) chips, avocado-buttermilk

kuahiwi ranch grass-fed hamburger, potato roll, and french fries

fresh squeezed lemonade with parsley juice, mint, and honey

chocolate-hazelnut gelato

Town Kaimuki
2435 Waialae Avenue, #103 (corner of Waialae & 9th Avenue)
Honolulu, HI 96816
Phone: 735-5900 (reservations strongly suggested, walk-in dining on the patio)
Monday – Saturday (6;30 a.m. to 2:30)
Monday – Thursday (5:30-9;30 p.m.)
Friday – Saturday (5:30-10:00 p.m.)
Closed Sundays


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