Kama’aina Kids make it Two in a Row
September 26, Tiki’s was once again on the shores of Kaneohe Bay to support the 2nd annual Kama’aina Kids’ Flavors by the Bay fundraiser. While the Big Island braced for possible flash flooding from passing tropical storm Niala we were treated to a beautiful and rain free, if somewhat muggy, evening overlooking Kaneohe Bay at He’eia State Park.
A Fresh Start
Two years ago Kama’aina Kids, who have been operating kayak tours and programs for school children and visitors at He’eia Park for nearly 20 years, was awarded a 25 year lease to manage the park for the community. One of the first projects they wanted to undertake as the new stewards of the park was to rebuild the pavilion near the entrance. The pavilion had to be demolished after it was severely damaged during a wind storm in 2013.
The new structure is being designed by a team led by Dr. Fran Palama, principle of Maunakai & Associates, a native Hawaiian design and architecture consultancy. I had a chance to meet Dr. Palama and Flavors by the Bay chairperson Kathy Hew earlier in the month at the KHON2 television studio. We met there to promote the event and to hear about the plans for new children’s learning center and demonstrate the dish we were preparing for the event.
Previewed on KHON2
On the show Dr. Palama talked about how as a native Hawaiian architecture is not just about designing a building. In olden times, she said, before the building was constructed the builders would walk the land, sleep on the land, listen to the land and consider the history and the stories associated with that place. In the case of He’eia, which literally means “washed out to sea” the name commemorates an old Hawaiian legend of the goddess Haumea who was swept away by a giant tsunami near this spot. The new learning center will have several massive wooden posts along the ancestral walkway that commemorate Haumea and other figures from Hawaiian legends.
In keeping with the Hawaiian theme of the event and because you can’t beat fresh local products I had planned one of my favorite fresh island style dishes. The dish featured fresh island tako, braised in and grilled with pohole fern shoots and hearts of palm. We get our fresh pohole and hearts of palm from the Wailea Agricultural Group on the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island. I added a light citrusy ponzu and wine reduction and a little side of Hau’ula tomato saffron confit.
I’m not sure what the final numbers were but I know we prepped for 300 guests and the event was well attended. Last year they made $60,000 and this year it certainly looked like they met or surpassed that number. With all the strange weather we’ve been having lately we lucked out with a great night.
Congratulations to Kathy Hew and the whole crew that put the event together. I’m looking forward to hearing about the new center because like I said on the broadcast, you put “children’s learning center” on anything and that’s a cause worth supporting. It’s important that we give back and Kama’aina Kids is doing some great work for the whole community at He’eia Park.