Locally grown and raised is the big trend right now and that’s a wonderful thing. It’s how it was in Hawaii for millennia. It’s a return to an authentic past. The resources and spices and plants and vegetables of your local region are utilized. It just makes more sense, it’s fresh, it’s supporting local farming and it’s healthier. Take it one step further, if animal husbandry was more common there possibly wouldn’t be things like swine flu for example. When killing a pig or any other animal, for that matter, and taking direction from the worlds pauper cuisines, you wouldn’t waste any of it. If I could raise a pig and chickens without pissing my neighbors off then I would! What we do grow at home right now is an herb garden with basil and rosemary chili peppers, Hawaiian and Korean peppers, bananas, papayas, avocados, yuzu tree (no fruit yet), calamansi, mango tree, tangerine tree, trying to get a taro garden happening. Still no vegetable garden since my wifes mom moved out.
Fresh and local is who we are at Tiki’s and I’m very proud of that. We regularly take our staff to tour Nalo Farms where we get a lot of our local produce. It’s important to instill the locally grown concept and drive home the value. Our guests appreciate and deserve it. We have to perpetuate fresh and local whenever possible. It’s not just a good idea for the environment or for our health, and it’s not just because it tastes better but it’s the only way to be self-sustainable. Here in Hawaii right now we have a months worth of food before we would run out if most of our food wasn’t imported and that needs to change. Perhaps currently necessary, living in this tropical paradise, a future of non-reliance is still just a dream; not unattainable but not easy.
Restaurant trends come and go, constantly being reinvented. The farm to table movement is old world, the way it was before supermarkets and mass produced goods came to be. Farm to table is the way it was intended. It’s important for today’s world. Let’s hope it takes root and really transforms the way we interact with our food.