February 26: Farm to Table VI
Featured three panelists...
...Chef Russell Siu, Executive Chef/Co-Owner of 3660 On the Rise and Managing Director of Kakaako Kitchen.
- He has developed different business models at the different locations. Kaka’ako Kitchen with lower prices means higher volume and it's harder to keep the margin up. There is more room to explore at 3660 with the higher prices.
- Baby boomer generation has different tastes than the generations that are following. Younger guests are looking for more innovation.
- A big issue for the restaurant related to local produce is consistency. The restaurant can't plan the menus of it is not known what will be available.
...Lesley Hill, co-owner and operator of Wailea Agricultural Group
- They have been working and producing in Hamakua since 1994.
- She described the Hawaiian Heart of Palm brand, which is exportable without treatment.
- They are always diversifying, including fingerlimes, lychee, durian, nutmeg, lemongrass, peach palm
- They are working to educate chefs about the sources of the locally produced food.
- Grow what grows well in your area!
- Important messages : Quality, consistency (chefs want to plan their menus), innovation, diversification, integrity, compassion (taking care of the land and people)
...Pamela Boyar, Director of Development, FarmLovers Farmers’ Market (Haleiwa, Kaka’ako, Pearlridge and KailuaTown).
- Farmers markets incubate small businesses. Pamela focuses on assisting young businesses to develop sustainable business approaches.
- She is seeing more young local farmers with energy and passion, focusing on organic and healthy.
- Value added approach -- taking the raw produce and making it into something more, such as tomatoes into salsa -- can increase income up to 6 times.