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Farm-to-Chopstix Dinner Series Returns This Summer

These events showcase Asian-fusion fare paired with craft beers in the idyllic setting of a Hawai‘i farm.


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Farm-to-Chopstix, a monthly sit-down pop-up dinner series at farms on O‘ahu’s North Shore—such as here at Waihuena Farm last year—starts this month.
Photo: Courtesy of Rex MAXIMILIAN

 

You hear of stories of people moving to Hawai‘i for romance or a change of lifestyle.

 

Lan Thai moved here for fruit.

 

“I just really wanted tropical fruits,” says Thai, laughing. “Coconuts, mangoes, lychee, durian.”

 

And lucky for us she did. Six years ago, Thai left San Diego, where she grew up on a family farm, for Hawai‘i and started Happy’s Hawai‘i Green Catering, a boutique catering company that specializes in organic Asian-fusion cuisine.

 

Last year, she started Farm-to-Chopstix, a monthly sit-down pop-up dinner series at farms on O‘ahu’s North Shore, featuring her Asian-inflected cooking and produce from the hosting farm. These dinners offer beer pairings arranged by Tim Golden, who pens the local blog beerinhawaii.com.

 

SEE ALSO: Farm-to-Chopstix: A Dinner Series Pops Up at Farms on the North Shore

 

Coconut shrimp tacos, one of the dishes served at a previous Farm-to-Chopstix event.
Photo: Courtesy of Tom Laveuf

 

This year, the series, which kicks off this weekend, features three kinds of events: F2C Mixers, which are more casual with food stations and craft beer pairings; Pau Hana Taco Tuesday, another casual affair where Thai grills whole fish and other farm goodies and attendees build their own tacos; and the Full-Seated Dinner, a more formal gathering with assigned seating, a five-course dinner, music and craft beer pairings. All events include farm tours and a chance to meet the farmers.

 

“I think it’s so neat to get an inside look at how these farms work,” Thai says.

 

The first event is a mixer at Small Kine Farm in Waimānalo, which grows certified organic mushrooms, from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 19. The food stations will feature—what else?—owner Fung Yang’s freshly harvested cremini mushrooms. Cost is $42 per person.

 

SEE ALSO: Farm Friday: Small Kine Farm in Waimānalo

 

Another new addition to the dinner series is a casual mixer at Mari’s Gardens, an 18-acre hydroponics and aquaponics farm in Mililani. Since this farm also grows fish—tilapia, Chinese catfish and swai—Thai plans on putting those on the menu.

 

As with last year’s dinner series, the dishes served at these events will feature the seasonal harvest from the farms, with an option of craft beer pairing.

 

“People love the ambiance,” Thai says. “Just being able to have that outdoor setting. And you’re really connected to the farms—because they’re on a farm. It’s a place they can never go to [otherwise].”

 

For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, visit drunkenmasterchef.com.

 

READ MORE STORIES BY CATHERINE TOTH FOX

 

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