Farm to Table: 6 Dishes from Hawaii Restaurants
Here are six locally grown dishes you can order in Hawaii restaurants right now—and the farmers who made them possible.
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Jason Peel, the executive chef of Roy’s Waikiki, drew a tough assignment.
Roy Yamaguchi’s restaurant was featured at an “Evening of Sustainable Cuisine” at the Halekulani. Peel had to come up with what to serve.
“I use all of Joyce and Bob Stanga’s mushrooms I can get. I knew they would be at the event, so I wanted to do something to showcase their product,” says Peel.
But what? Every foodie in Honolulu has eaten Hamakua mushrooms, in sauces, risottos, salads, sauteed medleys, even in mac and cheese. What would be new?
“It was simple,” says Peel. “I made a bisque. Most mushrooms don’t have enough flavor for a bisque, but the pioppinis they grow are really strong.”
The dish was only simple by chef standards. Peel roasted the dark-brown mushrooms, made a stock from the stems and cuttings. “Oh, and I threw in some bacon,” he says. “I love bacon.”
From then on, just lots of butter and cream. The resultant bisque was the color of a cappuccino, so Peel served it in a coffee cup, topping it with a foam concocted from truffle oil.
A soup requires a sandwich, so Peel also used the Hamakua pepeaio, setting it in gelatin from reduced stock. The mushroom “head cheese” went on a baguette with a slice of ham hock.
“That soup was amazing,” says Stanga. “That pioppini is so pungent. Even when you’re wearing gloves, it leaves a scent on your hand when you pick it, almost sort of cinnamon. The flavor of the cap is deep and sweet. I don’t know if I’m describing it right, but when you tasted that soup, you could taste what I’m saying.”