What Do the Hawai‘i Five-0 Stars and Other Film Crews Eat on Set?
Three local food businesses dish out the inside scoop on feeding hungry cast and crew members shooting in Hawai‘i. Learn some do’s and don’ts of film food etiquette.
(page 2 of 4)
Camille Komine from Camille’s On Wheels loves to cook for her local film ‘ohana and specializes in smaller independent projects, commercials and food shoots.
Photo: David Croxford
Camille Komine of Camille’s On Wheels made her debut during the initial Hawai‘i street food truck craze of ’11—a time we remember fondly. With a background in film-set decorating and food styling, she’s made her mark as a caterer and, after being in the film business for 30 years, she’s happy to kiss the big features and TV shows goodbye. Find her now on the sets of local independent films such as Under the Blood Red Sun, commercials for clients that include Ward Warehouse and miscellaneous food shoots.
Why the change? “Quality of life,” Komine says. The reality is, no matter what, the film industry is a hard mistress. “Once you’re in production, your personal life pretty much comes to a stop.” Another issue was the gap between Mainland and local prices. “When Big Hollywood comes to Hawai‘i, there’s a bidding process among the caterers,” Komine says. “They take our numbers and they compare them and, no matter what, we local caterers do take a hit since food costs in Hawai‘i are 25 percent higher than the average on the Mainland.”
She and her truck have long since been off the road, and her menu has evolved from “fusion tacos” to “healthy local with an eclectic twist.” She serves farm-to-table cuisine such as fresh, local fish, quinoa and salads. “I have a very intimate relationship with the local crew after spending 26 years in Hawai‘i working in film,” Komine says. “It’s like visiting my family and I want to feed them well.”
With Guest Stars ...
When Sumner Ohye from The Curb is not working at his shop or holding gourmet coffee tastings, he’s whipping up ice-blended drinks for thirsty film crews.
Photo: Olivier Koning
There is day-to-day catering, and then there are the special guests. The Curb is well-known already here in Hawai‘i, serving the kind of gourmet coffee Starbucks haters love. As a specialty vendor, the company gets hired on set because a generous director or an A-list actor wants to treat the entire crew to a free cup (or three) of coffee. And who can say no to an Oxymoron Chocolate—a blended, iced chocolate drink—made by Sumner Ohye?
But with great coffee comes great responsibility. “We have an espresso machine that takes 30 minutes to heat up,” says Ohye. “We need at least an hour to get there, figure out where we’re going to go, how to find and hook up power and then heat up the machine.”
He recalls a time on set for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire after he had finished setting up his truck when the scene changed and they were told to move. Then there was the time he brought the wrong cables for his generators, and the film’s electrical team had to help out. “But that’s how the film industry works. We have to be flexible, we have to be prepared. Thankfully, on set, there is a strong family vibe,” he adds.
The Curb usually provides cold drinks rather than hot—sweet, blended drinks the hard-working crew can pound down without waiting. “We also serve Intelligentsia, which has a huge footprint in L.A., so the actors and actresses from California love it,” says Ohye. He also sources coffee beans from Olympia Coffee Roasting Co., Four Barrel Coffee and Dillanos Coffee Roasters, and local Rusty’s Hawaiian and Big Island Coffee Roasters.
Ohye is thankful he has enough manpower—20 employees—to be able to keep his Kaimukī shop open while catering on film sets. His other locations include the Pan Am Building and two on campus at UH Mānoa, which means business is good.