Go Vote—Then Learn More About Issues Facing Hawai‘i’s Food Industry

“Eat Think Drink” is a new food and agricultural series launching on Election Day, with a panel discussion and chef-prepared dishes.
From right: Judah Lum, Kylie Matsuda-Lum and Kalyn Matsuda, managers of Kahuku Farms. Judah Lum will be one of the panelists at “Eat Think Drink” on Tuesday.
Photo: Elyse Butler Mallams


Let’s be honest: The last week of this presidential race has been soul-sucking for many of us. It’s been hard to stay focused on what’s important.


So, if you’re feeling a bit disheartened this Election Day, consider attending “Eat Drink Think,” a new food and agricultural series put on by the Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation.


The event, which runs from 6 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 8 at The Modern Honolulu, will feature a diverse group of chefs, farmers, food suppliers and policy makers discussing the challenges facing Hawai‘i’s food and ag industries. The goal is to spark new ideas and build relationships among all these stakeholders—including consumers like us—to come up with effective solutions.


“Our objective with ‘Eat Think Drink’ is to provide information on critical food issues while also engaging and building a larger network of younger generation consumers who care about the well-being of our community,” says Denise Yamaguchi, HAF executive director.


The event will work like this: First, there will be a panel discussion focused on building a sustainable food system in Hawai‘i. The panelists are Judah Lum of Kahuku Farms, Alec Sou of Aloun Farms, Wendi Akiyama of Armstrong Produce and Sen. Donavan Dela Cruz. John Martin, publisher of Vice and Vice Munchies, will also participate on the panel. Following that, Michel Nischan, CEO of Wholesome Wave, a nonprofit focused on food justice, and a three-time James Beard Award recipient, will deliver the keynote address.


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After that comes the fun part: Five local chefs will serve dishes specially prepared for this event, drawing from their own personal connections with Hawai‘i farmers. Chef Chris Kajioka, who will be opening a new restaurant, Senia, in Chinatown soon, has created a dish that pays homage to farmers Kurt and Pam Hirabara of Hirabara Farms in Waimea, who grow a special variety of cabbage just for him. His dish is a take on kālua pork and cabbage, with charred cabbage, konbu, moringa, crispy ham and Parmesan. Chef Lance Kosaka of Top of Waikīkī will be serving kampachi ceviche with crispy quinoa, avocado purée and aji-amarillo that reflects his childhood memory of fishing on a boat off the coast of Kona for the first time. Other chefs participating are Robynne Mai‘i of Fête, Brandon Lee of Piggy Smalls and Keith Pajinag of The Modern Honolulu.


Tickets are $55 and can be purchased here.