January food and wine events to kick off 2013

Photo courtesy of Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field returns to MA'O Organic Farms with Ed Kenney as the guest chef.

2013 kicks off with a full slate of events for locavores, oenophiles and even activists.

  • Vandana Shiva, a renowned physicist and philosopher from India, comes to Hawaii to speak about sustainable agriculture. Why Hawaii? "Because our islands are currently the world's most significant center of biotechnology seed experiments," says Jeri DiPietro, president of Hawaii SEED, which helped organize her Hawaii visit. She will speak on Oahu and Kauai, the latter because it has the largest acreage of genetically engineered crops in the state (approximately 13,000 acres).

    I first heard her speak at Slow Food Nation a few years ago in San Francisco and was impressed by her views regarding agriculture and technology, biodiversity and poverty, ideas that are sometimes pitted against each other, but she argues need not be. Her experience with genetic engineering companies and poverty in India as well as the aftermath of India's Green Revolution also gives her views a unique context.

    Among the events: a dinner and presentation at UH Manoa Campus Center Ballroom, 6 p.m. on Tuesday, January 15. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit: hawaiiseed.org/events/. [Note: the January 15 presentation is already full, but an extra room with a live feed will handle overflow.]

  • Beloved, family-run Cakebread Cellars from Napa Valley kicks off the winery's 40th anniversary with a winemaker dinner at Japengo in the Waikiki Hyatt. Among the wines Dennis Cakebread will bring:  the 2009 Cakebread Cellars Reserve Chardonnay and 2009 Cakebread Cellars Dancing Bear Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. The five course menu includes Kampachi crudo, sous vide Kona lobster, Shinsato Farms pork shoulder, and to finish, a Drunken French Toast.
    $98, 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 16, 237-6140 for reservations
  • Outstanding in the Field returns to MA'O Organic Farms for a dinner that's not so much farm-to-table as it is table-on-the-farm. Outstanding in the Field, a roving supper club that originated in Santa Cruz, Calif., sets up dinner parties across the nation in unusual locales, from sea caves to farms. Last year, it came to Hawaii for the first time; Ed Kenney and MA'O are giving an encore performance.
    $220, Sunday, January 27. For more information and to buy tickets, outstandinginthefield.com/events/north-american-tour/?dinner_id=310