From Their Table to Yours

A new Hawaii Web site delves into the islands’ growing farm-to-table movement

By: By Marty Wentzel // (c) 2009


Much of the food that people eat in Hawaii comes from outside of the islands. It’s shipped in containers on huge barges burning fossil fuels and non-renewable resources. Now, in response to the growing trend among visitors and locals alike to try homegrown foods, a Web site has been created to help potential visitors eat local.

Called, the new Hawaii-based Web site subscribes to the theory that locally produced food is eco-friendlier, fresher, more nutritious and tastier than imported fare. It covers everything your clients might want to know about finding Hawaii’s regional products while highlighting island farmers, fishermen, culinarians and grocers.

On the site, many of Hawaii’s top chefs — including Roy Yamaguchi, D.K. Kodama, Beverly Gannon and Alan Wong — give video cooking classes, farm tours and discussions on the special qualities of Hawaii’s foods. Blog posts, videos, photos and stories by award-winning food journalists fill the online pages with color and flavor. The talent includes former Honolulu Advertiser food editor and cookbook author Joan Namkoong, who presents video cooking lessons and contributes written content. Current Honolulu Advertiser food editor Wanda Adams shares her culinary knowledge with site browsers, while wine expert Chuck Furuya serves as its sommelier.

“This is really a Web site where a like-minded community of food lovers can share and learn everything they want to know about Hawaii’s agricultural abundance, including where to buy and how to eat locally while they’re on vacation,” said owner and producer Melanie Kosaka. “The site is kept fresh with constant video updates, blogs, Twitter and Facebook posts and links to other sites.”

Kosaka blogs about food for the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau’s Web site and its Facebook fan page.

Currently on the site, for instance, clients can read about Ethel’s Grill, a local hole-in-the-wall frequented by everyone from truck drivers to top chefs. They can learn about the origins of chicken long rice — a luau favorite — and they can find out about Oahu’s only dairy.

In the near future, will launch an interactive cable channel with episodes replicated online.