‘Tasting Kauai’ Guidebook Is Here

While writing hundreds of articles for more than three years for Kauai Midweek, I have been invited into the kitchens of top island chefs, interviewed passionate cooks and tasted plenty of good food. If you frequent this column, you know I spotlight restaurants that support our community by sourcing their ingredients from Kauai’s farmers, ranchers and fishermen.

Based on my work, I wrote a guidebook, which was published this August. Tasting Kauai: Restaurants ~ From Food Trucks to Fine Dining, A Guide to Eating Well on the Garden Island is an exclusive list featuring restaurants that serve fresh food, made from scratch, using local ingredients whenever possible. In the three months since it has been published, I have done three book signings, and it’s been a humbling experience to meet those of you who return to this column every week.

Celebrate Kauai’s fabulous food with us at our book release party Tuesday, Nov. 12. I have asked three people who share my vision of a sustainable Kauai to help plan this party.

My husband, Dan, a free-lance photographer who contributes the photographs to my “Tastes of Kauai” and “Farmers Markets” columns, as well as his “Eye on Kauai” photo spread in Kauai Midweek, provided the photography, graphic design and layout for our full-color guidebook. One lucky guest at the book release party will win a 15-by-30 metal print of “Reflection of Solitude.”

Since Dan and I have had the privilege of interviewing more than 70 farmers through our work, it was important that we include them in our celebration. Two people immediately came to mind. Collin Darrell, the founder of Grow Culture who is designing the party, has loads of culinary creativity, and his passion for sourcing locally is evident in the sophisticated yet whimsical events he creates.

The celebration takes place at The Feral Pig in Lihue. Dave Power, co-owner and highly regarded bartender, finds joy in supporting his community by serving food purchased from local farmers, fishermen, ranchers and beverage artisans.

Through their passion, Collin and Dave create convivial experiences around the simple pleasures of the table, resulting in memories and friendships that last a lifetime.

The party starts at 6:30 p.m., when everyone receives a champagne cocktail. Dinner starts at 7 and includes a five-course meal with cocktail, beer and wine pairings. Each course, which will be centered around a local farm such as One Song Farm and Govinda Farm, will begin with a short talk by each of the selected farmers.

Since it’s all about pig at The Feral Pig, Dave, his chef Barb Ka’auwai and Collin will include one dish made with Kaneshiro Farm pork. I can’t reveal a menu, because in typical Darrell style it will be based on what’s abundant at the market just before the event. I have requested a meal that is rustic rather than fancy and I’m hoping for something like pork ragu over organic polenta.

Dave is closing the restaurant for this event, so reservations are necessary. To secure your place, call Dave, Shannon or Jessica at 246-1100. You will be asked to leave your credit card information as a deposit, and cancellations made less than 48 hours prior to the event will be charged full price. The $95 ticket includes tax, tip, a five-course meal, beverages, a chance to win one of Dan’s prints and an autographed copy of our book.

If you can’t join us, visit TastingKauai.com/books for a complete listing of local businesses that carry our book. Sale proceeds benefit those who depend on Hawaii Foodbank-Kauai Branch.

I am not used to being in the spotlight. I’m used to spotlighting people. But I have given my insecurities to a higher power and am embracing the experience. Dan and I spent considerable time and effort to make this book a reality and I am excited to honor its birth with our community. I’ll be celebrating a dream come true while connecting with people who delight in well-made food and drinks in the company of family and friends. Hope to see you there!

Marta Lane is a Kauai-based food writer. For more information, visit TastingKauai.com.