Fresh Fusion: Tracing the Islands’ Cuisine from Farm to Menu
Hawaii is a farm-to-table superpower.
It’s the only place in the USA where one can follow coffee and chocolate from bean to package. Hawaii farmers' markets are among the best you’ll find anywhere, bursting with vibrant colors and flavors. And multiple sustainable, seasonally focused restaurants in the Islands keep locavore diners happy year-round. From farmers to chefs to diners, Hawaii embraces the concept of malama aina, or “caring for the land,” so its farms can nurture future generations.
A farm tour is the perfect hands-on way to learn how Hawaii’s favorite foods are produced. A walk through the cloud forest farm of Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation – the largest organic coffee farm in Hawaii – shows how Kona coffee is transformed from seed to cup. Stroll the lush coffee fields of Greenwell Farms, at the 440-meter elevation Hualalai volcano, and tour its production facilities to see coffee in every stage of production. Craving some chocolate to go with that world-class coffee? Head to the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory and learn how cacao beans are manufactured into chocolate. The factory is known for its single-origin chocolate bars made with Hawaii-grown criollo cacao beans.
To learn how Hawaii’s favorite foods are produced, sign up for one of the many farm tours offered on the island.
Hawaii's farmers' markets are unmatched in their beauty and abundance. Shoppers are regularly rewarded with fresh-picked island flowers, seasonal produce, local coffee and other Hawaii-made products for sale, and opportunities to chat with farmers and food producers. On Oahu, head to the Kapiolani Community College Farmers' Market for local seafood, baked goods, produce and more. Maui is home to a number of farm-fresh markets as well, including the Maui Mall Farmers' Market and Craft Fair, Makawao Farmers' Market, Lipoa Street Farmers' Market and Ono Organic Farms Farmers' Market. Don’t miss samples of breadfruit and passion fruit butter, or the opportunity to take home a ready-to-eat coconut.
Sample the freshest island produce at one of Hawaii’s abundant farmers’ markets.
The farm-to-table dining movement has transformed Hawaii’s restaurant scene. Skilled chefs combine locally grown ingredients and traditional Asian and Pacific island flavors with modern ingenuity to craft bold new dishes. Among the leaders of this restaurant renaissance are the Oahu eateries of Hawaii chef Alan Wong (Alan Wong’s Honolulu and The Pineapple Room), known for their meticulously prepared takes on Hawaii regional cuisine. At Roy’s restaurants, locally focused dishes include a variety of fresh fish, seafood and Hawaii-raised beef. Chef Peter Merriman’s Hawaii restaurants are applauded for each location’s commitment to area farmers and a dedication to innovative dishes.
Chefs transform the freshest local ingredients into unforgettable farm-to-table meals.
The annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, happening in October, offers a great reason to visit Hawaii. With events set for Maui, Hawaii Island and Oahu, the festival brings together more than 100 well-known chefs and is headed by James Beard Award-winning chefs Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi. The festival celebrates locally grown and raised produce, seafood and meats with a schedule full of tastings and demonstrations.
The bustling Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, held in October, brings together world-famous chefs with thousands of eager diners and drinkers.
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is the main gateway to Oahu and all of Hawaii, but airports are available at each island for you to easily explore the entire state. Fly into Hilo (ITO) or Kona (KOA) international airports on Hawaii Island, Kahului Airport (OGG) on Maui, Lanai Airport (LNY) on Lanai, Molokai Airport (MKK) on Molokai and Līhue Airport (LIH) on Kauai.