The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival's overarching message is “Taste Our Love for the Land.” Stretching from mauka (toward the mountain) to makai (toward the sea), the ahupua‘a, the ancient Hawaiian land division, is reflected in our logo. In old Hawaii, under the ahupua‘a system, everything necessary for survival could be grown, gathered and exchanged locally. At one time Hawaii was 100 percent sustainable; today, we import about 85 percent of what we consume. The Festival’s message of love for the land is about bringing sustainability back to our islands. We need to make sure we are taking care of the land and sea and sharing with others the important work we are doing.
Of course, the concept of “love for our land” isn’t limited only to Hawaii. Agricultural sustainability is an important concern for chefs all over the world, whether they’re working with salmon in Seattle or maguro in Tokyo. This book takes us on a culinary journey through the eyes and palates of these chefs who have participated in our Festival over the years. Thirty-one of them have generously contributed recipes and their thoughts and ideas about what “taste our love for the land” means to them—and what they’re doing in their communities to promote the notion that we should all care about what happens in our own backyards.
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