Fun stories and local experiences about Kauai restaurants, where to eat on Kauai, local flavors and more..

Kauai’s Best Coffee Shops

  • Small Town Coffee Co. "Old School"

    Small Town Coffee Kapaa Old TOwn
  • Small Town Coffee

    Small Town Coffee Kapaa
  • Hemmingways Kapaa

    Hemmingways Coffe Art Kapaa Kauai
  • European Treats at Hemmingways

    Hemmingways Coffe Art Kapaa Kauai
  • Buttery Cafe Kapaa

    Buttery Cafe Kapaa Kauai
  • Ha Coffee Bar Lhue

    Ha Coffee Kauai
  • Ha Cafe Lihue

    Ha Coffee Kauai
  • Hanalei Coffee Roasters

    Hanalei Roasters Kauai
  • Java Kai

  • Kilauea Bakery and Pau Hana Pizza Kilauea

    Pau Hana Bekery Kauai
  • Koloa Mill Coffee

    Koloa Mill Coffee
  • Lapperts Coffee and Ice Cream

    Lapperts Coffee
  • Aloha N Paradise Waimea

  • Kalaheo Coffee

  • Little Fish Cafe Hanapepe

    Little FIsh Hanapepe Kauai
  • Little Fish Hanapepe Town

    Little Fish Hanapepe

photos and article by Eric Perez

Part of the fun of traveling is trying new things, finding your new favorite place, tasting new foods, relaxing and creating memories. No matter where you travel if you are a coffee drinker you are sure going to find your best new spot for that morning or afternoon cup of brew. Here are some of our favorite local Kauai coffee houses.

The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark,  decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.

In the words of Joe Fox (F-O-X)

–You’ve Got Mail

Small Town CoffeeSmall Town Coffee Co., Kapaa
Near all the colorful flags towards the north end of Kapaa, Small Town Coffee prides itself in being old school. It’s got a casual island feel.  Enjoy using the internet inside or chill out in the front where its like hanging with friends in your own backyard.

Art Cafe Hemingway, Kapaa
Next to the Moikeha canal in Kapaa, in a historic two story building, Art Cafe Hemingway is run by a friendly German couple. The atmosphere is sophisticated in an artsy way but friendly in a small town way. Ordering from your table or couch, the service is warm and professional. Young couples as well as families can easily find their happy place amongst the many zones throughout the upstairs, downstairs interior and outside porch areas.

Aloha N Paradise, Waimea Town
Located one street off the highway in Waimea town and run by  Candy, a women who loves her craft. Because it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the busier towns, she has the time to passionately customize your latte or cappuccino and is happy explain the nuances of the process. The ambiance of Aloha in Paradise has a retro feel which perfectly fits the old west side town of Waimea.

Ha coffee bar, Lihue
This spacious, stylish and understated coffee bar is on the Nawiliwili side of Lihue.  It’s great place to get some online work done, read the paper or meet with friends. Take your pic of a large table, small private spots near the windows, or a comfy love seat.  It’s got the coolness factor many chain coffee establishments would love to have.  Not on the main drag but worth a trip if this sounds like your kind of place.

Java Kai, Kapaa
Located in a solid little art deco building on the main drag in Kapaa, Java Kai is the cool place to go for the “with it” in Kapaa. Even though it’s a popular spot, the staff is worm and friendly.  The funky and colorful decor makes it a unique place to stop while exploring the eclectic east side of the island.

Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Co., Kalaheo
Located on the main drag in Kalaheo, this is the kind of place you would feel comfortable taking your mom or a large family. The pies on display looked amazing. and the full kitchen serves lunch, and on select nights dinner. Kalaheo Cafe & Coffee Co. was clean and relaxed and felt like a restaurant you might find in the quiet section of a theme park.

Kilauea Bakery, Kilauea
On the way to the light house in the Kong Lung Market Center you can stop here for a coffee and scone, or on the way back for a calzone or pizza. A small interior dining area and large ground level porch with “Kilauea Bakery Bookshelf” says stay a while. The internet connection was good.

Koloa Mill Ice Cream and Coffee, Old Koloa town

 Right in the heart of Koloa town it reminded me of a nice fun ice cream, coffee and sweets shop experienced in many holiday resort towns. Along with the obvious, there were plenty of tasty Hawaii gifts and even a caned spam display next to the packaged candies.  Although it felt like a family sweet shop, the internet was fast and loaded YouTube videos buttery smooth.

Lapperts Ice Cream & Coffee Island Locations
Founded on Kauai, Lapperts ice cream and coffee has multiple locations throughout Kauai, one on Maui and Honolulu . The store at Kukuiula Village Shopping center in Koloa has comfortable inside and outside seating and is a good place to grab a snack while waiting for others in your group to shop at the many nice stores at the Village. It has a franchise feel but was still a good place to eat and drink.

Little Fish, Hanapepe Town
Worth taking the curve off the main highway into Hanapepe you’ll find a cool little coffee shop. The friendly staff seams like they just got out of the water from a good surf session. It’s a small place at the writing of this, but I heard the owner discussing the design for it’s expansion. The interesting poster art and the abundance of surfer magazines give the feel of something you experience in a cool coastal town around the world. The internet connection was finicky.


Dining on Kauai

Dining on Kauai, like so many other things on the Island, is definitely something to experience. Known as the Garden Island for it’s lush landscape and unique and exotic flora, it’s not hard to believe that the rich soils of Kauai produce some of the worlds best and most delicious foods. With the influx of tourism on the island that didn’t begin until the 1920’s, there has been a great deal of growth and creativity which infuses centuries old local tradition with modern-day fine dining experiences. The end result? Some of the most exquisite and delectable presentations for your culinary pleasures!

There are over 300 eateries on Kauai – from local breakfast huts and beach side sandwich shops to five star resorts serving gourmet specialties. And who can forget the traditional Hawaiian luau complete with fresh Mai Tai’s, tradition hula, and entertainment? You can find nearly every type of and style of food from all over the world. While there is something to suit every palate and every budget, you will also find is there is commonality among the ingredients and preparation of all food here on the Garden Island – freshness and quality.

The rich volcanic soil on Kauai, the abundant annual rainfall, and the year round sunshine makes for an endless growing season for fresh vegetables and fruits – both of European and American origin as well as for the delicious, exotic varieties native to Kauai and the Hawaiian Isles. And let’s not downplay the freshest Pacific Ocean seafood possible.

One of the most interesting things you’ll find about dining on Kauai – besides the one-of-a-kind outdoor dining experiences overlooking lush gardens, misted rain forests, or tropical island beaches – is the culinary presentation. The locals love food as much as they love their island, and this enthusiasm shows in the creative and artistic presentations of even the simplest of meals.

Whether you are in the mood for a local favorite – Hawaiian plate lunch, delicious burgers with local beef and taro fries or farm to table dining made up of the freshest local produce and locally caught seafood, you are sure to be served not only the freshest, but the prettiest of meals. You’ll find dining on Kauai offers a few surprises in paradise.

Hawaiian Style Thanksgiving Yam Casserole Recipe

Kauai Hawaii recipes ThanksgivingWant to break free from grandma’s marshmallow yam casserole? This Hawaiian Style recipe uses macadamia nuts and toasted coconut to add a little island flair to your sweet potatoes and brings the flavors of Hawaii to you dinner table on Thanksgiving. This recipe is also dairy-free and easy to make.


4-6 yams
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c coconut milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
½ c brown sugar


¼ c coconut oil
3 Tbls all-purpose flour
¾ c tightly packed brown sugar
½ c chopped macadamia nuts
½ c unsweetened shredded coconut


1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
2.) Peel, then bake or steam the yams until soft. Mash in a large bowl and allow to cool.
3.) Add salt, coconut milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar and stir into the yams. 4.)Transfer to the baking dish.
5.) In a medium bowl, mix coconut oil, flour, brown sugar, macadamia nuts and shredded coconut. Sprinkle over the yam mixture.
6.)Bake for 30 minutes or until topping is crisp and lightly browned.

Happy Holidays!

Kauai Chock Full of Delicious Food

The dragonfruit is one of Kauai's most exotic-looking fruits. It's as delicious as it looks with a sweet creamy interior. Photo by Daniel Lane / Pono Photo

The dragonfruit is one of Kauai’s most exotic-looking fruits. It’s as delicious as it looks with a sweet creamy interior. Photo by Daniel Lane / Pono Photo

Kauai’s restaurants offer more delicious food per square mile than most big cities.

Marta Lane, Kauai’s only full-time food writer and the host of Tasting Kauai “farm-to-fork” culinary tours that include a private four-course gourmet lunch and cooking demonstration at a five-star resort, says there are a lot of great places to eat on Kauai.

“We have a large selection of farms here and we have farmers markets every day so there are plenty of healthy food options,” Lane says. “When Kauai chefs work their magic with local products, you get some great meals!”

Lane’s passion is locally-grown food and establishments that favor using Kauai-grown products as much as possible. In her new e-book, Tasting Kauai: From Food Trucks to Fine Dining, a Guide to Eating Well on the Garden Island, she lists nearly 70 restaurants that meet her standards.

When Lane first moved to Kauai, she worked on an organic farm and learned of local farmers’ dedication to growing organically as much as possible. “They do it because they believe that protecting delicate ecosystems, the land, sea and people from chemical pesticides and fertilizers is the right thing to do,” she says.

The bonus for those of us who love to eat: “Restaurants that use organic and locally-sourced ingredients have the most flavorful food,” she says.

Lane recommends that while you’re on Kauai, be adventurous and try new things to eat.

“Kauai’s year-round growing season means farmers markets are always bursting with a colorful selection of sweet and juicy fruit including mango, pineapple, avocado, mountain apple and star fruit,” Lane says. “If you’re at the market and you see a strange looking fruit, be brave and try a sample. Farmers are happy to share. Enjoy tasting Kauai!”

Kauai Salt Sweetest in the World

Frank Santos applying the clay to make a punee (bed) where the salt from ocean water will crystallize. Photo courtesy Kuulei Santos

Frank Santos applying the clay to make a punee (bed) where the salt from ocean water will crystallize. Photo courtesy Kuulei Santos

The sweetest salt I have ever tasted is that made on Kauai in the oceanfront salt pans near Salt Pond Beach in Hanapepe. It’s a labor of love, as most families don’t sell the salt they make, instead giving it away as gifts of the heart.

If you visit the salt pans, you’ll find entire Hawaiian ohanas (families), from great-grandparents in their 70s, 80s and 90s down to keiki (children), sharing in the pleasure of creating something together in a tradition said to be the only one of its type in the world, dating back to when Kauai was first inhabited approximately 1,500 years ago.

The salt-making season usually starts in June, or when an ohana elder declares the time is right. Seven-to-eight feet deep earthen wells that were covered by the ocean all winter long, are bailed out, the well walls scrubbed to open the pores and allow in fresh ocean water.

Meanwhile, the shallow salt pans are prepared by scraping out mud that accumulated in them all winter, then lining the pans with thick black clay. In back-breaking, skin-staining work, family members shape the clay by hand using smooth rocks to make it smooth and crack-free.

When the clay dries, the pans are filled with fresh ocean water from the deep wells. Over time, the water evaporates, leaving sweet Hanapepe salt, slightly pink from the iron-rich red Kauai earth, tangy in flavor but with a hint of sweetness that is said to come from the brine shrimp that come to live in the wells.

If you are fortunate enough to come to Kauai in the summer, look for the Hanapepe salt pans. Visit with respect as you watch Hawaiians keeping tradition alive for the pure joy of their connection with their heritage and of sharing their joy with others.

To learn more about Hanapepe salt and many other Kauai Stories, read "Kauai Stories: Life on the Garden Island told by Kauai's People," available at

To learn more about Hanapepe salt and many other Kauai Stories, read “Kauai Stories: Life on the Garden Island told by Kauai’s People,” available at (Photo courtesy Kuulei Santos)

Kauai Style Quinoa Feel Good Food

quinoa recipe

Quinoa Entrée With Mint Cilantro and Kauai LemonShop Kauai Farmers Markets for Fresh locally gown produce!

Serves 4

Bring one cup Quinoa in a 2 quart pot to a boil with one and ½ cups vegetable broth. Lower heat to Kauai Grown when a simmer and cover for 20 minutes. Don’t open the cover! Fluff gently with a fork, and add: (Kauai Produce when available)

½ cup torn mint leaves
½ juice of a Kauai lemon
1 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 ounce can sweet corn, drained
½ cup chopped cilantro or to taste
½ cup crumbled Feta

Make sure to mix in lightly with a fork in order to not press too much on the delicate grain.

Serve with braised Baby Bok  Choy:

In a large wok, add one Tablespoon canola or veggie oil and
heat to high temp.
Add 1 lb. baby bok choy, sliced lengthwise to ¼ width, and
toss to coat veg with oil. Toss and cook at very high heat for
one minute. This will give the bok choy a bit of smokiness
that is incredible.
Peel 2 cloves garlic and slice as thin as possible

Add ½ vegetable broth, garlic, and ¼ tsp each salt and
pepper or to taste.
Cover it and let it braise for 5­-8 minutes. If you like, after
about 3 minutes, add sliced zucchini or mushrooms and let
steam on the top of veggies. Keep covered for additional 4
minutes. So Ono!

Kauai Style Banana Bread

I am always amazed at the thoughtfulness of Kauai people. Here’s a perfect example that
took place only last year.

My partner, Lincoln, cut down a stalk of nearly 200 bananas from one of the trees in
our yard and placed small bunches in a box in front of our house with a sign that said, “FREE!” All afternoon, neighbors drove by and took what they needed. That evening, there were a handful of bunches of bananas still remaining. Lincoln said, “I’m going to leave the box out there for anyone coming home after working the night shift.”

The very next morning, Lincoln reached his hand into our daily newspaper receptacle and
found, along with our paper, six small freshly-baked loaves of banana bread with a note
that said, “This is in appreciation for the bananas which you shared last night. Enjoy!” It
was from our newspaper carriers, whom we had never met before! The banana bread was
absolutely delicious.

When I mentioned this to a friend, she said she knew our newspaper carriers, a darling
couple who are each in their 70s and told me they are the “huggiest people I know.”
Months later, after corresponding via notes left in our newspaper box, we invited the
couple to a party for the release of my book, “Kauai Stories: Life on the Garden Island
told by Kauai’s People,” which includes the story of their generosity. Sure enough, as
soon as we met, they each reached out their arms to embrace us in hugs.

Maybe it’s because we are on a small island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and must
rely upon each other, or maybe Kauai people have always been like this. Either way,
every time I have an encounter like this, I am reminded why Kauai has been my home for
24 years.

When you visit Kauai, definitely enjoy our sunshine, rainbows, beautiful beaches,
mountains and soft tropical air. But also make some time to talk with the people of Kauai.
Then you will know why Kauai is one of the most special places in the world.

Pamela Varma Brown lives on the east side of Kauai with her partner, Lincoln, and two
cats and enjoys hiking, swimming in the ocean and gazing at luscious waterfalls. Visit

Outstanding in the Field Returns To Kauai

Outstanding in the Field Brings Its Long Table to Kauai

Roving “restaurant without walls” to visit farms on Kauai and Oahu

Thursday, January 24
Olana Organic Farm – Kilauea, Kauai with host farmer Tim O’Connor
Guest chef: Ron Miller – Hukilau Lanai, Kapaa

This will be Outstanding in the Field’s second visit to Olana Farm, a fantastic dinner site on the stunningly beautiful North Shore of Kauai. “Farmer Tim is a wonderful host and we’re really looking forward to seeing him again,” said OITF founding chef and artist Jim Denevan. “The incredible variety of fruits and vegetables he grows are the healthiest looking plants you’ll ever see.”  Some or many of them will go into the outdoor feast prepared by Chef Ron Miller of Hukilau Lanai. Everything comes full circle in Chef Ron’s kitchen. The restaurant’s food scraps are picked up nightly by a local pig farmer, and one of those well-fed hogs may well be on the menu for this event. $190 pp all inclusive.

Since 2003, OITF founding chef and artist Jim Denevan and his culinary caravan have traveled around North America to create outdoor dining events at country farms and ranches, in urban gardens and sea caves, on mountaintops and sandy beaches. Wherever they go, OITF’s mission is the same: To re-connect diners to the land and the origins of their food and introduce them to the local farmers and food artisans whose good work brings nourishment to the table. Ingredients for OITF meals are often sourced within inches of diners’ seats. After a tour of the host site, everyone settles in: farmers, ranchers, fishermen, culinary artisans and guests serving each other at the communal table.

Denevan did his first farm dinner in his hometown of Santa Cruz, Calif. in 1999. Since then, Outstanding in the Field  has staged more than 400 farm dinners, welcoming nearly 50,000 diners in all but five U.S. states, three Canadian provinces and nine countries in Europe and South America. An avid surfer and artist whose large-scale drawings on earth, sand and ice have earned worldwide acclaim, Jim will no doubt find time to visit Hawaii’s famous beaches with his board, rakes and driftwood sticks.

Outstanding in the Field events start with a glass of wine and welcome hors d’oeuvres, followed by a tour of the host farm and a four-course meal paired with wines. Both January events start at 3pm.

For more information and to reserve a seat at the Outstanding table, visit

*I personally had the pleasure of experiencing an Outstanding Experience last year and would recommend this to anyone visiting or that lives on Kauai. This is very unique experience with fabulous food with an amazing backdrop. An epicureans delight!


A Culinary Romp Through Paradise

Cacao Pod Photo by Daniel Lane

Cacao Pod Photo by Daniel Lane

On the east side of island is Ein Rogel Farm. A 26-acre sustainable exotic fruit farm nestled in Kauai’s Kahuna Valley. There are 80 varieties of tropical fruit on the estate and the five-million-year-old Makaleha Mountain range provides the trees with pristine
spring water.

A fresh morning dawns as a couple from Colorado eagerly wait for the farm tour to begin. It rained through the night and into early morning, and the group that was to be ten is now three. The birds don’t care. As the clouds break, they sing with the emerging sun.

Kauai is known as the Garden Island because of the abundant rainfall due to Mount
Waialeale. An east facing peak grabs warm, moist trade winds and turns them into
tropical showers. Plants thrive in the graceful dance provided by water and sun, and
somehow being in their midst draws out the life in you.

Under a covered awning in the warm morning air, we chew sticky-sweet sugarcane and
learn it’s called the Hawaiian toothbrush. “I always tell people to have a light breakfast
because when you come on the tour, you’ll be eating a lot!” says our guide, Jesse

As water spills from Makaleha Falls into one of two streams on the property, we cross a
bridge festooned with bright tropical flowers and shaded by towering camphor trees.

Jesse coaxes a succulent prize from the center of a purple fruit with plump, white
flesh. “Mangosteen is known as the Queen of Fruits,” he says as we slip a piece into our
mouths. “The inside is so sweet that the Queen of England, when Captain Cook was
exploring this area, paid $125 in today’s currency for one of these.”

Pineapple plants and 12 types of citrus thrive with hundreds of colorful flowers. Trees
such as ylang ylang perfume the air. Chickens and turkeys roam freely while bees are
busy in their hives making tropical honey.

Whack! Jesse breaks open a coconut with his machete. We take an ambrosial sip and
learn it is not milk but water that we are drinking. Redheaded Brazilian cardinals spy the
cracked nut and wait for our departure so they can free the husks of whatever sweet
meat we overlook.

Shaded by the canopy of a cacao tree, Jesse compares chocolate to wine. Pumpkin-
orange, crimson-red and chestnut-brown pods dangle from the tree’s branches like sun kissed jewels. “You’ll notice a difference in taste between Kauai chocolate and
chocolate from Ghana or the Dominican Republic,” he explains.

An emerging trend is classifying chocolate. Single estate means it comes from one
farm, and single origin means it comes from one country. Rarely will there be a single
varietal, a common practice with wine. There are ten edible cacao species or varietals,
and Ein Rogel Farm cultivates three.

Nature’s kinetic energy transfers to us as we romp along the orchard. Childhood
memories blossom from the recesses of our minds. We recall our first taste of an
orange, or our mother, cutting a star fruit, and wondering at its shape.

As a freelance farm and food writer based on Kauai, I have met artisans who create
with aloha: Farmers that delight in nourishing bodies with organically grown produce,
and chefs who are deeply gratified when one bite makes a person close their eyes, let
out a deep breath, and sigh in pleasure: Mmmmmm!

A Kauai Culinary Tour

I wanted to spread these seeds of aloha, so decided to create a day-long, farm to fork
culinary adventure. We start the day with a two-hour tour at Ein Rogel Farm, of which I
was inspired to write the story above.

After the farm tour, we’ll meet at the Kauai Marriott Resort. While we sit at the outdoor
courtyard lanai, executive chef Guy Higa will serve a four-course lunch made with Kauai
grown ingredients. He’ll also do a cooking demonstration, so you can ask questions and
learn how the professionals cook.

For Reservations or inquiries call 808-635-0257. Deadline to register is Wednesday July 11

Something for Everyone at the Kauai Culinary Market

As I approach the Kauai Culinary market, the first thing I notice is the sound of live music. I find myself asking, is this a festival or a farmers market? Well, it is touted as a gourmet farmers market and now I know why.

As we enter, I see a man wielding a machete. He is skillfully husking coconuts wile his partner spears them with a straw and hands them out to passersby. My son and I enjoy the show. I sample a chocolate dipped dried apple banana an then buy some amazing lettuce and fresh herbs from the organic farmers table. I taste some fruit I’ve never heard of; it tastes like cinnamon and brown sugar. I then score the last half dozen of multicolored eggs from a local farmer.Apple Bananas on Kauai

I’m now closer to the music and stop to enjoy it for a while. The musicians finish the set and announce the chef demonstration will be beginning shortly. I notice that the area where the chef demonstration is taking place is cordoned off and then the see that they are serving wine. This is my kind of farmers market! My four-year-old spots a large glass jar with pink liquid that turns out to be homemade strawberry, lemongrass, lemonade with mint. It disappears before I can pay for it.

Chef Helen of the Hanapepe Café is demonstrating how to make Carrot, Coconut, Lemongrass Bisque Recipe. She passes around a Kefir lime leaf to familiarize the audience with its unique aroma, before describing how to make the base for the soup. Of course she also passes around samples of this amazingly fresh concoction and wows the audience with its unusual bouquet of flavors.

The audience is asking where they can get all of the ingredients so they can attempt to recreate it at home. Turns out all of the ingredients can be purchased from the vendors and at market and Living Foods Market located at the other end of the mall.

Meanwhile, my son is tugging at my leg, he wants to see what else is available. We return to the market and sample vanilla lilikoi jam on a cracker and pass by the most amazing assortment of pies I’ve ever seen.

Then my son spies the homemade pasta, a perfect match for the pesto I was planning to make with my fresh herbs. He wants the squid ink pasta because it is black but we settle on a mix of kale and tomato curls.

We are delighted to see all the locally made foods, spices, coffees, jams and even fresh baked goods. The music, the chef demonstration, and the samples made the event relaxing and enjoyable, quite a contrast from the sunshine markets where you must arrive promptly before the bell rings and are strictly there to purchase your fruits and veggies.

I would highly recommend attending the Kauai Culinary Market. It happens every Wednesday from 4pm-6pm in Poipu at The Shops at Kukui’ula. Check out other Kauai Farmers Markets island-wide

Kauai Farm to Table Dining

I head north along Kuhio Hwy toward Kilauea and catch the splash of a breaching whale out of the corner of my eye. Winter is here. I reflect on how amazing these creatures are and how the ocean is their lifeblood. I don’t pull over to watch, I am on my way to dinner with Outstanding in the Field.  I am excited about the evenings event. Dinner on a farm, “Restaurant Without Walls”, where local chefs pair up with a local farm to create a meal.  The concept seems novel, the idea romantic and the opportunity unique.

I arrive early to meet the guest farmer chef and staff.  I am greeted by Tim O’Connor Host farmer. He politely asks me to park at the top of the freshly mowed pasture. I park, grab my camera and head over to introduce myself. Tim welcomes me to Olana Farm and gives me a little background on his vision and history of the farm. He has had the property for twelve years and has lived on it full time for the past seven.

The farm is beautiful. The house sits at the top of a gentle sloping hill, manicured and flourishing with life. Off in the distance the views of the Pacific. Tim tells me that he sells his produce at two of the weekly local farmers markets as well as to local restaurants. I am impressed by the pure organization of his garden beds of produce, herbs and fruit.

From the top of the farm nestled between the neatly planted rows of greens and citrus fruit sits a long table set with white linens and wine glasses. So simple and elegant is the contrast of green and white. An outdoor covered work area has been been transformed into a kitchen. The Kiawe wood burning grill, the crisp January air, and the natural surroundings make this a comfortable working space. Chef Aaron Leikam and Todd Oldham are busy prepping for the meal. I ask Aaron how he ended up on Kauai, he simply replies “It was serendipitous!”

I meet Leah and the crew, who In the past year alone have created over 87 farm to table dinners across the United States, Europe and now Hawaii. The team is busy making signs, putting the final touches on the table and setting up the service tables for the evening events.

I love the behind the scenes of what undoubtedly will be a spectacular event.  A band of dark clouds is slowly moving in from the west. This is not the usual weather pattern, and a drastic change to the past two weeks of cloudless skies and light air. This is a brave time of year to hold an outdoor event on the North Shore of Kauai. There is no back up plan.

Casual and relaxed, Jim Denevan, founder and visionary of Outstanding in the Field, arrives on the farm just before the first guests start to arrive. He has been surfing. He had to catch just one wave and what surfer can resist the call of a Hawaiian surf session.

The evening starts off with a glass of Kava, not the ceremonial root found throughout the South Pacific, but in the form of a sparkling wine. Glass in hand we are given a tour of the farm, a history of its beginnings and future vision. Our pleasant and educational stroll ends at the beautifully set table in the field.

The night is a gracefully choreographed work of art. The creative vision, a farmers endeavor and a skilled passion for creating a meal that not only nourishes and is visually exquisite,but also tells a story.  A simple story. Outstanding in the Feild Kauai

Outstanding in the Field will be hosting two more events in the Hawaiian Island this month. tickets are available through their website.

Banana Joe’s Local Kauai Fruits

Banana Joes Kilauea Fruit Stand A bright yellow Hawaiian hale sits off the highway to your left as you are heading up the road towards Princeville or Hanalei.  An unassuming sign heralding “Banana Joe’s” is visible on the side of the driveway.  It is a classic, old-fashioned fruit stand you don’t want to miss! Ten years ago was the first time we went inside Banana Joe’s to find a perfect white pineapple.  It is a special dessert pineapple that only grows in the summer—usually.  We found so many fun things in the little market we almost forgot the pineapple!Kauai Jack Fruit
They have local produce with strange sounding name like rambutan, lychee, and jack fruit plus many others.  They also carry multiple types of bananas—well, it is Banana Joe’s!  There are also jams, syrups and fresh made smoothies.  You’ll find local citrus from lemons to pomelo. The fun thing is that they never mind explaining all the different things they carry.  “This tastes sort of like….”  or “That might be a little tart.”

There was one farmer who had some of the white pineapple in November.   They knew.  They know quite a bit about Kauai and keep on top of things growing around the island.  After 25 years in business they have made a place for themselves among local people and visitors alike.
Kauai Jackfruit TreeLook around outside.  You might see some of those exotic treats growing on the trees!
One of our first stops when we arrived ‘on island’ was Banana Joe’s to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables.   Now that we are living here, we make sure we take guests to the little yellow fruit stand for local color and island specialties.