Farm to Chopstix

Farm to Chopstix is a series of collaborative dinners running from Jun to Oct 2016. The events take place on local farms using meats and produce sourced direct from the farm. Each menu is prepared by Drunken Master Chef, Lan Thai and paired with locally made craft beers.

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F2C offers three variations of their events–a mixer, pau hana tacos, and seated dinner. To celebrate a belated Father’s Day, we took the family to an event hosted by Mari’s Gardens.

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The mixer style event featured five food stations each with a different tasting from Lanikai Brewing Company.

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First course: Beet dumplings, goat cheese, and spring mix, topped with whole grain mustard made with Lanikai Brewing Company’s Don Juan American Strong Ale.

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Paired with Route 70 Saison 7.0% made with hibiscus and local honey. As I’ve been eating longer than I’ve been drinking, I’ll leave the official critiques to the experts. But it was a nice pairing. Light, tart and citrusy, balancing the creaminess of the goat cheese.

The dumplings themselves were heavy and rather dense. The mustard was substantial and tasty. The vinegar in the mustard competed with the tartness of the beer, but would serve as a perfect partner for a classic dog.

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Garden entertainment provided by indie music duo Forseeable Futures, as well as guided tours of the farm throughout the night. The evenings tours were mini versions of the behind the scenes tour, but a nice bonus as the cost on a normal day is $15.

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Second course & personal favorite: Island po’ boy sandwiches. Mac nut panko crusted filets of tilapia and swai caught fresh from Mari’s aquaponic farm. Served with farm grown butter lettuce and baby carrots, local pineapple, and red chili on a soft taro roll. Topped with Mari’s grilled tokyo negi.

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Flaky on the inside. Nicely fried and crunchy, buttery ribbons of negi over top, made sweet from the pineapple and roll. Tilapia’s actually pretty good when it’s not from the Ala Wai.

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Third course: Shinsato Farms enchiladas. Another favorite. Pork carnitas, tender and flavorful. The corn tortilla wet from the pork and salsa verde but with enough substance to hold the dish together. Topped with Mari’s grape tomatoes, a corn salsa, sour cream and crumbly cotija. Paired with a very smoky Don Juan American Strong Ale 10.4%. Flavors of chili and tequila slightly overpowering on its own but paired well with the enchilada.

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Fourth course: Paniolo Cattle Co. Vietnamese style shaking grass fed sirloin. The meat was lean and well seasoned. A little tough and lukewarm. The farm raised ong choy was nicely charred, concentrating the flavors with a crisp but hard bite. Paired with a dark Kilauea Red Ale 8.0%. Also complementary, tasting of ginger and brown sugar.

Fifth & final course: Bourbon chocolate brownie ice cream sandwich with the best beer and pairing of the night Pillbox Porter 6.5%. Bitter and sweet with rich coffee, chocolate and vanilla. Practically dessert on its own, but even nicer with the added nibble.

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F2C events average $30 for pau hana tacos to $85 for a sit down dinner, with three events left on this years calendar–Aug 14th, Aug 19th, and Oct 30th.

Although there was room for a couple more po’boys and enchiladas, it was overall a good experience. Great ambiance, tasty bites, local beer, guided tour and live music for $50. After all, if you’re going to visit a farm why not go with a Drunken Master and maybe even, a few drunks?!

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