Food & Drink

Chefs and Farmers Food Forum
Image: She Grows Food

The quandaries of food self-sufficiency

Chefs and Farmers Food Forum / Given current supply and demand, food self-suffiency in Hawaii is unattainable. Some question whether it’s even an ideal goal. Still, many chefs believe in steps toward self-sufficiency and sustainability and they’ll be convening for the Chefs and Farmers Food Forum.

Two of the three panel discussions at the forum focus on protein security. Chefs Alan Wong and Ed Kenney discuss tilapia while chefs Peter Merriman, Wayne Komamua of Zippy’s and Jackie Lau of Roy’s join ranchers to share thoughts on the cattle industry. The third panel tackles food security in general. Why two discussions on protein?

“Protein may be more of a challenge, especially for the local cattle industry,” says Dan Nakasone, an organizer of the forum. “The infrastructure has atrophied to the point that it will take substantial investment to handle more production. So how do we keep Hawaii cattle back when the current facilities are near or at capacity? Only consumer demand will allow investment to happen and we hope to start the ball rolling. As for tilapia, we are just missing the boat because of perception. If we can create demand, we can build a viable industry and create the kind of economic development with a triple bottom line.”

While the forum is geared toward chefs, the general public is welcome to attend. The event is at the Leeward Community College Theater, April 15, from 9am to 2pm.

The $20 admission fee includes a locavore tasting. To register, visit [].