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Easy to Eat Healthy (and Local) in Oahu, Hawaii

by Nicole Dorsey Straff

On Oahu’s lush, tropical North Shore, a newly refurbished restaurant is offering leaner items, more vegetable dishes and everything with a locavore, farm-to-table slant. At North Shore’s Kula Grille Restaurant, menus feature ingredients sourced from Hawaii waters and more than a dozen local farms and ranches, all inspired by popular local flavors such as macadamia nuts, pineapple and coconut.

Kula Grille Chicken - 300 dpi imageItems unique to the North Shore include sautéed island snapper, tuna poke, Keahole lobster salad and passion fruit tarts baked with fruit picked out back. “We embrace this wide array of ingredients available in Hawaii to offer peak freshness, as well as to eliminate the higher carbon imprint of importing food, and to educate guests about our bold island flavors,” said Executive Chef Conrad Aquino (photo right).

In Honor of Earth Day

Chef Aquino said, “Kula Grille’s menus highlight ever-changing selections of fresh seafood and reflect the state’s rich agricultural history by using local farms and suppliers.” Many Hawaiian chefs utilize the unique soils and volcanic rock that make organic farming so accessible in Hawaii. In fact, Chef Aquino regularly uses these off-the-vine ingredients from local purveyors, and many other cooks on the islands do the same.

° Ho Farms (Kahuku, Oahu): Tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and okra
° Ka Lei Foods (Honolulu, Oahu): Eggs
° Poamoho Organic Produce (Waialua, Oahu): Organic fruits, avocado, mango, ulu, lychee, papaya, long egg plant, apple banana, luau leaf
° Kolea Farm (North Shore, Oahu): Organic salad greens, lemons, parsley, daikon, kale, Swiss chard
° Higa Meats (Honolulu, Oahu): Grass-fed Kulana beef (Big Island)
° Kula Country Farms (Kula, Maui): Onions, carrots, watermelon radish, local beets, Big Island hearts of palm

The redesigned restaurant features indigenous décor, with wood accents and the cool verdant green hues of nearby hill country and farmland. Turtle Bay also offers a unique non-touristy surf camp I highly recommend; check out TurtleBaySurf.com.

Photo credit: Tracy Wright Corvo

What is your favorite Hawaiian farm-to-table restaurant? Tweet us @OrganicSpaMag #Hawaiihealthy

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