We live in Hawaii, a cluster of islands surrounded by a vast ocean, so you'd assume all of our seafood is fresh and local.
I was shocked when chef Lee Anne Wong told me that we import 60 percent of our seafood. SIXTY PERCENT. Pretty ridiculous, right?
Wong is on a mission to raise awareness of the issue through a collaboration dinner with Local I'a, the first community-supported fishery in Hawaii. The organization works with local fishermen instead of long line boats to supply sustainable, locally farmed and wild seafood to both restaurants and consumers. The Local I’a program includes traceability on where and when the seafood was caught, as well as insight and information on the person catching it. The program skips the middleman to profit the fisherman directly, helping to create and support local industry.
Although Local I'a supplies seafood to restaurants, retail customers like us can get their products at farmers markets on Oahu, Kokua Market Co-op, Waimanalo Co-op, their Community Supported Fishery (CSF) subscription service, and catering and pop-up events. (The CSF subscription is like the Community Supported Agriculture CSA boxes that people are accustomed to ordering.)
"As one of our seafood suppliers, we are collaborating with Local I’a on Tuesday, April 10 from from 6 to 8:30 p.m.," Wong said. "The goal of this collaboration is to showcase Local I’a to the guests, and build awareness. The average consumer no longer has to rely on supermarket seafood and can get it fresh direct through Local I’a. Koko Head Cafe continues our mission to serve the freshest local ingredients with our creative island style menus."
There will be a raffle for prizes, including wine and spirits, as well as shares to the Local I’a CSF. At least one or two of the supporting fishermen will be present to discuss the program and seafood guests will be eating.
The menu is as follows:
- Cold Smoked Aku Toast, Lomi Tomato, Fried Sea Asparagus, Chipotle Aioli
- Poached Uku Ramen, Truffle Shoyu Consomme, Alii Mushroom, Yuzu Kosho
- Ono Confit, Bacon, Pineapple-Pepper Relish
- Kauai Shrimp, Leek, Bouillabaisse, Rouille
- Crispy Hebi Musubi, Lemongrass Shoyu, Green Onion Tartar Sauce
- Basque Style Mahi, Ulu Cake, Mac Nut-Moringa Salsa Verde
- Ama Ebi, Ume, Cucumber
- Ahi, Sesame, Furikake, Popcorn
You can get tickets online, here. Johnson Brothers will be showcasing two cocktails, three wines and three Waikiki Brewing Co beers.
Local I'a and Koko Head Cafe collab dinner
Tuesday, April 10, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
$68 per person includes dinner and drinks, all inclusive of tax and gratuity
Koko Head Cafe
1145C 12th Avenue