Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: The Kahala Hotel & ResortRestaurant Insider
August 14, 2022
Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
ANNE LEE speaks with The Kahala Hotel & Resort executive chef JONATHAN MIZUKAMI and Mountain View Farms farmer/owner DAVID WONG
You are what you eat — and what ‘it’ eats.” That’s the motto and mission that David Wong, farmer/owner of Mountain View Farms, located in Waianae Valley, believes. There, they implement Korean natural farming techniques, and natural microorganisms are incorporated to create 100% pure produce and livestock, with no herbicides or pesticides, making this method far superior than organic farming. The end result is a product that is absolutely pure and free of any toxins.
Known for its magical moringa plants and pigs, Mountain View Farms’ products are now more in demand than ever. Executive chef Jonathan Mizukami and his culinary team at The Kahala Hotel & Resort are avid supporters of local farmers and proudly acknowledge their commitment to sustainability for more than five decades. Due to popular demand, Mizukami has once again teamed up with Wong, and created a menu ($84 per person) celebrating the summer harvest for one night only: Aug. 24 (with seatings starting at 6 p.m.).
I met with the dynamic duo to get a peek of what guests can expect from this one-of-a-kind dining experience.
AL: This is the second collaboration dinner with Mountain View Farms. Can you tell me about the menu?
JM: We have been wanting to do more with David and his farm as we have had many requests to do another one. I chose August, as it was a good fit to incorporate the summer harvest.
The inspiration comes from the ingredients that are available now, which starts the creative process. The first course begins with a salad — the fresh lettuce and pork belly are showcased here. We made a house-cured smoked bacon from his pork with watermelon radishes. It’s topped with tomatoes, hard cooked eggs and a warm onion vinaigrette.
The showstopper, though, is the entrée, featuring the cleanest livestock/pork that you can find. I made a herb-roasted pork chop with a German theme, served on a bed of sour cabbage, like a sauerkraut mixture, with onions and bacon with a bit of Riesling, like an Alsace. Then, we bake it with the pork chop roasted with herbs, and using the iconic Mountain View Farms’ moringa, we made a moringa spaetzle, which is a German-style dumpling and a beer mustard jus.
For dessert, David had an incredible crop of mangoes and one of the desserts we are known for is our bread pudding, so we puréed the mango and made a bread pudding with creme anglaise and a bit of moringa powder. This is something special that you will only be able to get at our summer harvest dinner.
Due to the family-style menu and unique products that we are sourcing from the farm, unfortunately we are not able to accommodate substitutions or dietary requests.
AL: Where can our readers find out more information about your farm and other products, produce and pork that you offer?
DW: We sell the pork at Don Quijote, Marukai Wholesale Mart and Forage Hawaii, which you can see at farmers markets and Farm-link, an online portal that delivers straight to your door. The produce right now is a limited supply and only delivered to restaurants.
One option that we can offer is to grow vegetables on your own. We have a pre-built, self-contained “Farmacy Box” that comes with everything you need to promote healthy eating for you and your family. It has natural microbial soil, an irrigation system and timer, and starter vegetable plants — all you need is adequate sunlight and a water source. We are working with schools and have these installed on their campus, teaching students to learn more about plants and the microbial power of the soil. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 808-388-4267 for details.
We utilize the whole moringa plant, and when this plant ages, it produces seeds. We harvest and dry the leaves to make a moringa powder that we make into capsules, and we take the oil from the seeds and produce a moringa oil. The oil is an effective natural skin conditioner and has powerful medical benefits. A lot of chefs like to use the oil for burns, and it works well for sunburned skin. The moringa powder has helped many people get off of medications such as insulin, as it balances your microbiomes and improves your immunity. Learn more and order at mountainviewfarms808.com.
AL: Chef Jonathan was insightful, incorporating sauerkraut with the pork. This is a perfect example of a probiotic food that balances the gut microbiome, which falls in line with your beliefs. What are the other important things that you follow for better health?
DW: I was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer and am in remission. I truly believe lifestyle factors are key. What you eat dictates how your microbiome reacts. For instance, sugar kills your microbiome, microbiome is the source of your immunity. How much you sleep is also important. We need seven hours minimum of sleep, especially between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., which is the natural circadian rhythm of our bodies. That’s when our bodies are in the best position to heal. Exercise is important, too. You need a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour of movement; doesn’t necessarily have to be a gym, just movement. Also, how you deal with stress because stress creates an imbalance in your hormonal system that can create deadly health concerns. A positive mental attitude is important. If you don’t think you are going to get well, you are not going to get well.