Restaurant Insider with Anne Lee: The Kahala Hotel & Resort & Mountain View FarmsRestaurant Insider
March 12, 2023
Story By: Anne Lee | Photos by: ANTHONY CONSILLIO
ANNE LEE speaks with The Kahala Hotel & Resort executive chef JONATHAN MIZUKAMI and Mountain View Farms owner DAVID WONG
Spring is right around the corner and traditionally just about every ethnicity has its version of how to celebrate the changing of seasons. The Kahala Hotel & Resort executive chef Jonathan Mizukami has once again collaborated with Mountain View Farms owner David Wong to bring a special one-night-only event to the resort: the Huakai Celebration of Spring dinner ($78 per person) is 5:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 29 at Plumeria Beach House.
This continued partnership with Mountain View Farms is important to The Kahala Hotel & Resort, which is committed to preserving Oahu’s land, ocean and culture. By utilizing local products grown in the Waianae Valley and bringing a unique experience to the community, chef Jonathan can do just that. I met with him and David to try the event’s dishes, and learned more about the celebration and what’s happening at Mountain View Farms.
AL: Can you tell me more about each dish and how you created the menu?
JM: The menu inspiration comes together once I know what products are in season at David’s farm. The main feature will be his natural pork that’s free of antibiotics, vaccines and steroids.
This is our third collaboration dinner, and I wanted to offer guests something new and exciting. This one will bring an essence of Italy and will be served family style. Guests can enjoy light, refreshing dishes of colorful fruits and vegetables that are packed with vibrant, fresh flavors.
I am very excited about the starter/canape Tête de Cochon. We take the pig’s head and braise it, and then take the meat such as the cheeks, ear and tongue, and then dice them up small. I then take the liquid that has lots of gelatin and collagen and clarify it, then take all the meat pieces and pour the liquid over it into molds. This then sets like Jell-O. We serve it with a toast point, pickles made from the cucumbers from the farm for a bit of acid and mustard, which is a must when you have this dish. The finished product is delicious and beautiful, it looks like a mosaic work of art.
The next course is the Mountain View Farms Vegetable Salad. We wanted to showcase the beautiful little bunches of lettuce and some slow-roasted beets. We also have avocado for a bit of fat content and serve it with a Parmesan crisp made of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and lemon basil vinaigrette dressing.
The main dish is Porchetta of Mountain View Farms Pork. This goes back to using the whole animal: the starter was with the head of the pig, and then we took the shorter cuts of meat and made a beautiful Italian sausage with fennel, garlic, rosemary, parsley, black pepper and chile, and stuffed that into the middle of the porchetta belly, which is seasoned with rosemary, black pepper, salt, and orange and lemon zest. We steam it first, then slowly raise the temperature in a hot oven to crisp up the outside of the skin. We serve it with creamy polenta with stewed tomatoes and Italian braised mustard greens.
For the dessert course, we cannot forget about David’s moringa. We use the moringa powder and made a Moringa Mille Crepe, served with anglaise, fresh strawberries and whipped cream.
AL: Can you give us an update on what new things have been happening on the farm?
DW: Since we last spoke, we have been able to expand production to bring more products into retail outlets. By increasing our knowledge of how to perfect and inoculate the soil properly, as we do not use herbicides, pesticides or fertilizer, this is very important. God created a pretty big network in the ground called microbes, which includes bacteria, viruses and fungi. Microbes help digest food, absorb nutrients and aid in digestion. Studies have shown that microbes produce vitamins and proteins that our bodies cannot produce and aid the immune system. This also provides immunity and growth factors for the plants.
AL: Besides dining at restaurants that offer your products, what other options do customers have?
DW: We’ve made it extremely easy to enjoy the health benefits of naturally farmed produce at home with our Farmacy Box (there’s also a larger option at 4-by-40 feet). This is a prebuilt, self-contained system we created to bring sustainable, chemical-free food right into your backyard. It measures 4-by-4 feet, and includes the garden box, irrigation plumbing and timers, aeration system, seedlings and, most importantly, soil rich in natural microbes. It will produce nutrient-dense and completely natural vegetables to support a family’s needs. The actual production will depend on the types of vegetables you grow, and we can help you pick the perfect mix of products. Learn more at mountainviewfarms808.com/farmacy gardens or call 808-388-4267.
People are also learning about the value of moringa capsules and oil. Many chefs have used moringa oil as a remedy for burns and many people use this for sunburn relief as well as women using this as a serum for their face. Find it online at mountainviewfarms808.com/products.