Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Farmer's Luncheon at the Four Seasons

I had the incredible opportunity to be invited to a luncheon celebrating the local 160 farmers, ranchers and producers that Four Seasons Hualalai's Executive Chef James Babian works with. I was already aware that Jim had an extensive commitment to local and sustainable food, but I really did not understand how many farmers, ranchers and producers were involved in meeting the goal of serving up 75% local food to the guests at the Four Seasons Hualalai. That is an incredible ratio, one that is larger than any other resort on the big island, perhaps in all of Hawaii.
Chef Babian and his staff created a luncheon of local and sustainable foods to thank the people that provide them with so much. While any meal I have at the Four Seasons is a true delight, this one seemed to me to be extra special because I was dining with the people who grew the lettuces, vegetables, fruits, meats, and multiple other things that we were treated to. So many comments were made by these purveyors about how they had never been recognized in such a way and how the luncheon was a very special event for them. 

The luncheon was also a symposium about local food and there was a great deal of input about the incredible array of items that are produced right here on the big island. Everything from Ice Cream to Wild Boar was discussed and on the menu. A "wish list" was provided for the guests, to let them know what additional items are needed in quantity to provide for the needs of the food service at the Four Seasons Hualalai. I have a feeling that  the 75% ratio is going to climb in the coming year. Our island is immense and has so many elevations and an agrarian history that goes all the way back to King Kamehameha. With our climate and so many farmer's dedicated to producing quality produce, meats like wild boar and beef cheeks and processed foods like ice cream, chocolate and goat cheese we are so fortunate.
I would personally like to thank Chef Babian for his commitment to local and sustainable food and for the generosity of the Four Seasons to host such a luncheon with such aloha. I am honored to have attended and I treasure the many new friends I made while dining and taking photos.
For related posts, see the story of Chef Babian's fabulous Avocado Luncheon served up for the American Culinary Federadion's Kona Kohala Chefs or check out my blog on my day spent with Nick Matracusa the Chef of Beach Tree restaurant at the Four Seasons Hualalai. We made Gnocchi and tasted many of the fun dishes that Nick and his staff have created.


Tony in Hawaii said...

you just made me SUUUPER hungry! What great looking food!

Chef Thomas Minchella said...

I love the way the chef's work with all the local farmers. The food must be awesome and when I make it to your Island I will stop by!!

Joyce Pinson said...

I would never want to live anywhere but KY. But dang...that spread sure makes me want to come for a visit. LOL Got bourbon?