Story by Derek Paiva
How does one make a mai tai smoke and for what reason? What’s canoe-crop cuisine? How does one bid for ahi and moonfish at the Honolulu Fish Auction and source farm-raised abalone on Hawaii Island? And how do we obtain a cool Australian accent like Moveable Feast host Pete Evans?
The answers to three out of four of these questions are packed into three Hawaii-filmed episodes on the third season of the PBS culinary reality series Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking. Evans and the crew of Moveable Feast touched down on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island in June of last year, continuing the series’ mission of spotlighting regional cuisine across America.
The Moveable Feast modus operandi is the same at every stop: Noted Aussie chef, restaurateur and cookbook author Evans pairs himself up with innovative local chefs, they gather fresh and interesting regional ingredients from local purveyors, then plan and cook a meal with all of their produce treasures in a single day. The uniqueness of each episode comes courtesy of the the region visited and individual passions of the regional chefs, farmers, ranchers and purveyors Evans and Moveable Feast connect with.
For Moveable Feast’s Hawaii-filmed episodes, the good resident folks gathered included: on Oahu, chefs Jon Matsubara (40 Carrots) and Lee Anne Wong (Koko Head Café), and local seafood expert Brooks Takenaka; on Maui, chefs Isaac Bancaco (Kaana Kitchen) and Kyle Kawakami (Maui Fresh Streatery); and, on Hawaii Island, chefs Peter Merriman (Merriman’s) and Jim Babian (Pueos Osteria).
Here’s the lowdown on the episodes.
“Moveable Feast: Oahu, Hawaii” (episode 302)
With Matsubara and Wong, Evans is educated on pineapple harvesting, sources mango and other tropical fruits at Frankie’s Nursery and meets Takenaka to bid and buy locally caught fish at the Honolulu Fish Auction. For the big meal, there’s a smoking mai tai cocktail, hibachi-style Kauai shrimp and roasted Oahu-sourced pork belly from Matsubara; fresh opah (moonfish) and vegetable sides from Wong; and pineapple salsa and ahi poke from Evans.
“Moveable Feast: Maui, Hawaii” (episode 307)
After some ocean fishing and produce sourcing at Nohoana Farm in Waikapu, Bancaco, Kawakami and Evans hang out at the farm, cook up modern takes on traditional luau food and learn about canoe plants – crops carried on long-distance canoe voyages by early Polynesians, including Hawaii’s first settlers.
“Moveable Feast: Big Island, Hawaii” (episode 309)
Merriman takes Evans to the rolling hills of Kahua Ranch on the island’s Kohala mountain for local beef and lamb. Babian picks up fresh abalone straight from the tanks of Big Island Abalone farm in Kona. And all three hunker down for some outdoor cooking at Merriman’s original namesake Waimea town restaurant for a menu that includes wood-grilled abalone with celery and fennel salad, pipi kayla poke (cubed, seasoned jerked beef) and pan-seared kampachi with lilikoi (passion fruit) brown butter sauce.
The Hawaii-filmed episodes of Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking will air on Hawaii PBS station KHET on Feb. 13 (Oahu episode), Feb. 20 (Maui episode) and Feb. 27 (Hawaii Island episode). All episodes are set to air at 7 p.m., Hawaii time.
To find out when season three episodes of “Moveable Feast” are airing on other PBS stations nationwide (hopefully, there’ll be one near you), click here.
The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB) assisted in bringing “Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking” to the Hawaiian Islands as part of its public relations initiatives.
About Derek Paiva: Derek Paiva is an editor and writer on the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau account team at Anthology Marketing Group. A lifelong Hawaii resident, Derek has enjoyed careers in magazine and newspaper journalism, and was editor-in-chief of Hawaii Magazine from 2010 through 2015. He has traveled extensively throughout the Hawaiian Islands, written about them exhaustively, and is always looking forward to exploring and learning new things about his home islands. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.