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Fresh! Tasty! Local! Recipes from the new "Hawaii Farmers Market Cookbook"

Hawaii_Farmers_Market_Cookbook_recipesWhen gathering the best ingredients for making a meal you can’t beat buying local. And no matter where you are in the world, farmers markets are a great place to start looking.

In Hawaii, dozens of weekly farmers markets have sprung up in communities statewide in recent years making it convenient to skip a trip to the supermarket and opt for fresh-off-the-farm Island-grown vegetables, herbs and fruits. The growing popularity of farmers markets here is really just the home menu extension of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement, whose chefs successfully convinced residents and visitors to expect Island-grown ingredients on restaurant menus.

The Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement was founded on the common practice of Island chefs going straight to the farmers for the best and freshest ingredients for their restaurants. Hawaii farmers, in turn, got into the habit of seeking out chefs’ opinions on the kinds of produce they should grow to sustain the movement’s success as well as their own.

Some of the best Hawaii farmers markets are sponsored by the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, which requires that vendors only sell locally-grown or produced products. Literally thousands of residents and visitors wake up early each Saturday morning to attend the Farm Bureau’s largest farmers market at Oahu’s Kapiolani Community College. But you can also find satellite Farm Bureau markets throughout the week on Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island—from urban Honolulu to smaller communities such as Kailua, Keauhou-Kona and Mililani.

Hawaii_Farmers_Market_Cookbook_recipesWhat to do with these ingredients one you get them to your home or Hawaii vacation rental?

The new Hawaii Farmers Market Cookbook Volume 2—The Chefs’ Guide to Fresh Island Foods gathers more than 75 recipes emphasizing use of locally-grown ingredients, submitted by 18 of Hawaii Regional Cuisine’s top chefs. The chefs were given a couple of key rules for their recipes: Make them home cook-friendly, with ingredients that could be found at most Hawaii farmers markets (and, by extension, most farmers markets or specialty food stores, period).

The chefs, in turn, crafted some lively recipes for the cookbook, compiled by the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation and published by HAWAII Magazine sister company Watermark Publishing. Among these:

• Ahi Ceviche with Purple Sweet Potato Chips, by Haliimaile General Store owner/executive chef Beverly Gannon

• Lilikoi Bars, by Sam Choy’s Breakfast, Lunch and Crab owner/executive chef Sam Choy

• Mom Kodama’s Portuguese Sausage Patties, by Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar owner/executive chef D.K. Kodama

• Asian Braised Short Ribs, by Pavilion CafĂ© at the Honolulu Academy of Arts executive chef Mike Nevin

• Sauteed Bean Sprouts and Smoked Meat, by Alan Wong’s Restaurant owner/executive chef Alan Wong

Hawaii_Farmers_Market_Cookbook_recipesYou can purchase a copy of The Hawaii Farmers Market Cookbook—Volume 2 direct from Watermark Publishing, at $15.95 per copy, here. If you plan to be on Oahu over the next two weeks, click here for a schedule of book signings with chefs featured in the cookbook.

Better yet, start cooking now!

On the pages ahead, HAWAII Magazine shares two recipes from the new Hawaii Farmers Market Cookbook: Hamakua Mushroom Stew from Chef Mavro Restaurant chef de cuisine Kevin Chong, and Choy Sum and Sausage Stir-Fry from Le Bistro owner/executive chef Alan Takasaki.

Try them out! Bon appetit!

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Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
New farmers' market in Haleiwa aims to be Oahu's first to go "all-green"
Love Hawaii Regional Cuisine? Here's a great deal from Chef Chai.
Saturday morning at the Big Island's Waimea farmers markets

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