Kona, Hawaii, US
Big Island Farm-to-Fork Experience: In Partnership with Food & Wine Magazine
Information not currently available.
Approximately 6 Hours
There is much more to the Big Island than surfing, luaus and pineapples. Here, fabulous farmers preserve wonderful, centuries-old agricultural traditions and a new generation of culinary thinkers are staging a revolution in Hawaii's food scene. Jointly, they are shaping the food of the future for islanders and visitors alike.
This small-group tour offers a behind-the-scenes look at Hawaii's regional cuisine, beginning with a scenic drive to Parker Ranch. Founded more than 160 years ago, this sprawling family seat in Waimea was once the largest cattle ranch in the USA. Learn about its rich history, its connection to Hawaiian royalty, and how it has profoundly influenced local ranching practices and Hawaii's paniolo cowboy culture.
Another family-owned farm nearby grows organic produce for Big Island restaurants. Stroll through the organic vegetable gardens to appreciate innovative and sustainable agricultural practices.
Now it's time to taste Hawaii. Back in the '90s, Hawaii was a culinary cultural wasteland of restaurants dominated by Spam and outdated continental cuisine. Thankfully, a dozen Big Island chefs launched an initiative to rescue the local food culture. They created 'Hawaii Regional Cuisine' to spotlight island farmers and producers with an East-meets-West approach. Peter Merriman -- the man behind Merriman's Restaurant in the charming town of Waimea -- was a force majeure within the movement. His landmark, award-winning restaurant continues to be one of the island's hottest dining destinations. Sit down to a special three-course lunch prepared by Merriman's chefs. On your plate are products from local farms, including greens picked a few miles east of your table, grilled fish sourced by Kona fishermen, braised Chinese shortribs from the slopes of Hawaii's volcanoes, and kim chee pineapple salsa. This is a culinary experience for the senses and for the new century.
The panoramic drive back to Kailua-Kona Pier is an ideal time to reflect on the best of edible Hawaii.
Wear comfortable closed-toe walking shoes. Bring a light jacket or sweater. Shade is limited on the farm; please dress accordingly. Bring a hat and wear biodegradable sunscreen. Not advisable for guests using a wheelchair or for those with mobility limitations. Participants must be able to walk up to one mile on uneven terrain with short inclines. Umbrellas, walking sticks, raingear, sunscreen and bug repellent are available from your guide.