From Kau Kau to Cuisine

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From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then & Now

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  • From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then & Now - Back Cover
  • From Kau Kau to Cuisine: FISH
  • From Kau Kau to Cuisine: KABOCHA
  • From Kau Kau to Cuisine: PORK

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The Evolution of Island Cooking

From fine dining to food trucks, Hawai‘i’s contemporary cuisine is indelibly influenced by its small-town plantation past. From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then and Now is a unique culinary guide to that connection between old and new. In this lavish, hardcover collection of 60 recipes, time-proven local dishes are paired with new creations inspired by the same flavors and ingredients.

Food historian Arnold Hiura provides the fascinating backstory of Hawai‘i’s culinary journey from roots in tight-knit communities to how—and what—Islanders eat today. Hiura points out, for instance, that common foods once consumed out of necessity, such as offal cuts or native plants, have once again become popular. The buzzwords of modern cuisine—sustainable, homegrown, foraged—are in fact age-old practices; many old-timers never stopped sourcing, cooking and eating their foods in these ways.

In From Kau Kau to Cuisine, Big Island television personality and KTA Super Stores executive vice-president Derek Kurisu and O‘ahu executive chef Jason Takemura of Hukilau Honolulu and Pagoda Floating Restaurant, have teamed up to present 30 pairs of recipes. Each pair matches a “Then” dish from Kurisu—a classic plantation or traditional local-style favorite—with a “Now” dish from Takemura—a reinterpretation of Kurisu’s version or a new creation drawn from the same ingredients or cooking style. The result: Grilled ‘Opihi are reimagined as Baked Oysters with Truffle Hollandaise; Kabocha with Dried Ebi evolves into Roasted Kabocha Risotto; Portuguese Sausage–Hamburger Patty Loco Moco is remade as Sake–Soy-Braised Short Rib Loco Moco. Each dish is accompanied by lush color photography, while accompanying features offer tips on step-by-step processes used by both Kurisu and Takemura.

Winner, 2014 Hawaii Book Publishers Association Ka Palapala Po‘okela Book Award, Excellence in Cookbooks.

Hardcover; 196 pp.
Author: Arnold Hiura, featuring Derek Kurisu and Jason Takemura

Release Date: December 2013

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