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Come. We Go Kau Kau.

From Kau Kau to CuisineOur newest book, From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then and Now (by Arnold Hiura, featuring Derek Kurisu and Jason Takemura), will be hitting bookstores at the end of the month. It's currently available for purchase at our online store.

In From Kau Kau to Cuisine, 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. Arnold 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.

Chef Jason Takemura, Arnold Hiura and Derek Kurisu. Photo by Eloise Hiura. Chef Jason Takemura, Arnold Hiura and Derek Kurisu. Photo by Eloise Hiura.

In addition, 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 Derek—a classic plantation or traditional local-style favorite—with a “Now” dish from Chef Jason—a reinterpretation of Derek’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 mouth-watering color photography, while accompanying features offer tips on step-by-step processes.

We'll also be kicking off the book release with a talk story and tasting event at the Pagoda Floating Restaurant International Ballroom. This event is part of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii's "Inspired Food" series (the last event featured Kau Kau author Arnold Hiura and Chef Alan Wong discussing Chef Alan's book, The Blue Tomato) and is a fundraiser for the Center.

The event will take place on Saturday, February 8 at 5:30pm. (Doors open at 5pm, validated $3 parking at the Ross Dress for Less parking lot on Kanunu St.) Tickets are $75, and a limited number of VIP reserved tables are available for $2000 (10 seats). Each ticket includes a copy of the new release From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then and Now and access to tasting stations featuring seven different dishes from the book. VIP guests enjoy reserved seats, table service and wine.

Want to see what guests will dine on?

From “Then” — Kabocha and Dried Ebi (Pumpkin and Dried Shrimp)
From “Now” — Roasted Kabocha Risotto

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From “Then” — Shoyu Pork
From “Now” — Braised Pork Belly Bao Bun “Sliders”

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From “Then” — Poke & Surimi Patties (Fishcake Patties)
From “Now” — Shiitake & Spinach Dynamite-Crusted Opah

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To purchase tickets, call the JCCH at (808) 945-7633, ext. 28 or email programs@jcch.com. Space is limited, so reserve your spot now!