The Free Range Gourmet Free range thoughts on the finest ingredients, cuisine, and fine dining in Hawaii.

Range Gourmet

  Local Hawaii ingredients used with an international flair

        ^BNanette^K^H (Gone but not forgotten) 1946-2020


Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Kookie's gone - now what??

Darn, I hate when this happens.

We hurried across the street this evening eagerly anticipating our weekly feast at Club New Pattaya. I could taste the chillies even before we got through the door, and was wondering what Kookie might prepare for us this evening.

There were only a few customers inside ... very strange. Now we know why.

We were told that Kookie has quit and gone back to Thailand.

She can't do this to us! We willingly braved tobacco fumes, loud music and karoke because we could enjoy the best Thai cuisine on the island.

No fair, now all we have is the fumes and music.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Harvest for Hope interview on today's Democracy Now!

Today's Democracy Now! features an interview with Jane Goodall (yes, the famous primatologist known as the"Chimpanzee Lady") and author of the book Harvest for Hope : A Guide to Mindful Eating (An Audio CD has also been released earlier this month).

In the wide-ranging interview, the author discusses factory food, GM food, fast food-fueled obesity, and praises the Slow Food movement and farmers markets.

Tune in any time via your computer by visiting the Democracy Now! web page. If you are reading this on November 24, you can catch the program on TV on O`ahu at 10 pm tonight on `Olelo channel 56 or at 7 am (possibly 8 am) November 25 on channel 53. On Maui, it will be broadcast on Akaku on November 24 at 7 pm on channel 54.

The interview is the second feature in the program.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


Joan Namkoong's Farm2Table

John Heckathorn emailed to say that Joan Namkoong's article Farm2Table is indeed posted on-line at the Honolulu Magazine website.

Although I focused on the issue of milk repasteurization, which no other publication besides Honolulu Magazine seems to have picked up, the article is quite extensive and is themed, "Buy Fresh, Buy Local: It's a simple concept, but supporting Hawaii's farmers is not as easy as you might think. Here's how you can help."

Those of you not yet subscribing to the magazine might want to click on over to their website and tune in to Joan's article.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Scary Dairy revisited - Costco and organic milk probably ok

Who knows what's really in a carton of milk, anyway. Just drink it, right? It's good for you.

I'm surprised that there is still no reaction to the revelation in Joan Namkoong's article in Honolulu Magazine that supermarket milk is shipped to Hawaii unrefrigerated. Well, the Free Range Gourmet is not going to drink it.

I checked with the manufacturers of Horizon and Organic Valley milk, who assured me that their product is shipped to Hawaii refrigerated. I also spoke with Costco HQ about the milk at Costco stores. At first, they said of course it is shipped refrigerated. I then related the information in the Honolulu Magazine article and asked them to check again. They did, and the final word arrived in a voicemail message while I was out:

Click here to listenClick here to listen. Or try this player:

So yes, it seems possible to buy milk in Hawaii that has been refrigerated during its long journey across the Pacific Ocean. A Meadow Gold spokesman assured me that the temperature rise is very small. I don't know... what about the cartons on the outside layer? Hmmm?

I'm not saying that re-pasteurized milk is in any way dangerous. The process kills any bugs lurking inside. I'm leery of what the bugs left behind, though, and what the entire process has done to the flavor and possibly nutrition of the milk.

Of course, supermarket milk comes from cows that have been injected with hormones and fed antibiotics, another reason to think twice about it if you care about these things (regular Costco milk is no different, except for their organic milk which should be BST- and hormone-free).

You make your own choice. I've reported on my research, the rest is up to you.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Implosion at Grand Café and Bakery

Gail Jennings of the Hawaii Diner website and podcast keeps her finger firmly on the pulse of the Hawaii restaurant scene. Today she has a scoop on serious trouble at a popular and well-known Chinatown eatery in her article: Grand Cafe Revolt. From Gail's report I think there is serious risk that this popular breakfast and lunch spot may not survive.

One of the owners, Mona Chang Vierra, is known for her work on womens' issues, and there's a sign behind the register proudly proclaiming that the Café is a women-owned business. I know that Dr. Vierra takes pride in all that she has accomplished there, and hope that she will find a way to work things out with her staff (now former staff?). If everyone is willing to try again, perhaps with adjustments, then there is a chance we'll get to enjoy their great food again. It can be done.

Friday, November 04, 2005


Hawaii Diner reports on Hawaii's ag business

If you tune in to radio news, even to our local public radio station, you'll hear lots that's relevent, of course, but lots that's not -- I've always wondered why anyone even cares about the Hang Seng Composite Index, or if the only thing that truly matters in life is how much profit the big corporations make. I was more interested in hearing something about the "Tilapia Index", or whether farmers were doing well or suffering from the bad weather.

Gail Jennings has been doing an interesting and I think important crop report as part of her Hawaii Diner podcast -- she has filled the gap and is reporting on a few things related to how our local producers are doing. By pioneering this report, she's scooped the rest of the media.

So that's another good reason to tune in her podcast on your computer or grab it for your iPod or mp3 player.

Speaking of Hawaii Diner, I've contributed a short article on the gentrification of Chinatown to Hawaii Diner. Read it here.


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Market News

Official web pages and Tip Sheets for Saturday morning KCC Farmers' Market, Wednesday night Honolulu Market, Sunday morning Mililani Market, and Thursday Night Kailua Market


Slow Food

You've read about the world-wide slow food movement. Hawaii has an active Slow Food group. Learn about or join Slow Food USA at the Slow Food USA website.

Where we're Eating

Olive Tree Cafe

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