November, 18 2012


Italy being a true Mecca of artisan foods, it is imperative that when you prepare Italian food you treat it with respect, both in the selection of ingredients and their use. Whenever I dine out I always look for items that I wouldn’t make at home. Consequently, I skip the spaghetti with red sauce opting instead for something compelling, like fresh gnocchi, hoping that the Chef has properly prepared the airy little pillows and I won’t be disappointed – yet again - with gummy balls of dough.  Sometimes, I’m positively surprised.
Grown has continued to push the limits of what can be sourced from our local markets and utilize methods of preparation and pairings that elevate. So when Chef Doug approached me with the idea of Italian night I immediately thought, “How can we make this interesting?” He proceeded to explain his menu ideas and after many conversations we conceptualized a beautiful progressive take on Italian techniques and flavors.
During our exploration we took the idea of items such as a caprese by making a balsamic orecchiette with a tomato salad, goat milk ricotta and basil caviar. We played with the idea of panna cotta and made a smoked carrot crème sauce for our carrot caramel agnolotti with shaved raw carrot. This experience redefined how I view the initial dish and what can be done to elaborate on that concept.
For me this whole quest for local ingredients began with a focus on flavor and will continue on that same premise. These dishes were not only true to the flavor of the classical dish but also to each ingredient, letting the inherent quality come across loud and clear. If you were in attendance thank you for allowing us to experiment and if you missed it I hope you can attend Grown in the near future.
We are always looking for new opportunities to explore food as we aspire to gain a permanent location on Kauai. If you have ideas that you would like to share or possible resources that may assist us in our quest we would love to talk. Community is what Grown thrives on and your continued support is appreciated by many. Passion has been the focus of my life and now my career, hopefully enabling others to utilize their passion in a shared vision. Grow Culture Thanks You.
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