Category: Behind the Cover

2019 WINTER – Behind the Cover

Beginning with the 2019 Winter issue, we will be selecting individual covers for each of the four main Hawaiian Islands, as we seek to reaffirm our commitment to sharing culinary stories from across the islands in Hawaii’s only statewide food and drink magazine.

Kauai. This photo was selected because it shows a flooded taro field in Hanalei that is significant to the editorial in this issue. The massive rainfall and flooding that occurred in this area of Kauai in the spring of 2018 sparked many meaningful conversations about food security, and the intersection of self-sufficiency and community.

Hawaii Island.  We wanted to show the lava flow and the direct effects this natural disaster had on the surrounding farming community. We understand that this papaya farm was spared by the lava flow, but the residual poor air quality damaged most of the trees. During the most recent lava flow, over 80% of Hawaii Island’s papaya farms were damaged.

Maui. During our statewide travels we shop, meet people, eat, and poke around in search of inspiration. Shelly Ronen, our director of sales, turned us on to a Lahaina store called, Goin Left. From solar powered, hand-crank radios to surf-wear to coconut keys, this eclectic store stocks all sorts of useful items we would need in our next disaster. Stop by and pick up a giant machete- and tell them we sent you!

Oahu. This coconut braved a wildfire; when we cracked open the charred exterior we were delighted to see that the interior was perfectly fine. We reflected on this plant’s ability to withstand intense wind, rain, and fire, and wanted to learn more about what makes the coconut so good at surviving. We loved the look of this burnt coconut, and it reminded us of life in the city.

Behind the Cover – Fall 2018

Celebrating Ohana

Written by Denise Laitinen

edible Hawaiian Islands is more than just a magazine, it is an ohana (family). An extended family comprised of the production team, writers, advertisers, and readers sprinkled across the islands and beyond Hawaii’s shores united in a passion about food, whether it be growing, farming, fishing, or cooking it. 

Readers of edible Hawaiian Islands also know that each cover strongly reflects Hawaii and its local foods with an emphasis on the issue’s theme. With the theme of DRINK for our 2018 Fall issue, it seemed a natural fit to feature the Bolton ohana, founders of Kona Coffee & Tea on Hawaii Island. 

Celebrating their 20th anniversary, Kona Coffee & Tea is truly an ohana run company and one of the few Kona coffee farms that grows, mills, and roasts single-estate coffee, meaning all the beans come from a single farm. It’s also a multi-generational business founded by Jan and Dan Bolton with two of their grown children, Malia and Danny, managing the day-to-day operations of the company (daughter Kirstina lives on the mainland.) 

It all started back in 1996 when Dan and Jan jumped at the opportunity to acquire former ranch land in Kona called Waiono Meadows. Already running a construction company called Bolton Inc. and living in the Kona coffee belt, it seemed natural to get involved in growing coffee. 

Deeply rooted in their faith and their desire to help the Kona community, on a wing and a prayer the entire family, including the kids and extended relatives, lent a hand and planted 20 acres of arabica typica coffee in 1998.

“We saw coffee as a way to help preserve the small town that we love,” says Jan.

Within two years of harvesting and roasting their first crop of coffee cherry, the Bolton’s were winning coffee cupping contests. 

“When we won first place in the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Cupping Competition [in 2002], we knew we had something,” says Dan. 

Indeed, it’s been a steady climb up the ladder of success ever since. In 2003 they opened their first retail location near Honokokau Harbor. Ten years later they acquired a location in the Kona Coast Shopping Center previously occupied by Starbucks and after a year of renovations, opened a café. 

In the meantime, their coffee continued to rack up awards, including First Place in the 2009 Gevalia Crown Cupping Competition.

But the family’s focus has always been on more than just growing coffee or winning awards says Kelly Drysdale, director of logistics for Kona Coffee & Tea. Cultivating community and promoting local businesses is a top priority for the Boltons. Every month they feature the beans of another Big Island single-estate coffee farmer in their cafe. They source as much as possible from other local businesses, from the focaccia bread in their deli sandwiches to beers from local breweries. They even give their coffee grounds to local pig farmers for compost. 

Looking toward the next 20 years, the Bolton ohana wants to continue to grow and diversify the coffee farm with new technologies while supporting the local economy. 

“I’m beyond grateful to my parents for having a vision and not being fearful of the risk,” says Malia. “It’s amazing to see years of hard work pay off. I’m excited for what’s to come.” 

Behind the Cover – 2017 Spring

I often feel that the cover is one of the most important decisions we make here at the edible Hawaiian Islands office. I have an advisory team of very smart, creative and helpful folks who share their opinion, freely.

Choosing the cover for the spring issue is always a double job because, with our added Hawaii Farm Guide insert, there are actually two covers to select. Do you think it’s double the pleasure or twice as much work?

It’s a pleasure and an honor, in my opinion.

Let’s start with the Hawaii Farm Guide. I had this cover image tucked away in my files for over two years. Finding the photographer to ask permission and to give credit was the most work. It’s an aerial image of a real working farm (Kumu Farms), restaurant (The Mill House) and thriving business in Wailuku, Hawaii. In fact, The Maui Tropical Plantation is the oldest working farm in the state of Hawaii and once was King Kamehameha’s farm for feeding most of Maui.  Finally after many emails and phone calls we located the photographer and he gave us permission.

Our magazine cover is another story. I had selected four different covers but none of them seems to capture the energy or focus of the issue. I reached out to several other professionals seeking input. Nothing felt right, looked right, or fit the criteria.

Then on our last day, last hour and last minute we found the image! The cover image must evoke springtime, fit our theme of GROW and be edible. Can you tell me what the image is?

A special thank you goes to Albert Boyce, Maui Aerial Photography, Dawn Sakamoto and my incredible team Michelle T.M. Lee, the folks at DUKA Inc., Sinead Byrne, Shelly Ronen, Gabe Marihugh and Scott Johnson.

Behind the Cover – 2017 Winter

Happy New Year!  As you are an avid reader of edible Hawaiian Islands you know that we take time and really made a connection to what goes on the cover of each issue as well as within our delicious pages. Our 2017 winter issue is no different. In fact we are so pleased with our cover but can’t take all the credit. This is the story from Behind the Cover.

A few years ago, our team at edible Hawaiian Islands travelled to Hawai’i Island to eat and explore the island, seeking editorial stories, new advertisers and hoping to discover the hidden jewels that no one knows about and to we also like to make  new friends.

Our team was in Honoka’a, a quaint little town with plenty of mom and pop stores, a pie shop,  sprinkled with a few art galleries. And one very zen juice shop.

We always appreciate excellent customer service when we travel too, don’t you? Well, we stumbled into this juice shop and clearly we were parched, a bit tired and ready to engage.  Even though the juice shop had not quite opened for business we were welcomed by Brian Otting, He smiled and we knew we wanted to be friends and we also knew that he was special. He inspired us, shared his passions for health and was so authentic. We stayed in touch and watched him grow his business.

Fast forward 2 years, Brian moved his shop from Honoka’a to Waimea/Kamuela and well, many people now know what we first discovered.

Our 2017 winter cover is sponsored by Kohana Wai ( and the photo came from their inspiration, their liquid nutrition. If you are lucky enough to live on Hawai’i Island (or they can ship anywhere you live in Hawai’i) – go to their store and you will be greeted, educated and empowered to seek more for your heath…and we predict you will even depart making new friends. Don’t forget to ask for Brian and tell him that his friends at edible sent you.

Behind the Cover – 2016 Fall

screen-shot-2016-10-03-at-10-50-47-amOur 2016 fall issue is our DRINK issue.  Yes, we are fully aware that we have a cover image that is not a drink. Usually the cover reflects a strong theme that runs throughout the magazine. The dish is Pastrami Kampachi and Kampachi grows in water, right? We did feature locally grown garlic in this issue and the cover images uses green garlic in the on-line recipe.

When our designer, Scott Johnson and I saw this image we knew it was our cover image. Yes, we did mock up other covers but nothing looked quite right. Sometimes that how cover selection happens and we need to learn to be ok with this process.

So, enjoy this drink-themed issue. Fish and all!

Pastrami Kampachi “Bruschetta” with Green Garlic- Sesame “Pesto”


Servers 4

Green Garlic Pesto:

227 grams Green Garlic (tops only green parts, trimmed, blanched, shocked and squeezed dry)

227 grams Cilantro (picked, washed, blanched, shocked and squeezed dry)

80 grams Meyer Lemon Peel (pith removed, julienne)

320 grams Fresh Meyer Lemon Juice

285 grams Maui Cane Sugar

455 grams Grapeseed Oil

140 grams Toasted Sesame Seeds (keep 60 g aside for garnish)

12 grams Kosher Salt

  1. In a small pot combine lemon juice, sugar and lemon peel and bring to a simmer.
  2. Cook for three minutes and strain through a chinois.
  3. When cooled, combine all ingredients in blender and puree until completely smooth. (Keep 60 g of sesame seed aside for garnish)
  4. In a large bowl, add ice and place a smaller bowl on top of the ice.
  5. Pour mixture into smaller bowl to quickly cool down.
  6. Stir with a rubber spatula until cold.
  7. Fold in remaining sesame seeds as garnish.
  8. Keep well chilled.

Pickled Green Garlic:

15 ounces Whole Green Garlic Bulbs, trimmed

16 ounces Japanese Rice Vinegar, Low Acidity 4%

3 ounces Unsweetened Yuzu Juice

6 ounces Cane Sugar

11 grams Kosher Salt

1 each Hawaiian Chili, washed and split

  1. Put garlic bulbs in a baine marie.
  2. Combine vinegar, sugar, chilies, salt and bring to boil, do not let into a rolling boil.
  3. Add yuzu juice to mixture.
  4. In a large bowl, add ice and place a smaller bowl on top of the ice.
  5. Pour mixture into smaller bowl to quickly cool down.
  6. Stir with a rubber spatula until cold.
  7. Pour over garlic bulbs and let marinate for 24 hours.

Kampachi Cure Pastrami:

Kampachi  top loin, skin off, trimmed

30 grams Cane Sugar

10 grams Ground Cubeb Peppercorn

114 grams Kosher Salt

1 bunch Cilantro Chopped, No Steams

Zest and Juice from 2 riped Meyer Lemons

30 G Green Garlic, sliced very thinly

30 G Fresh Shallot, minced fine

  1. Mix all ingredients except Kampachi in a box until incorporated well.
  2. Evenly coat each filet top and bottom with marinade.
  3. Place on a sheet pan with a wire rack for drainage and let cure uncovered in fridge for a minimum of 24 hours (maximum of 48 hours for more doneness)
  4. Once cured, remove excess cure from filet by hand.
  5. Briefly rinse filet under very cold water to remove excess cure.
  6. Pat dry and return to fridge for 1 hour.

Pastrami Glaze:

2 ounces Backstrap Molasses

1/2 tablespoon Cayenne Pepper

1 tablespoon Caraway Seed, toasted and ground

1 teaspoon Coriander Seed, toasted and ground

1 tablespoon Cubeb Peppercorn, toasted and ground

1 ½ tablespoon Smoked Spanish Paprika

1 tablespoon Espelette Pepper

1 each Pastry Brush

  1. Toast and grind all spices separate until fine.
  2. Mix all spices together in a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Warm the molasses until pliable in the microwave.  Do not over heat.
  4. Lightly brush the top of the filets with the molasses in a very thin and even layer.
  5. Using a fine mesh strainer, dust the top portion of the filet with the spice mixture until the entire filet is evenly coated and red in color.
  6. Chill the filets until ready to slice and serve. Can be eaten raw or cold smoked.

To Serve :

To taste Extra virgin olive oil (optional)

4 slices Country Rye Bread or Pumpernickle

6 oz Green garlic pesto

4 each Heirloom tomatoes, depending on size and must be ripe

20  slices                            Pastrami kampachi, sliced

2 tablespoons Pickled green garlic, drained

To Taste lemon zest, mircoplaned

To Taste micro greens (optional)

  1. Brush sliced bread with extra virgin olive oil and toast until golden brown.
  2. Add approximately one tablespoon of green garlic pesto on the plate
  3. On each slice of toasted bread, spread  tablespoon of green garlic pesto evenly across.  Layer with tomatoes and kampachi alternating.
  4. Top with pickled green garlic, lemon zest, and micro greens or torn fresh basil.


Behind the Cover – 2015 Fall

cover2015fall-LargeApproximately 2 years ago, one of our advertisers, chef Jana McMahon shared one of her favorite @Instagram accounts with edible Hawaiian Islands.  In a casual conversation over lunch we went back and forth sharing feeds that inspired us.

That lunch we discovered the @Instagram acccount of Sporting Club of the Pacific (@SportingClubofthePacific). We fell in love with their posts and started following and engaging.

Here, two years later we are proud to be able to not only feature them on our cover but also to share their incredible story within our pages. Our relationship and friendship has grown over the past two years and you never know where or when meeting someone through social media will change the course of your business and your life.

We found a good fit for Sporting Club’s story in our first drink inspired issue. We try and match the writer with the story through personally knowing our writers and what they are passionate about. Thank you Kristin Hetternmann of Grace Delivers for sharing your writing talents.

Then we needed a photographer to tell the story through compelling photographs. We felt it would be good to turn to @Instagram again and find someone who was talented with black and white photography. We found Franck Berthout (@FRANKIEBEES) on @Instagram. And as it turns out he was also a big fan of Sporting Club of the Pacific.

So, it all came together with the right story at the right time with the perfect writer and photographer.

If on Maui or when you come to visit, we encourage you to take time from your day and visit:

Sporting Club of the Pacific
43 Hana Highway
Paia, Maui HI 96779

2015 Summer – Behind the Cover

Cover Summer 2015Cover Credit: 12th Ave Grill
Photo Credit: Denise Luke

Our summer issue cover is intended to inspire everyone to COOK, which is also the theme of our issue. Mahalo to 12th Ave Grill in Honolulu for sharing their photograph and recipe.

Cedar Plank Salmon and Scallops with Beer Battered Avocado

1/2 fresh ripe avocado cut into quarters.
Season all sides with salt & pepper and lightly dredge in all purpose flour. Set aside.

Beer Batter
1/4 cup high gluten flour
1/8 cup all purpose flour
1/8 cup corn starch
1tablespoon baking powder
1 12 oz bottle good pilsner or lager beer
Salt & pepper

Mix all dry ingredients.
Add beer and mix untill just incorporated. Don’t over mix.
Should look like thin pancake batter w little lumps.
Season 3 oz. piece king salmon with sea salt and ground pink peppercorns.
Place salmon on one half of cedar plank and roast for 3-5 min depending on the thickness.
Season and sear top only of 2 u-8 scallops and place in other side of plank and continue roasting untill both are mid rare. About 2 more minutes.

While seafood is roasting, dip avocado into beer batter and fry in 350 degree oil
untill crispy and golden.
Drain on paper towels.

(Make in advance).
2 fresh egg yolks
4 dashes tobacco
1 dash Worcestershire
2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
4 fresh grapefruit suprems diced
1 teaspoon fresh grated horseradish
1 cup clarified butter.
S&p to taste.

Over double boiler whisk egg yolks untill pale yellow add tobacco, worchestrahire, horseradish, and grapefruit juice while whisking constantly.

SLOWLY drizzle clarified butter while continually whisking untill emulsified. Season w s&p.
Add grapefruit just before serving.

Toss red vein sorrel or baby arugula with good evoo and season with sea salt.

When seafood is done add avocado to plank.

Spoon holandaise over salmon and add greens.

Sprinkle with more ground pink peppercorns.


2015 Spring – Behind the Cover

Take a close look. Do you see anything different with our 2015 spring cover?

When you see what’s changed please tell us in the comment section below. We will GIFT a complimentary 1 year print subscription to the first person who notices what’s different!

The theme of the spring issue and one of our favorite subjects, GROW. To see things grow, emerge, mature and to experience all phases of growth is satisfying.

Our cover is a spring salad created by chef Noah Hester of The Blue Dragon Restaurant on Hawai’i Island. We asked chef Noah to create a 100% locally sourced salad course for an edible Event – a dinner to support post-production expenses for the full-length documentary, I Am Haloa. To take it a step further chef Noah worked with his father, Ron Hester to turn a fallen mango tree on the farm into serving bowls for the salad.  The cover photograph reminds us of spring, new growth and that all things are possible.

A special mahalo to the photographer, Anna Pacheco.

Behind The Cover Winter 2015

Each issue’s cover shot is such an important piece of the edible puzzle. It’s our team’s way of inviting new friends to the table and to those returning to share their stories. I love to know who our readers are and why they are a part of the edible family.

For this “EAT” themed issue, my editor really had me step out of my comfort zone by challenging me to delve deep into a sense of intimacy. The concept of pairing intimacy with food could not have been better epitomized than by the image of Chef Jeff Sheer, taken by the talented Meiko Horikoshi. In just one moment, all of the team’s contributions of words and images came together in raw form – and Jeff was such a good sport, allowing me to use this visual of his bare chest exhibiting a gorgeous lilikoi tattoo as the cover shot.

An intimate photograph for an intimate issue, the image signals all of the featured flavors of this innovative issue: Raw, intimate, skin, and pleasure. One of my greatest pleasures is to bring pleasure to the lives of those around me. For me, food is that connection. This issue is my way of tapping into the many other connections that food can create within my Hawaiʻi community.

Please enjoy.

Behind The Cover – 2014 Fall

If you are a faithful reader of our blog posting Behind the Cover you know that we support our mission statement with each cover selection:

“The mission of edible Hawaiian Islands is to “talk story”: a local term meaning to verbally share stories between visitors, friends and ‘ohana. We intend to share the stories of people who are growing, farming, ranching, fishing, and cooking our food. Our stories will be told through stunning photography, beautiful art and well-written stories that inspire the reader and uplift an entire community.”

The decision to choose the fall issue cover was complex. We felt this image supported our feature story, The Hunter, The Chef. It also follows our theme of SHARE for this issue.

We invite you to feel free to comment. Share with us your thoughts about our cover here.

Fall 2014 Cover