It’ll be a night of incredible food for a good cause on Friday December 9, 2016 when the Hawai‘i Island Paina takes place at Merriman’s Waimea with guest chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi of O’ahu. This farm-to-table culinary experience, in which Chef Noguchi of the Pili Group will team up with Merriman’s own chef Vince McCarthy, is the first of two fundraisers held statewide for the Hawai‘i Islands Land Trust (HILT). The second fundraiser will be held on Kauai on Sunday December 18, 2016 in collaboration with Chef Sheldon Simeon of Tin Roof Maui at Merriman’s Fish House in Poipu, Kauai, Hawai’i.
With this much talent in the kitchen it’s going to be a lot of fun to see – and taste – the delectable dishes prepared by the chefs, each a leader in Hawaii’s sustainable food movement. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience how award-winning chefs use the wide variety of foods produced and raised right here in the islands.
There’s a close connection between cooking with locally sourced fresh food and preserving the land from which that food came. Thus it’s only fitting that fundraisers for the state’s largest land trust are being held at restaurants owned by Peter Merriman, a long time champion and ardent supporter of local farmers, ranchers, and fisherman. Peter, a past HILT board president, pioneered Hawaii’s Regional Cuisine movement more than 25 years ago. His Waimea restaurant, like his other establishments on Maui and Kauai, are built on the premise of serving the freshest, Hawaii grown food. In fact, 90 percent of Merriman’s food is locally grown and raised.
At their very core, the mission of each of Peter’s restaurants reflect a deep respect for the land and the people who work that land. This core mission is seen in their “Do the Right Thing” campaign and is instilled in every member of the Merriman’s team.
The Waimea event will also host professional free diving and spear fisherwoman Kimi Werner as their social media ambassador to share this unique experience with others and her own personal take on the collaboration.
Helping to conserve and protect open lands across Hawaii Island is just one way Merriman’s and collaborating chefs like Chef Simeon and Chef Noguchi help to #DoTheRightThing and #MalamaAina. It’s hoped that those attending these mouth-watering Paina’s will also be inspired to help support organizations like HILT.
Hawaii Islands Land Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2011 out of the merger of four local land trusts, and it is the first and only nationally accredited local land trust in Hawai‘i. To date they’ve conserved more than 17,500 acres across Hawaii, protecting scenic views, recreational areas, water and agricultural resources, and historical sites. Fundraisers such as these Paina’s help provide the land trust with much needed funds to conserve additional lands for Hawaii’s future.
Both dinners start at 5:30 pm. Tickets for the Hawai‘i Island Paina are $90 per person; Kauai Paina tickets are $120. To reserve your tickets for this sumptuous culinary soiree, call (808) 244-LAND (5263) or go to www.HILT.org. For more information on Merriman’s restaurants, visit www.merrimanshawaii.com.