Episode 23: Solar + Ag: Cultivating a Sunny Future
Wednesday, October 11, 2023
• Wren Wescoatt, Longroad Energy
• Jason Brand, President, Brand Industrial Group Inc.
• Juli Burden, Hawaiʻi Agriculture Research Center (HARC)
• Mark Glick, Chief Energy Officer, State of Hawaiʻi
• Nicola Park, Director, Hawaii – Clearway Energy Group
Episode 22: Fish for the Future – Are we overfishing?
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
Keynote speaker Laura Diederick, External Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement Lead for NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Communications, and panelists representing Hawai‘i commercial longline fisheries and recreational fishers joined EAT THINK DRINK Episode 22 held at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.
Presented by Central Pacific Bank and moderated by Kelly Simek, host of Living808 on KHON2, the discussion focused on Hawai‘i fisheries and addressed what local fisheries and federal agencies are doing to manage healthy, sustainable fisheries and ensure affordable access of seafood to local consumers. Panelists included:
- Brooks Takenaka, General Manager, United Fishing Agency Ltd. (Honolulu Fish Auction)
- Eric Kekoa Kingma, Ph.D., Executive Director, Hawai‘i Longline Association
- Clay Tam, Director of Cooperative Fisheries Research, Pacific Islands Fisheries Group
Episode 21: Nutrition Security and Our Local Food Producers
Wednesday, April 19, 2023
HAF was excited to bring Keynote Speaker Michel Nischan, a four-time James Beard Award winning chef with over 40 years of leadership advocating for a more healthful, sustainable food system to its 21st EAT THINK DRINK (ETD) held at Prince Waikiki, Pi‘inaio Ballroom.
Presented by Central Pacific Bank, the event brought together thought leaders and advocates to discuss how addressing nutrition security can help our most vulnerable populations, as well as provide support to our local farmers, ranchers, and fishermen. A panel discussion following the keynote was moderated by Phil Acosta, Executive Director for Aloha Harvest, and featured:
- Jennine Sullivan, Executive Director, The Pantry by Feeding Hawai‘i Together
- Kilikina “Kina” Mahi, Director of Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships, Hawai‘i Food Bank
- Alicia Higa, Interim Executive Director ‘Elepaio Social Services and Director of Health Promotion, Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
- Sharon Hurd, Chair, Hawai`i Department of Agriculture
Episode 20: Food Waste – Full Circle With Composting
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
HAF hosted its 20th EAT THINK DRINK (ETD) focused on Food Waste – Full Circle With Composting on Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at Prince Waikiki, Pi‘inaio Ballroom. The event was presented by Central Pacific Bank and Alaska Airlines and featured keynote speaker Marvin Min, Senior Vice President – Hawai‘i Division from Hawaiian Earth Recycling.
Marvin Min is in charge of the Hawaii division- Hawaiian Earth Recycling (HER), Hawaiian Earth Products and Menehune Magic. HER has been an integral partner on diverting approximately 2 million tons of green waste, logs and untreated wood pallets from the landfill or being incinerated at H- Power, turning them into products such as soil amendments, blends, mulch and erosion control products, compost and potting mix for use throughout Hawaii. HER is the largest permitted green waste recycling company in Hawaii.
A panel discussion following the keynote was moderated by Amy Marvin, President and CEO of the Hawai‘i Foodbank and featured:
- Amy Tomiyama, President of Eco-Feed, Inc.
- Henry Gabriel, Recycling Program Branch Chief of Department of Environmental Sciences, Refuse Division
- Dexter Kishida, Food Security & Sustainability Program Manager at the City and County of Honolulu
- Poni Askew, Co-Founder of Hawaiian Vinegar Company
Episode 19: AgTech — Growing Innovation
Thursday, August 25, 2022
HAF hosted its 19th EAT THINK DRINK (ETD), AgTech: Growing Innovation on Thursday, August 25, 2022 at Tidepools by Central Pacific Bank. Presented by Central Pacific Bank and Alaska Airlines, AgTech: Growing Innovation featured keynote speaker Jeremy Williams, the Head of Climate LLC and Digital Farming for the Crop Science division of Bayer.
Jeremy Williams, Head of Climate Corporation and Digital Farming for the Crop Science division of Bayer, provided an overview of how Bayer uses science innovations and cutting-edge technology at their farms to work more efficiently, help improve the overall sustainability of their farming operations, and help farmers to work in a more precise and data-driven fashion.
Moderated by iHeartRadio’s Rick Hamada, the panel featured:
- Frederick Cowell, General Manager, Kauai Coffee Co.
- Ian Kitajima, Director/Tech Sherpa, Oceanit
- Leilyn Koev, Kawamata Farms
Episode 18: What’s the Catch? Cultivating Hawai‘i’s Seafood Future
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
For this ETD event, HAF is hosted a private screening of Hashi Media’s Taste Our Love for Hawai‘i Episode 3: Aqua+Culture, featuring chefs Niki Nakayama and Mark Pomaski. Following the screening, we heard from keynote speaker Dick Jones, CEO of Blue Ocean Mariculture.
Dick Jones, CEO of Blue Ocean Mariculture, provided an overview of aquaculture as a global industry and the potential for the industry here in our islands. He also shared his view on why Hawaiʻi can be a leader in new technologies and innovations for the industry. The presentation was followed by a panel that will share how loko iʻa of the past are also contributing to our local food supply, where investments are being made in aquaculture, and how this industry can contribute to Hawaiʻi’s economic diversification, food resiliency, job creation and cultural preservation.
A discussion moderated by Hawai‘i State Senator Glenn Wakai was followed with esteemed panelists:
- Alexia Akbay, Founder and CEO, Symbrosia
- John Dobovan, CEO, Kulahaven Farms LLC
- Ikaika Rogerson, President, Waimānalo Limu Hui
Episode 17: Ag Redux — Plantation to Diversification
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Maui’s history with sugar dates back centuries as one of Hawai‘i’s leading agricultural crops until its last sugar plantation shutdown in 2016. In 2018, Mahi Pono purchased approximately 41,000 acres of agricultural land from Alexander & Baldwin, which was formerly Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company Lands.
In the past three years, Mahi Pono has focused on producing food with export potential for local consumption, creating jobs for local residents, and supporting local farmers in its agricultural park by providing farmable land, water and resources such as farming expertise, infrastructure, equipment, and development and farming capital.
EAT THINK DRINK 17: Ag Redux — From Plantation to Diversification was presented by Central Pacific Bank and Alaska Airlines—and explored how Maui County is moving from its plantation past to diversified agriculture. Keynote speaker Darren Strand, Mahi Pono’s Vice President of Agricultural Operations & Business Development, shared the progress Mahi Pono has made to take former sugar cane lands to new crops for local consumption, as well as plans to develop produce for export in the future. The presentation was followed by a panel moderated by Meredith Ching, Senior Vice President at Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. and featured:
• Senator Lynn DeCoite, Hawai‘i State Senate District 7
• Alan Gottlieb, Ag Park Manager, HAF Ag Park in Kunia
• Warren Watanabe, Executive Director, Maui Farm Bureau
Episode 16: School Lunch 2.0
Thursday, January 13, 2022
The HIDOE is the single largest purchaser of food in State, spending approximately $45 million on food annually, most of which is processed, frozen and canned. If just a portion of that was replaced with local agricultural products, it would give farmers a huge and consistent market, helping move the needle on our efforts toward greater sustainability. In addition, this past legislature, House Bill 767 was enacted and established a goal requiring at least 30% of all food served in public schools should consist of locally sourced products by 2030.
In 2017, HAF hosted ETD, School Lunch: Hawai‘i’s Farm to School Initiative and brought thought leaders together to talk about the possibilities of increasing local produce in our public school cafeterias. Tanaka’s keynote presentation was followed by a panel made up of key players who are currently making a difference or are positioned to help further the farm to school initiative. Moderated by Donalyn Dela Cruz of DDC Consulting LLC and former HIDOE Director of Communications, the panel featured:
- Lydi Morgan Bernal, Coordinator, Hawai‘i Farm to School & School Garden Hui
- Jason Brand, President, Brand Industrial Group Inc.
- Russell Hata, Chairman and CEO, Y. Hata & Co., Ltd.
- Sean Tajima, Complex Area Superintendent, HIDOE
Episode 15: Regenerative Agriculture
Thursday, July 29, 2021
We hosted our 15th EAT THINK DRINK (ETD) event with a focus on Regenerative Agriculture on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at Prince Waikiki. For this event, the ETD event series returned to a live, in-person format to hear from keynote speaker Wayne Wade, President of SumaGrow® – an award-winning product used in regenerative agricultural practices.
SumaGrow® is made from a combination of carefully selected microorganisms proven to promote rich, fertile soil and work with the plant to supply the nutrients it needs, when it needs them. Standard land use and conventional farming practices have compromised soil quality, diminished nutrition, and indicated loss of important trace minerals in our food supply. However, regenerative farming practices and the use of SumaGrow® can improve soil health for producing high quality, nutrient dense food, lead to productive farms, and generate healthy communities and economies.
Wade’s keynote presentation was followed by a panel discussion on how and where regenerative agriculture is currently being implemented in Hawai‘i. The panel discussion was moderated by Kainoa Carlson of Hawaii News Now and featured:
• McCabe Cox, Chief of Operations, Clean Energy Solutions Pacific
• Hannah Hubanks, Conservation Specialist, Oahu Resource Conservation & Development
• David Wong, Owner, Mountain View Farms
Episode 14: High Pressure Processing – Innovation & Value-Add
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
HPP – also known as high pressure pascalization or cold pasteurization, is a non-thermal food and beverage preservation method that guarantees food safety and achieves an increased shelf life, while maintaining the optimum attributes of fresh products.
Although U.S. food and beverage manufacturers have had HPP technology commercially available for more than 20 years, it is currently not yet available in Hawai‘i. For this special event, keynote speaker Jorge Coll, Business Development executive from Hiperbaric presented on HPP and the versatility of the technology. Since 1999, the company has been the international leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of HPP industrial equipment for food and beverages, spanning across five continents.
In a discussion moderated by Meli James, Cofounder of Mana Up, hear from our panel of speakers representing a cross section of local producers and government on the benefits of having an HPP facility in the state, and the opportunities to diversify and continue expanding our agricultural industry to support our local economy by promoting Hawai‘i-made products with local ingredients. Panelists include:
- Senator Donovan Dela Cruz, Hawaii State Senate
- Stacy Ferreira, Budget Chief, Hawaii State Senate
- Loren Shoop, Owner & President of ‘Ulu Mana Inc.
- Ethan West, Co-Founder & President of Punahele Provisions
Episode 13: Reimagining Tourism 2021 – Sustaining Our Future
Tuesday, January 12, 2021
For this special episode of EAT THINK DRINK, we partnered with Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association (HLTA) to discuss opportunities to rebuild and innovate our tourism industry to restore our local economy.
HLTA President & CEO, former City & County of Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, will open the discussion with his remarks on the far-reaching effects of tourism and the outlook for the state’s top industry going forward. He will introduce economist Paul Brewbaker, Principal of TZ Economics, to provide a contextual frame of reference on the economy and deliver relevant statewide statistics. Senator Glenn Wakai, Senate Chairman of the Energy, Economic Development and Tourism Committee, will moderate a panel discussion to discuss the future of tourism in Hawai‘i and how we can sustain our economy. The panel will feature:
- Daniel Chun, Director of Sales, Community & Public Relations – Hawai’i
- Lynette Eastman, General Manager of The Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club
- John Morgan, President of Kualoa Ranch, Inc.
- Paul Yonamine, Executive Chairman of Central Pacific Bank and Chairman & CEO of Central Pacific Financial Corporation
Episode 12: Open for Business Series – Female Power During COVID-19
Wednesday, October 14, 2020
For this episode, we partnered with Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i to share the stories of a female business owners in Hawai‘i and how they’ve been affected by COVID-19.
Sherry Menor-McNamara, CEO of Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i opened the discussion and introduced Lesley Gabrielle Harvey, President of the Hawai‘i Economic Association, who presented statistics on how women-owned business have been impacted and set the stage for our attendees to hear first-hand from Hawai‘i’s powerful female business owners who have been affected by the global pandemic.
Moderator Kanoe Gibson, host of HI Now on Hawai‘i News Now, spoke to our panel of female business owners as they shared their powerful stories on how they’re navigating these challenging times, what they need to survive, how they are pivoting and explored creative solutions, community partnerships and new strategies.
- Summer Chong MD, Oahu Dermatology
- Bernice Delos Reyes, Co-Owner, The Mango Tree Fitness and Martial Arts
- Deidre Harvie, Owner, Owner, Zoe Lash Pro
- Jan Hori, Co-Owner and Co-Founder, Hawaiian Pie Company
- Summer Shiigi, Owner and Designer, TEN TOMORROW
- Gayla Young, Owner and Founder, Pipeline Bake Shop
Episode 11: Open for Business Series – The New Normal For Restaurants
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Economist Paul Brewbaker presented real up-to-date analytics and data on the effects of COVID-19 on our economy and our local restaurant industry. In the panel discussion moderated by Kelly Simek of KHON2, we heared first-hand from business owners affected in the restaurant and bar industries about how they are handling the pandemic and what they feel they need to survive. We also explored creative solutions that have been implemented to help provide relief and solutions to this pandemic which has prevented social gatherings and close personal contact.
- Dylan Ching, Vice President of Operations, TS Restaurants
- Kevin Hanney, Chef/Owner, 12th Ave Grill
- Jason Higa, Chief Executive Officer, FCH Enterprises
- Gavin Onishi, Executive Chef, Contemporary Flavors Catering
- Lee Anne Wong, Executive Chef, Papa‘aina at the Pioneer Inn
- Chad Yang, Owner, Hula Hulas
- Henry Yoon, Founding Partner, DB Restaurant Group
Episode 10: Food Supply Disruptions – COVID-19
Thursday, June 18, 2020
In this special online event, Ron Mizutani, president and CEO of Hawaii Foodbank joins Denise Yamaguchi, executive director of HAF, to moderate a panel discussion with key players in Hawai‘i’s food industry to discuss disruption in our local food supply as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Chad Buck, Owner & Chief Executive Officer, Hawaii Foodservice Alliance
- Eric Kingma, Executive Director, Hawaii Longline Association
- Tom Jones, Chairman, Hawaii Restaurant Association
- Brian Miyamoto, Executive Director, Hawaii Farm Bureau
- Jason Wong, President, Sysco Hawaii
- Lauren Zirbel, Executive Director, Hawaii Food Industry Association
Making Waves – BlueNalu and the Future of Food
Monday, November 4, 2019
In 2017, Lou Cooperhouse spoke at EAT THINK DRINK and provided an overview of the transformative changes that are occurring in the food industry, and innovations that he predicted for the coming decades. Lou spoke about the tremendous opportunities are on the horizon with alternative protein products, and focused particularly on one category, which he called “cellular aquaculture”. This event became the launch and the birthplace of a transformative new company called BlueNalu, which represented a new “wave” of thinking and innovation, and resulted in the largest seed round fundraising, globally, in this new category of cell-based foods. Lou co-founded BlueNalu, and organized a team of experts to develop healthy, safe and sustainable cell-based seafood made directly from real fish cells.
On Monday, November 4 at the ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, EAT THINK DRINK: Making Waves – BlueNalu & the Future of Food explored how science and innovation can provide solutions through sustainable practices in our food supply and provide solutions to what we grow and eat.
Episode 8: Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine – How it Shaped Hawaii’s Agricultural Landscape and Will Continue to Shape Our Future
Thursday, July 18, 2019
In 1991, Shep Gordon, Roger Verge and Dean Fearing helped launch the Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine Movement. The movement started with 12 chefs committing to support local farmers by using the finest locally grown ingredients on their menus. It was an important new movement in diversified agriculture in Hawaii, one that truly reflected Hawaii’s island culture. Farmers and chefs were talking about what they needed to do to support one another, in ways that would ultimately elevate the local culinary talent and Hawaii’s food scene.
On Thursday, July 18 at ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, EAT THINK DRINK: Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine – The Evolution of Agriculture in Hawaii brought together thought-leaders in the agricultural and food industry to share their thoughts on how the collaboration between farmers and chefs changed and continues to fire the fuel on how we eat and what we grow.
Episode 7: Fishing for Answers – Wild & Farmed
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Fish to your plate: how does your seafood get there? The two primary methods of getting fish onto your plate. Fish are either wild caught or farm raised. And, there is much debate about whether farmed raised fish or wild caught fish is better for you and for the environment.
On Thursday, March 28, 2019 at ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, EAT THINK DRINK: Fishing for Answers – Wild & Farmed brought together thought-leaders in the fishing industry to share their methods of catch, farm practices, and other approaches to help consumers learn more about their seafood choices.
Episode 6: Scaling Up–Small Farm to Big Farm
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Scaling Up—Small Farm to Big Farm featured keynote speaker Eric Pond, co-owner of Greenleaf Farm Management in Oregon, and panelists Fred Lau from Mari’s Gardens, Dana Shapiro from Hawaiʻi ʻUlu Cooperative, and Janel Yanamoto from GoFarm Hawaiʻi, and was moderated by Kamuela Enos from MAʻO Organic Farms.
Following a fascinating hour of conversation on what farming and ag businesses need to scale up and expand their business operations, guests continued the dialogue and networked on the pool deck at Swell Bar while enjoying delectably crafted dishes by Morimoto Asia and Momosan in Waikiki, 12th Ave Grill, Poke Stop, ’Alohilani Resort, and La Tour Café, plus a selection of wine and craft beer from Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.
Episode 5: The Future of Food & Friendships
How Government, Business, & Community Can Work Together
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Hawaiʻi is a grower’s paradise, boasting nutrient-rich soil, a consistent year-round climate and an extensive history in self-sustainable farming. On Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at THE MODERN HONOLULU, EAT THINK DRINK: The Future of Food & Friendships brought leading minds together to spark a conversation on the unparalleled opportunity the next generation has to revive our islands’ food independence.
Key leaders in government, business and our community shared how they are working together to help bring progressive change to our agriculture industry. This inspiring panel provided insight on groundbreaking collaborations that are supporting new agricultural food hubs, innovation centers, processing facilities, etc. throughout the state.
Keynote Speaker Senator Donavan Dela Cruz kicked off the evening by giving an insider’s look at the vision behind the Whitmore Project, an active and comprehensive plan to revitalize Central Oʻahu’s agricultural landscape and economic footprint.
Episode 4: Healthy People, Healthy Planet
Monday, January 29, 2018
As one of the most isolated archipelagos in the world, Hawaiʻi must work hard to protect and preserve its fragile ecosystems and limited natural resources. However, as today’s consumer society continues to place emphasis on convenience, our Islands’ environment and communities are becoming more and more at-risk.
On Monday, January 29, from 6-9 p.m. at THE MODERN HONOLULU, EAT THINK DRINK: Healthy People, Healthy Planet presented by Hawaiian Airlines gathered innovative minds to lead a conversation on the symbiotic relationship between wellness and sustainability. The evening was kicked with an inspiring talk by Keynote Speaker Peggy Liu, chairperson of JUCCCE, an internationally-recognized nonprofit dedicated to building a greener China, and one of the world’s leading minds in sustainability and cross-cultural collaboration. Afterward, the conversation was moderated by Kimi Werner, a U.S. National Spearfishing Champion, a globally-renowned advocate for sustainable food systems and an ambassador of Patagonia Provisions. Featured panellists included Kim Johnson of the Kōkua Hawaiʻi Foundation and Noelani Kalipi of the Kohala Institute.
Featured chefs included Keith Pajinag of Ravish Honolulu at THE MODERN HONOLULU, Eric Oto of Hoku’s at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Lawrence Nakamoto of Mariposa’s at Neiman Marcus and Troy Terorotua of BREW’d.
Click here to watch the full panel presentation. (COMING SOON)
Episode 3: Show Me The Green
Monday, August 28, 2017
An inspiring group of prominent restaurateurs and investment experts joined forces to uncover what it takes to transform a local value-added product into the next big “Made in Hawaiʻi” food project. On Monday, Aug. 28 from 6 to 9 p.m. at THE MODERN HONOLULU, the Hawaiʻi Agricultural Foundation hosted five industry leaders and six of Honolulu’s hottest eateries for the third EAT THINK DRINK presented by Hawaiian Airlines, themed Show Me the Green–How to Access Capital and Move Your Project from Seed to Shelf.
Show Me the Green started with a thought-provoking, TED-style talk delivered by Keynote Speaker Lou Cooperhouse, executive director of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center and globally-renowned pioneer in food business innovation, incubation, acceleration and industry cluster formation. Afterward, a curated mix of business leaders contributed to a multifaceted conversation on food innovation and what makes a small product made with a locally grown or raised crop appear worthy to national investors. The panel was moderated by Meli James of the Hawaiʻi Venture Capital Association and include Kyle Datta of Ulupono Initiative, Greg Leong of Arocrest Company and Nancy Enos of Foodland Super Market.
At the conclusion of the panel discussion, guests engaged in continued fellowship over an interactive dine-around featuring six notable tastemakers, including Keaka Lee of The Pig & The Lady, Jason Schoonover of 12th Ave Grill, Kevin Lee of PAI Honolulu, Keith Pajinag of Ravish Honolulu, Michelle Karr-Ueoka of MW Restaurant and Lyndsey Simone of Roy’s Hawaii Kai.
Click here to watch the full panel presentation. (COMING SOON)
Episode 2: School Lunch
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
In April 2017, hundreds of local consumers in conversation and farm-fresh cuisine at the second EAT THINK DRINK presented by Hawaiian Airlines. “School Lunch – Hawai‘i’s Farm to School Initiative” brought thought leaders and policy makers in agriculture together to share their knowledge, experience and views on food and education as they examine meals served in school cafeterias.
School Lunch was lead by keynote speaker was Ann Cooper, a celebrated author, chef, educator and prominent national advocate for better school lunch programs. In addition to Cooper, a panel of local and national advocates working to increase the amount of locally-sourced food on school lunch plates took the stage. Featured speakers were Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui, Dexter Kishida of the Hawaiʻi Department of Education’s Food Services, JuliAnna Arnett of the USDA Farm to School Program and Greg Christian of Beyond Green Sustainable Food Partners.
After the panel discussion, guests had the chance to enjoy what an ideal school lunch would look like in the hands of four Hawaiʻi-based chefs: Ronnie Nasuti of Tiki’s Grill and Bar, Keith Pajinag of THE MODERN HONOLULU, Matt Young of Hula Grill and Randy Bangloy of Eating House 1849 at Kapolei Commons.
Episode 1: Dirt To Plate
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
More than 280 persons spent election night discussing the opportunities and challenges of building a sustainable food system for Hawai‘i with the kickoff of EAT THINK DRINK. Featured speakers include Chef Michel Nischan, the 3-time James Beard award winner and food pioneer behind Wholesome Wave, John Martin of VICE Munchies fame, along with State Senator Donovan Dela Cruz, local farmers Alec Sou and Judah Lum and Wendy Akiyama of Armstrong Produce. EAT THINK DRINK examined building a sustainable food system from the perspective of the next generation of farmers, chefs, food buyers, community leaders and media. Five of Hawaiʻi’s most innovative and inspiring chefs will showcase their ag connections with Dirt to Plate dishes. HAF hopes to continue engaging and empowering communities with EAT THINK DRINK, a series of four events on food, agriculture and change.
Participating chefs included Keith Pajinag of THE MODERN HONOLULU, Brandon Lee of Piggy Smalls, Lance Kosaka of Top of Waikiki, Robynne Maii of Fête and Chris Kajioka of Senia.
Contributions go directly to supporting local farmers, ag education and outreach programs.