Hawaiʻi Agricultural Foundation cookbook offers easy, delicious recipes from Hawaiʻi’s top chefs to learn about local food


Students participating in the Hawaiʻi Agricultural Foundation’s (HAF) K-12 agricultural education programs will get to experience a Keiki in the Kitchen with Mika the Sous Chef book tour beginning this holiday season! Written by HAF executive director Denise Yamaguchi and illustrated by Mark C.L. Ching of Digital Illustrations, Keiki in the Kitchen with Mika the Sous Chef features 39 recipes from chefs who participate in HAF’s Localicious Hawaiʻi campaign and features at least one locally grown, caught or raised ingredient. Localicious Hawaiʻi is an annual public awareness campaign of HAF in March, which promotes restaurants who support local agricultural and raises funds for HAF’s K-12 agricultural education programs.

The book tour begins on November 26 at Kipapa Elementary and will include Kalihi Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, Wilcox Elementary School, Pahoa Elementary School and Red Hill Elementary School. All students will receive their own signed copy of the book. Mika the Sous Chef, a Lhasa Apso dog will accompany Ms. Yamaguchi to the schools to meet students.

Keiki in the Kitchen with Mika the Sous Chef brings children on a journey to learn more about where food comes from.” says Denise Yamaguchi. “This cookbook illustrates the importance of supporting local, while also making it healthy, and fun with delicious, colorful recipes from Hawaiʻi’s top chefs.”

Through fun and easy-to-follow recipes, students can gain a sense of appreciation, pride and awareness for the importance of local agriculture and supporting Hawaiʻi’s farmers, ranchers and fisherman. All of the recipes includes a rating of difficulty, and each step is accompanied by photos. The cookbook features 39 keiki-friendly recipes such as Ulu Hash by Chef Mark Noguchi of Pili Group, Furikake Ahi with Soy Vinaigrette by Chef Kelvin Ro of Diamond Head Market & Grill and Kula Strawberry and Frozen Yogurt Mud Pie by Chef Greg Gaspar of Sheraton Maui. Families with dogs can also enjoy recipes for dogs like Salmon Bibimbap with White Rice, Eggs and Spinach by Chef Roy Yamaguchi.

“Developing healthy habits and learning how to cook will serve children for their entire lifetimes,” said Cara Dote, teacher at Kipapa Elementary School. “It’s great to have a variety of resources that we can pull from to instill these types of life lessons and with a local flair.”

Keiki in the Kitchen with Mika the Sous Chef can be ordered online for $19.99 plus tax, shipping and handling at HawaiiAgFoundation.org or can be picked-up at any Roy’s Restaurants ­– Hawaiʻi locations only, Eating House 1849, Humble Market Kitchin, Goen Dining + Bar, and Diamond Head Market & Grill. All proceeds go back to HAF education programs that benefit students in public schools statewide.

The cookbook was also featured at Ronald McDonald House Charities’ (RMHC) annual “Share A Night” gala on November 23 to support RMHC.

The book is supported by the State of Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi Gas, Kaiser Family Foundation and Stephanie C. and Keith K. Horita Foundation of the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation.


About Hawaii Agricultural Foundation

The Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation is a non-profit charitable organization created to promote agriculture and farming. Established in 2007, HAF’s mission is to support and sustain Hawai‘i’s agriculture industry by addressing the critical needs and services of farmers and the industry, by better connecting the farmers with the community and vice-versa. For more information, visit www.hawaiiagfoundation.org.