PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / firstname.lastname@example.org
Pickles is the face of Naked Cow Dairy, with dairy owners, sisters Sabrina St. Martin, left, and Monique van der Stroom.
The Sheraton Waikiki hosted the second of its new Table to Farm wine dinner and farm tour series which began with a dinner at the resort’s Edge of Waikiki infinity pool on Dec. 5, and continued the next day with a luxury bus ride to Naked Cow Dairy for a peek into the workings of a boutique dairy and picnic lunch, with insight into how all the yogurt, cheese and milk we enjoyed, got made.
It’s a real hands-on effort that Sheraton Waikiki senior executive sous chef Colin Hazama, who initiated the project, wants more people to see to gain more appreciation of the work farmers do.
Hazama and executive sous chef Brett Villarmia collaborated on the dinner that included such Naked Cow Dairy products as halloumi, buttermilk, labne, honey butter, yogurt, Pika Moon havarti, white truffle morbier, coconut butter, and more. Spanish wines accompanied the meal.
Chefs Colin Hazama and Brett Villarmia down on the farm at Waianae's Naked Cow Dairy & Creamery.
Here’s a look at both farm and table:
Friday night’s meal started with brown butter-seared Naked Cow Dairy halloumi with blistered shishito peppers, toasted almond tahini, Ho Farms tomato jam and a winter salad.
Black cardamom-spiced scallops were topped with chicharrones on a platter dressed with lavender Naked Cow dairy buttermilk, compressed cucumber, and Naked Cow Dairy yogurt.
Garlic and herb-roasted Colorado lamb loin was served with micro-mint Naked Cow Dairy labne, hazelnut dukkah, and pomegranate-pink peppercorn Naked Cow Dairy honey butter.
The cheese course featured Naked Cow Dairy’s Waianae tomme, Pika Moon havarti and white truffle morbier, enhanced by lilikoi kumquat jam, pickled figs and hydroponic cress.
Dessert comprised two offerings: Berries Wild, marinated berries served in a Meyer lemon champagne gelee, accompanied by by Naked Cow Dairy Fromage Blanc panna cotta, and Cookies & Milk, spiced, toasted Naked Cow Dairy coconut butter shortbread for dipping in smoked Hawaiian sea salt caramel leche, plus raspberry pomegranate jam and mac-nut brittle.
On the farm:
The cows know the drill of heading down the path to and from the milking room.
A taste of Naked Cow Dairy products.
During a cooking demonstration on the farm, Brett Villarmia showed how to make tomato soup, finished with labne (strained yogurt) and gunpowder spice mixture including crushed pink peppercorns.
In addition to a pipikaula muffaletta with un-holy Swiss cheese packed in a metal lunch tin, lunch comprised poutine with buttermilk country gravy over a base of cassava fries.
The Table to Farm Series will continue into 2015; each event will be held in partnership with a different farm, including a trek to the Big Island. Reservations are being taken for the next event, when Hazama will partner with Kai Market chef Darren Demaya for a collaboration dinner highlighting produce from Shinsato Farms and Nalo Farms.
Dinner is set for 6 p.m. March 6, 2015, at Edge of Waikiki, followed the farm tour the following day. The collaboration dinner will feature Nalo greens throughout, with main courses of Shinsato Farms head cheese pork tonkatsu, house-cured Shinsato Farms prosciutto, Shinsato Farms juniper-herb rabbit saddle and crispy rabbit leg, Shinsato Farms lechon kewali, and Nalo Farms country shortcake.
Dinner is $103 per person ($133 with wine pairings); dinner and the farm tour is $170 per person ($200 with wine pairings). Prices include transportation to the farms, tax and gratuity. Call (808) 921-4600 or visit flavorsofhawaii.com for reservations.
The hotel also offers a special room rate for Table to Farm guests. Call (808) 921-4610 and request the “FarmTour” rate.
Naked Cow Dairy also hosts its own tours, starting at a basic level for schools, to private parties with wine and cheese tasting (21 and older) for $50 per person, to deluxe butter- and cheese-making classes at $150 per person for a maximum of six. Visit nakedcowdairyhawaii.com
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.