Kaua`i Ranchers Form a Collective Hui and Focus on Sustainable Practices
On the South Shore of Kaua`i, chef Ben Takahashi of Shells Restaurant has announced a new “Kaua`i Farmers Market Special menu” that will change every Thursday and feature sustainable ingredients from the island.
Starting at $32 per plate, the dishes will feature items like all natural, grass-fed Angus beef from A’Akukui Ranch, corn from Kekaha, spring vegetables from Layoen Farms and fresh caught local fish from a number of private fisherman.
The idea came about after a recent employee outing to A’Akukui Ranch, located eight miles from the restaurant’s location in Poipu. The culinary team learned about a rancher’s “hui” (or collective) that Kaua`i producers have organized in order to maintain high levels of quality beef for the residents and visitors to the isle.
One of the seven rancher in the hui, Duane Shimogawa, oversaw the transformation of 1,500 acres of former sugar cane land to grass pasture for the cattle.
“I’ve been in this business all my life,” said Shimogawa. “We take pride in what we do, not only for the health of our cattle and the people who benefit from them, but to preserve the paniolo lifestyle.”
“We take pride in what we do, not only for the health of our cattle and the people who benefit from them, but to preserve the paniolo lifestyle.” —Shimogawa