Published on October 16 2012.
Town, Honolulu, USA
Ed’s culinary light bulb moment came while slurping pho on a Hanoi street corner when he realised that “food is the unifying fabric of humanity, bringing people together, connecting us to the earth and to each other”. His Honolulu restaurant Town reflects both this philosophy and his ‘local, organic and aloha’ mantra while his knowledge of imu is tied to family and tradition.
Visit thanks to Huxtable
Q. Who did you learn to cook from?
A. The question is not ‘who’ but ‘why’… My mom taught me at a young age that the spirit of Aloha lives in the food that we prepare and share. She’s also the best cook I know.
Q. What grows in your backyard?
A. Papaya, Mango, Macadamia Nuts, Passionfruit (Lilikoi), Mountain Apple, Chili Peppers, Arugula, Sweet Potato, Herbs, Fennel, Broccoli, Mesculun. Beans
Q. Name the one ingredient you can't live without and how you would cook it?
A. Noodles of all ethnicities are ‘hands down’ my favourite food. Does that make flour my favourite ingredient? If so, I’d make noodles with it. Actually, I don’t really have a favourite single ingredient to cook with. I love all fresh vegetables, can’t live without pork and think there’s nothing like Hawaiian fish.
Q. What's your favourite dish right now?
A. Pa’i ai with flatiron steak, tomato and watercress. Pa’I ai is hand-pounded taro, a truly indigenous food. Combining it with beef is inspired by my mom’s favourite local dish ‘fish and poi’. The cattle are pasture-raised by Michelle Galimba, an old classmate and friend, on the Big Island. The watercress is grown utilising cutting edge aquaponic technology less than a mile from the restaurant and WOW farm tomatoes rock!
Q. What do you do when you're not in the kitchen cooking?
A. Spend as much time as possible with my family and enjoying the ocean and natural world.
Q. No 1 cooking tip for the amateur cook?
A. Eat! Eat a lot!
Q. What are you looking forward to experiencing while in Melbourne?
A. Connecting and forging friendships with like-minded folks that see food as a vehicle to make this world a better place!