When we started planning our adventures in Oahu, we knew we wanted to visit a local farm to experience cooking with the island produce. What we could have never anticipated is that just across the street from our North Shore rental was an organic garden abundant in produce and flowers, offering up everything we could ever need to make a healthy and flavorful meal.
Past the Lei garden and onto the squash patch, through the root vegetables and past the towering okra, Meleana (pictured below with Stui) and her mother gave us a tour of Waihuena Farm, their family and community run garden which serves up a fresh, weekly harvest of vibrant produce. To me, family life doesn’t get more perfect than on Oahu’s North Shore.
With the notion of time only mildly of concern, a backdrop of endless green, and barefoot babies, you can’t help but get the impression that, yeah, these people are doing it right.
We snagged what looked good to us as we browsed through the gardens. Meanwhile, Mele gathered some of her favorite tropical leaves and flowers, and bunched them into individual arrangements for us to take back to the beach house. It’s amazing how easily a dinner party can come together when you simply draw inspiration directly from your environment.
Back at the house — literally across the street! — I got to work setting our table. The perfect little green beach house is situated directly in front of the world famous pipeline, which meant that from sunrise to sundown, we had an amazing display of surfing talent (and some epic wipeouts!) to keep us entertained. The large deck and open concept made this the perfect place to host our dinner, and once we learned that the home had been in Meleana’s family for decades, it was hard to ignore its rich character and history.
Everything you see on the table was sourced from inside the home. It just doesn’t get more “classically Hawaiian” than this gem! Meleana’s place made it easier than ever to set a beautiful table.
To kick off the evening, Meleana introduced us to her friend Jenny, who joined us to make this delicious Sea Bird cocktail. She was kind enough to share the recipe with us, which you can find right here!
Chef Billy came over from Waihuena Farm (where he lives and works as a farmer) to guide us in cooking up our plant based dinner — Vegan Poke! We were skeptics, too, but believe us when we say that this fish-free dish was just as flavorful and satisfying as the classic! Learn how to make your own here!
Not pictured: a post-dinner bonfire on the beach and our late night dance party. The incredible food and dreamy setting came together for our favorite night of the trip and a magical way to say goodbye to the island.