The morning started off trying to make something with Makaha mangoes, beautiful Hayden mangoes grown out on the western coast near Waianae where it is hot and arid. I remember eating mangoes with simple pickled red jalapenos last summer. I thought it was a great simple combination. So we set out trying to make this vinaigrette combining our pickled peppers with a garlic black pepper oil recipe that we just started to make. It didn’t do it for me, and then I realized two things – was the pickled red jalapeno recipe the same one, or was it that it was winter time in Hawaii and the days are shorter, so there isn’t as much sunlight and heat for the mango to turn really sweet like last summer? First of all, it is unusual to have mangoes in February. Usually they are great and abundant during the summer months. So, we shifted gears by turning crab meat into the star, and we made the mango a garnish.
I tried to teach our cooks that this is a presentation in a restaurant of a certain kind. This is definitely not a dish you can make two or three hundred of a night. You need to make the presentation something that can be executed for the situation you are in. As far as the talent level, it is different in Honolulu versus Maui or Kauai, or like NYC versus Greenbow, Alabama. We spent a lot of time today talking about how we treat externs, about teaching people, and about affecting one person positively and creating that kind of culture.
Tomorrow we have planned a trip to Otsuji Farms where we will continue to learn about what’s out there.