This is one of the dishes we will be doing at Blackberry Farms next week when we go back for our second visit. Okolehao is made in Maui, from the ti plant root and long ago was the local moonshine. Today it is distilled legally. Literally, it means "iron bottom." It was made by the locals, drunk by the locals, given to sailors or used as fuel. Wow. Tennessee is close to West Virginia, where I spent a couple of years myself at The Greenbrier doing my apprenticeship. I remember having some local distillations while there. Using Okolehao always makes me think of moonshine and my time in West Virginia. We will be bringing a couple of bottles with us to Blackberry Farm in Tennessee to make this scallop dish. When you eat this, it warms you slowly, as the tiniest amount of okolehao is in the relish. What is really pleasant is the vanilla aroma coming from the okolehao. The scallop is paired with Kabu, a turnip, and green onion yuzu miso.
At Blackberry Farm, we will be doing a demo and a dinner called "Continental Exchange." We will be bringing locally produced Hawaii product with us to share and talk story with including coffees from every island, li hing mui, Dick Threlfall's goat cheeses, Hawaiian fish, opihi, poke, kimchi, and Hanaoka Farms lilikoi. Their chef, Josh Feathers, will be coming to Hawaii a couple of weeks later as a guest chef for the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival coming up in early September. This really will be a Continental Exchange, and an exciting time for Hawaii to have such great chefs, like Josh Feathers, in town.