tv Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa NBC November 27, 2016 5:30am-6:01am PST
robert handa: hello, and welcome to "asian pacific america." i'm robert handa, your host for our show here on nbc bay area and cozy tv. thank you for joining us on this holiday weekend show. we hope you are enjoying the holidays and we hope our show adds to it, because we have some very interesting, original segments in store for you, a sort of island holiday treat. hawaii takes center stage on our show today. first, we present a look at hawaiian history and a look at the population, industry, and culture that make the islands such an important and special place. then, a very special catch for all of our viewers. tom muromoto's spear fishing and making poke on the beach. tom has some special skills you'll definitely wanna see.
in fact, it's the perfect way to move on to popular hawaiian food and wines through the special festival extravaganza put on by expert chefs in hawaii. "asian pacific america" was there and we'll give you a very close-up look. then, a segment on the art and history of lei making. you will probably see this before and have even worn one at many special events, but we'll give you some insight into why it's such a bit part of the hawaiian culture. then, we wrap up our show with our traditional artistic and cultural performance. island dance is a return visit from the na lei hula i ka wekiu, the group we have featured on our show before, and one that delivers a great show and some historical perspective. well, asian and pacific island immigrants dominate the islands of hawaii. they make up about two-thirds of the population. what caused their migration and how did it happen? agriculture, the work force, and interracial marriage helped create the hawaii we know today, and as many of us know, it is really the only place outside asia where the asian
culture is so dominant in many ways, from population, food, and even language. here's a look at that history. female narrator: the transformation of ancient hawaii into the beginnings of a formal society may have happened in as little as 30 years, according to evidence from 400-year-old temples on the island of maui. there were three important migrations to the hawaiian islands, beginning around 700 a.d. by the polynesians who reached hawaii in large, double-hulled canoes. female: our ancestors sailed the vast pacific ocean navigating only by the stars, by the wind, and by the ocean current. alan wong: the second, i call 'em the tall ships, the missionaries came, they tried to change the religion here in hawaii, and on the tall ships had the wailers, you had explorers, and on one ship somebody brought sugarcane, then somebody brought pineapple. narrator: the missionaries established schools,
developed the hawaiian alphabet, and used it for translating the bible into hawaiian. when famed explorer, captain james cook, visited the islands, the members of this expedition describe the indigenous population as abundant, handsome, and healthy. when cook departed, he left behind a gift of a goat, ewes, two pigs, and seeds. the hawaiians understood farming and experimented with growing these crops. alan: also on the ship came, you know, disease. and so, over about two-thirds of the hawaiian population died. and so, when the plantation owners had their workers die, they had to go somewhere to look for workers, and they went to china first. narrator: the greatest influx of chinese arrived as contract laborers. they were a plentiful and cheap labor force. the chinese plantation workers created societies to provide support. the wo hing social hall, temple, and cookhouse was built in chinatown in historic lahaina. it also provided mutual aid, friendship, and funeral benefits
upon death. it was vital in acclimating thousands of chinese to their new homes in maui. alan: then the japanese came, the koreans, okinawans, and finally the filipinos came. darren strand: when you ask somebody about their heritage, it's very common for them to say, "oh, my grandma and grandpa came here to work on the sugar plantation," "came here to work on the pineapple plantation." narrator: these issei immigrants became the first generation working for low wages in the sugar and pineapple fields. even in the midst of poverty, a sense of community, a sense of pride, and permanency emerged. picture-bride marriages were arranged so as to perpetuate the traditional japanese family. thousands of women bravely crossed an ocean to marry husbands they had never met. cory shishido: so, my uncle is the farmer, and then so his grandpa moved here from japan to work in the
plantations, and then, you know, saved up money, brought his wife over, decided to grow pineapple. darren: workers were hand-harvesting everything. putting 'em into basically gunny sacks, transferring them over to the roads, horse-operated trailers. makalapua kanuha: each plantation had different camps, so you would have a filipino camp, you would have a japanese camp, a hawaiian camp, all those camps became one during the plantation era. everyone came, settled, you had a lot of inter-marriages. that's the ultimate fusion of many different ethnics, and the asian, chinese, and japanese immigrants. alan: people really don't understand that. hawaii was born out of agriculture, out of the plantation. most of them came here for a better life. you know, $6 a month was a big paycheck back then, and the chinese men stayed, the japanese stayed, they became the merchants, restaurant
owners, barbershop, laundry, you know, all that kinda stuff. that's how hawaii grew. narrator: although the conditions on the plantations made it difficult for the contract workers to get out of debt, some returned to their homeland while others chose to stay. these immigrants forever changed the food, customs, and language. together, they created a new culture and spirituality. today, all those influences flourish in the hawaii regional cuisine we know today. robert: so interesting. well, now that we have that overview, let's take a closer look at some of the unique cultural characteristics. we will start with a very unique trip with chef tom muromoto for an early-morning spear-fishing expedition and a demonstration of making hawaiian-style poke on the beach. a big treat coming your way, next.
robert: when polynesian seafarers arrived on the hawaiian islands around 400 a.d., there was an abundance of seafood but few edible plants. in this segment, we meet tom muromoto, the executive chef of the ka'anapali beach hotel who will share his memories of a multi-cultural childhood growing up in hawaii, and how that diversity influenced his culinary creations. we'll also learn the secrets to making poke beachside, using local poholy fern, ogal seaweed, and fresh-caught fish. you can't get any fresher than this. [music] female narrator: it's early in the morning when we met tom at ka'anapali beach, a native of oahu, hawaii. he's grown up on the beach, and in the kitchen. tom enters the ocean with a fishing spear in hand. after about 15 minutes, he surfaces with his catch of the
day. tom muromoto: i love the water. i do a lot of diving, fishing, love fishing. grew up picking up lobsters, fish, and spear fishing. narrator: like so many locals in hawaii, he's also a blend of different ethnicities. tom: my dad is second-generation japanese. my grandmother and grandparents never spoke english, but we managed somehow to get along. and then my dad met my mom, who's actually of swedish/polish ancestry, and she came from minnesota to hawaii and lived here. you know, they kind of learned the culture here in hawaii, the japanese culture. tom: one of the most important things we did was cook. we just learned how to make all different kind of ocean foods and stuff. started to use flavors that i grew up with. tom: i'm making a poke today, so--and again, straight out of the water, straight onto the table. here i am cutting the fish
that i just caught. i'm actually gonna clean it and i'm gonna fillet the fish, take all the bones out, take the little belly lining out, take the skin off, and finish cutting this up. we have our ingredients right here. we're just making our poke dish. gonna add some scallions, some maui onions, fresh maui onions, we're gonna add some pohole, this is a fiddlehead fern. we're gonna add some chopped ogo, seaweed, and we do a little ginger. i only need a little. chop it up real fine just to get that ginger flavor. a little hawaiian salt, and we're gonna put some avocados in
there. a little wasabi oil, then we're gonna add some soy and we're gonna squeeze some lemon into it, lemon juice, okay. on the beach poke made fresh, straight out of the water, into the bowl, and right onto the beach. this is the kona kampachi, this is the poke that i made. now i'm--you gotta eat the --you gotta use your fingers and get all the flavors in. and, you know, this cooking on the beach is the greatest. you know, with all your friends and family, you're sitting down on the beach on a hot day, and just enjoying a picnic and a potluck party, and everybody brings food, you know. and it's great. and look at this ocean, how beautiful it is, you know. what's better than having a beach party?
eating local foods. robert, this is for you, fresh from ka'anapali beach hotel. robert: well, thank you. just another reason to wanna go to the islands. and we also wanna thank janelle wang as well as lance lu and glen iomora for all their work on those segments. when we come back, a look at the ingredients that make the hawaii food and wine festival such a big event. that's next, so stay with us.
who says i shouldn't havmy doctor.very day? my dentist. definitely my wife. hey wait. we have better bubbles. make sparkling water at home and drink 43% more water every day. sodastream. love your water. at the marine mammal center, the environment is everything. we want to do our very best for each and every animal, and we want to operate a sustainable facility.
and pg&e has been a partner helping us to achieve that. we've helped the marine mammal center go solar, install electric vehicle charging stations, and become more energy efficient. pg&e has allowed us to be the most sustainable organization we can be. any time you help a customer, it's a really good feeling. it's especially so when it's a customer that's doing such good and important work for the environment. together, we're building a better california. robert: it has been 25 years since famed chefs roy yamaguchi and alan wong developed and created hawaii regional cuisine which addressed farm and ocean to table sustainability along with blending the best of multi-cultural influences. today, that all lives on at the hawaii food and wine festival, a three-island, locally-sourced food extravaganza that benefits community college culinary programs at premier ocean-front
properties. take a look at an event that helps promote hawaii as a popular vacation destination. [music] male: hawaii was born out of agriculture, out of the plantation, the immigrants. male: my grandfather ended up settling here, working on the plantation. he actually opened a restaurant to feed plantation workers. narrator: bridging the past and the future, hawaii regional cuisine developed through basic needs to feed the body with respect for the land and ocean. the soul was fed by honoring the ethnic influences brought by its immigrant groups. through the concept of sustainability, forward-looking progressive chefs say they can benefit the next generation. roy yamaguchi: dean okimoto was actually one of the founding farmers who really got involved with, you know, sustainability in hawaii. and we would have this annual event where we raised money for the farm bureau, you know, getting more people to understand about the agriculture and what they have to go
through. and one day i said to dean, "they should really consider doing something larger than just having this event with ellen and i, and you know, some other chefs in hawaii." getting the state involved, getting more people involved, and having this great event that benefits the people of hawaii. we can invite a lot of great chefs, they can come to hawaii and become our culinary ambassadors, and spread what we're doing here in hawaii to the rest of the world. one of our missions from the very, very beginning was to incorporate all the different type of industries to make this festival. narrator: now, 25 years later, roy and alan's vision of today's hawaii food and wine festival, reflects the original mission of what hawaii regional cuisine is all about. roy: now, this food festival is the next culinary movement for the state of hawaii. not only did we get farmers and chefs to come together for the hawaii regional chefs movement,
but now we have the visitor industry, we have the hospitality industry, and we're getting ranchers, and farmers, and fishermen, and, you know, the restaurant industry, and the hospitality industry, everybody to come together to give back to our communities. narrator: hawaii food and wine festival supports and promotes the expansion of hawaii regional cuisine, not just with roy and alan, they lead a new generation of local and international chefs along with culinary students from the island's community college. roy: this is our fifth year, and we started out with about forty chefs our first year, and this year we have over a hundred. we have about 120 chefs, i believe, that are participating in our events from all over the country, and from, you know, other countries. and we need to make sure that the chefs that we invite are world-class. narrator: the hawaii food and wine festival is a three-day culinary event on oahu, maui, and hawaii's big island. reflecting the beauty and taste of what is unique to hawaii
regional cuisine and changes with each location as products are locally sourced. alan wong: you know, we're real proud of hawaii, and so what this festival does is, it puts the spotlight onto hawaii. narrator: kicking off the fifth year, the hawaii food and wine festival at ka'anapali beach resorts in maui, is the roy yamaguchi golf tournament, and the farmer's market at hula's grill on the beach. later that evening, at the sheraton maui resort, eight chefs from across the country serve up small bites for a casual grazing even on the black rock lawn. a classic ka'anapali sunset is the perfect backdrop. the food showcases the bounty of maui's locally-grown, raised, and caught products. the bay area is well represented, from san francisco, nancy oakes, chef and owner of boulevard in san francisco. stephen durfee, cia in st. helena, and local chefs gregory gaspar and colin hazama to name a few alan: we gotta work together so that we can create a more
sustainable hawaii. narrator: the culinary conclusion is the hawaiian airlines legend of shep gordon at the maui regency resort. a world-class event, it brings together local food and farmers to promote maui's unique and diverse culture in one spectacular meal. six chefs create a stunning six-course dinner, and they plate each dish on stage for all to see. alan: we both and we all want to, you know, leave this place better than when we first got into it. narrator: the groundbreaking chefs know for sure, as the sun sets in the west and tropical trade winds prevail, their legacy will be carried on by the next wave of chefs. eventually, their kitchens will create masterful reasons to sit, and talk, and enjoy. and this new wave, like every seventh wave, will be a little different, but always rich with history and fusion of cultures that are hawaii regional cuisine. robert: well, the next festival will take place in october next year. we will have more details
on that coming up. when we come back, a double treat. the making and history of the hawaiian lei, and a hula performance, so stay with us. -lois pricese. [ifrom grocery outlet. - hi, it's... the rest of us! - hey there. - hi! - hey. loifor over 60 years now, grocery outlet has been selling the brands you know and love, for up to 60% less than what you'd pay at traditional grocery stores. - and check this out. lois: we've got meats and produce, naturals and organics, at prices that'll make you wanna sing.
a chance to wear one. a flower lei welcomes you to hawaii, and tossing it back in the ocean guarantees you will come back again. take a look. female: thank you. female: you're welcome. female: it's beautiful. female: thank you. narrator: the lei custom was introduced to the hawaiian islands by early polynesian voyagers. leis were constructed of leaves, flowers, seeds, nuts, shells, even bone and teeth of various animals. in hawaiian tradition, these garlands were worn by ancient hawaiians to beautify and distinguish themselves from others. the tea-leaf lei is significant as it provided protection and for medicinal use. malihini keahi-heath: our tutu always raised us to have a little piece of tea leaf on us. and that was to protect our travel.
narrator: with the advent of tourism in the island, millions of visitors worldwide. during the boat days of the early 1900s, lei vendors lined the pier at aloha tower to welcome malahini, visitors, to the islands, and kamaaina, locals, back home. malihini: the significance of a lei symbolizes a circle of love or an unending friendship. narrator: it is said that departing visitors would throw their lei into the sea as the ship passed diamondhead in the hopes that, like the lei, they too would return to the islands again someday. robert: i better be careful, i sometimes save mine to keep them around for a while. mahalo to the ka'anapali resort association for all their help. the next hawaii food and wine festival is expected to take place on the islands of hawaii, oahu, maui, october 14 through the 31, 2016. we will keep you posted
as those dates come up. and before we wrap up our show with hawaiian dancing, we wanna thank all the people who helped us with our special holiday weekend show. check us out on nbcbayarea.com, and we're also on social media, facebook and twitter, so give us your feedback, we'd love to hear from you. and we were happy to present the na lei hula i ka wekiu on our show before. the dancers are part of a special dance company that presents hula as a full theatrical experience, blending traditional and contemporary forms. you can see them in performances throughout the bay area and california, and their home season performances at the palace of fine arts in san francisco in october. and they put on quite a show for us in our studio. enjoy, aloha, and happy holidays. [music] [speaking in foreign language]
[speaking in foreign language] female: deep beneath the surface, finally coming upon the elusive fish, seducing him with her dance, she asked to see his mighty teeth. flattered, the ulua opened his mouth wide. the--thrusting hook teeth within its jaw. [music] [speaking in foreign language] [speaking in foreign language]
keeping the power lines clear,my job to protect public safety, while also protecting the environment. the natural world is a beautiful thing, the work that we do helps us protect it. public education is definitely a big part of our job, to teach our customers about the best type of trees to plant around the power lines. we want to keep the power on for our customers. we want to keep our community safe. this is our community, this is where we live. we need to make sure that we have a beautiful place for our children to live. together, we're building a better california.