It all started with some coffee.
Really. My local coffee spot, ChadLou’s started carrying these beautiful hand made mugs. I’ve posted a few times on Instagram when I go to there, it’s such a cool little joint and the owner has impeccable taste. Like you could shoot a whole lifestyle thing there. Anyway….so through those posts their potter got wind of TCK. He messaged me and asked to meet for coffee, that he would love to give me some bowls/plates for my pictures. Heck yes!
Mark of Kuhn’s Pottery is not just super talented, he’s super nice! Every time I post a picture with this art you all swoon, and for good reason. The famous blue wave bowl, up, that’s one of his! While he’s not only passionate about pottery, Mark is also passionate about food waste. Something I am passionate about too. At home I practice the waste not, want not concept and use all my scraps and left overs. Well Mark and his wife have taken this passion to the next level and now help organize Empty Bowl Hawaii!
Empty Bowl Hawaii is a fantastic charity event where potters come together to make over 3,000 hand made bowls (I KNOW!!!) and restaurants make A LOT of soup. Folks buy tickets to the event, get a bowl, get some soup, party and all the proceeds go to Aloha Harvest, a FOOD RESCUE non profit.
What is food rescue? Well, these folks don’t even have a warehouse. This operation literally works with just a truck. The pick up good food that would otherwise be THROWN OUT but grocery stores or restaurant and deliver it straight to folks in need in the community! AMAZING!
When I was first invited to participate in the event, I was stoked! I had been wanting to do some volunteering and this was right up my alley- you know- feeding people!
I got the official email invite and whoa… TEN GALLONS of soup. I hadn’t realized all the other chefs participating were brick and mortar restaurants and that we needed to bring THAT MUCH SOUP. I panicked a little. Then I called my mom, like I do when I need advice. She’s seasoned restaurant owner and would know what to do. We bounced ideas back and forth and settled on a chilled soup. My biggest hurtle would be my lack of commercial equipment, chaffing dishes, large stock pots etc. A cold soup. Boom. With two of those big Gatorade coolers, you know, the orange sports ones. Five gallons each, it would be perfect.
Whole Foods Market To The Rescue
I still needed a little help, gathering ingredients and equipment. Luckily I have an awesome community here. I reached out to Whole Foods Hawaii, and Dabney, their marketing manager was so generous, they donated most of my ingredients! All organic, amazing, Whole Foods Market 365 brand ingredients. Win! I bought a case of avocados from them when they were on sale a month out. Mashed with lemon and froze (way to prep ahead, this was a huge life saver). Then they donated 10lbs of 365 Smokehouse Bacon and over 8 gallons of their 365 Organic Vegetable Broth.
The day of the even went smoother than I could have imagined. Thanks to some MAJOR prep, my Vitamix and the help of my neighbor, gym buddy and partner in crime, Khristen… little ol’ The Castaway Kitchen managed to make, transport, set up and serve TEN GALLONS of Chilled Avocado Crema with Bacon & Chives. It felt great to do catering type work again, and hang with the big boys (some of O’ahu’s best restaurants and talented chefs). I did get a few looks like, “where is that restaurant?” ‘who are they?” haha…. but the folks coming to the event were super nice and my paleo, vegan option, Whole30 compliant soup was well received! It was fun explaining that The Castaway Kitchen is located….(in your dreams… jk)…. ONLINE!
Not to mention… the bowls. Walking into the bowl room, with the thousands of handmade bowls was just so cool. I got to pick one out for myself, of course I choose this one:
It was a lot of work, but I am so glad I did it. Can’t wait for the next opportunity to give back to my community with The Castaway Kitchen. A big thank you to Whole Foods Market Hawaii for donating the ingredients! I could not have done it with out you!
Clean, simple and easy, this 5 ingredient soup is perfect for Spring or Summer. Here is the recipe… don’t worry this only makes 1/2 a gallon, not 10!
- 5 cups roasted vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 4 ripe hass avocado
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- 5 strips crispy bacon
- 1/2 cup micned chives.
- Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Keep chilled until ready to serve.
- Garnish with bacon and chives.