There’s more than music at the Red Clay Jazz Festival, tomorrow night is the conclusion of this year’s festival. Hundreds of people will spread out on the Kauai Lagoons lawn, which has an ocean view. They’ll be seated in chairs or curled up on blankets, listening to jazz, eating great food and drinking local spirits.
The jazz festival’s main concert begins at 4 p.m. and stars Grammy Award winner Diane Schuur; the nationally acclaimed blues band, Mississippi Heat; and the Kauai group, Swing Shift with Dennis McGraw and David Braun. There’s also a couple of tasty surprises.
Powerhouse Creamery will make its first festival appearance. Owner Sparrow Fontura makes organic ice cream, 100 percent Hawaiian coconut water sorbet and vegan “ice cream.” Normally, they only serve on the North Shore, so this is a chance for others to try their product. There will be about seven flavors, which range from traditional chocolate and vanilla to seasonal fruit-based desserts. You may see ice cream and sorbet flavored with pineapple, soursop or Surinam cherries.
Jason Sessions and his team at Nanea, The Westin Princeville’s premiere restaurant, will serve pork belly and mushroom risotto as well as ahi poke stacks. Sandy Poehnelt of The Right Slice will have her hot, flakey and buttery potpies, which include chicken, shepherd’s and vegetarian. She’ll also serve slices of her fruit-flavored pies, which include mango-lilikoi, lilikoi cheesecake, island lime and chocolate-coconut macaroon.
Michael Sterioff, owner of Passion Bakery & Café, will serve lilikoi cheesecake with curd and two types of Greek pie: spinach and meat. Rey Montemayor, executive sous chef of the Kauai Marriott Resort, will serve Mongolian barbecue with brown rice and roasted vegetable quesadillas with salsa fresca and chipotle ranch dip.
Hukilau Lanai will serve jambalaya with Kauai Shrimp, homemade sausage and pasta as well as grilled sausage on bulgur wheat with a tomato and coconut chutney. Koloa Rum Co. is a festival sponsor for the third year and two Koloa Rum specialty drinks will be served.
For me, the biggest tasty surprise is the appearance of Jean-Marie Josselin. In the 1980s, Josselin, along with 11 chefs, created Hawaii Regional Cuisine and put Hawaii food on the global culinary map. His restaurant, Josselin’s Tapas Bar & Grill opened in May 2011 and later this summer, he will open JO2 (pronounced jay oh two) in Kapaa. I look forward to sharing that story with you!
I asked Jean-Marie what he was going to serve at the festival, but by the time this article went to press, he was undecided. He’s thinking about Kalua pork and cabbage pot stickers, grilled Hawaiian chicken salad with kimchi ranch and curried pineapple vinaigrette, or pork belly bao. He is focused on opening his new restaurant, but I’m sure whatever he serves will be fabulous.
Food tickets are $5. Tent seating is available for Saturday’s concert or attendees may bring beach chairs.
Tickets cost $40 in advance, $50 at the event. Coolers are restricted.
Go to http://redclayjazz.org for more information and tickets or call 822-3148.
• Marta Lane, a food writer on Kauai since 2010, offers farm to fork food tours and is the author of Tasting Kauai: Restaurants – From Food Trucks to Fine Dining, A Guide to Eating Well on the Garden Island. For more information, visit TastingKauai.com.