In the loop


October 4, 2015

The Maui News          

"SEARCH Hawaii," a 30-minute TV program that will offer delicious details on Hawaii's food and culture, launches at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 11 on KHON2 and will continue monthly through February 2016.

The new show follows cultural expert Kainoa Horcajo and professional chef Mike Lofaro on their journey to gather ingredients found in nature to create a gourmet meal inspired by Hawaii's unique culture.

Produced in cooperation with Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, the idea for the show is based on the resort's Ka Malama Dinners held monthly in Humuhumunukunukuapua'a restaurant where Lofaro and Grand Wailea's Hawaiian cultural ambassador, Horcajo, forage, fish and gather the foods for the five-course dinner based on the ancient Hawaiian moon calendar.

news anchor Kathy Muneno will host opening and closing segments inviting the viewer to join Lofaro and Horcajo as they find inspiration for their monthly culinary adventure series menu.

More than a "farm to table" cooking show, there is broader depth and breadth with the diverse but similarly passionate backgrounds of the two hosts. SEARCH Hawaii will inspire the viewer to consider local ingredients while they learn about Hawaii's cultures and traditions with visually inspiring images, meetings with local heroes farming, fishing and cooking cultural ingredients throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

Viewers benefit by learning about the native culture, local food sources and the best time to plant and harvest using the historic calendar.

Each show closes with Lofaro creating the inspired dish in a humble kitchen or outdoors, and serving it to those involved.

The program will feature Hawaii Island this month; Oahu in November; Kauai and Niihau in December; Molokai in January; and Maui in February.

As chef de cuisine at Grand Wailea's prized restaurant, Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (Humu,) Lofaro thrives on thrilling diners with delicious and elegant dishes that focus on his love for the water and what he fondly refers to as his "hunting grounds," the Pacific Ocean. Lofaro surfs, paddles outrigger canoe (with a fishing pole perched on the 'iako,) stand-up paddles, and spearfishes all before noon when he arrives to his seafood restaurant exhilarated and smelling like the sea. It is this connection with the ocean's fish, lobster, squid or seaweed that inspires his new menu. A graduate of the coveted Culinary Institute of America in New York, Lofaro was raised in a big Italian family on a small East Coast island and moved to Hawaii as the protege of Michael Mina. Lofaro eventually won "Best Maui Chef" and "Best Maui Resort Restaurant" by a local reader poll of The Maui News in 2014.

Born and raised on Maui, and a graduate of Maui's Seabury Hall and California's San Diego State University, Horcajo is Hawaiian cultural ambassador at Grand Wailea and was previously cultural ambassador at Andaz Maui. He also continues to consult at Hana Pono where he creates cultural studies and cultural impact assessments. Horcajo has led group facilitation of multiple conferences and workshops in Hawaii as well as conducted culture-based training with thousands of executives and employees from Hawaii resorts and businesses. His unique background also includes community outreach positions at the State of Hawaii Legislature and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

For more information, contact "SEARCH Hawaii" executive producer Yvonne Biegel at or (808)276-6452.