Kelly gets wet and muddy by foraging, spearfishing and net throwing in preparation for the Ka Malama dinner series, which brings together the natural foods of Hawaii's oceans and lush valleys in a celebration of the islands' unique heritage.
Hi, I’m Original Fare. No, my name is Kelly, but sometimes I confuse the two. I have this obsession with knowing where our food comes from. The origin story of ingredients.
I’m not sure where this obsession started. Maybe my first trip to Provence where I gained ten pounds because I’d never experienced food like that before: in Saint-Remy we bought the olives at Wednesday’s market, in Aix it was the little shops that make tomato confit, in Cassis it was the crisp white wines to accompany our moules et frites. Or maybe it was my years working in environmental non-profits where I learned how interconnected the food we eat is to the health of our land. It was also the beginning of a huge movement of “green washing”, where suddenly companies were touting things like “all-natural” and “organic” when the products they sold were anything but. Or maybe it was even further back than that. Growing up in a small farming community, population 200, where Sunday brisket came from the butcher down the street and weekends were welcomed by homemade apple turnovers from the general store owner. My obsession could also be attributed to watching both of my parents go through cancer and my need to feed them food I could trust.
In 2011 my husband/business partner Lucas and I moved our production company from Brooklyn, NY to Laguna Beach, CA. With the last 5k in our struggling business account, I had the wild idea to film my adventurous obsession. So we packed all our belongings in a U-haul towed by my brother Jake (who also worked with us) driving his Kia Rio, and we set out on a great cross country adventure together. We woke before dawn in frost bitten North Carolina to feed baby goats and make cheese with a charming septuagenarian couple. We candied pecans in the back of a classic hotel restaurant in Little Rock, Arkansas before being taken around the city to see the urban farms growing shiitake mushrooms. We migrated through the varicose veins of back road Texas all while towing our few possessions behind us. In Marfa we walked the barren desert in search of our sanity and the best homemade burrito.
I had no allusions that this would be anything more than a passion project, yet here we are three seasons later with PBS as our distributor and more syndicates to be announced. I get to work with companies and people I believe in, like: Dave's Killer Bread, Pacific Natural Foods, Alaska Seafood, Goat Cheese of France, and so many more.
It’s just Lucas & I these days on the road, proving you don’t need a bunch of bells and whistles to create something like this. You just need some technical expertise, the right kind of gear, and to be thoroughly, relentlessly, and wildly obsessed. I hope you join me on this adventure.