– [Francesca] Today we’re
on the island of Maui. I’m here to learn about how Filipino food has evolved in Hawai’i. We’re gonna meet up with
Chef Sheldon Simeon, whose grandparents immigrated
to Hawai’i in the early 1900s. He’s gonna show me how
to harvest sugar cane, farm Filipino ingredients, and, of course, cook three of his favorite Filipino-Hawaiian dishes. I mean, that’s why you’re here, right? (upbeat music) In the early 1900s, the Hawaiian
Sugar Planters Association heavily recruited Ilocanos
from the Philippines to work on Hawaii’s plantations. Ilocanos come from the Ilocos Region of Luzon in northwestern Philippines. Sheldon, where are we? – We are standing at
the foot of a sugar mill here in Pu’unene in the center of Maui. – [Francesca] It’s abandoned, right? – [Sheldon] It’s abandoned. It closed just two years ago. It was the last sugar mill in
Hawai’i that was operating. But can you imagine at its peak, it was the livelihood of the
island, of the state, in fact. – [Francesca] Sheldon opened
his second restaurant, Lineage, to celebrate the recipes
of his Ilocano roots in the Hawaiian islands. – [Sheldon] Ilocano food,
it’s all about the vegetables, in my opinion, vegetables and pork. Guisantes on the menu, it’s Pork n Peas, the one dish that is
always the most requested. Soy sauce. – [Francesca] What kind of soy sauce? – Aloha Shoyu, sugar cane
or apple cider vinegar, mix that around.
– Vinegar. – Bay leaves.
– Yay. – [Sheldon] All that same
flavors of adobo, right. So we’ve added a little bit
of that love cream in there. (laughing) – [Francesca] All my aunties
that are watching like– – “What is that?” – “Anak, what’s that love cream
that he was talking about?” – [Sheldon] Just a little
bit of toe paste to it, some tomato paste. Though we kind of plate it
up a little bit differently for the restaurant. Pea shoots, cinnamon. – [Francesca] Wowee. – [Sheldon] That’s over
the top of everything. Pork n Peas. – What was life like, especially
for your grandparents? – [Sheldon] They were Sakadas,
the first wave of Filipinos. They were given opportunities
either to work at the mill, or take care of a parcel of land. They got paid very, very
little of the amount of money that they were being reciprocated. It’s bittersweet, the whole idea of it. If it wasn’t for the plantation, my grandparents wouldn’t be here. But taking over the lands and taking it from the native Hawaiians. Hawaii has this crazy history
trying to be navigated. Who owns what, who has the rights to what? – [Francesca] Oko’a
Farms began here in 2007. Sugar cane was one of
the first crops planted. – We use Ryan’s sugar cane juice. He presses it here, and we’re making vinegar
out of it for Lineage. – Yeah, and different flavors. The red sugar cane versus
the gold sugar cane versus the rainbow sugar cane, all the flavors come out different. It’s just like wine. – Yeah.
– Wow. – So you’re gonna have
the different flavors. There’s a lot of different diversity. – [Sheldon] We’re gonna
get to harvest some today? – Yeah, we’re going to harvest some cane, make some juice. – Yes!
– Get your shoulders ready. – [Ryan] Yep, superpowers. – [Sheldon] You carry one of these. (canes rustling) – And now that’s ready to
go back and get juiced. – Let’s juice!
– Yeah. – I think I got the biggest
one out of everyone. (loud chopping) – [Sheldon] When’s the
last time you chewed on fresh sugar cane cut from the field? Right?
– I think never. (laughs) – [Sheldon] The first nibs. – [Francesca] Oh yeah, it’s so clean. – That’s how sugar’s supposed to taste. (machine whirring) That’s what your teeth was doing. – [Ryan] We’ll run some ginger, mint, squeeze in a little bit of lemon juice. – [Sheldon] Look at the color of that. – [All] Yes! – [Sheldon] Pretty much
perfection right there. – [Ryan] Yeah, it’s got some heat. – I’m just over here chugging it. (laughs) – [Sheldon] Mahalos, Ryan. Thank you buddy. – [Francesca] Thank you so much. – When the Filipinos brought
these seeds with them, when they put it in the
ground, everything grew. Eating flowers, making a whole salad
out of a Katuday flower, we knew that would be something that we could make delicious? – [Francesca] Yeah. – Ilocanos did. (upbeat music) You kind of just break it off there. Put it in, you’re going to
press it down into the water. – [Francesca] Okay. – [Sheldon] Give that a
little bit of flippy-floppies. Get it all out of the water. Go, go, go, go. Go, go, go. There you go. Get it out here to give
it a small little squeeze. At this point, it’s already
one of my favorite things to– – Really? – Sweet and then, boom! In your face with that bitterness. – [Francesca] It’s very
similar to bittermelon. – Or like winged beans, have
that same bitterness to it. So this is some Opelu. Mackerel scad, very common
fish caught outside here. We simply just butterflied
them from the bottom, took the center bone out, and then, that’s just going
to go underneath the broiler. Add some shaved onions. Toss that all together. – [Francesca] It’s pretty simple. – [Sheldon] Very simple. This is vinegar that we made
with the sugar cane juice, and then we added garlic
and Hawaiian chile peppers. There you go, Katuday. – [Francesca] Man, that’s beautiful. The third dish Sheldon wants to make is an Ilocano recipe known as dinengdeng. It’s a soup-based dish with a ton of fermented fish, commonly called bagoong
in the Philippines. – We’re gonna get some
utong or sitaw, right. We’re gonna hopefully get some okra, and some other things. So this was once sugar cane.
– Yeah. So we’re repurposing it. Being diverse, other than this monocrop. Any of your workers from the plantation? – [Robert] Yeah. – [Sheldon] So a lot of them went when the plantation closed. – Closed, they came here.
– They continued on. It’s pretty cool that they’re
farming their heritage. – Yeah. – [Sheldon] We’re in the field of okra. – [Francesca] This is cool. I love when it curls up. I didn’t know it does that. Here. – [Robert] Yes. Yes! – First okra! – [Francesca] Pretty good, huh? First time. – [Sheldon] Tomatoes. We’ll flavor the whole water with bagoong. Like the base of it all has so much umami. This bagoong is special.
– Woo! – This comes from one of our cooks, Jazzy’s family bagoong.
– Thanks Jazzy. – [Sheldon] Now we’re starting our own using some Hawaiian fish. Kind of just try to figure out. Add the rest of the
vegetables and your okra. – Get it. Ooh, perfection. (soft uplifting music) – [Sheldon] That lemon
olive oil that’s been studded with patis. Dinengdeng with all the
different vegetables that we gathered. Everyone touts me as the
Filipino chef, right? – Yeah, yeah.
– They see me on Top Chef, but my lens is very small. So I think of Hawai’i as a province. The more I travel and the more Filipino food
is being spoken about, I see how specific and how unique Filipino cuisine of Hawai’i is. We did a lot of rustic dishes. This is like a hearty stew. – That’s so good. – [Sheldon] All the ingredients in this, you can pretty much get
anywhere across America. – And yet, I don’t think it’s
a very talked-about dish. – Yeah. – But, here, this is
what you grew up eating. – I think even more than adobo in Hawai’i. – The heartiness, you
really taste it here. – [Sheldon] Like that. – Woo! I don’t wanna say that I would just drink this straight up, but that’s good. – Salty fish. It’s fresh. (bouncy music) – [Francesca] I learned so
much about Filipinos in Hawai’i and kuleana, which is the
Hawaiian term for responsibility. Definitely come to Hawai’i for this, but also come for the people and learn more about the history, and support the businesses
that are really trying to maintain and continue this legacy. – Yeah, maybe my grandparents
went through this hardship where a lot of things,
where things was promised, where it doesn’t happen. – You’re here now. – [Sheldon] I’m here now. And when we see our families
and get to eat together, get to enjoy the sun and the sea, things can be put on pause for a second, and just enjoy that. (laughs) – If you want to see
more Halo Halo, you can– – [All] Click here! – Right there.
– Right there. – Right there. – Over here, over here. (laughing) – [Sheldon] That’s so Filipino.