Vendor Spotlight – Chef Minded Farms

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Chef Minded Farms

Locally Sourced / Regionally Focused

Chef Ryan O’Connor’s first glimpse into the world of farming and animal husbandry came during his time at  youth summer camp. Now, you can find him raising both chicken and lamb for his own culinary farm business, Chef Minded Farms (CMF). Beginning from a need to feed the local community during the pandemic, Chef Ryan began offering couple and family-sized, ready-to-serve meals, available for pick-up or delivery to Hāna residents. With the increasing challenges facing local business, Chef Ryan’s focus shifted to diversifying his own farmland by growing more food, raising and harvesting livestock, and planting a variety of ingredient bearing trees.

“It’s a special experience to raise something from a day old, to harvesting, to then putting it on the plate. It makes cooking more fun, too. ” ~ Chef Ryan

In an effort to simply make people happy, Chef Ryan took his passion for cooking and began growing CMF four years ago. Now in collaboration with Chef Jon Watson, CMF now specializes in catering for special events, weddings and retreats. You’ve probably seen them this past year at the market offering locally made sushi-to-go! They also bring along plenty of free-range chicken eggs and freshly harvested produce from their farm.

“While the farmers market helped grow our local customer base, Chef Jon Watson was a huge addition to the team, and really helped get us on our feet.” ~ Chef Ryan

Settling in Hāna, to start a family farm in 2016, Chef Ryan brought with him world-class knowledge as an Executive Chef on a 257 foot mega-yacht circling the globe. He found himself training under and cooking beside professional chefs from a variety of cultural backgrounds. With the additional culinary, farming and agriculture skills brought by Chef Jon, the culinary duo was formed. From raising pigs and chickens to fishing, hunting and foraging the land, Chef Jon was passionate about growing and cooking with ingredients that tell a story.

One of their favorite ingredients to harvest is their Citrus Australasica, otherwise known as, the finger lime or caviar lime. This Australian citrus tree isn’t just beautiful, it packs amazing flavor and can be found as a garnish on a variety of their market special sushi rolls.

CMF also participates in a collaborative partnership with Ma Ka Hāna Ka ‘Ike and the Hāna Farmers Market to distribute nutrient dense, local meals to kūpuna each week. First available during the shutdown via the drive-thru farmers market distribution at Hotel Hāna, Maui, now continues each week via the Ma Ka Hāna Ka ‘Ike kūpuna distribution booth at the farmers market.

Visit the CMF market booth this week for fresh farm eggs, avocados and lemons! Pick-up a “Chef’s Favorite” Spicy Tuna Roll, or pre-order a family-size sushi platter in advance! Back by popular demand, CMF will also be grilling up Organic Chicken Yakitori with farm grown scallions – ONSITE!

Find Chef Minded Farms on Instagram @chefmindedfarms