This Weekend on Oahu: A Gathering of Food and Arts

Discover North Shore brings chefs, farmers and artists together for locals and travelers

Danna Holck remembers, as a young girl, having to sneak underneath the gate at Turtle Bay Resort to gain access to the beach. So when she was named vice president and general manager of the fabled resort three years ago, one of her official acts of duty was to take down the iron barrier. 

“There used to be a sense of interrogation as if you didn’t belong, yet it was a public beach,” says Holck, a Kailua native and now a proud North Shore resident. “Everyone can now come and go.”

This will be especially true on Saturday, Nov. 16, when Turtle Bay Resort plays host to the inaugural “Discover North Shore,” which replaces the property’s former signature Seafood & Poke Festival. According to Holck, the premise behind the change is to attract a broader audience and not just those who are hooked on seafood.

“We like doing community events and we thought this event would appeal to more people,” Holck says. “It gives island residents more reason to come to the North Shore and discover the food, the people and the beauty of the area—aside from the beaches.”

Turtle Bay Executive Chef Conrad Aquino
Turtle Bay Executive Chef Conrad Aquino will be among the day's participating chefs. (©Turtle Bay Resort)
Stretching across seven miles, from Kahuku Point to Kaʻena Point, the North Shore has long been a destination for surf and sand, but events like the Haleiwa Arts Festival, Makahiki Festival in Waimea Valley and Taste of Waialua have drawn large crowds from across the Pali and Hawaii Kai for reasons other than big waves. Discover North Shore hopes to achieve the same results.

As the second of the “Discover Our Islands” series, which recognizes the unique characteristics and features of neighborhoods among and within our islands, Discover North Shore showcases the chefs, farmers, entertainers and fashion designers who are all based in this geographic area.

“The concept is to showcase the unique North Shore products, from food to fashion,” says Lincoln Jacobe, CEO of Hawaii Pacific Entertainment, which created and manages the “Discover Our Islands” series. “We’ll have a farmers market with 10 North Shore farmers and farm-to-table stations pairing farmers with chefs.”

In an area where “Keep the Country Country!” bumper stickers are worn like badges of honor, North Shore residents have fought to maintain the rural charm and preserve the rugged coastline, which includes the 1,100-acre James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge in Kahuku, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary offshore and the scenic cove of Kawela Bay.

“The intent is to celebrate the North Shore,” Holck asserts. “We want people from other areas to come out and meet our vendors, the farmers, the chefs and interact with them in a fun environment.”

And welcoming, too, now that the gate is gone.

Discover North Shore

Saturday, Nov. 16, 3 to 9:30 pm

Turtle Bay Resort, Kuilima Point
Concert at 7 pm (general admission is $30)
Headlining Entertainment: Fiji

Sunday, Nov. 17

Shrimp Farms and Shrimp Trucks Tour
Starts at 11 am, and shuttles to the farms depart from the resort