Pop-Up Pupus in 2015

The Pop-Up Pupus series is taking off!  This year we’ve already curated two events.

SNC + Pig

On January 3, we showcased The Pig & the Lady for our first event this year.  Chef Andrew Le, recently nominated as “Best Chef: West” by the James Beard Foundation, concocted standout dishes for a dinner menu inspired by the a capella vocals of Straight No Chaser.

The Pig & the Lady

The Pig & the Lady

Chef Le featured “The Works,” a crostini of uni butter, bone marrow, yuzu kosho salsa verde and french chives, as well as Mama Le’s “Bun Bo Hue,” a traditional soup from Central Vietnam with a spiced lemongrass beef broth and braised veal shank.

Chef Andrew Le's "The Works"

“The Works” by Chef Andrew Le (The Pig & the Lady)

Bibb + Town + Kaimuki Superette

On February 13, Chefs Ed Kenney and Dave Caldiero (Town, Kaimuki Superette) were in the spotlight.  Their offerings paired with an incredible performance by legendary blues guitarist, Eric Bibb.

Chefs Ed Kenney, Dave Caldiero, Wyeth Yogi and JJ Leng in the kitchen.

(from right to left) Chefs Ed Kenney, Dave Caldiero, JJ Leng and Wyeth Yogi in the kitchen.

The chefs were inspired by Bibb’s current residence in Helsinki, Finland and created a menu based on Finnish cuisine.

Chef Kenney, also recently nominated as “Best Chef: West” by the James Beard Foundation, and his restaurant crew live by the motto

“Local first, organic whenever possible, with Aloha always.”

Smoked Akule, Fresh Rye Ricotta, Pickled Onion

Smoked akule, fresh rye ricotta and pickled onions

Naturally, each offering included as many locally grown products as possible.

Sweetbreads stands behind food with integrity and intention, and our crew was proud to curate the pop-up.  Our resident chef, JJ Leng, contributed a sweet dish inspired by Finnish jam tarts known as joulutorttu.

shortbread cookies, candied Kaimuki kumquat, lemon verbena, and tulsi basil.

Shortbread cookies, candied Kaimuki kumquat, lemon verbena, and tulsi basil.

The next Pop-Up Pupus event is coming up on April 12!  Stay tuned.


Hawaii Theatre’s Pop-Up Pupus Series

Ruth in kitchen

Hawaii Theatre’s President, Ruth Bolan, in the kitchen

At the end of last year, the President of Hawaii Theatre approached us to do something amazing.

Pop-Up Pupus were born.  Our vision is to curate exclusive experiences of food and musical pairings to showcase local eateries at Hawaii Theatre musical events.

It's all in the details

Edible art in the making

Sweetbreads premiered the Pop-Up Pupus series on September 24, 2014 when legendary, Chicago based vocalist Mavis Staples of the Staples Sisters performed in Honolulu.

Chef JJ Leng created an original menu inspired by Mavis’ soulful vocals, while holding true to Sweetbreads’ mission of including locally grown products.


Kauaʻi Shrimp | Waiāhole Grits | Heirloom Popcorn

The pilot pop-up was such a big success that we will be curating three more events in 2015!

The Sweetbreads crew

The Sweetbreads Crew

Sweetbreads’ 2013 Rewind

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou from our SB ‘Ohana!
We hope everyone had fun this holiday season enjoying delicious food amongst good company.  Sweetbreads is anxiously preparing to embark on a fresh adventure of culinary pop-ups in 2014!  Three hundred and sixty-five days of cutting-edge ideas, experimentation, and collaboration have already begun.

First, let’s take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments in 2013 (click on pictures):

We popped up at Pow Wow Hawaii's annual Blank Canvas Gala!

We popped up at Pow Wow Hawaii’s annual Blank Canvas Gala!

We popped up at Taste Table in Kaka'ako!

We popped up at Taste Table in Kaka’ako!

We popped up at Kualoa Ranch for a Kupu retreat!

We popped up at Kualoa for a Kupu retreat!

And let’s not forget, we were recognized by Governer Abercrombie:

Sweetbreads received a Green Business Award in 2013.   JJ Leng and Jackie Lum are pictured to the right Governer Neil Abercrombie.

Sweetbreads received a 2013 Green Business Award.  JJ Leng and Jackie Lum are pictured to the right Governer Neil Abercrombie.

Mahalo nui for your continued support. Please stay tuned for what’s next by following us on facebook, twitter, and instagram!

Pow Wow’s Blank Canvas Gala

Pow Wow's Blank Canvas Gala

300 hungry diners dressed in white gathered in an unassuming warehouse in Kaka’ako for Pow Wow Hawaii’s second annual Black Canvas Gala. The fundraiser aims to fund the next generation of aspiring local artists by creating opportunities and outlets through artistic youth outreach programs. With such a wonderful goal – there was no way the Sweetbreads crew could pass up the opportunity to take part in the gala’s dinner service and showcase their locally sourced offerings.

In typical Sweetbreads fashion, the crew doesSweetbreads' display of locally foraged decor and reclaimed wood. their best to create dishes inspired by local meats and seasonal harvest. Each ingredient is grown with love by local farmers across the state of Hawai’i before they’re prepared with extreme care by Chef JJ Leng & her crew of SB supporters.

The local doesn’t stop there! The SB crew makes use of reclaimed items from Re-use Hawai’i and foraged local blooms for their spread with some help from their youngest member and their new resident artist, Tiana Nguyen.

On the Sweetbreads menu:

  • Shinsato Farms’ coffee-rubbed, porter-braised pork tamales
  • Ho Farms spiced banana empanadas

100% Local – All Handcrafted – Completely from scratch.

The Tamale

the Tamale.

  • Shinsato Farms’ pork shoulder (rubbed with Kona coffee, Ko’olau peppercorns, Hawaiian sea salt, and braised with Big Island Brewhaus White Mountain Porter)
  • Wrapped in Kiawe wood-grilled Kako’o ‘Oiwi Farms’ banana leaves

accompaniments (top to bottom):

  • SB’s salsa picante featuring Ipuleilani Farm’s Hawaiian chili peppers
  • SB’s salsa roja featuring Ho Farms’ grape tomatoes
  • SB’s salsa verde featuring North Shore Farms’ tomatillos
  • SB’s creme fraiche featuring Naked Cow Dairy’s cream + buttermilk

The Empanada

the Emanada.

Warm, flaky handpies filled with

  • Ho Farm’s sugar bananas
  • Kaimuki grown lilikoi
  • Kaua’i grown cinnamon
  • Maui grown sugar


  • SB’s umami blasted caramel featuring gluten-free Aloha shoyu
  • SB’s toasted rice creme anglaise featuring Naked Cow Dairy’s cream

Check out some exclusive behind the scenes action.

Sweetbreads' entire Blank Canvas Crew

Sweetbreads’ Blank Canvas Crew (left to right)

back: Nick Lum, Ivy Hsu, Bryan Chiem, Natalie Nakasone, Chris Kim, Julie Vaugh, Mike Suh, Wyeth Yogi
front: Jackie Lum, Tiana Nguyen, JJ Leng, Jeanne Kim, Alison Yokouchi, Kelly Teramoto

Mahalo nui to everyone who participated. Without your blood, sweat, and tears this year’s gala would not have been such a success!

Blank Canvas in Progress – special behind the scenes footage

Pow Wow’s Blank Canvas – exclusive behind the scenes footage

creating the Tamale:

creating the Empanada:

photo credit: Natalie Nakasone

Kau Wela in Progress – special behind the scenes footage

It all starts with the ingredients

A warm mahalo to those who made Kau Wela possible…

Our Farmers:
Kozen Farms
North Shore Farms
Ho Farms
Ma’o Organic Farms
Otsuji Farm
Naked Cow Dairy
Hoamoa Farms
Wow Farms

Local Purveyors:
Breadshop (by Christopher Sy)
Island Olive Oil Company

All of the products used for Kau Wela can be purchased on O’ahu. Use our map, to see where each farmer and purveyor is located.  Just click on each individual pinpoint (pictured below).

…the end result, a 94% LOCALLY SOURCED four course menu!

“It’s my belief that cooking is a craft. I think that you can push it into the realm of art, but it starts with craft. It starts with an understanding of materials. It starts with an understanding of where foods are grown.”
– Tom Colicchio

To see more Kau Wela – behind the scenes photos, click on the slideshow below:

RECAP: Kau Wela at TASTEtable (6/19/13) – Sweetbreads’ Premier Pop-Up!

It was a beautiful evening to signify the beginning of Kau Wela, the summer season in Hawai’i. Clear skies, with a slight breeze of tradewind air, and the evening stars shining just bright enough helped paint a picturesque dining experience.  Amongst Pow Wow street art murals and beneath the strung up lights of Harry’s Alley, guests traveled together through a four-course journey of texture, color, and local flavors …

The Dining Area (click on photos to zoom in):

The Menu (click on photos to zoom in):


This event would not have been possible without the following individuals:

Back of the House (BOH)
Chef JJ Leng | Chef Mike Suh
Commis – Wyeth Yogi
Garde Manger/Plating – Jeanne Kim | Kelly Teramoto | Alison Yokouchi
Dish – Andrew Sorenson

Front of the House (FOH)
Head – Jackie Lum | Servers – Chris Lum | Chris Gore
Food Runners/Bussers- Dale Matsumoto | Scott Yasumoto
Hostess/Food Runner – Thao Nguyen | Stagiaire – Gail Fernandez

Setup & Breakdown Team
Alan Hakoda | Jonathan Lum | TJ Nguyen

Photos                                                                    Entertainment                          Decor
FOH – Evan Tector | BOH – Nick Lum                      Kevin Hughes                         Keith Kimura

Kozen – produce | Sharon Leng – equipment & decor | Laurie Lum & TJ Nguyen – equipment & decor
Jonathan Lum – printing services | Evan Tector – decor, equipment, & produce | Denise Liu – decor
Won ‘Ohana – produce | JJ Leng, Jackie Lum
– family meal | Leilani Magee equipment
JJ Leng, Jackie Lum, Chris Lum, Dale Matsumoto, Joshua Lum – funding for venue

Sweetbreads' Kau Wela Team  Chris Lum, Thao Nguyen, Scott Yasumoto, Dale Matsumoto, Alison Yokouchi, Kelly Teramoto, Mike Suh, Wyeth Yogi, Chris Gore, Gail Fernandez, Nick Lum, Jeanne Kim  Chef JJ Leng, Jackie Lum

Sweetbreads’ Kau Wela Team (left to right)
Chris Lum, Thao Nguyen, Scott Yasumoto, Dale Matsumoto, Alison Yokouchi, Kelly Teramoto, Mike Suh, Wyeth Yogi, Chris Gore, Gail Fernandez, Nick Lum, Jeanne Kim
pictured in front: Chef JJ Leng, Jackie Lum
photo credit: G. Shindo


Sweetbreads was featured in Non-Stop Honolulu by Grant Shindo –
Click on the link below to check out the FOOD:
“Molecular Gastronomy Meets Responsible Sourcing”

Click on slideshow below to see all photos from the event: