In this episode, we follow Singer-Songwriter Jack Johnson, and Ed Kenney as they embark on a road trip from Monterey Bay to Trinidad, California.
Nearly two million people a year visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a learning center dear to both Jack and Ed. Jack's Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation supports the Aquarium's Ocean Plastic Pollution Summit that helps teachers find new ways to engage their students around the issue of plastic pollution and ocean health. In Santa Cruz, Jack finds his parents' home, and in Trinidad, they visit the establishment where Jack's dad worked as a crab fisherman.
Jack honors and celebrates his father who was part of the migration of California surfers who left their familiar homes for the beaches of Hawaiʻi in search of the perfect wave. With fond memories of fishing and diving with his dad, Jack reflects back on their family dinners and the catch of the day that took many forms...whatever it was, the fish was always freshly caught and delicious!
Ed Kenney, Host
Ed Kenney is a successful restaurateur who had no idea he wanted to be a chef – or a TV host.
After graduating from the University of Colorado and spending four years in commercial real estate, Kenney spent a year backpacking the globe, immersed in culture and contemplating life and self. It was on a street corner in Hanoi over a steaming bowl of pho that his revelation occurred: “Food is the unifying fabric of humanity, connecting us to the earth and each other.” From that point forward, a new path was forged.
Upon his return home to Hawaiʻi, Kenney attended the Culinary Institute of the Pacific and trained in Honolulu’s top restaurants. With a strong commitment to farm-to-table cooking, he opened his first restaurant, Town, in 2005 to rave reviews. Today, his four restaurants – Town, Kaimuki Superette, Mud Hen Water, and the newly opened Mahina & Sun’s – are lively gathering places guided by the mantra “local first, organic whenever possible, with aloha always.”
Kenney is committed to supporting local farms like MA‘O Organic Farms and showcasing local ingredients and traditional Hawaiian canoe crops (like kalo and ‘ulu) on his menus. For the past decade, he has been a beloved leader in the local food community and has helped propel Hawai‘i cuisine back into the national spotlight.
The James Beard Foundation has named Kenney a semi-finalist for Best Chef: West each year since 2013. He has cooked for First Lady Michelle Obama and been featured in top publications like Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Conde Nast Traveler, and Travel + Leisure.
He sits on the board of directors for MA‘O Organic Farms, Kōkua Hawai‘i Foundation, and Sustain Hawai‘i. He is also on the advisory board for Hogan Entrepreneurs, the Culinary Institute of the Pacific at Kapi‘olani Community College, and the Culinary Program at Leeward Community College.
Born and raised in Honolulu, he is the son of Broadway performer Ed Kenney and renowned hula dancer Beverly Noa – both famed Waikīkī entertainers of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
His crowning achievement, to date, is his family – wife, Spanky and kids, Celia and Duke.
Heather H. Giugni, Executive Producer/Producer
Heather H. Giugni is a creative director who likes making connections – and Family Ingredients does just that – connecting food, people and places. An award-winning producer, Giugni is a gifted storyteller and enjoys building a narrative that can make a difference in people’s lives. She has produced and directed many documentaries including Daniel K. Inouye: An American Story, One Voice, and Under a Jarvis Moon. A strong advocate of history, education, and video curriculum, Giugni also founded ‘Ulu‘ulu, Hawai‘i’s official moving image archive.
Renea Veneri Stewart, Producer/Director of Photography
Renea Veneri Stewart knows the ins and outs of production and works tirelessly to achieve the best possible product. Passionate about preserving Hawai‘i’s beauty and culture, Stewart documents life through film and stills, using the highest quality photographic tools. She’s skilled in live television broadcast, documentaries, commercials, and short films. An Emmy Award-winning producer, gifted project designer, talented published photographer, and Emmy nominated director of photography for Family Ingredients, Stewart is always telling rich stories through the lens.
Ty Sanga, Director/Writer
Ty Sanga is a prolific storyteller, talented director and man with a message. His short film, Stones, a graceful depiction of a Hawaiian legend, was the first entirely in the Hawaiian language to be shown at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011. Sanga quickly returned to Sundance as a Native Lab Fellow to develop his first feature film, After Mele. In addition to Family Ingredients, he has directed a number of TV shows and documentaries that explore the rich complexities of humanity and our continuing struggle to find happiness.