The ocean has long been a source of sustenance, inspiration, and adventure for Kimi Werner. As a young child growing up in rural Maui, she floated behind her father as he spearfished for her family’s primary food source. Only later, as an adult, did she understand the central role the ocean was to play in her life when she discovered her own passion for freediving.
Kimi has since become a United States Spearfishing Champion, culinary chef, ocean advocate, and filmmaker. Her daily life is a pure fusion of her talents, rooted in sustainability and geared towards a healthy future for our global community. Continue reading to learn more about Kimi and her appreciation for over-the-fire cooking.
1) What is your favorite part about live-fire cooking?
Live-fire cooking stirs something up in my soul. One of my favorite things in the world is connecting to the actual source of something, especially when it comes to food. This is why I love spearfishing – it absolutely immerses me into the world where my food comes from. Open-fire cooking is the same – it gives me this primal sense of satisfaction to build my own fire and use it to feed myself. I also love how I can cook on really high heat for a beautiful sear!
2) How does your passion for hunting play into your approach to cooking?
I always say that the hunt is not done when my spear hits the fish or my arrow hits my prey in hunting. That is simply one moment of victory after a lot of hard work, but now there is even more work to be done. Hunting teaches me to respect my prey for the pure gold that it is and all those long hours spent stalking or swimming makes it so important to honor every single morsel of my harvest. So cooking a beautiful meal is the final chapter of my actual hunt. The hunt is not complete until I am sharing a meal with loved ones around the fire and telling the story of where it came from with extreme gratitude. I love to use local ingredients and usually try to keep my recipes somewhat simple so that the flavors of the wild can truly shine.
3) What is your favorite thing about using your Breeo fire pit?
My favorite thing about using my Breeo is that a sense of adventure comes over me no matter what I’m making. From building the fire to how beautiful the ambiance of my backyard becomes, the whole process makes me feel like I’m camping, even if I’m just frying up some eggs for breakfast. It makes every meal a creative adventure and sets the tone for my day or evening.
4) How does living in Hawaii go hand-in-hand with your approach to food, gathering, and being outside?
Living in Hawaii gives me a sense of community. When I share fish with others, I’m often given avocados, garden greens, or fresh chicken eggs. I love this lifestyle and nothing makes me happy to gather with people and share our harvests so that we can make one big beautiful meal together.
Photos by Justin Turkowski (@cinematowski)