Kauai’s Camp House History

In 1835, William Hooper a young man from Boston transformed both the land and the native society in Koloa Town with the first successful sugar plantation in the Hawaiian Islands.  On September 12, 1836 he proudly listed his accomplishments: 25 acres of cane under cultivation, a mill dam, 20 houses for native workers, a sugar house, a home for the superintendent, a billing house, a blacksmith shop, and a sugar mill.

The pattern was set and thus began the long and arduous history of sugar in the Hawaiian Islands.  Sixteen years after Hooper’s plantation opened, contract laborers from China arrived.  Other major ethnic groups to follow were the Japanese, Portuguese, and Filipinos.

The plantation homes or “Camp Houses” as they later came to be known, were painted in a variety of colors to enhance the appearance of the plantation community or “camp”.  A typical house had a combination living room/bedroom space, a kitchen, and outside bathroom.  At night, the living room would be converted into sleeping quarters.

The kitchen, more specifically the kitchen table, was the center of the families’ activities.  In this area the family ate, children studied, and houseguests were entertained.  Standing against the wall was one of the most important pieces of furniture, the safe, a screened food cabinet.  The four legs of the safe were placed in sardine cans filled with kerosene to keep the insects out.  An “ice box” periodically replenished with blocks of ice, was considered a modern convenience.

Present day towns such as Kekaha were originally sugar plantation “camps.”  An integral part of their landscape was these simple wooden houses.  With saltwater-treated wood to keep out termites and rusted tin roofs to keep out the rain, these quaint structures from a few decades ago cannot keep out progress and most of them are disappearing.  The old buildings have a certain charm and earthiness about them because they are part of Kauai’s landscape.  Their rusty roofs match the red roads of the cane fields and their weathered woods blend with the dark shadows to the land.

Unfortunately, these old “Camp Houses” are being slowly but steadily torn down.  You can preserve a little Camp House lore with your own Camp House Grill logo wear.  Comfortable and fun to wear t-shirts make great gifts to take home or to enjoy on Kauai.

Camp House Grill History

The Camp House Grill was created in 1987, with the philosophy of providing great Camp House specialties at affordable prices.  Although value is important, we never sacrifice the quality of our ingredients.  We use only the finest quality ingredients in the preparations of all products.  The majority of our sauces, dressings, and seasonings are prepared from scratch to maintain quality and uniqueness.  Patience is an equally important ingredient because we insist on cooking all meals to order, so it may take a little longer to prepare your meal.

Camp House World BBQ Cuisine History

After a few years away from the food service industry, I’ve been concentrating more on barbecue, barbecue competition, and judging.  I swore I would never do a restaurant again.  I also swore I would never do a food truck.  Well guess what?  Your mighty smoke master Nick is back in the game because I’ve missed cooking for people and mixing it up with the crowd!  So now, Camp House moves in to its new era with mobile cuisine that will vary greatly to appease whatever crowd may need something to be put into their pie hole.  Catering, special events, parties, get-togethers, and cooking classes . . . it’s all part of the new scheme.

Remember that the Camp House experience is way more than just barbecue.  We now have the ability to cook anything you want anywhere you want it.  It’s more about staying in touch with all the strange people of the world with aloha hospitality in our new, (keep you thinking) irreverent way.  Fasten your seatbelt because it’s going to be a fun ride and no one will go hungry!

If you’re wondering what World BBQ Cuisine is, it’s something I created.  I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into being just a barbecue guy or mobile BBQ rig.  Rather, I wanted to use all of my culinary skills like Asian and Hawaiian influences, barbecue expertise, and MAD baking skills.  Mix that talent with a tad of smoked meats to tagalong with everything that gets thrown into the pot, and you end up with something yummy!