Story by Diane Haynes Woodburn
“Sit. I’ll get you something to eat.”
When my grandmother was in her 90s, she described a dream she had of an endlessly long table draped with the finest lace tablecloth and set with exquisite silver and china. On the table was every dish she had ever prepared for her family — every casserole, every roast, every pie and cake she had ever baked.
“Isn’t that a silly dream?” she asked.
“No,” I answered. “It’s wonderful.”
Food is nourishment, of course, but it is so much more than that. Food brings families together, cements friendships, eases suffering and enriches joy. It fuels armchair philosophers, smooths the path to romance and celebrates our cultural differences and identities. As this terrible pandemic winds down and we are again able to embrace one another physically and emotionally, food seems a particularly fitting theme. It’s the perfect way to honor all the cooks — from Maui’s chefs (those culinary gurus) to the local aunties and tutus (grandmothers) — who endured the shutdown, prepared meals for loved ones, and pitched in up their elbows to feed and care for our community.
This issue highlights the many facets of food and dining, from cookies to cooks and everywhere in between. For the article “Keep Calm and Hele On,” dining editor Becky Speere interviewed the chefs, managers and owners of some of Maui’s foremost restaurants to get the inside scoop on how they survived 2020. Our Dining Highlights section details seven of the new eateries recently added to the already impressive restaurant roster in Kā‘anapali. In “Sustaining Culture,” author Lehia Apana describes a wonderful weekend where Hawai‘i chefs and Hāna residents connect over food, cooking and culture, and learn about themselves and how to live off the land. We also feature The Maui Cookie Lady and her incredible creations, the history of Roselani Ice Cream and the tenacity of the Pukalani Superette — an enduring institution. And since we were unable to honor our ‘Aipono Award-winning restaurants in person last year, we’re announcing them here for the world to see. They deserve all the love and praise we can give, and we can’t wait to sit at their tables again and enjoy meals with those we love.
But our readers don’t live by food alone. In these pages you’ll find a potluck of topics, from the secret sex life of corals to the extensive and eclectic art collection housed in an exceptional Kula estate; from a step-by-step narrative of what it’s like to hike the Waihe‘e Ridge Trail to the tale of a real-life shark encounter, as described by one of our contributing photographers, Daniel Sullivan.
On the whole, this issue is a paean to food, family and friendship. And even though we weren’t able to gather together much in the past year and a half, we still felt the love from everyone who did what they could to mālama (care for) Maui and our community.
Now the table is once again set. Join us — sit, laugh, share and be served.
A Hui Ho,
Diane Haynes Woodburn, Publisher