• January 12, 2018

    Meet Lindsey Higa

    Aloha! My name is Lindsey Higa, and I was born and raised here in Honolulu, Hawaii. I spent 6 years away in San Francisco, but have been living back here on Oahu for almost 8 years now. My days are always different! I’m a freelance wardrobe stylist, so I’m either working on a shoot, or on my other 2 side jobs at Sig Zane Designs and We Are Iconic. I’m super excited for 2018, because I never really know what to expect for the year ahead. I’m already off to Vietnam for 2 weeks, so I hope to continue my travels and visit new places and work a ton along the way!


    Fave new Honolulu boutique: Gillia at Kaka’ako

    I love their clean and natural aesthetic. They carry two of my favorite local brands, At Dawn and Gillia Clothing that I’d probably be wearing if you ever run into me! Their clothes are comfortable, cool, and chic, which is perfect for everyday here in Hawaii. The girls there are the sweetest, and always make you feel at home.

    Favorite Coffee Shop: Morning Glass in Fishcake

    I spend most of my mornings stopping at Morning Glass coffee in Fishcake. Whether it’s after or before my daily yoga sesh, I’m there getting a Matcha Latte or Ginger Lemon tea. A close friend of mine is the barista there, and it’s definitely become a morning meeting place with friends.

    Favorite Beach: Kaimana Beach

    I grew up hanging there as a kid, and have spent many long days there watching the sunset with friends and family. It’s kind of a ritual to pick up and acai bowl or plate lunch from Monsarrat Avenue, then head to Kaimana’s to cruise at the beach.

  • January 9, 2018

    Where to Eat in Hawai'i

    By Chef Mark "Gooch" Noguchi


    Food brings people together; this I know. It's the guiding principle in why I cook, and besides cooking, the next greatest thing about cooking... is eating. I'm honored to be able to share six of my favorite spots to eat in Hawai`i. They're always my first choices, the spots that I take visiting chefs, family and friends. I hope you get to enjoy them as much as I do.


    PALACE SAIMIN Ramen is trendy, Saimin is life; that's my mantra. Iv'e been coming here since small kid time, and to this day it's still one of only two places I go for saimin (the other is HOME Bar.) The Arakaki-Nakagawa `ohana run this shop now; and it hasn't changed one bit. Hot, humid, cramped, soda boxes stacked to the ceiling. This is one of the first stops I bring all my chef buddies when they ask... "So what's local food?"

    HOME BAR & GRILL Quintessential local bar food, HOME is all 808. The flavors that these boys put out is just like the ambiance — loud, straight up, nuts, & unapologetic. It’s a local bar. If you’re new, or a visitor, you might get looks. It is what it is, local first. And that territorial attitude is something not born out of hatred, but geographical awareness. We protect what is ours. The food reflects that too...Big John and Neal never changed their style. They’ve kicked ass cooking for over a decade, and the loyalty of their fans show it. Go with some friends who’ve been there before. Get the Kalbi Fried Noodle, Tater Tot Nachos, Wafu Steak and legendary Negi Toro. And don’t forget the Chicken Gizzards & Fried Pork Chop.


    MARK'S PLACE Mark Oyama and his wife have kept this Kaua`i standard running for almost 20 years. He's the Mayor of Kaua`i, knows eveyone, and cooks some of the best local food in the State. Simple, ono, and straight up 808. Photo provided by: Moon & TurtlePhoto provided by: Moon & Turtle

    Hawai'i Island:

    MOON & TURTLE (Hilo) Another husband and wife duo, Mark & Soni Pomaski run this tiny gem of an experience. Soni's sense of hospitality, aloha, and killer cocktail hands, coupled with Mark's connections with the local fisherman bring a divine experience to Hilo. A favorite spot of the Sig Zane `ohana, you'll find Kuhao Zane holding court here multiple times a week.

    LAULIMA FOOD PATCH (Kona) Clean food —that's what Chef Bonita Lao does extremely well. She is an expert in simple, delicious execution (and surfs moonlit nights like no one's business.) One of my all-time favorite lunch spots. I can eat here every day. My favorite is her Happy Chick Bowl, extra pork belly, add egg.

    Image by: Laulima Food Patch


    TIN ROOF I don't really order at Tin Roof... ever. Even if I do order my favorite — the Mochiko Chicken Bowl — I never get just what I ordered. Chef Sheldon and his `ohana are masters of the "shishi naenae." Food so good it takes you to another time and place... then puts you to sleep. Their food is contemporary local, yet still grounded in heritage like only a born and bred brownie can. Always Hi, never Lo, Tin Roof is 96720 in the 96732 all the way.

    Photo from: Tin Roof Maui

  • January 5, 2018

    Meet Chef Mark "Gooch" Noguchi

    Chef Mark Noguchi is many things to many people: nationally-renowned chef, defender of Hawaiian culinary traditions, cultural educator and local food proponent, just to name a few.

    Born and raised in Hawai’i, his love for good food goes hand-in-hand with his mission to promote traditional methods of sourcing, preparing, and serving meals. Mark’s journey has taken him through several business ventures, from the He’eia Pier General Store & Deli along the stunning shores of O‘ahu’s east side, to LunchBox, the Hawaiian Airlines corporate employee cafe.

    Today, as co-founder of Pili Group with his wife Amanda, Mark is illuminating the diverse culture of Hawai‘i through catering, culinary workshops and community gatherings. Pili Group is dedicated to creating a world of food with integrity, and the community of farmers, fishermen and other food artisans that Pili supports through its work has garnered national attention. Their newest program, Food Therapy®, is helping native and non-native people throughout Hawai‘i rediscover their heritage through intimate, hands-on cooking groups.

    In Mark’s view, you can honor history and still thoughtfully improve upon it, which is why you’ll find him making traditional meals with a modern touch. Noshing a bowl of luau stew or a fingerful of poi is inseparable from learning the story and people behind it. When you’re with Mark, whether it’s local meat, fish, or vegetables, eating well is as much about building community as it is the culinary experience.

    While Mark is always happy to see Hawai’i’s traditions transcend its shores, you might want to avoid the topic of poke. Poke (pronounced POH-kay), a local dish made with raw, locally-caught fish, has exploded on the mainland United States. As chains have started to sell mass-produced poke, they’ve changed the way the word is written (‘poké’, with an accent over the ‘e’) and have marketed the dish as a Hawaiian staple without understanding its cultural significance or its environmental impact. While this kind of misrepresentation is disappointing, it presents a unique opportunity to tell Hawai’i’s story on the world stage, including our responsibility to the communal resources that feed us.

    No matter how you look at Chef Mark Noguchi’s life, one thing is certain: authentic, traditional Hawaiian food is more relevant (and delicious) than ever throughout Hawai‘i, and abroad, thanks to his work.


  • December 29, 2017

    New Perspective, Familiar Faces


    Those lucky enough to try Chef Gooch's cooking get to experience the taste of traditional Hawai‘i. These days, Gooch is known almost as much for his leadership in Hawai‘i's sustainable food movement as he is for his exceptional culinary skills.

    Gooch's "On the Go" Shoes: Makia Lace


    With her unique fusion of laid back island chic and city tomboy looks, O‘ahu native Lindsey Higa is a well-known personality in the world of wardrobe styling and fashion blogging.

    Lindsey's "Go Anywhere" Shoe: Pehuea


    From his ten years as a crew member and apprentice navigator on the iconic voyaging canoe, Hōkūle‘a, to the recent founding of Holokino - a Hawaiian canoe sailing experience on O‘ahu's south shore - Austin Kino is dedicated to the preservation of Hawaiian culture, history, and ocean education.

    Austin's "Shoe to Move": Nohea Moku


    Ito, as he's known to his friends, is a renowned journalist who loves to tell Hawai‘i's stories. He's also the Founding President of the Hawaiian Journalism Association, helping up and coming journalists navigate their way through the industry. Thanks to his work, the indigenous culture of Hawai‘i is increasingly understood both on its shores and beyond.

    Ito's Go-To Shoe: Makia

  • November 26, 2017

    Honor the Heritage: Nurture Sustainable Communities

    2017 Giveback Series - Part 6

    Waipā ʻĀina. Culture. Community.

    It’s all too easy in today’s world of modern agriculture and door-delivered groceries to lose the connection to the land that feeds us. The Waipa Foundation of north shore Kaua’i understands this and works hard to foster a strong sense of interdependence with the natural world, using the 1600 acre ahupua’a (traditional land division) of Waipa to bring communities back to the source.

    The foundation encourages an “eat local, live local” mentality, and is a primary grower of kalo, a native island plant of exceptional nutritional value that is central to Hawaiian heritage. The local community can get hands-on with the harvest through the foundation’s weekly poi-making sessions (poi being the end product made when the root of the plant are ground down), and have even built a community kitchen to support local farmers and food vendors. And in an effort to battle the reality that Hawai’i imports nearly all its food, the ahupua’a enables a true farm-to-table vision by providing ingredients directly to the local restaurants in the area.

    You’ll often hear Hawaiians talk about “kuleana” -- or responsibility -- when it comes to taking care of their land and ocean. The Waipa Foundation is no exception, and promotes the idea that all of us share the kuleana and ability to be more sustainable. It utilizes the ahupua’a of Waipa to share, teach, and re-learn how to live in balance with our aina.)

    We, too, believe in restoring the health of the natural environment of Hawai’i and the native ecosystems of the ahupua’a, and support the Waipa Foundation through our Ama OluKai Foundation.



  • November 26, 2017

    Q&A: Waipā Director Stacy Sproat-Beck

    2017 Giveback Series - Part 5


    Tell us a little bit about yourself and how life has lead you to become the executive director at Waipā. How long have you been with Waipā? I grew up in Kaua'i as part of a family that practiced subsistence and commercial fishing and farming. Graduating from Kamehameha Schools I moved to Southern California where I attended University Southern California's Marshall School of Business. After receiving my Bachelors of Science I returned home to work with my 'ohana and community where I helped found the Waipā Foundation. I have been at Waipa in either a board, volunteer, or staff position for 23 years now.

    How would you definie ‘āina? ʻĀina literally means, "that which feeds us" and it is also the word for "land and natural resources".

    Can you explain to our readers what Waipā is and does? Waipā is a 1,600 acre ahupua'a owned by the Kamehameha Schools and is managed by the Waipā Foundation, a 501(c)3 Nonprofit founded in 1994. It evolved from the community's first efforts in the early 1980's to save a space for the Hawaiian people, practices, and values on Kua'i's north shore. Waipā is a place where folks can connect with `āina, and share in our Hawaiian and local values and lifestyle through experiential learning opportunities and programs– including, reforestation efforts; stream restoration; working in the lo'i, garden or nursery; making poi and other foods; and other crafting/cooking classes.

    How many volunteers does Waipā currently have? Are they all located in Kaua’i? We have an average of 25 regular volunteers per week, with a total of over 100 per year, counting weekly and periodic or one time volunteers coming from all over.

    Are there clinics in the next coming months that volunteers can join? Check out our website for information on upcoming events.  The public is welcome to our "community workday" on the 4th saturday of every month.  It is this saturday, and there is more about it on the website.

    We know that Waipā is about educating people to eat local and live local, what are some of the places that resource their food directly from Waipā? Most of our produce is consumed on site by program participants and volunteers, and we sell and distribute additional produce directly to families and individuals within the community.  We also sell our produce at our Tuesday farmers market (onsite) and to a few commercial accounts including Akamai Juice Co., Fresh Bite Food Truck, the Westin Princeville...and a few others.

    How has Waipā influenced your way of life?  It has allowed me to live, raise my children, and work in my home community at an extremely rewarding job, where I can give back to my community while doing what I love (farming and mālama `āina), perpetuating our cultural values and practices while inspiring the next generation and taking care of the kūpuna.


    Thank you for taking this time to speak more on Waipā for us, Stacy!


  • November 24, 2017

    Honor the Heritage: Cultivate Cultural Abundance in Hawai’i

    2017 Giveback Series - Part 4


    Hui Aloha ‘Āina Momona

    Take an aerial tour of Hawai’i, and as your gaze travels inland from the ocean you can’t help but notice the endless verdant hills and vibrant landscape. Hui Aloha ‘Āina Momona is a non-profit organization we support through the Ama OluKai Foundation, and is committed to helping preserve this rich land and its agricultural traditions. Through a variety of educational and cultural activities, Hui Aloha ‘Āina Momona works tirelessly to ensure that the principles of sustainability and cultural perpetuation are continued and that aina (land) momona (abundance) is restored to the land.

    No conversation about the cultural and culinary heritage of Hawai’i is complete, however, without a mention of the kalo plant. Part of the very fabric of Hawaiian culture and history, kalo is seen as the plant from which Hawaiians were born and offers nutritional benefits from its root to its leaf. There used to be hundreds of different varieties of kalo grown in Hawai’i, but now that number is down to just a handful, and Hawaiians have fought hard against efforts to genetically modify what is still available and bring the plant back to the relevance it once had in their lives. The Hui Aloha ‘Āina Momona educates Hawaiians and visitors alike on the benefits of kalo as well as passing down the traditional methods of how the kalo plant is harvested and processed. From the cleaning, cooking and preparation of this incredible plant to the grinding of the root into poi, there is an entire wealth of knowledge to be passed down to the next generation.

    With organizations like the Hui Aloha Aina Momona keeping the connection between the Hawaiian people and their natural resources alive,  we are humbled to help support the preservation of abundant and sustainable land for generations to come.


    For more on the kalo plant, check out: Kalo: The Pacific "Superfood"

  • November 24, 2017

    Kalo: The Pacific “Superfood”

    2017 Giveback Series - Part 3


    You will often hear the word “superfood” thrown around, but rarely does it apply to a food source as nutritionally perfect as the kalo plant. The plant is a root with a stalk and heart-shaped leaves, and the root of the kalo are often made into poi -- a nutrient dense soft food derived from the kalo corn consumed in many forms across all of Hawai’i. Although it may be famous for its poi, there is actually no part of the kalo plant that goes to waste, as every bit of it can be eaten.

    Kalo is gluten free, has a low-glycemic index (meaning it leaves you fuller, longer), and is hypoallergenic, making it the ideal food for everyone from babies to the elderly. It provides a bacteriocin-producing bacteria that is a source of healthy probiotics, working its magic to aid digestion, reduce cholesterol, and lower the chance of heart disease, while its high concentration of potassium, manganese, and vitamin C, E, and B-6 support the immune system.

    As if all of that were not enough, even the kalo leaves have hidden delights. With significant levels of vitamin A and antioxidants such as beta carotene ( the thing carrots are famous for) they complete kalo’s nutritional punch. We challenge you to “out-super” this superfood!


    Look how much work goes into pounding Kalo plants into Poi!

  • November 23, 2017

    Honor the Heritage: Protect the Children

    2017 Giveback Series - Part 2


    Na Kama Kai “Children of the Sea”

    Few people understand the ocean the way a surfer does, so it’s only natural that Hawaiian pro-surfer Duane DeSoto founded a non-profit organization called Nā Kama Kai, or “Children of the Sea.” By bringing ocean-based safety and conservation programs to Hawai’i’s youth, Nā Kama Kai empowers children to become stewards of the ocean.

    The organization has a motto -- “Keiki Aloha Kai Aloha” --  meaning Beloved Child, Beloved Sea. More than just an ode to its youth and ocean, this motto is core to the work the non-profit does throughout Hawai’i, educating children on the cycle of life and how everything they do on land affects the ocean, while helping them understand the ocean’s hazards. What’s more, and as many of us have already experienced, learning about the ocean gives us a sense of self that stays with us for life. Nā Kama Kai understands this and gives the children in their programs the opportunity to recognize their special place in the world and their own personal relationship to the ocean. Through their statewide clinics “keiki”, or children, learn to become confident in the ocean through a personally guided experience, surfing, paddle boarding, sailing, and even helping shape traditional wooden boards. The goal is for each of them to leave with a sense of love and responsibility for the ocean, so they can go on to make life choices that will positively impact it.  OluKai, through Ama OluKai, is proud to support this incredible organization through our give-back program.

    At OluKai we are thrilled to be able to support this incredible organization through our give-back program. For more information and ways to get involved, please visit:

    Images by Jake Marote (@jake_of_all_trades)
  • November 21, 2017

    Ama OluKai Foundation

    2017 Giveback Series - Part 1


    Since delivering our first pair of sandals in 2006, giving back to the community has been an important part of the OluKai tradition. Now, more than a decade later, we are proud to support a more formal giveback program by way of a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in the state of Hawai’i. It is a story about wayfaring people with a proud heritage, a rich island culture that is centered around community and the Aloha spirit.

    Part of the proceeds of every OluKai purchase goes to the Ama OluKai Foundation honoring those who preserve and celebrate the cultural heritage and aloha spirit of Hawai‘i. By parterning with local organizations, the Foundation helps preserve land, ocean, and Hawaiian tradition.


    Check out more in Ama OluKai's video below or visit

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