Editor’s Page: This Year’s Hale ‘Aina Awards Is A Celebration of Perseverance
At your service: When it comes to our dining industry, we can all bring something to the table.
hen the HONOLULU team goes out to eat, we talk with people. Admittedly, we are a curious bunch, but when your job is to find and highlight the stories behind local food, fashion, culture, arts and issues, you get to know a lot of people—especially in Hawai‘i where it seems we’re already connected to so many by the schools we went to. (Me: Kipapa Elementary, Mililani High, University of Hawai‘i. Now you go.)
What used to be jovial, casual chats with servers, bartenders, chefs and restaurant owners have shifted to more serious conversations. After a challenging 2020, the rush of eager diners upon reopening coupled with a drastic shortage of workers in many fields has created longer waits, shorter hours and a lot of frustration. With kids heading back to school in August and the lapse of increased unemployment benefits this month, there are hopes the crunch will ease some. But it won’t go away. We asked some in the industry how diners can help maxed-out restaurants.
In some ways, this year’s Hale ‘Aina Awards is a celebration of perseverance: from a look at what it takes to open a restaurant to a restaurateur who was planning to leave the business but ended up opening three eateries with a friend he met at a bar. This is also a celebration of a new addition to our dining team. Maria Burke has spent decades working front of house, in the kitchen and behind the bar in O‘ahu clubs and restaurants. Now, she’s bringing her passion for food to you as the newest member of Frolic Hawai‘i’s editorial team. If you see her, me or any of the HONOLULU team, be ready to talk story. It’s the best part about what we do.
Photo: Karen DB Photography
Got a good story? Reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Read all of these stories in the September issue of HONOLULU Magazine. Available on newsstands in July, or purchase the issue at shop.honolulumagazine.com. Subscribe to the print and digital editions now.