Meet Cookbook Author and Culinary TV Personality Harumi Kurihara in Hawai‘i

Japan lifestyle guru collaborates with Big Island Candies for new flavor.
PHotos: MAkIKO ODA and Big Island Candies


For more than 25 years, Harumi Kurihara has won over fans in and out of Japan with her cookbooks and simple stylish flair. A frequent visitor to the Islands, she’s teamed up with an iconic Hawai‘i company for a new cookie collaboration that features Hawaiian sea salt.



Kurihara has published 128 books with more than 25 million copies printed including an estimated 4,000 original recipes.


She also runs “share with Kurihara harumi” shops—56 branches in Japan—with original tableware, kitchen items, housewares and clothes. And she manages 13 restaurants and cafes including her new restaurant harumi’s in Tokyo.


Harumi’s Hawaiian Salt cookies debuted this week (May 10) in the Ala Moana Store of Big Island Candies and the next day (May 11) in Hilo at a cost of $18.95 per dozen. A limited number of customers who want to meet her from 5 to 7 p.m. May 10 (and do $150 worth of shopping) will receive a copy of her yet-to-be-released English cookbook: Harumi.


For a time, devoted fans dubbed her “The Charisma Housewife.”


Kurihara took time to answer a few of our questions:



HONOLULU Magazine: As a cooking and style expert and leader, what lifestyle trend do you hope to encourage?

Harumi Kurihara: My philosophy is about integrating lifestyles and cuisine in a way that communicates my intent and spirit to get people to want to create the same recipes that I teach. That is why I contemplate the holistic experience from the food to the right table settings down to the utensils and plate ware.  It is to inspire. When I prepare food, my friends and family are always happy to receive them so I want more people to enjoy the culinary experience and cook with passion to evoke the same sense of pleasure from their loved ones.


HM: What’s your favorite food to eat in Hawai‘i?

HK: I come to Hawai‘i two to three times a year and on each visit, I tend to enjoy mai tais while taking in sunsets.  I actually also enjoy loco mocos with sunny-side eggs.


HM: Other than your own stores, where do you like to shop?

HK: In Hawai‘i, I love to go to Whole Foods, Williams-Sonoma and South Shore Paperie to purchase food, gifts, and personal items. 


HM: What was it about Big Island Candies that encouraged you to collaborate?

HK: The owners are very kind and honest people I feel I can trust. We have grown close over the past few years in such a way that we visit each others’ homes when traveling. If I had to forge any business relationships with anyone, it would be them because they have integrity. Even if we did not create a cookie line together, I know we would still be very good friends.  


HM: What would you like to share with our HONOLULU Magazine readers that might surprise them?

HK: If you learn to love cooking, I assure you that your life will change. You will take extra care in selecting ingredients, choosing the right plate ware and home design elements, and will take pride in taking great care of your home. Overall, you will become a happier person who will attract many true friends.


Read more stories by Robbie Dingeman