On the Mainland, "Hawaii" and "Hawaiian" are sometimes used interchangeably. Hawaii Food is delicious but broad "mixed plate food" that arose from intermingling cultures (Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, etc.), giving us plate lunches, loco-moco, haupia-filled malasadas, li-hing mui BBQ chicken or kalua-pig manapua.
Hawaiian Food is the unique and utterly delicious food based on the native culture of Hawaii.
First of all, prep involves talk-story, eating and chopping--A LOT of talk-story and chopping. Lomi salmon requires 150 pounds of fresh tomatoes chopped into very precisely-sized small chunks. Chicken long rice requires chopping cases of green onions. Also by hand.
As with the Mountain View Obon, it's not necessarily about 'process efficiency' so much as it is to share--it feels like really big family party. From the back-and-forth banter, it's clear that the Hui Ilima members are lifelong friends. And I love that the club gives back to its home by supporting charities like Second Harvest, the Family Giving Tree and Martha's Kitchen.
Hui 'Ilima is what ohana and real Hawaiian homemade food is all about. Already thinking about next year!
Eat Well. Be Well.