How the pandemic helped Breadshop improve its operation

In the March 2021 issue of Honolulu Magazine, I wrote about what is happening at restaurants as we ease out of a pandemic-ruled world. Chefs and restaurateurs such as Ed Kenney, Robynne Mai‘i and D.K. Kodama shared stories of survival and how the experience is reshaping their businesses as they move forward. Due to space restrictions, not everyone I interviewed made it into the story. … Continue reading How the pandemic helped Breadshop improve its operation

Ottocake, Ottocake fast as you can

Ottocake's analog cash register, courtesy of Craig's List

In June, Ottocake cheesecake shop opened in Chinatown and sold eight cakes. By July the count was more than 200. “I know, because of the number of sandwich bags I’ve used to pat the crust,” says owner-baker Otto, who’s also an artist, Gucci window dresser, and frontman of The 86List.

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Happiness is a warm pain au chocolat

pain au chocolatWhen I moved back to Hawai‘i six years ago after being away for 17, I brought with me a suitcasefull of cravings. For two years they lay dormant as I luxuriated in the poke explosion and plate lunches and nostalgic Liliha Bakery orange freezes. The sanctification of local produce by George Mavrothalassitis, Alan Wong, Ed Kenney, Hiroshi Fukui et al mixed with our island ocean bounty had me all lucky-I-eat-Hawai‘i. I discovered pa‘i ‘ai and swore off supermarket bag poi. But my tongue has TDD and in time those cravings awakened. I wanted what I couldn’t have. I complained that I couldn’t find skirt steak in the markets (Whole Foods solved that). I complained that I couldn’t buy fresh cavatelli. I told myself “You’re in the middle of the Pacific, relish what you CAN get.” “Shut up, I want a pain au chocolat!”  And every time I found one somewhere in town (like Panya), I tried it. And every time I was bitterly disappointed. Until today. Continue reading “Happiness is a warm pain au chocolat”