Sheldon Simeon shows that Hawaiian food is accessible — and, of course, incredibly tasty
I have never watched an episode of Top Chef. I am a typical white person who went to Hawai’i on my honeymoon. I loved it, and I loved the food. So when I heard about chef Sheldon Simeon’s now incredibly successful cookbook, Cook Real Hawai’i, I was intrigued, despite not being as aware of him as I should have been. (And after talking with him, I’m even more embarrassed.)
The book arrived, and I was immediately captivated. Simeon is in love with his home — he was born and raised on the Big Island — and that love flows from the pages in his introduction and his history of Hawai’i, both of which I eagerly read in full. It almost reads like a mini-memoir; it’s transporting.
We produce reported pieces, profiles, interviews, and rants about what’s broken in the food world (there’s a lot) and how to change things for the better. People sometimes tell me to just keep politics out of it. Respectfully: No. Food is political. We can’t and won’t ignore that.