When ʻOno Hawaiian Foods, the iconic restaurant on Kapahulu Avenue closed this past August, loyal customers grieved. Now, those customers have a chance to walk down memory lane.
Vivian Lee who was the head chef for 25 of the 57 years that the restaurant was in business, is coming out of retirement, for a day. She will be a guest chef for a one-night only and one-seating only pop-up dinner on November 29 at Lēʻahi Concept Kitchen at the Waikīkī Parc Hotel.
To accentuate this experience, Aunty Vivian, as she is affectionately called, will collaborate with visiting Executive Chef Hitoshi Sugiura of Patinastella, in Tokyo to share their knowledge, experience and recipes with culinary students of Kapiʻolani Community College. Chef Sugiura is making a special trip to Honolulu to meet Aunty Vivian.
- Lau lau
- Beef stew
- Salt beef watercress stew
- Chicken long rice
- Lomi salmon
- Squid lūʻau
- Poi or rice
Dinner begins at 6 p.m. and cost per person is $35, or $45 with beer pairing. For reservations, call (808) 971-6302, or email Priscilla Mathewson. Waikīkī Parc Hotel is a gratuity free zone and offers free valet parking, or validated self parking. BYOB is also welcomed.
More about Vivian Lee
Vivian Lee was born and raised on the island of Kauaʻi and is the 7th of 15 siblings. After high school, Lee moved to Oʻahu and enrolled in an IBM technical school to learn automation. About this time, she also found her first job which was at ʻOno Hawaiian Foods. She was there everyday for 15 hours a day, 6 days of the week for more than 50 years until the restaurant closed. Lee largely credits the late Sueko Oh Young, ʻOno Hawaiian Foods matriarch and founder, and the “Number one sweetest lady you could ever meet and who was like a mother to me,” for her years of service and dedication. Now in her seventies, Lee says to remain energetic, “stay moving.”
More about Chef Hitoshi Sugiura
Hitoshi Sugiura has been an executive chef of the Patina Restaurant Group since 2013. His accolades include 5 certifications—master of sake, cheese sommelier, fugu (blowfish) processing specialist license, sushi master license and spice advisor.
In 2012, Chef Sugiura was recognized with a Top 5 Chef Award in an All Japan Culinary Arts Competition (2,500 people participating), and in 2013, he was again recognized with a Top 50 Chef Award in an All Japan Culinary Competition (1,500 people participating).