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PRESS RELEASE: The Book of Kau Kau: Good Food, Classic Recipes and the Remarkable Story of Hawaii’s Mixed Plate

From Kau Kau to Cuisine

From fine dining to food trucks, Hawai'i's contemporary cuisine is indelibly influenced by its small-town plantation past. From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then and Now is a unique culinary guide to that connection between old and new.
Contact: Dawn Sakamoto (808) 534-7170 or

The Book of Kau Kau: Good Food, Classic Recipes and the Remarkable Story of Hawaii’s Mixed Plate

Hawai‘i’s rich culinary melting pot is featured in fascinating stories, classic recipes and eye-popping photography in Kau Kau: Cuisine & Culture in the Hawaiian Islands, a new large-format book from Watermark Publishing.

In Kau Kau (the traditional all-purpose pidgin word for Island food), author Arnold Hiura explores the history and heritage of food in Hawai‘i, with little-known culinary tidbits, interviews with chefs and farmers, more than 70 recipes ranging from local plantation classics to Hawai'i Regional Cuisine, and a treasury of rare photos and illustrations. This hardcover book includes the essential—the “Kau Kau 100 Ethnic Potluck Primer,” a guide to 100 different items commonly found in local cuisine—and the esoteric—a 1920’s recipe for a “poi cocktail”—in a single, well-researched volume. From the early Polynesians to the chefs of fusion cuisine, Kau Kau follows those who have shaped Island society with their food and folkways: immigrant plantation workers from East and West, the military in wartime, modern entrepreneurs who tap the potential of local tastes and diversified agriculture, and many others.

Author Arnold Hiura is an independent writer, editor and media consultant based in Honolulu. He is a partner in MBFT Media, which provides communications and creative services to Hawai‘i companies and community organizations. He previously served as editor of the Hawaii Herald and curator for the Japanese American National Museum. He was born and raised in the sugar plantation town of Papa‘ikou, about five miles north of Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai‘i.

Kau Kau: Cuisine and Culture in the Hawaiian Islands is regularly retail priced at $32.95 (ISBN 978-0-9796769-3-2) and is available at bookstores, other retail outlets and online booksellers, or direct from the publisher at Contact Watermark Publishing, 1000 Bishop St., Suite 806, Honolulu, HI 96813; (808) 587-7766; toll-free (866) 900-BOOK; fax (808) 521-3461;


Book Trailer Video on YouTube
Kau Kau Fan Page on Facebook

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