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PRESS RELEASE: Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association Names From Kau Kau to Cuisine Islands’ Best Cookbook

Ka Palapala Po'okela Award of Excellence
Contact: Dawn Sakamoto, (808) 534-7170 or

Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association Names From Kau Kau to Cuisine Islands’ Best Cookbook

Watermark Publishing has received the Award of Excellence, the top honor, in the Cookbooks category of the annual Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association’s Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards. The winning book is From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then and Now by food historian Arnold Hiura, featuring traditional and contemporary recipes by Derek Kurisu of KTA Super Stores and Jason Takemura of Pagoda Floating Restaurant and Hukilau Honolulu. The awards were announced at ceremonies held on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at the East-West Center.

The competition’s judges praised From Kau Kau to Cuisine for connecting Hawai‘i’s past and present through side-by-side pairings of plantation-era and modern-day dishes. Author Hiura, they said, “masterfully ties these recipes together with interesting histories on Hawai‘i’s culinary evolution and illustrates how trends in modern cuisine—sustainable, foraged, nose-to-tail eating—are actually old practices that were adopted out of necessity in plantation and war-era Hawai’i. Sharing food is joyful, and From Kau Kau to Cuisine is a joy to read and share.”

From Kau Kau to Cuisine: An Island Cookbook, Then and Now is Hiura’s fourth book with Watermark Publishing. His two previous cookbooks, Kau Kau: Cuisine and Culture in the Hawaiian Islands and The Blue Tomato: The Inspirations Behind the Cuisine of Alan Wong, co-written with Chef Alan Wong, were also recipients of the Ka Palapala Po‘okela Award of Excellence in Cookbooks.

This marks the sixth consecutive year that a Watermark Publishing title has received the Award of Excellence in Cookbooks. In addition to Hiura’s books, previous years’ recipients were A Splash of Aloha: A Healthy Guide to Fresh Island Seafood (2013) and A Sweet Dash of Aloha: Guilt Free Hawai‘i Desserts and Snacks (2012), both by Kapi‘olani Community College, and The Island Bistro Cookbook by Chef Chai Chaowasaree (2009).

In addition to Watermark Publishing’s own award, two clients from the company’s Legacy Isle Publishing division also received honors. HONOLULU Magazine and Paradise of the Pacific: 125 Years of Covers by A. Kam Napier, Kristin Lipman, Michael Keany and Erik Ries, released under the Legacy Isle imprint, was presented with the Award of Excellence in the Illustrative/Photographic Books category. WCIT Architecture received Honorable Mentions for ‘A‘ama Nui: Guardian Warrior Chief of Lalakea, released under WCIT’s Mo‘o Studio imprint, in both the Children’s Hawaiian Culture and Children’s Literature categories. These are the first Ka Palapala Po‘okela wins for Legacy Isle clients. Legacy Isle Publishing provides publishing services to clients interested in producing non-fiction or children’s books specifically for the Hawai‘i market.

Each year, the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association presents the Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards to recognize and honor the best of Hawai‘i book publishing from the previous year. “Ka Palapala Po‘okela” literally translated from Hawaiian means “excellent manuscript. ”

Watermark Publishing is a Honolulu, Hawaii, book publishing company. Established in 1999, Watermark Publishing has produced a number of award-winning books—including children’s books, memoirs, biographies and cookbooks—specializing in titles that celebrate Hawai‘i’s unique, “mixed plate” culture. Contact Watermark Publishing, 1000 Bishop St., Suite 806, Honolulu, HI 96813; (808) 587-7766; toll-free (866) 900-BOOK; fax (808) 521-3461;

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