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A True Taste of Hawaii: Pulled Pork and Hawaiian Sauce by Kendra Thornton

In the previous post, a poll was created exclusively to ask the loyal readers of this blog whether or not you approve of having a guest blogger, along with a one week deadline that’s ended today. To which the majority of you clearly voted in favor of it. Here’s the final numbers from that poll…

Poll: Featured Guest Blogger(s) on The Tasty Island?
• Sounds great! It will bring added dimension and flavor to an already interesting blog! 43.01% (43 votes)
• I’m OK with that. 25.81% (24 votes)
• It doesn’t matter, either way. 2.15% (2 votes)
• I prefer only to read what this blog’s original author has to say. 15.05% (15 votes)
• Heck no! 9.68% (9 votes)
• Other (I’ll elaborate in a comment) 4.3% (4 votes)
Total Votes: 93


With that, introducing our new Tasty Island Hawaii guest blogger, Kendra Thornton! following is her complete bio:

Travel Industry Publicist and Spokeswoman

Kendra Thornton has been packing her bags and traveling the world since she visited the Bahamas at 3 months old. She comes from a family of travel agents and founded Thornton Public Relations LLC in April 2005 in an effort to bring strategic and low cost public relations to start-up and established travel, consumer and technology companies. Ms. Thornton also appears regularly as a travel expert on ABC, CBS, NBC and CW affiliates across the country to share travel trends, tips and deals with millions of viewers every year.

Prior to starting her own business, Ms. Thornton was the Director of Corporate Communications at Orbitz.com, one of the nation’s largest travel agencies. In this role, Ms. Thornton was responsible for the company’s external communications strategy and program execution. With a proven background as a creative and results oriented media strategist, Ms. Thornton successfully planned and executed public relations campaigns for Orbitz that covered new product/service launches, crisis communications, executive positioning and brand and product marketing communications for business, trade and consumer audiences.

At Orbitz, Ms. Thornton acted as print and TV spokesperson to extend the company’s brand authority in both leisure and business travel. She’s been quoted frequently on travel trends and issues in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, and appeared regularly on the ABC, CBS and CW networks and affiliate stations across the country to discuss travel.

Ms. Thornton grew up in the travel industry with parents who own Royal Travel & Tours, the largest travel agency chain in north central Illinois. The family business afforded her the opportunity to travel the world and experience first-hand the evolution of the industry – from OAG being the single source for airline schedules to airlines first cutting commissions to the birth of the Internet for booking travel – over the past 30 years.

Ms. Thornton’s 15-year professional career has been in communications where she’s worked with high-profile companies in travel, technology, consumer products and food and beverage. Her resumé includes successful stints at some of the world’s largest public relations firms, including BSMG (now Weber Shandwick) and Golin Harris. In some instances, Ms. Thornton acted as a spokesperson on behalf of her clients in print, TV and radio interviews.

Ms. Thornton received a Bachelor of Arts in English and French from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. She’s active in a number of professional and philanthropic organizations, including the Society of American Travel Writers, Young Professionals of Chicago and the Junior League of Chicago.

Presenting Ms. Thornton’s debut guest post for The Tasty Island. Enjoy!

Molly’s Smokehouse Pulled Pork & Beef Brisket platter – Photo courtesy of Yelp

A True Taste of Hawaii: Pulled Pork and Hawaiian Sauce

By Kendra Thornton

If you have ever traveled to the lovely shores of Hawaii, you have seen its majestic waters, felt their tropical breezes, and have undoubtedly witnessed their scenic views; all encompassing with their vibrant, blossoming colors. However, one thing that truly sparked my interest and left me with a fabulous memory to travel home with was their exotic cuisine!

I wanted to be able to replicate this bold, simple and yet flavorful pork sandwich I had at Molly’s Smokehouse right in Wahiawa. I stayed in one of the top Hawaiian hotels; however I wanted to venture out of the complex and explore some real, cultural food!

When I found this low-key spot, Molly’s Smokehouse, I fell in love with their tantalizing barbeque flavors and wanted to bring this very taste of Hawaii home to my family and find a recipe that could get them drooling over the very same kind of meal I had. Like all pulled pork recipes, it produces meat that is tender and flavorful, and that is even before you add the delicious Hawaiian sauce! If you are someone who is invested in trying some of the unique flavors of Hawaii, give this crock-pot recipe a shot.

The easy do-it-yourself
Hawaiian Island taste of Pulled Pork:

3-1/2 pounds pork shoulder
1 cup of teriyaki marinade
1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
½ cup of chicken broth
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons of molasses
¼ cup of soy sauce
½ cup of chili sauce
2 diced carrots
1 6-ounce can of pineapple juice
1 chopped onion

Hawaiian Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped raw ginger
3 teaspoons chopped raw garlic

To make the rub, mix together the teriyaki marinade, the paprika and the pepper.

Rub it thoroughly into the pork shoulder, being sure to coat as much of the surface as you can.

Use a whisk to combine the chicken broth, the sugar, the molasses, the soy sauce, the chili sauce and the pineapple juice. This produces the water for the slow cooker, so set it aside for now.

Make a bed of vegetables in the slow cooker by placing the diced carrots and the diced onions into the slow cooker first. Then place the pork on top of the veggies, and pour half of the broth mixture on top of it.

Cook these items on low for about eight hours. This recipe requires patience, but it’s worth it! When you are done, the meat will be amazingly tender and juicy.

Prepare the Hawaiian sauce by simmering the olive oil over medium heat and sautéing the garlic and the ginger until it is soft. Then add the rest of the pineapple and cook over a low heat until it is thick.

Remove the meat from the slow cooker and shred it using two forks.

Serve the pulled pork on buns with a generous slathering of the Hawaiian sauce! There you have it, bring that Hawaiian Island feel to your own home in a matter of no time! Enjoy!

39 thoughts on “A True Taste of Hawaii: Pulled Pork and Hawaiian Sauce by Kendra Thornton

  • December 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Just as I thought… a slick characterless blog. Absolutely no personality. Couldn’t even stomach reading thru the whole blog. Pomai, you are a unique voice and don’t equate “local” with simple. The blog is formulaic whereas yours are CREATIVE.

    • December 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      Have to agree with this completely. The piece feels like it was written for a newspaper’s weekend ‘lifestyle’ supplement, not by someone with a heartfelt love of Hawaii’s food culture.

  • December 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Ok not to be overly judgemental but a slow cooker “pulled” pork recipe that relies on store bought marinades? Really?

    Sorry but this wasn’t an auspicious start.

  • December 20, 2012 at 7:26 pm


    “Hawaiian Island taste of Pulled Pork”???? “1 cup of teriyaki marinade
    1 tablespoon Hungarian sweet paprika, 1 6-ounce can of pineapple juice”????

    I’m a mainland transplant living on the leeward side in Waianae! You will not going to find Hungarian sweet paprika in the markets here! You’ll only find what the last large enclave of Native Hawaiians on Oahu cook with and eat in the grocery store.

    I know where Molly’s Smokehouse is; driven by it but Molly’s cooks African-American southern-style barbeque. That is not Hawaiian cooking! Molly’s has 4 island style plates which 1 is Kalua Pork & Cabbage and any isle person in right mind would not be putting southern barbeque sauce on it as Ms. Thornton has done so I think she had the Southern Pulled Pork and is trying to call it Hawaiian!

    As usual let a mainlander claim it’s Hawaiian cooking and inevitably they got to throw pineapple in the recipe because that is what they think we eat every day. Damm do I hate that mainland stereotype!!!!

    “Ms. Thornton also appears regularly as a travel expert on ABC, CBS, NBC and CW affiliates across the country to share travel trends, tips and deals with millions of viewers every year. Ms. Thornton received a Bachelor of Arts in English and French from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. She’s active in a number of professional and philanthropic organizations, including the Society of American Travel Writers, Young Professionals of Chicago and the Junior League of Chicago.”

    With credentials like the above you’d think she could taste and tell the difference between African-American southern-style barbeque and Hawaiian Regional Cuisine! Poor; very poor!!!

    This is exactly what I thought would happen letting mainlanders blog about Island cooking.

  • December 20, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Gee – that’s some really awful turgid writing. I’m not even going to offer an opinion on the recipe.
    Sorry if this sounds cruel Ms Thornton, but you’ve put yourself out there on the internet.

  • December 21, 2012 at 12:44 am

    I think the replies were all better written than the post. Here’s an idea- get some of these guys to write a guest post. Especially KenW because he stay on my side of the island- eh, KenW where you eat at? On a side note- Byron’s Drive In was jumping tonight. Everybody get your last fix of shrimp burger before it closes!

    • December 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      @ L

      I eat mostly at Tacos and More Restaurant, Coquitos Restaurant, Hannara Restaurant, Barbecue Kai Restaurant, L&L Hawaiian Barbecue Restaurant, Red Baron’s Pizza and In & Out Bbq & Sushi.

      Rest of the time I’m normally cooking for myself although I do hit restaurants in other neighborhoods when I’m shopping or entertaining mainland guests.

  • December 21, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Pomai, I was one of those who voted “Heck no!” and this post is exactly why. Your blog is uniquely you, with YOUR voice. That’s what keeps me coming back!

  • December 21, 2012 at 9:34 am

    First off, thank you for running this awesome website, Pomai. I always look forward to the updates.

    But, as much as I don’t wish to pile on, I feel I must do that here.

    For what it’s worth, I’m a mainlander (San Francisco) who owes most of what he knows about Hawaiian Cuisine to this website and who has on his visits to Oahu applied knowledge gleaned from this website to enhance his visits (on the leeward side) by purchasing locally grown and produced items to cook. Also the restaurant recommendations help a ton as well.

    I can safely say that this unfortunate guest contributes nothing to my knowledge of Hawaiian Cuisine or culture. I also agree that this recipe is the sort of thing out of a syndicated lifestyle newspaper article. It’s pretty stupid that this was called a “True Taste of Hawaii.” What the hell is “Hawaiian Sauce?” It honestly seems like the guest blogger didn’t even bother to look at any available resources (like this website) before producing that recipe.

    Pomai, if you do more guest blogs, I’d love it if you would exercise your power to reject/edit the guest posts to maintain the otherwise extremely high quality of your website.

    Thanks for reading the feedback.

    • December 21, 2012 at 9:37 am

      I should add one more thing: it would have been better (but still not as good as the normal postings) if this was called/tagged as something like Hawaiian-inspired or Hawaiian Fusion.

  • December 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    @ Loubert

    How about calling it what it is “Terri-Chili Pulled Pork with Pineapple Garlic Ginger Sauce.”

    • December 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm

      @ KenW,

      Good call, that sounds like a more accurate & appropriate name for the dish.

  • December 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Unfortunetly the guest blogger adds nothing to your website. Imho guest bloggers should reside in Hawaii. Also pulling the one and only photo off of yelp? For shame!

  • December 21, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    The thing that you do really well, the reason I come back time and time again, is that through your words, I feel like I am there.

    Quick lunch, office party potluck, hanging out late at night, quick stop after work, getting up early to hit the farmer’s market, etc…. you give me a sense of ‘place’ when I read what you have to say. And your prose is full of that wonderful local venacular that is full of life and passion. And excitement. When you try something new, I almost feel like you are a 14 year old kid who just can’t your enthusiam in check.

    Not feeling any of that here, I am afraid. I know what you are trying to do and I applaud you for trying something different. Sometimes, though, things don’t work out.

    Keep doing what you do and I hope you hit that magic number on your scale.

  • December 22, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Ah yes. The peace and joy of the holiday season. Gotta’ love it, right?

    First of all, I’m VERY honored by all your folks expression of deep loyalty to me as not only a writer, but a respected representative of Hawaii in the blogosphere. Huge mahalos for that!

    I had a feeling from the very first comment that this would snowball into a tangent.

    Tangent (discourse), meaning, I think all of you are missing the point of what the foundation of Kendra’s post represents.

    See, she’s not trying to post as a Hawaii local, or one who has a clue to even what that’s about. For crying out loud, she’s from Chicago, far removed from tropical sands, no matter where that may be.

    She’s a VISITOR; a TRAVELER (and probably more experienced in that than most of us here), as in TOURIST, as in largest contributor to Hawaii’s economy. Without people like Kendra, direct or indirect, you wouldn’t have food on your table, a shirt on your back, or a roof over your head.

    The “Go away Hauole” attitude, to be honest, is what I’m getting. That’s old already. Bring the aloha spirit first.

    Sure, her recipe is very “hauole-fied” (and I have no qualms saying that), and I honestly knew upon first reading it before deciding to post it that you local folks would scratch you head. Believe me, I did too! Hungarian Paprika? What the…? But hey, who ever heard of Goteborg Sausage, until that was turned into a musubi made famous on Kauai, of all places.

    Shoots, Teriyaki (which is what this recipe is, with a twist) is Japanese, not “local”, yet some locals think Teriyaki is “local”. NOT. That’s as “local” as Manapua is, which is essentially a Chinese dim sum dish more widely known as Charsiu Bau.

    “Saimin” is local. “SPAM Musubi” is local, or at the very least, exclusive to Hawaii in origin. Those are fusion dishes created by plantation workers from our past, representing multiple cultures. “Loco Moco”, nah, not so much. That’s basically American diner grub with an identity crisis.

    And an identity crisis is bound to happen when multiple ethnic cuisines are involved, as is most often the case with what we all identify as “local” to Hawaii. Taken even further, common, Lomi Salmon is “Hawaiian”. Salmon? Since when did you catch any salmon in Hawaii?

    The point I’m making is, Kendra is telling her story from the innocent eyes of a “malahini”, an outsider if you will. She’s not trying to “pose” as an expert to Hawaii cuisine, but simply adoring it, trying her best, with the ingredients at her disposal to replicate the flavors that came across to HER as being “Hawaiian”.

    If she wrote a recipe trying to replicate the “wallpaper taste” of poi, using, oh, say, flour and potatoes or yams, wouldn’t that be amusing!? So what’s so bad about the recipe she posted on this “True Taste of Hawaii” Pulled Pork recipe? Quite frankly, while the ingredients are out of the norm, really, it sounds quite ono to me. If I was on a meat diet, I’d make that in a heart beat!

    And yeah, Molly’s is Southern BBQ/Soul, yet even Molly’s looks like they twist their recipes up to “local-fy” it. Most ethnic restaurants have to – no matter where they’re locationed – in order to appease the demographic.

    I really should have asked Kendra to give more explanation on her viewpoint, and to that I apologize to you folks. The one she wrote here was clearly too brief and “sterile” if you will, sounding as you said, more like a New York Times Sunday paper lifestyle cover piece.

    All I’m saying is, don’t think of it as naive or halfhearted, but try to listen to what an “outsider’s” perspective is on Hawaii cuisine and culture. And make the corrections to that person, where corrections need to be made, negativity not required. We can all learn from that.

    • December 22, 2012 at 7:35 am

      Pomai, I get it. In fact I more than get it. I get asked by expats on how to improvise to get the local taste without all the impossible-to-find ingredients quite frequently.

      • December 22, 2012 at 11:55 am


        THANK YOU. Perfect point. If someone in Canada said they substituted a Maple Leaf for the Ti Leaf in attempting to make Kalua Pork, I’d totally be intrigued by that. Who knows? Might taste better!

        • December 22, 2012 at 12:41 pm

          Speaking of the same, while we use banana stalks and leaves as the moisturizer and insulator in the imu, hono hono grass was primarily used in the old days. I don’t see too many willing to try that now. LOL

    • December 22, 2012 at 9:46 am

      @ Pomai

      Listen, you run a great blog. And diversity of opinions are what makes discourse on the Internet awesome.

      But I think one of the underlying issues with this particular submission is that your website is built on three foundations that this article ignores. The majority is your posts are reviews of local restaraunts, eateries, food trucks and caterers. You also do a fair number of product reviews supported by suggested applications for the items. And finally, you’ve posted a fair number of recipes you’ve produced to replicate some local items.

      There’s nothing inherently wrong with this article, but it just doesn’t fit into any of these categories, which is what a lot of people are really reacting to here. As a couple of posters have noted, there nothing terribly local about the recipe, and it would be out of place in the “lifestyles” section of your local paper, or Good House Keeping, for that mater. And Ms. Thornton barely mentions Molly’s Smokehouse, the inspiration for her article, in passing. How was the service, how we’re the sides, what did she think of the the Q? How about a couple of photos (not from Yelp).

      I think these folks were expecting guest articles to have more of the Tasty Island format and flavor and would welcome different voices, whether local or from the mainland, if they didn’t seem quite so “airmailed” in.

      • December 22, 2012 at 11:58 am


        Actually the discourse and “controversy” actually generate more interest, as the hit count on this post since the comments rolled in skyrocketed much higher than average. Probably those more into the drama than the food itself.

        I’ll reply to more of your comment later. Gotta’ run.

      • December 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm

        Never mind. Don’t need to run now. lol

        I think those of you against it don’t like the major change it brings. Sure, it’s not “another Pomai” writing that, with the same knowledge, writing style and sense of both place, peppered with silly humor… the way I like delivering my work here.

        Think of this as new girlfriend or boyfriend for a day. Or perhaps a few hours. Or a few minutes.. hey however long it takes to stimulate or bring discord to the moment, right? LOL! For some, that works out, for some it doesn’t. I mean, goodness, like fish in the sea, this is just one post out of now HUNDREDS listed on my INDEX page; most of which were written by yours truly. If you don’t like the guest posts, simply click away. Or click to another website until I post something myself again.

        In fact, my next post will be a fun one, featuring an AWESOME spread of local ‘kine grindz from our office Christmas party potluck this past week. You regulars who’ve expressed your opinions so vocally will find total redemption for me when that goes up. Guaranz!

        I do see your point about her pretty much skipping the details on Molly’s Smokehouse. What it is, is it appears she’s trying to make her article as concise as possible, minimizing word count, when I should have told her space is no limit on my blog, as it most definitely is in print, so leave not one detail out! It seemed “airmailed” because she wrote it so concise, lacking any “fluff” or banter that you folks are used to in my writing style.

        I must add, when Tony Kawamoto, my previous guest blogger, contributed articles, he WAS from here. Local Japanese boy in real estate. Yet even he was rejected by some of my regulars, as he covered exclusively upscale restaurants, when my readers seemed to prefer the old school hole-in-the-wall “comfort food” joints I cover more frequently than any else. Not only that, he wasn’t ME. Which for me saying that sounds pretty egotistical, but you folks are the ones who say, you only want to read what I write. So, so be it. I’m flattered, yet I still wish… ah never mind.

        No matter, what I can’t change the opinions of those of you who won’t accept the change. I know, I’m hard head myself. That’s why I’m still suffering a re-broken heart, all thanks to FB, when all I was seeking was closure from that person. Turns out, no matter what, God’s will is that I must do it on my own. If it weren’t needed for work, I’d get the hell out of Dodge on FB. Screwed my head and heart all up.. again.

        Happy Holidays? Yeah, right.

        • December 23, 2012 at 7:11 pm

          FB is a terrible medium for closure-seeking or anything related to personal matters other than posting happy pictures. :(

  • December 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Your voice is local, representing all the different colors and tastes of the unique peoples that call Hawaii home. Your voice is da kine identical to what I heard when I was a kid raised in Kawaihapai across from the Dillingham airfield, over 76 years ago. Your views and comments of local has all the beauty of pidgin (Queen’s tongue + street slang) that at times, transports me back home. Do not stray too far from your roots, Pomai, you are local. Mahalo & Aloha. Imua! Ernie.

  • December 23, 2012 at 12:31 am

    I’ve been lurking on your blog since the last change. Not a good change, btw–I still remember when you did hole in the wall places, stuff in Kalihi (although you still do that) and random food trucks. Nowadays, it feels like upscale stuff, product endorsement or like you’re trying to please your sponsors instead of telling it like it is. If you’re going to have a regular guest blogger, why a pr person? The whole post felt like something out of Parade magazine. Very sad and disappointed.

    • December 23, 2012 at 11:22 am

      The change came about mostly to pomais dietary needs. Cant always eat loco mocos and plate lunches without having some issues am I right? Lol. Once he hits his target goals I’m sure he’ll start bringing back some of the old school food posts we’ve come to adore and love (actually I’m starting to see them a little More now meaning hes close to his target weight or simple dropped off the wagon lol.)

      • December 23, 2012 at 11:32 am


        When you see my next photo following the next post (coming very soon!), you’ll clearly see I haven’t dropped off the wagon. In fact, I’m now at 169 lbs.. Getting there, baby!

  • December 23, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    @ Pomai,

    I think you know me quite well by now as we have broken bread over lunch a few times and shared some email.

    What turned me off to Ms. Kendra Thornton’s post was the fact that her Bio screamed look at me, I’m well to do educated well-traveled, well referenced by major media outlets and TV stations as a go to person for knowledgeable travel information and I own and run my own successful business.

    Ms. Kendra Thornton’s title is; “A True Taste of Hawaii: Pulled Pork and Hawaiian Sauce, By Kendra Thornton. ThorntonPR.com” which is not true Hawaiian at all as claimed and also a PR plug for her company.

    Ms. Kendra Thornton talks about the scenery of Hawaii and then launches into this statement; “However, one thing that truly sparked my interest and left me with a fabulous memory to travel home with was their exotic cuisine!” setting up the reader for the supposed recipe as she mentions; “Molly’s Smokehouse right in Wahiawa.”

    Ms. Kendra Thornton is a PR person so she had to throw in; “I stayed in one of the top Hawaiian hotels; however I wanted to venture out of the complex and explore some real, cultural food!” When you click on “top Hawaiian hotels” thinking it will take you to the hotel Ms. Kendra Thornton stayed at instead it takes you to: http://www.gogobot.com/honolulu–hotels which I’m thinking is she PR for gogobot.com or is she doing PR for some one?????

    As many have indicated Ms. Kendra Thornton shares no information about Molly’s Smokehouse ambiance, service, portion size or quality. She implies she is eating Hawaiian “cultural” food but in real life it is African-American Southern and Texas style cuisine very far from Hawaiian or Regional Hawaiian cuisine. She could have stayed in Chicago and had the same meal if she had ventured into her own Chicago neighborhoods!

    As you pointed out most all restaurants in Hawaii might tweak their recipes to what is locally sourced for produce so Molly’s Smokehouse may have a little Hawaiian flavor. There are basic rubs and marinades used in southern cooking and construction of Bbq sauce that is pretty standard also for Texas style. The ingredients can be sourced at any local store (I have 6 recipe books on smoking and barbequing). When I lived on the mainland I had 3 smokers and 6 Weber Grills (charwood charcoal and gas). The thing that makes the big difference is the slow smoking over the hard wood and type of wood used to develop that tender flavor and smoke ring.

    Ms. Kendra Thornton recipe leaves me scratching my head; “The easy do-it-yourself Hawaiian Island taste of Pulled Pork”. OK I get “The easy do-it-yourself” part as Ms. Kendra Thornton uses store bought bottled ingredients (teriyaki marinade and chili sauce) as most of us would make our own and as I said before you’re not going to find Hungarian sweet paprika in the stores where I live on the Island. From a cooks perspective, teriyaki marinade, chili sauce, sugar, molasses, pineapple juice makes for very sweet pork as the next stop will be the dentist for cavities!!! Don’t feed it to the kids as they’ll be bouncing all over the place on a sugar high!!!

    Ms. Kendra Thornton recipe Hawaiian sauce is olive oil, raw ginger, raw garlic and pineapple juice. She started out with 6 oz. pineapple juice but indicates; “Then add the rest of the pineapple and cook over a low heat until it is thick.” But she already indicated; “Use a whisk to combine the chicken broth, the sugar, the molasses, the soy sauce, the chili sauce and the pineapple juice. This produces the water for the slow cooker, so set it aside for now.” at the start of the recipe so you got no more pineapple juice as you used it all in the first step!!! Makes me wonder if she even made this whole recipe!

    Ms. Kendra Thornton’s Hawaiian Sauce is called Hawaiian Sauce because she put pineapple juice in it. As with any mainlander put pineapple and or ham in it and you can call it Hawaiian cuisine!! Even I as a mainland transplant to Hawaii can see the blatant intellectual shortfall in this! This does more damage to Hawaii’s tourist industry by misidentifying “cultural” cuisine.

    Pomai you said; “She’s a VISITOR; a TRAVELER (and probably more experienced in that than most of us here), as in TOURIST, as in largest contributor to Hawaii’s economy. Without people like Kendra, direct or indirect, you wouldn’t have food on your table, a shirt on your back, or a roof over your head.”

    Pomai I first came to Hawaii in 1967. Starting in 1975, I started visiting Hawaii each year for 10-day to 3 week vacations and before I decided to retire I visited each island for over three weeks to determine which island blended with my needs and likes. I remember when you could see The Royal Hawaiian from Kalakaua Ave. and lower Lewers St. clubs where I first saw Sunday Manoa Hawaiian folk music group playing (I still have their 33 1/3 record “Guava Jam”). I’ve seen a lot of changes in Hawaii.

    You got to remember it was the mainland New England missionaries that changed Hawaii forever by changing the religion, taking away the Hawaiian language making Hawaiians dress like them and banning Hula. Then they and the plantation owners took over the monarchy. It’s been a long fight for Hawaiians to get their culture, language and food back but even today native Hawaiians don’t have the same rights as native American Indians and native Alaskans! I say when you see a visitor or tourist misrepresenting Hawaii correct them don’t play subservient to them as this is your house not theirs!

    Tourists are visiting Hawaii because of our Aloha Spirit, culture, beautiful islands and cultural cuisine better known as Hawaii Regional Cuisine. With Hawaii’s vast ethnic diversity you can eat your way around the world in all of Hawaii’s ethnic restaurants. What Hawaii must be is vigilant about is when visitors or tourists misrepresent Hawaii’s cultural cuisine as something it isn’t and that is what Ms. Kendra Thornton has done with this posting. She is also self-serving in promoting for her own financial gains while falsely claiming what she is duplicating is of Hawaii origin and using this blog to gain authenticity.

    • January 2, 2013 at 7:17 am

      Having read all the responses, I have to agree that the guest blog has been a bit of a mess… the concept though is a good one, since Pomai’s dietary changes may prohibit him from sampling dishes as aggressively as he has in the past. The choice of the blogger is a curiosity, and a source of the backlash. Isn’t there a local food writer who might have been able to contribute? Odd to have a Chicagoan and non-expat local be the first foray. The recipe and article were OK, but virtually indistinguishable from what could be found in any Mainland paper’s food column by their critic who “just came back from vacation in Hawaii”. As commented on by others, the cruelest part of the blog was the ubiquitous insertion of pineapple as the part that made the dish “Hawaiian”. As if it was an indigenous fruit and not originally from South America. Anyway, Pomai should continue to feature a guest blogger but look at using a local or at least someone who would report with the same level of intimacy, insight and zeal for local grinds as he does. Looking forward to mo’ bettah stuff fromn this effort.

      • January 2, 2013 at 7:20 am

        By the way, pardon the typos in the last couple of lines… the text box ran out of space for me to catch my errors.. cheee I nevah learned typing at Kaimuki Intermediate! That was for the girls! LOL

      • January 3, 2013 at 3:07 am


        Actually, Kendra was (only) the second guest blogger invited here. The first was in fact a local boy. However his “flavor” was mostly upscale restaurants, which apparently my readers felt he came across as being pretentious. Even I get that reception from certain readers whenever I do high-end restaurants. Seems the majority of readers here prefer the more down-to-earth, easy going vibe of the old school, mom ‘n pop “Diners, Drive-Ins ‘n Dives” joints. Which is cool. I’m down with that. Hey, it’s affordable and definitely REAL.

        But yes, your assessment of the said guest blogger’s post was certainly set-up for backlash, which I didn’t think would be so intense, however it did become so. That said, NO, I will not consider another guest blogger, so don’t anyone ask. Your wife either wants a Ménage à troi, or she doesn’t. Apparently my wife doesn’t. LOL! ;-P

  • December 23, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I’m not against change. I’m not against the recipe. BUT maybe in the future, the guest bloggers can be less PRish (I say this as a PR person myself), and speak with a real voice, with no interest in promotion of anything (including themselves). In other words, more post, less bio. More voice, less slick, promotional speak.

  • December 23, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    This has proven to become an utter TRAIN WRECK. Yet amusing at the same time.

    • December 24, 2012 at 3:51 am

      Just my opinion, but a train wreck would be readers turning against you. I feel bad for the way the guest blogger has been skewered, but at the same time, I think some interesting points have been raised that might help the next guest blogger you have to put together a post that will appeal to your audience. Again, just my opinion. It’s your blog, and thus train wreck designation is based on your opinion :)

    • December 24, 2012 at 8:15 am

      A trainwreck is a good way to put it. But I’d prefer to see it on a more optimistic side as a viewers utter devotion to you and your writing style. I think we as your readers simple want a blogger who has the local vibe, puts up great detailed pictures, and speaks to us more like the neighbor next door telling us of that great new hole in the wall he came across the other night. That’s all :)

      • December 24, 2012 at 8:53 am

        Dan, that’s just part of the equation. Pomai’s posts are creative, superbly written and researched thoroughly… They are of the highest quality and standards and I believe he’s raised our awareness of a quality food blog. To write well is hard hard work. Plus having the talent and the integrity to pull it off. I’ve read many a food blogger with the “local vibe” and was soon bored…I also love the reviews of the high end restaurants as well. I do believe a guest food blogger would add to the mix, but someone with the talent to pull it off.

  • January 3, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I was talking to my wife yesterday about this post and I think what went wrong was this blog seems like it was written for a mainland blog, about Hawaii, whereas Tasty Island Hawaii is a “local” blog. I think it would have been more welcomed if she had done a review of Molly’s, instead of the post being a “recipe post”.

  • January 24, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Mr.KenW, I am agreed with you that Ms. Thornton should not do this to other guest blog. Promoting herself and link to gogobot.com which included all luxury hotels list. the recipe she gave tends to be American. she also gave me one recipe with other website’s photo which is not correct.


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