At Onolish we will share recipes we’ve tried, ones our friends and families and even near strangers have liked. Really liked, so you don’t have to just take our word for it. So that’s one meaning of “past perfect” – we’ve tried it in the past and if it was worth serving again, we keep working toward perfection.
None of our recipes are really our own – thus you’ll see us give credit where it’s due. But, like most people who think they know better or at least know what they like, we often tweak recipes or substitute some ingredients, sometimes out of necessity.
Onolish will try to feature recipes with food that’s in season, and as often as possible, food grown locally, meaning in Hawai’i. While we would love to use only organically grown foods, it isn’t possible, at least not yet due to cost, availability, and frankly, quality since often the organic option at the supermarket languishes unbought. Even most farmer’s markets produce is not organically grown.
For our first selections, we offer some of our standard go-to dishes. Recipes that we frequently make for family and guests (and even take to potlucks). We really do like to cook but we usually opt for the simpler, straight ahead. Occasionally, we get ambitious: pastilla, a two-person job and flan that was no better than Azteca’s in Kaimuki so why bother – or zongzi. We’re not exactly lazy but we also have other things to do like paddleboarding, writing, swimming, hanging out with family and friends, taking college courses, photographing, or vegging out.
Pearl: Food has always brought me joy; maybe it was my parents owning a Chinese restaurant growing up and being a chubby kid. I still don’t get why as a chubby kid, people wanted to feed me more as though I was not rotund enough. Let’s just say my mom sewed my clothes, and I wore sweats a lot decorated with puff paint. To give you a better idea of how much joy food brings me: I often times make inappropriate noises, do a happy dance, and/or sometimes need some quality quiet time when I eat really great food.
Chris: I spent my pre-teen years in Ohio, during an era of meat and potatoes with boiled vegetables but also amazing summers of watermelon, corn, tomatoes, berries. For the remainder of my life I’ve lived in Hawai’i where a vast and interesting food world slowly opened up for me. Between the comfort of past traditional “American” food and the excitement of new foods I keep aiming for perfection.