On my first trip to Hawaiʻi in 2004 my sister, mother, and two nephews stayed for the first half of the trip at the Sheraton Waikiki which had the most fantastic buffet for meals! Breakfast afforded everything that you can think of plus things for the Japanese guests I never would have thought of! The supper buffet was even better: lamb, pork, all sorts of veggies, and enough desserts to give you diabetes just by passing by!
I love to eat a good meal especially when eating with others. Sharing a meal fuels not only our bodies but our relationship as well. Even more than eating, I love to cook and have been told by others that I am good at it, although I’ve had no formal training other than being apprenticed by two of the monks in the monastery during my first two years there.
Come to think of it, cooking is very much like doing my artwork! I take separate ingredients and turn them into something greater and tastier than their individual selves! Having cooked a good meal, I take real pleasure in watching the faces of those for whom the meal was made and seeing and hearing their reactions. I love that moment when eyes widen and a groan of delight comes out and the proof of their enjoyment is when they ask for more! I think that there is something spiritual in cooking for others in that it involves the giving away of yourself… of your time, of your talent, of your experience.
On our last trip (as a family) to Hawaiʻi in 2010 we were all greatly dismayed to discover that the Sheraton no longer offers that buffet experience! We had so worked ourselves up to having one more wonderful dinner experience at the Sheraton that when we found out it was gone we lost all interest in dinner! I forget what we settled for that evening but it definitely was a settling-for!
One of my hopes for when I move to Hawaiʻi in June of 2019 is to be exposed to all sorts of dishes that will broaden my basically-Italian culinary repertoire! As a friend of mine has said, “So many dishes to try, so little time!” Bring on the food!