Hawaii chef breaks barriers with James Beard recognition
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Hawaii chef was named the 2022 James Beard Award winner for the Best Chef in the Northwest and Pacific Region.
Robynne Maiʻi is the first winner from Hawaii since 2003 and the first woman of Hawaiian ancestry to ever receive the honor.
She is the chef and co-owner of the award-winning restaurant Fête along with newly opened restaurant Heyday located at the historic White Sands Hotel in Waikiki.
“We wanted to open up the restaurant that I wanted to work in. I wanted to give more money to our workers. I wanted to provide maternity leave. I wanted to give health insurance to everyone. I thought why is our industry the only industry that doesn’t have normal things?” Maiʻi said.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Maiʻi earned her culinary and pastry arts degree from Kapiolani Community College and a master’s degree in food studies from New York University.
One other chef from Hawaii was also nominated for the title: Sheldon Simeon of Tin Roof in Kahului.
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