A “TASTE” at Kaka’ako Night Market

A special guest dropped in to serve our first plate to our first customer

On September 29th, TASTE was pleased to present its soft opening sneak peek to the public at the Night Market in Kaka’ako. The old Akane Cafe, is set to open in late October under the direct supervision of Chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi. Chef “Gooch” served up Braised Belly, Red Curry,  and Wong Farms Lu’au Stew to nearly 200 lucky foodies who heard through the grapevine that we were doing a sneak peek.

The new space, Taste Table, is a collaboration between Street Grindz, run by Poni and Brandon Askew, Under My Umbrella owned and operated by Amanda Corby and Pili Hawaii, a food group recently co-founded by Chef “Gooch” and Corby.

Mr. & Mrs. Le of Pig & The Lady will be one of the regular pop-up vendors.

For breakfast and lunch TASTE will feature an “A La Carte” menu created by familiar faces you may be used to seeing from a truck window.  During the day, TASTE will feature a revolving door of lunch truck owners taking a turn at brick and mortar–serving up fast, affordable, fresh and always changing food.
For dinner, think a restaurant turned dinner party.  Most always, there will be a set menu, pre-purchased reservations and an intimate group of diners sampling the featured chef’s latest experiment.
TASTE hopes to serve as a culinary experiment hub for the back-of-the-house and a unique dining experience for eaters.  On the surface, TASTE is a permanent pop-up space featuring many chefs in one location, but in addition to rotating Chefs, TASTE will also offer cooking classes, Chef demos, tastings and culinary and business skills training.  For more information and updates on the grand opening of TASTE visit them at www.tastetable.com.

Greening Our Future

On August 25th, UMU was proud to present the transformation of a vacant warehouse into an elegant gala after months of  collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council, Hawaii Chapter, RIM Architects and a solid group of volunteers for the 2nd annual Green Gala at Warehouse MR1.1 in Kakaako. This fundraiser and awards dinner celebrated the efforts of local designers, builders and community leaders for  their stewardship towards a greener future.
Falling in line with the USGBC’s sustainable mission, our team worked endlessly to transform this rundown warehouse into a night of sustainable elegance. Thanks to the assistance of great volunteers and like-minded organizations, we were able to elevate the possibilities of what a vacant warehouse has to offer. The unique venue provided the UMU and our dedicated planning committee with a chance to embrace the intent of LEED credit MR 1.1 by reusing and transforming an empty warehouse into a classy Gala.

Throughout the evening guests enjoyed a locally inspired dinner courtsey of The Whole Ox Deli and Prima, signature drinks by local celebrity mixologists  Joey Gottesman and Dave Newman of Pint & Jigger as well as beer and wine garden. The evening  highlighted a eco-themed silent auction and live entertainment by Hot Club Of Hulaville.  Our zero waste stations, courtesy of Tree3s, helped to lessen our environmental impact.  We are proud to report only one bag of trash was created from this 300+ person event.  Everything else was either reused, recycled, composted or fed to our four-legged friends on a farm.

Award winners of the evening included Henk Rogers and The Blue Planet Foundation for the Outstanding Pioneer Award; Hunt Companies for the Legacy Award and special honors of  Punahou Schools and Forest City as Hawai’i’s Green “LEEDers” in Hawai`i.

Proceeds of over $25,000 from this event will benefit the USGBC’s mission which is to create an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy and prosperous quality of life for all in Hawaii through the transformation of the built environment and the way it is planned, designed, constructed and operated.  We truly loved the level of creativity and collaboration this event fostered and we are already planning on how to make it even more “out-of-the-box” for next year. Another non-traditional “gala” we are so proud to be a part of.  For more telling photos visit Honolulu Magazine’s event slideshow courtsey of Ross D. Hamamura.