A Taste of Aloha

The cookbook is a national Junior League tradition dating back to 1940, and our very own Junior League of Honolulu upholds that tradition admirably.  Like the women who make up the League, Junior League cookbooks are prized for their beauty, quality, and reliability.  Recipes submitted by Junior League of Honolulu members and local chefs, restaurants and hotels competed for a spot in the cookbook through a triple-testing process for delicious taste, ease of preparation, and Hawaiian aloha spirit.

The Junior League of Honolulu’s first cookbook, A Taste of Aloha, published in 1983, was a labor of love for its members.  With an introduction to the history of food in Hawaii, instructions on how to give a proper Hawaiian luau, a unique Hawaiian fish chart, and a glossary of Hawaiian food terms, it is truly a classic text on the art of food in Hawaii.  The cookbook is organized by recipe type, including appetizers and pupus, beverages, salads, soups, breads, entrees, vegetables, sauces, and desserts.

Over 360 recipes reflect the richly mixed cultural heritage in Hawaii: Japanese Tempura, Chinese Fishcake, Tahitian Poisson Cru, Portuguese Bean Soup, French Gougère Cheese Bread, Filipino Lumpia, Turkish Börek, Korean Kalbi, Indonesian Pork Chops, and Moloka’i Venison Steak grace the pages alongside classic Hawaiian dishes like Kalua Pork, Laulau, and Lomi Lomi Salmon.  Junior League of Honolulu members contributed hundreds of family favorites and time-honored traditional recipes to create a unique reflection of cuisine in Hawaii.

The Junior League of Honolulu was honored to include beloved recipes from chefs at more than twenty Hawaiian restaurants and hotels including the Outrigger Canoe Club, Oahu Country Club, Maile Room at the Kahala Hilton Hotel, The Bistro at Diamond Head, Keo’s, Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Hy’s Steak House, Canlis’ Restaurant, Yen King Restaurant, The Swiss Inn, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, The Plaza Club, Kona Inn Restaurant, The Willows, Bagwell’s at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Michel’s at the Colony Surf, and the Garden Café at the Honolulu Academy of Arts.  Kimo’s in Lahaina and Trader Vic’s in Honolulu shared recipes for their famous cocktails, and the Waioli Tea Room in Honolulu revealed its special guava dressing recipe.  Local celebrities like Hari Kojima of Let’s Go Fishing on Channel 2, and The International Chef, Nino J. Martin, on Hawaii Public Television also contributed their famed fish dishes.  Island artist Pegge Hopper contributed the elegant art depicting her distinctive local women, flowers, and fruits.

The result is a lovely snapshot of classic Hawaiian cuisine from the people who know it best: the locals.  For its truly local flavor and aloha spirit, A Taste of Aloha has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine, and was selected as a charter member of Southern Living Magazine’s Community Cookbook Hall of Fame.

As explained in A Taste of Aloha’s Lu’au section,

“A perfect expression of Hawaiian hospitality, the ’aha’aina or lu’au, signifies a celebration of what the Hawaiian spirit and lifestyle are all about – an abundance of good food, laughter and music – shared with those you love.”

Hele mai ’aha’aina.

Come join the feast.


To buy the cookbook, visit www.juniorleagueofhonolulu.org and click the eStore tab.

Feel free to add book and recipe reviews in the comments below!


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