Ed Kenney is uniting O‘ahu communities with food. His Kaimuki restaurants—Town, Kaimuki Superette and Mud Hen Water—are central to his vision for promoting locally sourced and sustainably grown ingredients, but to call Ed a restaurateur would be an understatement. On any given day he might be giving farm tours to visiting chefs, talking to students about healthy eating or creating inventive fare for Uptown, the catering arm of his foodie empire. He founded the Hawaii Chef Action Network, a platform for local chefs interested in creating a more sustainable food system, and FoodShed Community Kitchen, an incubator kitchen for food-centric startups. “If you occupy this kitchen, you’ve got to support local agriculture,” Ed says. He is currently hosting the PBS series Family Ingredients, opening his first Waikiki eatery, Mahina and Sons, and working on a cookbook.
With the motto of “local first, organic whenever possible and with aloha always,” Ed works tirelessly to meet the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. “We refer to our team as co-producers because everyone here has a vested interest in each other’s success,” Ed says. “Vendors, customers and employees—they are all contributing to something bigger.”