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Chef Sheldon Simeon's Recipes Bring the History of Hawaiʻi to the Dinner Table

Sheldon Simeon Cookbook.jpg
Courtesy Penguin Random House
"Cook Real Hawaiʻi: A Cookbook" by Sheldon Simeon and Garrett Snyder

Maui chef Sheldon Simeon's new cookbook weaves together ʻono recipes with the rich history of Hawaiʻi—the different cultures, peoples and foods.

He's been recognized worldwide. In fact, you may have tried one of Simeon's eateries: Star Noodle in Lahaina, Lineage Restaurant in Wailea, and the newest Tin Roof in Kahului. Or perhaps you've seen him on the television show "Top Chef."

The Conversation sat down with Simeon to talk about his culinary journey and his new cookbook "Cook Real Hawaiʻi."

"I understood that there was an amazing opportunity to really showcase our culture here in Hawaiʻi," Simeon said. "A lot of Hawaiʻi's history has a lot of rawness and a lot of it is not exposed because it is in the homes. It is about family. And I'm glad that I got to tell those stories and my experiences."

He lives in Wailuku, Maui, but was born and raised in Hilo on Hawaiʻi Island to a huge family, he said.

"So lots of cousins and family gatherings all around and forever surrounded by food. We celebrated food and we loved it. We come from a family of amazing cooks and I looked up to my parents as my inspirations to my cooking."

This segment aired on The Conversation on July 19, 2021.

Lillian Tsang is the senior producer of The Conversation. She has been part of the talk show team since it first aired in 2011. Contact her at
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