HRA New Member Spotlight: MISSION Social Hall & Cafe

MISSION Social Hall & Cafe by Pili Group

553 South King St

Honolulu, HI 96813

808 447-3913

mission@thepiligroup.com

Chef MarkMISSION Social Hall & Cafe by Pili Group is a tranquil community hub tucked away in the heart of the Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site and Archives. At MISSION, our vision for the menu is ‘Comfort food with a nod to history’. By adapting traditional ingredients to a modern palate, we hope to show that the wisdom of our ancestors isn’t something we have to leave behind. We keep the torch of wisdom burning bright by giving our familial traditions new forms. Through the lens of food, we hope to become the ancestors we want to be for future generations.

Our team works alongside our co-producers throughout the year  — restoring the lo‘i at Papahana Kuaola, rebuilding the fishpond at Paepae o He‘eia, harvesting kalo at Kāko‘o ‘Ōiwi — to better understand the stories behind our ingredients and affirm our responsibility to the `āina. In that sense, we co-produce a way of being together that is about so much more than food. We have the great privilege of calling many of our co-producers friends, and even family. What we do, we do together, for each other, for the land, for the future of our community and the Earth, our home.

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Lū`au Stew with Roast Pork Shoulder

MISSION was created by Chef Mark “Gooch” Noguchi who was born and raised in Mānoa Valley and spent his early 20s dancing with Hālau o Kekuhi in Hilo.  He credits his respect for his home and ingredients due to his time with Hālau.  Noguchi is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of the Pacific and the Culinary Institute of America.  Although he prefers to just be known as a “cook”, Mark’s dedication to empowering his community through food and education has landed him a spot as a leader in Hawai‘i’s sustainable food movement.

 

“Gooch”, as his peers & friends know him, is an alum of TOWN Restaurant and MAVRO in Hawai`i.  He is the former co-owner & Chef of He`eia Kea Pier General Store & Deli where his dedication towards sourcing product within an ahupua`a (traditional Hawaiian Land division) garnered national attention.

Chef Gooch then went on to form Pili Group with his wife, Amanda Corby.  Pili is a non-traditional food group focused on the connection between the community, education & food.  Pili recently partnered with Hawaiian Airlines on LunchBox a project that provides Hawaiian Airlines staff with healthy, locally sourced meals.  Gooch was also a founding partner and the resident Chef of TASTE TABLE, a pop-up project that revitalized the food scene in Kaka`ako from 2012 to 2014.  Additionally, he can be seen on the Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats as a commentator.

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