March 2022 Executive Director’s Message

Congratulations to all of our 2022 Hall of Fame inductees! My gratitude to Y. Hata & Co., Ltd our Presenting Sponsor, all of our Corporate Partners, the 14 Chefs of Aloha & all our event attendees!  

From the feedback I have received, everyone had an epic time! It was an exciting night, honoring and recognizing our Pandemic Champions and Industry Advocates for all they have done to support our food industry during the past two years. It was an amazing evening as we acknowledged and welcomed them into Hawaii Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame.

When I looked around the room, it was filled with past Hall of Fame Honorees, industry leaders, our food service industry supporters and our loyal, faithful customers. After two years of being unable to gather, it felt so wonderful to see 500 people at the beautiful Sheraton Ballrooms.  

The hotel and food service industry in Hawaii is a vital and significant part of our economy. This industry has given our friends and families as well as visitors, a taste of the true essence of what Hawaii is all about. From our beloved upscale establishments to neighborhood favorites, all restaurants were represented at the gala. 

The highlight for me was seeing my dear family friend, John Henry Felix at the gala. Seeing him brought back fond memories of one of my dad’s favorite restaurants of all time, the La Ronde revolving restaurant. And of course fond memories of my dad sitting at the fine dining La Ronde with my mom and 5 of us children. My dad wanted to provide the experience of the 360 degree revolving restaurant while trying to teach his children how to act in a fine dining restaurant. 

Dr. Felix opened La Ronde in 1961 and over the years he also owned 7 restaurants, served as HRA’s Chairman and participated on the National Restaurant Association’s Board chairing the Charitable Giving committee. 

This is what the Hall of Fame stands for –  honoring lifelong restaurateurs. When people mention their favorite restaurants, fond memories of family and friends quickly return and for many, that’s what Hall of Fame is, a favorite event to enjoy the finest of cuisines with family and friends! 

I look forward to seeing everyone at our 2022 Hawaii Hotel and Restaurant Show on March 30th and 31st, then HRA’s Annual Golf Tournament Presented by HMAA this summer to enjoy more great food and beverages, because we proudly are, the Hawaii Restaurant Association! 

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