Hashi is the Japanese word for chopsticks, but is also defined as a bridge.

Many theorize that the word hashi evolved to describe chopsticks because of the method in which chopsticks are used — to connect food from one’s dish to mouth, or the holding of food between the two sticks — which is visually reminiscent of a bridge.

There is an undeniable, tangible connection between food and culture in Hawaii.

The Hawaiian Islands are a melting pot of cultures, and thanks to the quality of the ingredients, chefs, farmers, fishermen, ranchers, purveyors, communities and policymakers, we are able to preserve these cultures through food.

Beginning in adolescence, food comes to define us as individuals, not to mention our families and communities. Ingredients and goods sourced in communities help structure the cuisine that feeds its people. These ingredients, recipes, preparation methods and food traditions blend to cultivate a cultural identity.

Cuisine, like culture, is never fully baked, but everchanging — taking steps forward, resurrecting traditional methods and borrowing from other culinary practices.

Through Hashi, we explore the connection between food and culture in Hawaii, and beyond. We’ll examine the role that ingredients and cuisine play in the bigger picture of our life.

Now in its tenth year, the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival (HFWF) unites Hawaii’s leading talent with internationally renowned chefs. It’s the premier epicurean event in the Pacific where local and visiting chefs get to cook alongside each other, savoring the opportunity to learn new skills, help a fellow chef plate during a busy event, and connect over food. The dishes are full of flavors from the land and sea, layered with passion, and inspired by culture.

The stories discovered through the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival become a responsibility of ours to share with our Hashi readers.

This digital platform is a testament to the intrinsic connection between food and culture, and creates an outlet to explore the compelling stories of the mouthwatering ingredients, talent, experiences and cuisines that bridge us to each other, through food.

Through Hashi, we invite you to cross the bridge to discover all things food and culture in Hawaii.