Food to Write Home About: Hawaii, by Bill Tobin and Brian Berusch, is a rare breed of book. It is at once a collection of letters to Tobin’s mother, a love letter to Hawaii and its cuisine, and a cookbook. It is a fusion of what Tobin holds dear, yet it is intended for anyone with an interest in food, travel, or family.
The book blossomed when Tobin, owner of the famous Tiki’s Bar & Grill in Honolulu, and Berusch, a nationally awarded journalist, came together over their mutual love of island life and cuisine. Coupled with their love of family and reverence for the past, Food to Write Home About: Hawaii was born, a blend of nostalgia and innovation.
Hawaii itself is a blend. It has a culture steeped in ancient tradition, yet is also known as forward-thinking, fusing flavors and cultures, lifestyles and interests. Tobin and Berusch’s book exemplifies this by profiling 21 acclaimed Hawaii chefs and showcasing their recipes, which are prefaced by Tobin’s letters to his mother. Each recipe comes courtesy of a different chef with a different point of view, all of them featuring “food to write home about.”
But, as Tobin says, this isn’t merely a food book. It’s a book about people, the past, the present, hopes for the future, achieving your dreams, and honoring traditions while creating new ones. It’s about blazing your own trail while recognizing those who have paved the way before you.
“My journey wasn’t extraordinary, but it is a testament to many things: to the determined pursuit of an idea, to following your passion, to making a plan and then getting detoured or derailed, only to find your way to something more grand than you could have dreamed.” – Bill Tobin
On October 26, in Honolulu, Tobin and Berusch launched the book during the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. Their #1 Regional Food Book on Amazon began shipping directly after the party, which was attended by top Hawaii chefs, restaurateurs, and other authors who came to support the endeavor.
“This is a story about how far you can go by keeping an open mind, by being receptive to misdirection. And exactly how wonderful life can be if you let some new flavors in.” – Bill Tobin
Check out the link below for a TV spot on Food to Write Home About: Hawaii:
Bill Tobin grew up in a small farming community in Nebraska. After a stint in the US Army, he moved to Hawaii to attain a business administration degree. After managing various restaurants, he founded and continues to operate Tiki’s Grill & Bar in Waikiki. He has been involved with numerous nonprofits, including serving as the chairman of the Hawaii Restaurant Association. He lives in Honolulu with his wife and three boys.
Brian Berusch is a nationally awarded journalist and editorial director. He has shared intriguing stories of extraordinary people and great cuisine in dozens of recognizable magazines, including Town & Country, Departures, Wine Enthusiast and on The Today Show. A bit of a nomad, he has tried rooting his toes in Hawaiian sand since 2003, with stints in Sonoma County, New York’s Hudson Valley and the Ticino region of Switzerland. His wife, daughter and son continue to eat very, very well.