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Weekly Update for Mar 22, 2023

Article #1: Honoring the Māori Language Through Inspired Quotes    

Submitted by: Keanu Gauthier, Guest Blogger and BYU-Hawaii student 

This week’s blog honors the beautiful Māori language. Originally shared with staff and volunteers at the Polynesian Cultural Center in the Fall of 2022, these historic quotes from revered Māori leaders were compiled by Tainui Johnston, who is fulfilling his Academic Training requirements at the Islands of Aotearoa at the Center. We are honored to share his tribute with our readers. Read the full blog here! 

Maori Village Chief


Article #2:Cultural Beliefs in Action!!  

Submitted by: Executive Chef Felix Tai

Student Workers cooking Traditional Roasted Pig

Jessica has been working with us for about 1 year and 6 months now, Daxia has been working with us for about 6 months. These 2 fine young women have been taught and placed in a leadership position in our kitchen and are responsible for the management of food inventory, supervising food production, cooking practices, safety and sanitation, cleanliness and quality control.  

They have been taught very specific knife skills to know how to break down an entire Ahi from whole to sashimi with an average weight of 140lbs every day. Today I was able to take them and show them, along with Benjamin Fuimaono, how to prepare our imu for the pigs at the luau. I am grateful for Ben and Dave for radiating the spirit, by showing kindness and having patience as this teaching moment can be daunting as I am taking their actual working period to make this happen. They have radiated the spirit when I brought Landon, and every time I bring anyone else and use their time as a teaching opportunity.  

Daxia and Jessica embraced learning today wholeheartedly by cultivating trust in me and allowing for this opportunity to build a bridge between the crafts of their work and to be able to honor our legacy.  

Everyone was able to take charge today as we needed to, since we were working with fire, there needs to be a sense of urgency and teamwork in achieving a great success with the imu cooking.  

Daxia and Jessica were able to “Wow Customers” and “Achieve Results” by making today possible. Today isn’t the only day they will be participating in the imu, they will be doing this for the whole of next week as Dave is out for the week. I am grateful that as a leader, I have the opportunity to be the one to connect the next generation of leaders by integrating beliefs, magnifying employees, uplifting guest and achieving results with something that is part of the culture, and is based on love which is food.  

Today I am grateful for the Imu and for all the lives who have surrounded it, from generations well past before us, from their respective islands nations, and use the fire and ignite the next set of leaders.  One of the biggest accomplishments I have ever received in being a chef isn’t about how good the food I am able to cook but that I am to make leaders and future chefs.  

Chef Felix