SMMH – Meet Melanie H. Kosaka of Share Your Table


Can you give us a quick intro to yourself and your connection to Hawaii?

Born and raised in Hawaii.  Went to college in Los Angeles and lived there for a while.  A brief 18 months in Portland, Oregon confirmed, I can’t live through 100 days of rain.

Can you give us a quick overview of your company, organization, blog?  Why was it created?

I wanted to create projects that expressed how food is one of the most tangible and personal ways we can share who we are.  I love doing that.

Started as a PBS Hawaii culture and arts producer, which was a fantastic opportunity to explore Hawaii from the viewpoint of artists, activists, and a myriad of interesting folks.  Left PBS Hawaii in 1992 and started my company First Daughter Mediaworks, Inc. to produce the cooking series “Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi.”

Went on to produce 5 different culinary series for national and international audiences.  Won a James Beard award for Best National Cooking Series in 1997.

Most proud that all our project are shot on location and never in a studio.

More bio info:

Who are you helping?

The two groups that I hope we can help are farmers and eaters.

Farmers – by showcasing what they do, we hope people begin to value and understand the tremendous risk and work of growing food.  We should value fresh grown products as we do any other hand-made product. We should appreciate farmers for feeding us!

Eaters – We all should know more about the food we eat.

Explore more here.

What problem or void are you solving via your service?

Hmm..not sure if I’m solving any problems for anyone.  For myself, it fulfills my need to create.  I’m not an artist, can’t paint or write, regret that I didn’t become an architect.  By doing Share Your Table it fills my need to create spaces for people to walk through.

As a local resident who calls Hawaii home, can you give us some insight into a side of the islands that you feel visitors should know?

I guess my view reflects a foodie perspective, but I would say visit the KCC Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning.  It’s less than 10 minutes from Waikiki.  Talk to the various vendors and locals, see what tastes and smells engage you.  Use this as your compass to explore Hawaii.  From what interests you at the market you can plan a couple of fieldtrips.  The vendors are always very gracious about sharing their knowledge.

Explore KCC Farmer’s Market.

What do you do in your spare time?

Spare time…what’s that?

If you already live in “paradise” then what’s your idea of a vacation?

A stack of books and magazines and staying put in a great hotel.

What’s your favorite…

— sound from Hawaii?

My daughter’s singing.

— Pidgin word?

You know, da kine!

— scent from Hawaii?

Eucalyptus trees when I hike in the park near my house, scent of gardenias and pikake are great too.

*Special shout out to Melanie for the generosity of her time and key role as a local foodie host to Chef Mark Tafoya during the So Much More Hawaii tour.

About Melanie H. Kosaka

melanie-kosakaMelanie Kosaka is the owner and founder of First Daughter Mediaworks, Inc.–a company specializing in culinary television production and interactive media.  Her credits include the James Beard award winning series, The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter, Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi, which has been distributed in 66 countries, New American Cuisine featuring star chefs from around the United States, and–an online based educational product.  FDM has produced over 500 hours of cooking and lifestyle programming for national and international distribution.

About Share Your Table

SHARE YOUR TABLE is an intimate gathering place for food aficionados of all levels – an open “table” that’s as much about celebrating the rich diversity of traditions as it is about pleasing the palate.  Guided by the culinary lens of people who are passionate about food, SYT endeavors to be a delicious place of inspiration for both the enthusiastic home cook and for those who just love to eat. By sharing what we eat, how we eat, and where we eat, SYT hopes to foster a deeper appreciation and understanding of the diverse communities and lifestyles that make our Islands so wonderful.

SYT is a production of First Daughter MediaWorks, Inc., the creators of numerous award winning culinary television series, including The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter and Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi.

We are a multiplatform endeavor with partnerships with Oceanic Time Warner Cable and The Honolulu Advertiser.

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