Sponsored by Hawaii Gas
In the heart of Kaimuki sits Mud Hen Water, a unique eatery created by local-born chef Ed Kenney. Hawaii Now host Jobeth Devera stopped by and got to taste of one of the restaurant’s popular dishes, Kunoa Beef Tongue and Broccoli.
Mud Hen Water is the English translation of Wai’alae, both the name of the main thoroughfare through Kaimuki upon which the restaurant resides and the name of the ancient land division (‘ili kūpono) that is home to the neighborhood. “Wai” is the Hawaiian word for water and “alae” is referring to an endangered, native waterfowl, the mud hen. Legend states that there was once a natural spring in the area that was home to the Mudhen and frequented by the people of the area. That’s why local-born chef Ed Kenney saw it only fitting that the Kaimuki community gathering place be named Mud Hen Water in honor of the sacred watering hole.
About Alika Chung:
Alika joined Town Restaurant and rose in the ranks from Line Cook to Sous Chef and eventually Chef de Cuisine, before transferring over to head Mud Hen Water as its Chef de Cuisine.
About Ed Kenney:
After receiving a business degree from the University of Colorado and spending four years in corporate commercial real estate, Island-born Ed Kenney took a contemplative year off to backpack across the globe, immersing himself in the myriad cultures, aromas, and flavors that make up life on this planet. On a street corner in Hanoi, over a steaming bowl of pho, he experienced an epiphany: “Food is the unifying fabric of humanity, connecting us to the earth and each other.”
Kenney spent the ensuing decade absorbing everything he could about cuisine, completing the Culinary Institute of the Pacific’s reputable culinary arts program, and training in some of Honolulu’s top restaurants. He took the leap and opened his first restaurant, TOWN, in 2005, followed by Kaimuki Superette, Mud Hen Water and Mahina & Sun’s. His restaurants are lively gathering places guided by the mantra, “local first, organic whenever possible, with aloha always” and have received accolades in local and national press. In 2015, he founded FoodShed Community Kitchen which provides incubator kitchen space for small local food-centric businesses. And in 2016 he made his television debut as the host of PBS Food’s latest national food/travel/genealogy series, Family Ingredients. Kenney sits on the Board of Directors for the Kokua Hawaii Foundation and is a member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Blue Ribbon Task Force.