The local food movement has been gaining ground recently in the sunny city of Honolulu. At the forefront of the culinary shift are a few brave souls who believe in the power of combining locally sourced foods with creative menus and innovative restaurant concepts.
The Whole Ox deli is situated in the heart of Honolulu’s main industrial district, Kakaako. Nestled in with warehouses and auto shops, it opened last month to much fanfare and long lines. Using old world cooking and butchery techniques with modern tastes, the head chef Robert McGee brines, cures and smokes his own locally sourced meats.
In the spirit of their community based mission, McGee used the crowdsource funding site IndieGoGo to raise $11,000 which enabled him to buy a smoker and make his own cold cuts on site. Framed around the fact that “Hawaii ships away as much cattle daily as it eats weekly”, McGee told potential donors that his goal was to shift that tide by opening a totally local deli.
With a simple, straightforward menu and small well-designed space, the Whole Ox is a prime example of the new wave of 21st century restauranteurs - people who believe in the tried and true benefits of good whole food, locally sourced, served with passion and flair.