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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 DOWNTOWN in 2007, and UPTOWN Events in 2009. 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.
Ed sits on the Board of Directors for Ma’o Organic Farms, the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, and Sustain Hawaii and on the Advisory Committees for Hogan Entrepreneurs and the Culinary Arts Programs at Leeward Community College and Kapiolani Community College.