“I cook from an `āina based perspective. It’s important for us to know where our food comes from, it defines who we are. The awareness of this intimate connection keeps me grounded.” Mark Noguchi was born and raised in Mānoa Valley and spent his early 20’s dancing with Hālau o Kekuhi in Hilo. It is because of his time with Hālau that he credits his respect for his home and ingredients. Noguchi is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of The Pacific and the Culinary Institute of America. Although he prefers to just be known as a “cook,” Mark’s dedication to empowering his community through food and education has landed him a spot as a leader in Hawaii’s sustainable food movement. “Gooch,” as his peers and friends know him, is an alum of TOWN Restaurant and Chef MAVRO in Hawai`i. He is the former co-owner & Chef of He`eia Kea Pier, General Store & Deli where his dedication towards sourcing product within an ahupua`a (traditional Hawaiian Land division) garnered national attention. Chef Gooch then went on to form Pili Group with his wife Amanda Corby. Pili is a non-traditional food group focused on the connection between community, education & food. In 2013, Pili partnered with Hawaiian Airlines on LunchBox a cafe that provides Hawaiian Airlines staff with healthy locally sourced meals. Gooch was also a founding partner and resident Chef of TASTE TABLE, a pop-up project that revitalized the food scene in Kaka`ako from 2012 to 2014. In January 2015, Noguchi expanded his brand in Kaka`ako with a lunch eatery, MISSION Social Hall & Cafe, on the grounds of the historic Hawaiian Mission Houses museum. Although small, this café has reconfirmed Pili’s commitment to sourcing locally and telling the story of ingredients through the food they serve. “Gooch” can also be seen on the Cooking Channel’s Unique Eats as a commentator and most recently on CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Hawai‘i special. Most may know this chef for his accomplishments in the food world, however Noguchi says his proudest moment is being a father to his two beautiful daughters.