Just by chance, I was invited to dinner with some friends in Honolulu in June 2011. I was working in Honolulu and really didn’t have time to go to dinner. You know when you travel for work it’s hard to take time to stop and have a good meal. But my friend Melissa Chang and new friend Catherine Toth inspired me to change my mind. I compromised in my mind that I would work late after dinner and get up early and finish my work.
The event was a popup dinner called Plancha. A popup is a business that literally popups inside another business for a short amount of time. This dinner happened to popup in a coffee house that was closed in the evening. Plancha was driven by social media, cash only, a set menu and BYOB. Only 25 seats available at each seating and I was lucky enough to get the last seat.
The dinner experience was amazing. The food was all locally sourced and there was a compelling story behind each dish. Then I was introduced to the chef/owner Robert McGee. I had a million questions for Robert and he graciously answered them all.
That’s when I realized my dream could be real. The wheels started turning. Everyday I was thinking about starting a popup on Maui. No one was really doing a popup restaurant on Maui that I was aware of or even thinking of doing this…so like usual, I just kept dreaming. No action required when you dream.
Then I attended TEDxMaui in January 2012. I participated in active listening like everyone else in the audience. But something exploded in my mind and in my heart. In a few short hours my dream became a reality. At the end of TEDxMaui was an after party that was not to be missed. It was the social orgasm of the entire day. I stood up from my theater seat and walked right by the after party (I could hear people calling to me and asking where I was going), I got in my car, drove straight to the beach, sat on a rock and cried for what seemed like an hour.
TEDxMaui stirred something inside of me to act. And I did. TEDxMaui was in January 2012 and in April 2012 we held our first Kupu Maui, a locally sourced popup restaurant. Year to date we have fed over 600 guests and donated over $5,000.00 to local charities on Maui.
So, thank you TEDxMaui for simply doing what you do. Which is a lot to organize and bring people together to share and inspire. I appreciate each effort and thought it takes to organize an event like TEDxMaui. I bought my ticket and look forward to attending this year, 2012. For now I’ll keep my dream to myself.