Erika Engle

Restaurant recipe magazine
is fodder for foodies’ frenzy

Oahu gourmet cooks and foodies have a new, glossy source for restaurant recipes and food features published by Sturdivant Consulting Corp. (As if the Star-Bulletin's foodie news and recipe services aren't enough to keep you busy.)

The magazine ties together restaurants, an industry organization and culinary education programs and their students for the benefit of all, not to mention advertising and retail sales revenue for Sturdivant Consulting.

Hawaii restaurants that buy a recipe page in "Aloha Recipes Guide" also get a personalized front and back cover, so the co-branded magazine can be sold in the eatery.

Recipes are edited and features are researched by longtime advertising man Jim Winpenny. The recipes are all submitted differently but appear in the magazine in a uniform format.

The first issue of the retail version of Aloha Recipes Guide.

"The one thing I don't allow is, no display ads from restaurants," said Sturdivant Consulting President Ted Sturdivant. "It has to be a recipe. I want to maintain my niche of having recipes from restaurants.

"I don't take ads from real estate, or anything non-food-related -- no jewelry, no real estate or car ads. It's not my niche."

The Bistro at Century Center has its own cover, for instance, featuring a juicy-looking, nearly aromatic photo of pork osso buco, an interior shot of the restaurant and Executive Chef Rodney Uyehara. The osso buco recipe is inside.

Recipes from 3660 on the Rise, L'Uraku Restaurant, and Meritage are among the others in the magazine featuring painstaking presentations photographed mostly by renowned shooter Ric Noyle.

The Hawaii Restaurant Association was featured in the first issue, with a welcome message from then-president Bill Puchert. Sturdivant has offered to buy a year's $250 member- ship for any nonmember who pays to advertise. Each hopes the arrangement will boost HRA membership.

The magazine gives culinary education programs and students around the state a new venue for strutting their stuff at no cost and a mechanism to generate revenue. Sturdivant donates $1,000 per issue to further culinary education and the programs receive hundreds of copies to sell. Culinary Institute of the Pacific Director Conrad Nonaka and some of the students' recipes were featured on several pages of the first issue.

Sturdivant's days of customizing publications began in 1971.

"I was working for a publishing company where we personalized the front page of the first Japanese tourist newspaper (the Japanese Beach Press)," he said. "We put Japan Airlines' name on it and Northwest Airlines' name on it and shipped it off to Japan so they'd be able to hand it out in their sales offices."

Sturdivant later started a drive guide that could be personalized for rental car companies. It grew and he sold it several years ago to Honolulu Publishing Co. Ltd.

Mike Oka was the designer of the first drive guide 37 years ago and designed the recipe guide as well, Sturdivant said.

A customizable guide book that Sturdivant publishes in English, Chinese, Korean, German, and Spanish is distributed by travel agents around the world. His more recent publishing efforts include, an online business bridge between Hawaii and China.

Volume 1, No. 1 of "Aloha Recipes Guide," has been sold in the featured restaurants and in Borders Books, Music & Cafe, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, The Compleat Kitchen, Executive Chef and Tamashiro Market Inc. Sturdivant is working to expand his retail base, as that's where he will derive the lion's share of revenue from the magazine, he said.

The retail stores' copies have a generic cover showing one of the advertising restaurant's dishes. The first issue also showed a headshot array of featured chefs.

The first issue featured 20 restaurants. The next, due out next month, will have 25 and the holiday issue is still growing.

The magazine is printed in Hong Kong and shipped back to Hawaii where the 10,000-copy press runs represent about 6,000 for the restaurants and 4,000 for the retail stores.

Upcoming retail-only issues will include dining coupons, at the suggestion of restaurateurs. While early copies were priced at $8, the cost was dropped to $6, increasing sales. The next issue will be lower still, "so somebody can buy it for $5 and get close to $100 in discounts," Sturdivant said.

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at:


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