$100,000 gift creates Nobuye Horio culinary scholarship at Leeward CC

Leeward Community College
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Dir of Communications
Posted: Jun 4, 2015

Nobuye Horio
Nobuye Horio

LEEWARD O‘AHU - Ruby and Paul Mizue of ‘Aiea, Hawai‘i have established the Nobuye Horio Culinary Scholarship Endowment at Leeward Community College in honor of Ruby’s aunt. The scholarship, funded with a $100,000 gift, will support culinary students who are graduates of a Hawai‘i high school.

Ruby Mizue explained, “As a sansei, or third generation Japanese-American, I have been the privileged recipient of the values and sacrifices of my grandparents, parents, and loving aunts and uncles.” Mizue continued, “The Japanese principles of Okage sama de (I am what I am because of you), Gokuro sama (thank you for your efforts/hard work) and Kodomo no tame ni (For the sake of the children), all envelop the spirit of gratitude and love for our past and hope for the future. My elders lived these values, giving me a strong, loving foundation upon which to pursue my education and career goals, raise a family, and finally to return that loving support and care in their final years. Even as their lives faded, they taught me priceless lessons in patience, flexibility, and unconditional trust and love. These “gifts” are blessings that can never be adequately repaid.  Through this scholarship, these values that were so evident in my aunt’s life, and passion for culinary excellence, will live on.”

Nobuye Sato was born in Waipahu in 1923, the second of six children of Japanese immigrants. She attended schools in Waipahu and the Liliha area and graduated from Farrington High School in 1941. Together with her sisters, she helped her parents by working in the Sato family’s saimin stand during and after World War II. The tiny but popular saimin shop stood near the Liliha-Vineyard corner where Liliha Square/Times Supermarket is located today.

From these humble beginnings and with no formal training in food service or cooking, Nobuye began her lifelong love of food and dining. Her early experiences prepared her well for the hard work and tireless pursuit of excellence in food preparation and presentation. After the family saimin stand closed, she worked in many restaurants, including Woody’s in the Kapi‘olani/Ke‘eaumoku area where she met her husband Masami Horio, a bookkeeper at the restaurant. Later she was the head “pantry lady” at the Tropics Restaurant located in the Atkinson/Ala Moana area where the Ala Moana Hotel now stands.

Her pantry work took her to several fine-dining establishments, including Michel’s in Waikiki and the Cavalier Restaurant, located in the Pan Am Building on Kapi‘olani Boulevard. When Cavalier closed in the early 1980’s, she moved to her final job at the Woolworth’s lunch counter in downtown Honolulu.

Throughout her long life of 91 years, Nobuye never lost her taste for fine dining and excellence in food service.

“She was a keen critic of any dish she prepared or was served! Taste, texture, temperature and presentation were all important to her--whether preparing a simple meal for herself, for a house full of guests, or while dining out with family and friends,” Ruby Mizue added. “We are establishing this endowment with funds from her estate. She would be thrilled to know that the fruits of her many years of dedicated work will help culinary students pursue their own dreams.”

“We are so thankful to Ruby and Paul Mizue for establishing this generous endowment to provide scholarships for students in our culinary program,” said Leeward CC Chancellor Manny Cabral. “The story of Ruby’s aunt Nobuye Horio is memorable and inspiring. She was a person who loved fine dining, and during her culinary career was the talent in charge of making the famous Tropics Dressing at the Tropics Restaurant.  While the restaurant is now closed, the dressing is still available in grocery stores,” he continued. “This scholarship will grow her legacy for generations to come.”

If you are interested in learning how you can support the students and programs at Leeward CC please contact Executive Director of Development, Regional & Community Colleges KC Collins at kc.collins@uhfoundation.org or (808) 956-3458. You can also make a gift online at www.uhfoundation.org/givetolcc


The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. The mission of the University of Hawai‘i Foundation is to unite donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawai‘i and our future generations. www.uhfoundation.org


For more information, visit: http://www.uhfoundation.org