The first clue: There was no Nadine Kam restaurant review this morning – she wrote “The Weekly Eater” in the Crave section in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser — and its absence was notable.

Then a friend called mid-morning,  with scanty specifics: Nadine Kam had died earlier today, apparently of cancer. She was 63.

How can someone who loved life, and food, and fashion, depart us so unexpectedly?

Nadine Kam, with her late husband, Christopher Neil.

I knew this prolific journalist, back in the day, when she was a novice, writing articles and reviews in the now-gone Waikiki Beach Press. Nadine even then was a savvy wordsmith under workaholic Ella Chun, who edited the Beach Press tabloid for the visitor audience. 

I don’t remember specifically when she made the plunge to join the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, when it was still an evening paper. Over the decades, she covered fashion with a passion and also emerged as  the town’s leading food maven.

She was a quiet, private sort, involved in a 20 year-plus relationship with Christopher Neil, a copy editor at the Honolulu Advertiser, when it was the morning daily, and their unexpected marriage stunned friends on both staffs of the newsroom on Kapiolani Boulevard, simply because they kept their private lives very private.

Alas, Chris died of cancer in June 2013.

Nadine was retained to continue to dispatch her food reviews in the combined Honolulu Star-Advertiser, but she “retired” a few years ago, opting to be an independent critic who generated her free-lance columns ,  dining at fab new places or revisiting faves from the past, turning in her tabs to the paper to be reimbursed.

Her reviews have always been relished and devoured by local foodies, who cherished her guidance in dining adventures.

She, and her craft of tasting, describing, and sharing tasty conversation of everything from pupu to salads, from entrees to desserts, will be sorely missed.

Survivors include her mother, Phyllis Kam; sisters Natalie, Darlene and Sandra Kam; and brother Nolan Kam.

Services are pending…

And that’s Show Biz. …


  1. Nadine will be sorely missed, indeed. A little lotus blossom. I’m very saddened and glad that you wrote this tribute. Mahalo and I hope you and Vi are well. Sheila ❤️

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