Archive for January, 2014

january • 2014 keiki cover model

RJB4Concierge 1.14Aloha and Happy New Year to Leshel Leiana Nahawanawanalanioku‘u‘uhane Aki Baybayan and her whole ‘ohana!

Mom is Speshel Baybayan, who works as a front office agent at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, and dad is Llewellyn Baybayan, who works in Recreation at the new Andaz Maui at Wailea. Her Grandma Lei works at Napili Kai Beach Resort.

Leshel is five years old, and attends kindergarten at Pu‘u Kukui Elementary School in Wailuku. She plays soccer and t-ball, and loves to play with her brothers and cousins.

Mom shares, “Leshel is always so giving and loving; she loves to help other children. Last Christmas she decided to give many of her toys to the shelter to children who did not have much. She is ‘Miss Aloha’ and always shares a smile. That encourages me to always show Aloha too.”

morimoto maui: the god of japanese fusion cuisine comes to the andaz

Morimoto Andaz Maui  (60)Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto is my culinary idol. The first time I watched him pound out an astonishingly rapid staccato with twin cleavers on his cutting board on the Japanese TV show “Iron Chef” I was hooked. So when I received word that Morimoto would be opening a restaurant at the new Andaz Maui at Wailea, this Food Network junkie’s heart was set aflutter.

I’d already had a preview of Morimoto’s seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients at Morimoto Waikiki, which opened at The Modern Honolulu hotel in 2010. My husband Charles and I, upon the suggestion of our excellent server, ordered the eight-course omakase (chef’s choice) menu, and we were completely blown away—and not just by the sophisticated flavor combinations. The presentations were intricate, artistic, and so, well, Morimoto-esque. We felt like the fortunate judges on “Iron Chef America,” and we gave him a perfect score. Topping off the evening was a photo op with Morimoto himself, arranged by our server. Continue reading ‘morimoto maui: the god of japanese fusion cuisine comes to the andaz’

piiholo ranch zipline canopy tour: zipping through the trees

piiholo_canopyzipIt’s a drop-dead gorgeous Upcountry fall morning—brilliant blue sky punctuated with puffy white clouds—it just doesn’t get any better than this. My mom Joyce and I are in Makawao for our maiden voyage on Piiholo Ranch Zipline’s Canopy Tour. We’d already stopped at Rodeo General Store to satisfy our caffeine requirements and quell our growling stomachs with cups of robust MauiGrown coffee and delicious egg and salsa burritos. (Another great option is Komoda Store & Bakery where the stick donuts are epic.)

We’ve booked the 10am tour, with check in at 9:15 at the Piiholo logo store/check-in center on Makawao Avenue. After being weighed (not our favorite part) and signing liability waivers, we’re directed to the canopy tour course, which is off Piiholo Road, above their original zipline course. Windows down, we inhale the cool mountain air, and congratulate ourselves for picking the perfect day for this outing: no wind, no rain, all good.

It takes only five minutes to get to the parking lot on Waiahiwi Road, and blue and green flags indicate where to turn and park. As Mom and I step out of the car, we’re surrounded by the peppery smell of eucalyptus. Continue reading ‘piiholo ranch zipline canopy tour: zipping through the trees’

run and walk for the whales saturday, february 1 2014 maui whale festival

pwf whale festThe Maui Whale Festival begins on Saturday, February 1, with the annual Run and Walk for the Whales – one of Maui’s largest fun run and walking events. More than 700 visitors and Maui residents participated last year. This year’s race includes a 2.5 mile walk, 5K run, 10K run and half marathon run. It’s a fundraiser to support Pacific Whale Foundation’s humpback whale research in Hawai‘i and other parts of the Pacific, marine education programs for thousands of local schoolchildren, as well as conservation programs including efforts to prevent vessel-whale collisions, end whaling worldwide and keep marine debris out of our oceans.

The Run and Walk for the Whales course begins and ends at a new location – alongside Ma‘alaea Harbor at the Ma‘alaea Harbor Shops. “The easy-to-follow courses are mostly flat and fast, good news for runners seeking to PR,” says Erica Gorman, Race Co-Director. The post-race festivities take place in the plaza at the Ma‘alaea Harbor Shops and include live entertainment by Marty Dread; a post-race continental breakfast for runners served by Porto; tours of Pacific Whale Foundation’s research lab, education center and offices; and discounted whalewatches for race participants. Continue reading ‘run and walk for the whales saturday, february 1 2014 maui whale festival’