Archive for the 'food + wine maui' Category

the leis family class act restaurant: uh maui college culinary students shine in living classroom

One of Maui’s best-kept culinary secrets is located on the second floor of the Pa‘ina Building on the UH Maui College campus. For the past 15 years, Leis Family Class Act (LFCA) has been wowing guests with creative and tasty three-course prix-fixe meals, earning this student-run dining room a spot on Open Table’s prestigious list of top 100 restaurants in the United States.

Under the guidance and watchful eyes of Chef Instructor Tom Lelli and Dining Room Instructor Mark Malone, second-year culinary program students enrolled in the course entitled “Culinary 160—Dining Room Service” spend one half of the 16-week semester in the LFCA kitchen learning to prepare a variety of dishes based on a weekly theme, and the other half in the front of the house honing their skills as server, bartender, and maitre d’. “Roles are rotated weekly, so students gain the full experience,” Mark tells me. “This is the only course in the entire culinary program where students receive actual dining-room training, and many are ready to be servers after completing this class.” Continue reading ‘the leis family class act restaurant: uh maui college culinary students shine in living classroom’

tripadvisor announces travelers’ choice restaurant awards

Travel review and booking site TripAdvisor announced the winners of its annual Travelers’ Choice Restaurant Awards, and six outstanding Hawai‘i restaurants made the cut!

The winners were recognized in three categories — Fine Dining, Everyday Dining and Fast Casual — and were determined by the quantity and quality of reviews over a 12-month period.

The awards feature 584 winners throughout the world, and 75 in the U.S.

Lahaina Grill, Mama’s Fish House and Merriman’s in Waimea were among the top 10 high-end establishments in the U.S. Fine Dining category, at No. 4, No. 8 and No. 9, respectively.

The Everyday Dining category features reasonably priced restaurants that are hubs for gatherings of family and friends. Duke’s Waikiki ranked No. 7 for U.S. Everyday Dining, and Kona Brewing Company’s Pub & Brewery came in at No. 15. Teddy’s Bigger Burgers’ Kapahulu location ranked No. 8 in U.S. Fast Casual eateries, which include restaurants that offer both quality and value.

We are sending our CONGRATULATIONS to all of the winners!

For more information about TripAdvisor and the Travelers’ Choice Awards, you can view the full results online at the TripAdvisor website:

maui sunday market in kahului: ‘ono grinds, low-key fun, and more

When Luana Mahi and Kau‘i Kahaiali‘i, co-originators of the Maui Sunday Market, were brainstorming the concept of a weekly family-friendly event in Kahului, their mission was to create an experience where locals and visitors alike could gather each week, engage with one another, share stories, and partake in the diversity of Hawai‘i and the aloha spirit.

In addition, Mahi, who is president of the Maui Food Technology Center, and Kahaiali‘i, who serves as the event’s MC/host, were looking to help stimulate and revitalize the community of Kahului.

They realized events take place all around the island, but in Kahului, weekly community gatherings are a rarity, especially in the evening. The Maui Sunday Market debuted in July of 2018, and has been gaining in popularity ever since. Held every Sunday from 4 to 8pm at the Kahului Shopping Center, the event features free parking and admission, local foods, live entertainment, and vendors displaying a wide variety of products ranging from Hawaiian mamaki tea, to plants and succulents, to jewelry.

Event organizers say the Market draws visitors from the NCL cruise ship that docks in Kahului Harbor earlier in the day, as well as from nearby hotels. Visitors crave an authentic island experience, and the Market’s offering of local foods, entertainment, and vendor products really resonates with this audience. Locals, too, are attracted to the weekly festivities, with many making Sunday their “Maui Sunday Market Night.” What better way to kick off your new week!

With this summer having been so beastly hot, the last thing Janet and I want to do is heat up the kitchen even more by cooking dinner. So we head to the Maui Sunday Market to check things out and indulge in the ‘ono grindz being offered up by a myriad of food vendors. When we step out of the car at approximately 5:30pm, joyful strains from the recorded song “Africa” by Toto fill the late-afternoon air, putting us in a festive mood.

Food trucks and vendor booths are set up in four rows, and there’s a covered community picnic table area for chowing down, along with a live-performance venue. The Market features a wide array of local talent—the uber-popular reggae singer Marty Dread entertained the crowd at the first anniversary celebration in July—including local favorite George Kahumoku, who is notorious for inviting friends and family to join him on an impromptu basis. Tonight’s live music is being provided by Leo Kane, whose musical talents transcend generations as he performs genre-crossing classics from Hawaiian to Oldies.

The first booth Janet and I encounter is offering lupulu and vaifala drink, neither of which we’re familiar with. We learn lupulu is a Tongan favorite made with coconut milk, corned beef, onions, and taro leaves served over rice; and that vaifala originates from Samoa, and is a blend of pineapple, mango, sweetened condensed milk, and water.

The Corn Project’s booth offers four different versions of corn on the cob: Local (Hawaiian lava salt and special spices), Mexican (crema, lime, and cotija cheese), American (mayo, cheddar cheese, and bacon), and Italian (pesto mayo, sundried tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan); JB’s Kitchen has cooked up BBQ specialties like pork, beef, and chicken wings; and 3 Angels Farm has shoyu chicken, chow fun, and lumpia.
The lumpia has attracted Janet’s attention, so we begin our culinary adventure at 3 Angels Farm’s booth by purchasing veggie lumpia ($4 for 3 pieces). Being a bona fide Francophile, the Crepes d’Amour food truck beckons to me. I happily hand over $13 for a savory crepe filled with spinach, chicken, and brie.

Janet and I share our culinary treasures and compare notes. The lumpia are crisp, tasty, and nicely enhanced by a sweet chili dipping sauce. The crepe itself has a lovely texture, and the filling is delightfully gooey and seductive. An accompanying pesto is deliciously herbaceous, and so addictive it should be bottled and sold on its own. Janet likes the pesto so much she goes back for seconds!

One lumpia and half a crepe has left me wanting more, so I sidle up to the very popular, bright blue Shorebreak Grindz truck and order their garlic noodles with teriyaki chicken ($7). It’s a generous portion of savory noodles nicely complemented by the lightly sweet teri chicken. Okay I’m full.

Janet finishes her Market meal with a half dozen mochi balls from Dee’s Poi Mochi ($5). She’s chosen three varieties: original poi, coconut, and chocolate brownie. She declares the mochi balls to have a nice texture, and the white chocolate dipping sauce highly recommended by Dee herself is the icing on the cake, so to speak. Although they’re all yummy, Janet declares the original poi to be her favorite.

Maui Sunday Market is presented by the Maui Food Technology Center, which encourages, trains, and incubates a wide range of local residents, students, entrepreneurs, and emerging agribusinesses seeking to earn a meaningful living from agriculture and value-added food production, including culinary arts, food science, and food technology. Located at UH Maui College, the MFTC provides both technical and business consultations for existing and emerging food-related businesses. Maui Sunday Market is also sponsored by the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

–heidi pool



Maui Sunday Market, a weekly event featuring ‘ono grindz, live entertainment, product booths, and a whole lot of community and aloha spirit.


Kahului Shopping Center on Ka‘ahumanu Ave.


Every Sunday from 4 to 8pm.


Parking and admission are free. You just need to show up with an appetite, sense of community, and willingness to have some fun, local style!

hawai’i food & wine festival 2019: wicked cocktails, wicked plates, italian cuisine & gourmet cupcakes

A wickedly good time, Italian cuisine and more are coming our way as the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival (HFWF) touches down at Ka‘anapali from October 18 to 20—with something for the whole family!

Kicking off the HFWF events in Ka‘anapali is the Roy’s 22nd Annual Golf Classic, Friday, October 18, 11:30am at the Ka‘anapali Golf Course.  Golfers will play-and eat for Maui’s beloved non-profit, IMUA Family Services. It’s 18 holes with celebrity chefs including Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, community leaders, and Maui pros. In between putts, players stop at tents featuring above par chefs from Maui and beyond, along with beer and cocktail stations. The tournament ends with dinner and an awards ceremony at Roy’s Ka‘anapali. Continue reading ‘hawai’i food & wine festival 2019: wicked cocktails, wicked plates, italian cuisine & gourmet cupcakes’

maui tropical plantation + the mill house: celebrating maui’s agricultural bounty

Publisher’s note: We want to express our sincere apologies to Maui Tropical Plantation and The Mill House, as the story had a printing error last month. We are re-running the story in its entirety this issue.

If it’s been a while since you suggested Maui Tropical Plantation (MTP) to guests, or even visited yourself, you’ll definitely want to add it to your list of must-do experiences. Over the past few years, MTP has undergone an extraordinary and exciting transformation. Showcasing our island’s extensive agricultural history and bounty, today MTP has something to offer the entire family, with its variety of activities, enticing food and beverage options, and drop-dead gorgeous views of the West Maui mountains. And plentiful free parking, plus no admission fee, make MTP even easier to recommend.

The best way to orient oneself after arriving at MTP is to ride the Tropical Express, a fun, educational narrated tram tour that loops around the idyllic lagoon. The 45-minute ride departs on the hour seven times per day, and costs $24 for adults; $12 for keiki 3-12 years old (age 2 years and under rides for free on a parent’s lap). Continue reading ‘maui tropical plantation + the mill house: celebrating maui’s agricultural bounty’

four seasons resort maui unveils modern tropical lobby lounge

Four Seasons Resort Maui’s destination bar now offers guests an immersive local experience, starting with an innovative cocktail program that reinvents Hawaiian classics.

Helmed by star mixologist Ben Yabrow, the newly reimagined Lobby Lounge at Four Seasons Resort Maui is a celebration of the diverse and colourful flavours and flora of Maui. Featuring what he c­­alls a “modern tropical” craft cocktail program, Yabrow has curated a stunning collection of original creations and imaginative interpretations of classic tropical cocktails. Continue reading ‘four seasons resort maui unveils modern tropical lobby lounge’

ruth’s chris steak house: concierge referral program, happy hour, wine dinner + more!

When you refer your guests to dine at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, concierge and guest service professionals will receive $50 Ruth’s Chris gift card for every 25 guests referred. Please call Lahaina (661-8815) or Wailea (874-8880) locations to make a reservation for your guests and mention your full name and property, referrals are tracked and awarded monthly. Continue reading ‘ruth’s chris steak house: concierge referral program, happy hour, wine dinner + more!’