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MauiTime Food Issue 2012 From the Ground to your Plate

All photos courtesy of Sean Hower, howerphoto.com

There was a time when restaurant owners hid their kitchens behind closed doors and high walls. They bought their ingredients from factory farms and big agri-businesses, which traded relatively low prices for food grown under industrial conditions with pesticides, hormones and, ultimately, genetic modifications.

Those days are ending. Consumers now want to know how, where and who is producing the ingredients that go into their meals. And more and more, they want the producers of food to be close enough to visit, even meet in person.

Perhaps because it’s an island, Maui is embracing this trend. To show you, we’ve talked with some of the best chefs around about where they get their food, as well as the farmers and ranchers who grew it. It’s an eye-opening look at the people who grow and prepare the meals at some of the island’s best restaurants.

photo by Sean Hower howerphoto.com

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JAMES (KIMO) SIMPLICIANO

“My food revolution began in 2007 when I was volunteering my time with a youth at risk program called ‘Alternative Learning Center’ (ALC) at Lahainaluna High School in Hawaii.”

Simpli-fresh produce LLC Hawaii

Simpli-fresh.com

twitter.com/kimosimpliciano twitter

Food revolutionist with Chef Jamie Oliver

facebook.com/pages/Simpli-fresh-produce-West-Maui-cooperative-Food-Revolution/150372218355287

jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/news-content/west-maui-food-revolution-community-grou

I was always farming or gardening back on Oahu with my family, mom and dad and other relatives. I am growing at a couple of private estate homes which supplements my private chef friend, Riko Bartolome. During my time here on the island of Maui, my passion was reignited when I started volunteering at Lahainaluna High School’s ALC program. I wanted to share my knowledge in good fresh home-cooked meals. As a lead Banquet cook at the Westin Maui I not only enjoy cooking but also devoting my time towards growing healthy nutritious organic fruits and vegetables, wherever possible trying to maintain and sustain localvore: buying local produce and growing community gardens. I was inspired by a great Oahu Mao Organic Farm and I truly believe every community should have more outlets like these for the youth. I believe teaching about food is great, and creating an activity such as gardening keeps kids fit and out of the house. Coupled together these could be a solution to fight childhood obesity.

I have been given farms on private land. I knew I couldn’t do it alone so I asked a few friends to lend me a hand. They, in return, get to plant and sell vegetables. I test plant seeds from my dad and heirloom organic seed companies. The business is growing and the demand for local produce is on the rise. From citrus to root vegetables, I have been able to grow, forage and sell. I don’t have the full time luxury of farming full time–I work another job full-time and do this part-time. Equipment is expensive, but I’m starting a savings for farm implements. Since I do not spray unless organic OMRI certified, I’m having trouble with pests. I would like to take classes to get organic food safety certified. Although I have faced some challenges, I have received great support in this mission. Restaurants that support me include Honu, Mala, Merrimans, I’o, Hula Grill, Pineapple Grill and Humunukunukuapua‘a. I also sell at the  Launiopoko farmers market on Saturdays.

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CHEF JUSTIN PARDO, MARKET FRESH BISTRO

“Growing your own food or working with people that do is our last attempt at a peaceful revolution.”

3620 Baldwin Ave., Makawao

572-4877

Coriander Crusted Ahi Nicoise Salad, $21

What makes this dish so special is the amount of care given to these ingredients, from the time they were planted to the time they’re placed in front of our guest. Everyone involved really has pride in these ingredients, starting with the farmer, then on to chef, to the hands of our servers. I’m sure our guests taste the quality. This is a classic French salad from Nice, France. It inspires us to put our own twists on the dishes without insulting the tradition or integrity of the salad. Our bistro is all about global influences and local ingredients.

We love working with the community around us. The veggies just tumble down the mountain and into our back door. We’re just extremely lucky that our community provides us the best ingredients in the world. Maui is a chef’s paradise. We at Market Fresh Bistro believe that we have to stop this “barge-to-table” practice.

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PERRY BATEMAN AND THE WHOLE KITCHEN CREW, MAMA’S FISH HOUSE

“In the year 2011, we purchased fish from 200 different local fishermen!”

799 Poho Place, Paia

808 579-8488

http://mamasfishhouse.com/home.html

Grilled Maui He’e (octopus): $24; Ono Upcountry style with carmelized Maui onion, avocado and baby bok choy; $44

The grilled he‘e (octopus) caught by Clifford Chow free diving off Kanaha is braised and grilled, served and prepared with  daikon, chili pepper water, lemon and Hawaiian sea salt (all local). Chow is also one of our waiters. In the ono dish the onion farmer is Ben Yamamoto and he also brings us fish. Pan seared fish with carmelized onions is a traditional way of cooking fish in Hawaii, something Chef Perry grew up having at home. We also feature asparagus from Anuhea Farms, the daikon on the he‘e comes from Mike McCoy’s farm. The local ingredients are better quality and promote local agriculture and local fishermen. Maui No Ka Oi!

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SHA’ANAN FADER

“Coconut is something that everyone should have access to.”

Alive & Well

aliveandwellmaui.com

The coconut kefir I produce out of local coconuts is fresh coconut meat and coconut water. It’s completely coconut. It’s not watered down in any sense of the word. The process only takes 18 hours; it literally ferments overnight. The fresh oily coconut meat is combined with young coconut water. The Kefir strains are stirred in and 18 hours later life is teaming from the jars. The enormity of benefits that probiotic-rich foods possess make them close to the best thing you can put in your body.

One of the most exciting things to me about the coconut yogurt is its use in live/raw food preparation. Most live/raw food menus are based on nuts and seeds. The desserts that are produced tend to be heavy and rich. The coconut kefir yogurt has let me substitute the nuts in the dessert for yogurt. The probiotic in the yogurt, which is a digestive aid in itself, combines with the naturally occurring enzymes to pleasantly introduce the desserts to the belly. No guilt, no “bomb,” just smiles.

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PRESTON HOPE, MALA WAILEA

“Any farmers out there with unique products, Mala would like to hear from you.”

3700 Wailea Ala Nui Dr.

Malawailea.com

Miso Paka, $42

We marinate the fresh fish in a sake miso paste, bake it in a very hot oven and serve it on top of purple Molokai potatoes with fresh local corn and kabocha squash. Everything on the plate is local, from the Maui seafood to the island herbs for micro greens.

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CHEF ALAN MCLAUGHLIN, HAWAIIAN MOONS NATURAL FOODS

“We live on a Rock, we need to support all of our local growers of all foods.”

2411 S. Kihei Rd.

875-4356

hawaiianmoons.com

Organic Lacinato Kale & Chard Salad: $7.49 per pound in the Salad Bar

Our philosophy has always been to use as much local products as possible. The organic kale is grown Upcountry at Coca Farms and we also use Kumu Farms. It’s a local, organic, made fresh daily and an all-around great simple raw dish. The kale is julienned a quarter inch and the chard is jullienned  a half inch, then dressed with a fresh lemon juice, unrefined x-virgin olive oil, seasoned with sea salt and coarse ground black pepper. Freshness and quality keeps folks employed. If you want fresh, then support the local ranchers, growers and fishermen. This is a way for us to give back.

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CHEF RHODERICK D. BULOSAN AND THE COOKS, BUZZ’S WHARF

“By showcasing local items, we are providing the customers with the product that is indicative of what Hawaii has to offer.”

Ma’alaea Harbor

244-5426

buzzswharf.com

Misoyaki Walu $29

In this dish, the walu is caught by local fisherman in our waters and delivered to us fresh, never frozen. Our Maui onions and baby bok choy are grown by Kula local farmers. We use these items because they are consistently available for us and they compliment each other very well in this dish.

The dish is a six-ounce filet of walu marinated in miso paste, mirin, sweet Thai chili and green onions. It is seared, then baked til the fish is nice and golden brown. It’s served with Buzz’s own teriyaki sauce, crispy Maui onions, shitake mushroom chips, stir fry vegetables and choice of starch (white rice, brown rice, or garlic mashed potatoes). I love the nice moist texture of the fish, some like it with a miso glaze, others with a teriyaki glaze, so I decided to put the two together to get the best of both worlds and created a “Misoyaki Walu.”

As a young chef developing new skills, I learned to utilize local items not only to support the economy but to bring out the flavors that our island has to offer. Visitors come here not to see and taste what they already have, but to try something new and interesting.

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CHEF BEN KLEIN, MALA OCEAN TAVERN

“Living in Hawaii, 3,000 miles from any major landmass, our carbon footprint becomes magnified that much more.”

1307 Front St., Lahaina

malaoceantavern.com

Beet carpaccio

I feel that the combination of using fresh local ingredients and a unique cooking technique make this dish special. We sous vide the baby beets, which gives them a unique texture and allows them to retain nearly all of the vitamin and mineral content as well as the vibrant color.

I was inspired to create this dish by the introduction to the sous vide technique and by farmer James Simpliciano, who allowed me to sample some of the local baby beets. The dish is also basically a deconstructed and slightly healthier version of the roasted beet salad that we have on our regular menu. We used a tarragon vinaigrette as apposed to the anise seed flavored vinaigrette and instead of the fried goat cheese croquette on the roasted beet salad, we use fresh goat cheese and fried shallots to create a similar texture and flavor profile. We are constantly motivated to use local ingredients whenever possible, not only for freshness and quality but for leaving as little of a carbon footprint as possible.

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GERRY ROSS AND JANET SIMPSON

“We love to grow food for people!”

Kupa’a Farms

kupaafarms.org

We use organic and sustainable agricultural practices to grow a diverse array of fruit, vegetables and award-winning coffee. Our farm has grown every year since we began in 2003. We need more land, which is very hard in the current real estate market. We need a local source of fish fertilizer and quality compost. Bugs, birds, weather and mice can be a challenge on a cyclical basis.

We produce for a couple of restaurants and personal chefs but we also produce for a weekly community supported agriculture (CSA), filled entirely with produce from our farm. We are also a regular fixture on Saturdays at the Upcountry Farmers Market in Pukalani.

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CHEF WESLEY HOLDER, PULEHU

“We are committed to the community to lessen our carbon footprint while providing the best and freshest products for our guests.”

6 Kai Ala Drive, Lahaina

667-3200

westinkaanapali.com

Wild Arugula and Roasted Beet Salad $13

We use beets and onions grown in Kula and sourced from Kula farms and goat cheese from Surfing Goat Dairy. In a search for the opportunity to use fresh, local ingredients I was inspired by the taste and texture combinations that these ingredients make. I am constantly looking for ways to use locally grown products for our seasonal menus. We are striving to use at least 80 percent of our ingredients from local farmers and purveyors. We are proud to be part of the Maui community and make a commitment to support our economy by doing what is pono. We hope our efforts inspire other restaurants to be enlightened as to the amazing local products that we are able to use.

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JOSH MARTEN, R.S. SHARKY’S

“Use local to reduce trash and landfill problems.”

41 E Lipoa, Ste. 15, Kihei

Sharkyshawaii.com

Margarita pizza 14.95

Our restaurant is all about the community. Our margarita pizza is made from local tomatoes, basil and cheeses. We get our vegetables from the Lipoa Street Farmers Market, and our burgers are from a local beef manufacturer that is not Maui Cattle Company. We support them because we need them to support us. It is something everyone should do. If we all did this more we could help out Maui and eliminate waste from packaging products.

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ANTHONY LA BUA AND MALETA VAN LOAN

“We are committed to preserving more than just fruit!”

Maui Preserved

mauipreserved.com

Maui Preserved is rooted in the idea of eating locally. Maui grown fruits and vegetables are not only good for our health and community, but are intensely delicious. Our company is driven by the realistic need to make our island and the state of Hawaii more sustainable. Our products start and finish on Maui, giving a reliable income to our farmers and thus a dependable excellence to our customers. Starting with the highest-quality local produce, our jams, pickles and hot sauces capture flavor at the peak of freshness for your enjoyment year-round. From Green tea in our pickled beets and pineapple steeped in Hawaiian chile pepper syrup, Maui Preserved strives to bottle our dynamic food culture.

Maui Preserved is based on confronting the challenges of eating and growing local food. Our favorite challenges revolve around finding peak-of-season Maui-grown produce and competing with the barge!

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CHEF NAKI KANEKOA, WAILUKU COFFEE CO.

“It’s mo’ betta for your belly, for our aina and economy.”

26 N. Market St., Wailuku

495-0259

wailukucoffeeco.com

Salads $6.50-8.50

We get as much produce locally as possible. Strawberries, zucchini, papaya, avocados, lettuce, oranges, limes and lemons, when they are in season. Some comes from small gardens and farmers we know; otherwise, we get it from Rainbow Organics. Our salads are the closest to 100 percent local, and it’s made with love!

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CHEF TIM HURNEY, LILIKOI GRILL RESTAURANT & WINE BAR

“Our mahi mahi is troll-caught in Hawaiian waters.”

810 Kokomo Rd, Haiku

575-2629

lilikoigrill.com

Grilled Mahi Mahi, $25

We serve our mahi mahi over Molokai sweet mashed potatoes, topped with local grilled asparagus and finished with a fresh lilikoi burre-blanc sauce. Our food is created using as much local produce and ingredients as possible, leaving you and our planet healthy. All our meat is 100 percent natural and local, hormone and antibiotic free. Maui No Ka Oi!

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JUNIOR BUMANGLAG AND THE BARTENDER TEAM, ONO BAR & GRILL BEACH BAR/MOONLIGHT LOUNGE

“Drinking rum has never been greener–from producing Maui Pineapple Rum to bottling to the recycling process, this product is not just locally sourced but environmentally friendly, too.”

The Westin Maui Resort & Spa

2365 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina

662-2775

westinmaui.com

Lava Flow, Pina Colada, Mai Tai and the Hawaiian Mist; $9.75, 5pm-6pm & 10-11pm

House Highballs or Cocktails with Maui Pineapple Rum: $5.25

The rum in our Lava Flow, Pina Colada, Mai Tai and Hawaiian Mist are all made with Maui Pineapple Flavored Rum (MPFR) here at our resort and spa. It’s created Upcountry by Haleakala Distillers (haleakaladistillers.com). The Maui Pineapple Flavored Rum is light, 80 proof and a true handcrafted local product, exclusively made for The Westin Maui Resort & Spa.

At most, a few dozen one-liter bottles are produced per day because all bottling is done by hand. The MPFR is currently unavailable on the Mainland or any other Hawaiian islands. The ingredients include fresh, flavorful molasses from the Pu‘unene Sugar Mill, fully ripened Maui Gold Pineapples from the Hali’imailie Pineapple Co., charcoal made from coconut shells used in the filtration process and evaporated sugar cane juice. All the bottles in the process are recycled and reused in a special program with the distillery.

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CHEF MICHAEL GREENSTREET, HONU SEAFOOD & PIZZA

“We work side by side with local farmers in Hawaii designing the menu from the items that they are harvesting”

1295 Front St., Lahaina

667-9390

Stuffed Kabocha Blossoms with Ricotta and Green Tomato Coulis: $15

Honu sits on the rocks at Mala with 180 degree views of the Pacific Ocean, Lanai and Molokai too. Its only natural that we honor the local bounty that our fisherman have to offer, with whole roasted fish, grilled octopus, and fried uhu. Owner and Chef Mark Ellman’s commitment to supporting local and organic creates this amazing menu full of interesting combinations and flavors, healthy and delicious. Farmer James Simpliciano supplies us with these beautiful yellow kabocha blossoms from the mountains right behind this restaurant. We season the Ricotta, stuff each flower then dip it in tempura and fry till crispy. It is served with a Fresh Green Tomato salsa.

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CHEF ARIS AURELIO, KO

“The traditional Filipino oxtail stew is a family recipe that has been passed down through generations to me, and now I have brought it to Ko.”

The Fairmont Kea Lani

4100 Wailea Alanui Dr.

Kare-Kare (promise-promise): $38

I make the stew in a traditional Filipino oxtail style, served in savory peanut sauce with eggplant, long beans and baby bok choy. Executive Chef Tylun Pang sources from 10-15 fishermen daily and over 16 island farmers, resulting in over 85 percent of the produce at Kō grown on Maui, Molokai and Hawaii. Buying local is simply the right thing to do. And it tastes so much better!

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ROXANNE TIFFIN

“We buy locally grown produce and value-added artisan grocery items from Hawaii growers and food producers and deliver them to homes on Maui and Oahu.”

Kula Fields

kulafields.com

808 280-2099

Depending on what a farmer grows and seasonal availability, we work with over 60 farms and food producers throughout the state. The majority are based on Maui because that’s our homebase. I would never want to offend farmers out there calling myself a CSA. They are hardcore about their farming method and to them I am not a CSA. I prefer the term “modified CSA.” There are several modified-CSAs” throughout the US and they are gaining in popularity.

In a traditional CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, a customer buys produce “shares” or an agreed-upon amount of produce-filled boxes in advance of the plantings to help the farmer cover the costs of raising and harvesting those crops. It ensures that the farmer has a built-in market once those crops are grown. The grower and the customer share in the gains and losses that arise throughout the growing season.

How we differ from a traditional CSA is that we are able to work with many growers to help them bring crops to market. Not all growers can work the CSA model, so this provides a market that wouldn’t ordinarily be open to them. Our model tends to be beneficial for the consumer because they’re able to help support many farmers within a small area.

Our challenges tend to be weather-related and just educating our customers on what is available locally and their seasonality. People tell me that they want things like apples, kiwi, grapes and pears in their boxes. Some of those things will grow here in Hawaii, just not in any kind of real quantity or it doesn’t look or taste like the produce they are familiar with.

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HENRY TELLES, TEDDY’S BIGGER BURGERS

“The best orange creamsicle shake on the planet.”

Lahaina Gateway

335 Keawe Street, Lahaina

661-9111

Shakes and Ice Cream: $5.95

We use hand-scooped and blended, real ice cream shakes made with Maui’s own Roselani premium ice cream. The quality is the best and it’s made locally. It’s a win-win.

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CHEF SHA ANAN FADER, ALIVE & WELL

“Coconut is King! Its Local, abundant, healthy, delicious.”

340 Hana Hwy, Kahului 808-877-4950

aliveandwellmaui.com

facebook.com/aliveandwellmaui

Strawberry Kefir Meringue, $6.50

It begins with fresh, frothy coconut kefir yogurt. The kefir is infused with organic vanilla bean powder and blended with dripping red (when available) Kula strawberries. The creamy probiotic rich filling is poured into a sprouted graham cracker crust, chilled and sets up to form a perfectly rich, custard like speckled-pink meringue. It’s garnished with half of a monsta-strawberry generously dipped in an aromatic chocolate sauce. As the chocolate hardens, a sneaky drizzle runs down the side of each slice, symbolizing the abundance of sweetness in life, close to the land.

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JENNIFER EVETUSHICK, CHEF DE CUISINE, TROPICA

“Like the concept of the ‘ahupua‘a system, the culture of sustainability and sourcing locally must be past down from generation to generation.”

The Westin Maui Resort & Spa

2365 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina

662-2775

westinmaui.com

Ahupua‘a four course tasting menu: $55

Eating local is the study of the Hawaiian culture. Each island was divided into triangular pieces, extending from the top of the mountain, through the forests, the agricultural fields, the living areas along the shoreline and out to the reef. Small sections of these triangles were called ‘ahupua‘a. The Hawaiians valued their `ahupua`a based on an efficient water source from the mountain to the sea.

Our Ahupua’a menu reflects the same concept. The menu includes Hawaiian Blue Opae, Kula Onion Risotto, Natural Prime Strip and Baked Hawaii. The Opae (shrimp) from Big Island originates from within the water source, the Kula Onion and Prime Strip are from the pastures cultivated and grown by the water source and finally the coconut for our Baked Hawaii is from the coconut trees on our island’s beaches, located at the bottom of the water source.

This menu is special because it teaches us the value of our resources here on the islands. If we learn to take care of our ‘aina (land) and care for each other we all can reap all the benefits it has to offer. This is what our Hawaiian ancestors would want us to do–be pono, to do the right thing.

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RICHARD CLARK

“United in the common goal of providing our restaurants and farm tour guests with a unique selection of quality, all naturally grown fruit, vegetables, herbs, and produce while enhancing the intrinsic natural beauty of our venue and sustaining the aina in accord with sound ecological principles and local traditions.”

oo farm

651 Waipoli Rd., Kula

667-4341

oofarm.com

Oo Farm was once a virgin 8.5-acre property in the misting forest of Waipoli, where some hippies were communing. The proprietors of Pacific’o and I’o restaurants in Lahaina purchased the property in 2000. At that time, Chef Sean Christensen and I were employees at I’o. We began farming immediately and converted to all natural organic and biodynamic methods in December 2003.

We have over the years developed a sustainable system of farming that grows exclusively for our chefs at the restaurants and our tour guests at the farm. We celebrate that farm-to-table is becoming more widely practiced, particularly here in the islands by founding hawaiian regional cuisine chefs like Peter Merriman, Mark Ellman and Bev Gannon, yet we remain the only entirely proprietary farm-to-table operation on Maui. We own the land and farm it ourselves, controlling everything from the selection of the seed and product to tending to the growing cycle, all the way down to harvesting and delivery. Oo Farm’s pioneering work further serves our local communities in the state of Hawaii by providing leadership and education for the next generation of chefs and farmers seeking to sustain our islands resources and health.

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CHEF PEPE VEGA, MAUI TACOS

“Using local products create more jobs for our people.”

Islandwide

871-7726

mauitacos.com

All our salsas: free to $8.95

We source as much as we can for our fresh Mexican menu. Avocados, limes, cilantro, tomatoes, fresh herbs, beef when available, fish when available. But the selection and variety of our house-made salsas in the salsa bar really make these local products come alive with our food. The pineapple salsa uses Maui Gold pineapple, local jalapeno, cilantro and tomatillo. The avocado habenero salsa and the tomato cilantro salsa are just a few examples of our popular, locally sourced condiments you will find there.

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CHEF RAJA SHORTELL, CATERING/PERSONAL/PRIVATE CHEF SERVICES

“Love yourself by putting good wholesome fare in your belly.”

870-3451

facebook.com/ChefRaja

Coco Opaka with vanilla/lemon basil sauce and citrus/white pepper long beans

Red coco curry on crisp skin opakapaka with seven-grain wakame/hijiki rice with citrus and white pepper, long beans, pomegranate/sweet soy reduction & calendula petals.

Fresh Fish… fresh produce… fresh flavor. I love Thai food and wanted to do East meets West, Island style. The seaweed in the rice makes for a sweet ocean flavor and packs a punch with nutrition. When available I’ll source fresh ogo. When people look to me to tempt their taste buds I have three simple rules of thumb: First, love what you do; Second, love the product, which to me means fresh locally sourced food that isn’t processed; and third, love yourself by putting good wholesome fare in your belly. When applied, it’s a winning formula to a winning dish.

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CHEF CHRIS SCHOBEL, HULA GRILL KAANAPALI

“A lot of people do not know how good pohole ferns and hearts of palm are.”

2435 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina

667-6636

hulagrillkaanapali.com

Localicious Salad $8.95

We started this as a promotion for farmers run by the Maui County Farm Bureau. We donated $1 for every salad sold. The guest feedback on the salad was outstanding. So now we’ve decided to put it on the menu and continue to buy a lot of fresh ingredients from local farms: Waipoli farm greens, hydroponic lettuce, Kula onions, marinated Hana hearts of palm, lime miso, Hana Herb Farm’s pohole ferns.

Peter Merriman is a chef/owner and his whole philosophy is farm-to-table. We deal with well over 20 farms. We believe it’s very important to keep ingredients as local as we can by showcasing Maui’s fresh food. We have been awarded the Mayor’s Friends of Agriculture Award in the past.

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(PHOTO CHEF SHAWN SAMANIEGO)

GARRETT MARRERO, MAUI BREWING CO.

“We support our neighbors and keep more money in our local economy, strengthening our communities instead of sending the cash off the island in the night depository.”

Brewpub: 4405 Honoapiilani Hwy, Lahaina

Tasting Room, Production Brewery: 910 Honoapiilani Hwy,  Lahaina

Maui Cattle Co. Burger with goat cheese and spent grain bun: $10, $12 with salad

Nearly everything on our menu is locally sourced. It’s the foundation for our menus and how our company shows its strong commitment to local agriculture. If it can be sourced here, we don’t import. The Maui Cattle Co. burger with goat cheese is one of my personal go-to sandwiches! It’s a half-pound Maui Cattle Co. burger on a bun baked for us from Harold Hardcastle’s The Bakery in Lahaina, where he uses the spent grain from our brewing operations, plus lettuce, tomato and onion from Upcountry and Surfing Goat Dairy cheese.

Chef Shawn Samaniego makes our house-made Bikini Blonde Lager ketchup and Big Swell IPA mustard (yes, made with beer). The only thing not local on the plate is the fries, but if you get a side salad you get more Upcountry vegetables and your choice of our house made dressings (no jars!). My favorite is the beer vinaigrette.

Buying local meat means great quality, fresh, free of the bacterial scares that occur in large Mainland/foreign imported products and our local cattle is humanely raised and processed. Our burger costs more than McDonald’s. If you’re looking for a 99 cent burger, go somewhere else, you’re not our audience. Our audience seeks out quality food and drinks, natural and free of crazy stuff.

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WALTER EVONUK

(and Terry Chang, Edward Evonuk, Joan Evonuk)

“Our goal is to provide the people of Hawaii with the freshest produce of the highest quality.”

Evonuk Farms

info@evonukfarms.com

evonukfarms.com

Terry and I formally partnered with my father, Edward, in 2007. Edward and Joan have farmed continuously since 1975. Our main focus is culinary herbs (20-plus variates). We also grow some specialty vegetables such as French beans, Yellow Wax beans, specialty eggplants and lettuces. Our business has remained fairly steady over the past few years but we have grown slightly by finding new customers for our produce. The rising costs of farming (fertilizer, fuel, packaging, etc) and the continuous introduction into Hawaii of new diseases, pathogens and insects which threaten our crops are some of our pressing challenges.

We produce primarily for restaurants and grocery stores. Residents can find our retail herb packets at Foodland, Times Supermarkets, Cash ‘N’ Carry, Whole Foods, Napili Market, Lahaina Farms, Rodeo General Store, Kula Country Farms, Down to Earth and Mana Foods.

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CHEF ISAAC BANCACO, HUMUHUMUNUKUNUKUAPUA‘A

“I believe in our farmers and share in the pride they have in their products.”

Grand Wailea

3850 Wailea Alanui

875-1234, ext 4949

wailearesortdining.com

Warm Upcountry Brussel Sprout Salad with Fingerling Potatoes sweet soy glaze and Bacon Lardons

Our locally sourced Brussel sprouts are quartered and crispy fried with French fry-sized fingerling potatoes until golden brown. While still sizzling, they’re then tossed with rosemary, parsley, bacon, red peppers and mixed with our secret seasoning and sauce.

Growing up I couldn’t stand Brussel sprouts. I was almost force fed them as a child and still can remember that blue and white frozen box of Brussel sprouts that got pulled from the freezer as my mom tried to create a nutritious, last minute dinner. As I talked to our local farmers and  discussed what they were comfortable growing, Brussel sprouts came up as a “can do” item and I jumped at the challenge to create a compelling dish that put them at the forefront. In all, it took about 12 versions and four months to land upon our current menu preparation–a lot of work for an item I once had a deep aversion to.

I really view my job as a chef to be the liaison between grower and guest and then guest back to the grower, each relationship equally important. Our guests need to know which products are grown with the highest quality on Maui–after all, that’s what they expect from our island restaurants. But equally important, our growers need to know what varieties, qualities and quantities of products our guests are demanding. Without a strong chef/grower relationship this type of communication wouldn’t be possible.

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CHEF MEGAN KILGORE, PORTO

“The choices you make on land, especially the food that you purchase, has an impact on the health of the oceans.”

300 Maalaea Rd.

808-856-8377

portomaui.com

Flame Fired Artisan Pizza $9-$17

Each pizza features local ingredients. For example, our pesto pizza features house-made basil pesto made with local basil, plus Surfing Goat Dairy cheese and Kula Dave’s tomatoes. We use Maui Preserved tomato sauce.

Locally sourced items are more flavorful, and more healthy because they are not shipped thousands of miles to reach us. By supporting local agriculture, we are supporting Maui’s ability to feed itself, whether or not the shipping barges, airports or harbors are operational.

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CHEF NACHO PEREZ, OLD LAHAINA LUAU

“We serve a buffet that has rich Hawaiian culture from our own taro farm to the table.”

1251 Front St., Lahaina

Luau Buffet

You can’t talk about Hawaiian cuisine without talking about taro. It’s significant enough that we have our own Hoaloha Farms, where farmer Bobby Pahia grows our taro. From this farm we get the Lau Lau, sweet potato, Luau Leaf, banana bread, pork wrapped in taro leaf and taro root steamed and mashed for poi. In the two years Pahia has been farming at Hoaloha, business has grown from one field to three. Keeping up with demand is his challenge. Sharing the story of taro with our guests through the dishes they create is delicious and satisfying.

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THOMAS AND EVA KAFSACK

“We make gourmet goat cheeses and 18 different goat cheese truffles with happy goats.”

Surfing Goat Dairy

surfinggoatdairy.com

80-878-2870

The Surfing Goat cream cheeses run the gamut of flavor from Udderly Delicious (plain) to exotic varieties like Mandalay (apple bananas and curry) or Pirate’s Desire (anchovies and capers). The dairy also produces several soft cheeses, including soft cheese ripened under wax, in olive oil with garlic, or coated with mesquite ash, along with brine-ripened feta cheese.

Our challenge remains getting all the local restaurants, including those on neighboring islands, to put goat cheese on their menus. We sell our products here at our dairy and at Whole Foods, Mana Foods, Honolua Store, Cafe Chou and the wine and cheese shop of Wailea.

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EMILY KUNZ AND KATHRYN DAHM, CHOICE HEALTH BAR

“Food should be fresh and living to be truly healthful.”

1087 Limahana Place #3, Lahaina

661-7711

choicemaui.com

facebook.com/pages/Choice-Health-Bar/120991591309480

Kale superfood salad: $8 ($6 in the quick grab fridge)

We love working with kale–it’s the ultimate for the human body and makes you feel good! The kale salad in particular is always superlocal, and the flavors change daily depending on what’s fresh and available from Maui’s farms.

The kale salad is made with curly green and lacinato kale, sprouts, fresh veggies, often a nut crumble and a homemade salad dressing like Coconut Garlic, Almond Butter Peanut Sauce, Red Pepper Nacho Cheeze or our Herbal Infusion. Sometimes we add superfoods like goji berries, mulberries, bee pollen and fresh coconut noodles. We locally source: apple bananas, coconuts, strawberries, papayas, lemons, limes, pineapples, mangoes, kale, chard, collards, tomatoes, beets, green peppers, ginger, avocados, zucchini, green onions, maui onions, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, corn, herbs (mint, basil, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme), sprouts (sunflower, radish, clover) and wheatgrass. Produce that is fresh, meaning picked within the last couple days and NOT shipped on a boat here is pure living food with enzymes and proteins that are really good for you. We personally pick up 75 percent of the produce from the farmers at their farm, with two runs per week in our car that travels from Lahaina to Haiku and Kula running on Maui-made biodiesel. We love locally sourced fuel. That’s what’s up!

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CHEF BEV GANNON, GANNONS–A PACIFIC VIEW RESTAURANT

“It may cost a bit more but the quality is the best and that’s what we aim for.”

100 Wailea Golf Club Dr.

875-8080

gannonsrestaurant.com

Haricot Verts, Oven-Dried Tomato Salad $12

Sylvester Tambassa of Sly’s Produce grows our haricot verts. They are a great fresh ingredient and it gives the dish a little something extra. The combination of the ingredients is so unique. It’s important for our guests to get a taste of our island, and this is such a healthy and beautiful dish to offer them.

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CHEF MARO GJURASSIC, CHEF DE CUISINE, PLANTATION HOUSE RESTAURANT

“If we buy and use locally grown products, the land they grow on and graze on and swim in will always be open space.”

2000 Plantation Club Dr.

Lahaina

669-6299

theplantationhouse.com

Tomato carpaccio $12

The tomatoes are ripe and taste like tomatoes, the basil is sweet, the arugula is peppery and nutty, the evoo is fleshy, the peccorino adds a richness and the salt adds just the right crunch. Although they are more expensive, they taste better and deliver a better representation of our philosophy to our guests. We use what we can get locally because it represents what and who we are, and because it is the right thing to do.

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CHEF GREG GIFFORD, DUKE’S BEACH HOUSE

“When you order our Local Kine Eggs or Benedicts, we let the combination of tasty fresh ingredients and organic, neighborhood eggs speak for themselves.”

130 Kai Malina Parkway, Lahaina

dukesmaui.com

Local Kine Eggs: $8.75, Duke’s Eggs Benedict: $13.50, Peppered Ahi Bennies: $14.25

Bikini Benedict: $11.75

Led by T S Restaurants Executive Chef Scott McGill, our Farm to Fork initiative sources ingredients from over 20 local farms on Maui. Our Farm to Fork menu allows guests to experience a locally sourced meal and support local farmers and their families at the same time. Using locally sourced items is part of our overall commitment to reducing our environmental impact by implementing green practices wherever possible in the restaurant. In an effort to reach our minimal impact goals, we also utilize an environmental grease removal system, an energy efficient hot water system, an energy efficient computer programmed oven, UV grease integration cooking hoods, potato starch go-to supplies and LED lighting throughout the restaurant.

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CHEFS JAMES DOMINGO AND RYAN FERGUSON, LEILANI’S ON THE BEACH

“By having fresh produce, we can produce a ‘WOW’ factor for our guests to keep them coming back.”

2435 Kaanapali Pkwy, Lahaina

leilanis.com

Bangkok Beef & Buckwheat Noodles: $13.95

The buckwheat noodles are cooked and chilled, tossed with locally grown baby mizuna, thinly sliced watermelon radish, carrots, bell peppers, bean sprouts, Chinese cabbage, wasbi peas and then dressed with a Thai yuzu dressing. Then they’re topped with a hot-off-the-grill beef skewer.

We use these local veggies not only because they produce a fantastic taste and balance in the dish but also because they are the freshest. We want to get everyone on board to support our local farmers and continue the great relationship we have with them.

 

About Jen Russo

I write lifestyle and food columns for MauiTime, love being a Maui girl and adore my big family. Dedicated food taster, blogger, internet fanatic, and Maui and Hawaii specialist.