Maui is becoming the hub for culinary innovation and creativity. The sustainable practice and concept of farm to table is reflected as you eat your way through the island. When one travels, eating is probably one of the easiest ways to immerse oneself in the culture. A food setting is also a great way to meet people and get connected especially if you’re traveling alone. For me, when traveling, finding a hidden gem in an unlikely path, meet random people who become more than just a traveler on the same road, & eating delicious food that so memorable are just the things I look for in an awesome adventure. This trip aside from sprawling on a beautiful beach and driving around the island I took a different approach on what I wanted to do. If you want a culinary experience in Maui that will be memorable here are my top places to eat your heart out:
-Kula Farmer’s Market. If you want to eat something that’s directly from the farm then, you must make a trip upcountry. You’ll walk through a diverse of vendors invoking you to stop and try their samples: the array of kombucha, fruit snacks, and delicious bites that you can pop it your mouth while walking. Trust me, you’ll want to walk around more than once.
-Maui Sugar Shop. Everyone that knows me I'm a sucker for sweets. This place is like heaven to me. Everything is organic and gluten-free. I had the cream puffs and it was divine. Filling was not too sweet which made me eat more than one...unfortunately.
-Komoda Store & Bakery. There's always that place you just have to go to because it's been around for ages and everyone knows about it. This is another place you need to go to satisfy that sweet tooth.
-Migrant Hawaii. Chef Sheldon Simeon, Top Chef Seattle fan favorite is the man. I'm not saying that because I know the guy personally but he's food is truly a reflection of his Filipino heritage married with major influence of local flare that will leave you wanting to return for more. The restaurant just celebrated one year and I think this place is here to stay. As Sheldon would say, "come my house, eat" go and eat the pancit noodle, hanger steak, and ube ice cream.
-Nuka. This rustic modern Japanese restaurant tucked away in little 'ole Haiku is super cute and food is incredible. My sister loves this place and she really wanted to go purely for the black sesame ice cream. No disappointment from me.
mochi, green tea ice cream, & black sesame ice cream
-Ka'ana Kitchen at Andaz Maui. Chef Isaac Bancaco, is another culinary genius. I had the privilege of sitting from row seat and watch him and his crew create dishes right before my eyes. Sharing is highly encouraged here. Fresh, local, and organic ingredients are used and your taste buds will notice. The watermelon salad and black sesame soba noodle were my favorites. Thanks chef Isaac for your wonderful hospitality and oh yeah, thanks for the bubbly too!
-Lastly, Chef's Table at Maui Executive Catering. This was probably my favorite culinary experience. I had the privilege of eating here twice. The setting is unconventional. Located at their commercial kitchen in Haiku but expect nothing but the best from Chef Jeff Scheer, owner and his culinary artists. Prepare for an interactive 7-course experimentation of culinary ideas brought to life. It is visually artistic yet startling impressive to the taste buds. They encourage you walk around the kitchen and ask questions. While you're at it bring a bottle of wine or two to pair with the dishes. Be careful though, it is a kitchen so there's knives around...You'll be started off with amuse busche to tantalize your taste buds. You'll be eager for the next course I swear. Chef Jeff never makes anything twice so be prepared to experience something memorable.
ginger spice macaron, white chocolate ice cream, & kaffir lime pesto
Probably the best dessert I've had so far-for serious.
Yes, when you return home you’ll talk about the beautiful beaches, the perfect sunsets and sunrise, but you’ll always remember the food and that feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach that will growl for you to return to paradise.
Maui No Ka Oi!