Dining Out

Attendees are all smiles at one of many whale watch cruises during last year’s event. Photo courtesy Whale Trust Maui

Whale Tales

International whale research organization Whale Trust Maui invites the public to the 11th annual Whale Tales from Friday to Sunday at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua and on the water from morning to sunset Monday. Over four days, scientists, photographers, filmmakers and conservationists will come ...

Owners Debbi and Stuart Katz enjoy the Surf’s Up pie with housemade mozzarella and handcrafted cocktails on the shady outdoor lanai. Pi Artisan Pizzeria photo

Sauce + Crust = Pi Artisan Pizzeria’s enticing Italian pies

To math-minded readers, “pi” is all about being part of an equation. But to me, it adds up to Pi Artisan Pizzeria in Lahaina, which hand crafts fine savory pies with fresh dough and as much local produce and meats as possible. The thin Italian pizzas are then baked in an 800-degree ...

Maui’s Sheldon Simeon (right) was blindfolded in a previous episode in a test of palates. At left is Season 6 winner Michael Voltaggio with host Padma Lakshmi. Tonight, Sheldon will appear in the “Top Chef” finals as the show heads south of the border to Mexico. “Top Chef” photo

‘Top Chef’

In last week’s episode in Charleston, S.C., Maui’s Sheldon Simeon was among the four final chefs to cook impromptu dishes while instructing a mystery partner hidden behind a screen how to make the exact same creation. He was the only one who recognized his partner, who was his wife, ...

Attendees don masks to get in the Mardi Gras mood as they pose with former Miss Hawaii Flecha Tovar at last year’s gala. Adi Ell-Ad of Adiwood Studios photo

Good times to roll at Mardi Gras AIDS benefit

The Maui AIDS Foundation will host its sixth annual Mardi Gras fundraiser Saturday at the Four Seasons Resort in Wailea and the good times are sure to roll throughout. An eccentric evening of fun, food and laughs all to raise money for HIV services for Maui County, Mardi Gras will feature ...

Max’s Restaurant branch manager Judith Tomas (seated) is presented with lunch by Chef Erick Buono (left) and chicken processor Edwin Cadungog. Max’s Restaurant photo

Manila style

Filipino cuisine is known as “Southeast Asian soul food,” and these days it’s growing by leaps and lumpias in the islands and on the Mainland. Max’s Restaurant at the Maui Mall in Kahului takes its cue from the landmark Max’s of Manila restaurant that goes back more than 70 ...

5 Palms at Mana Kai Resort in Kihei will heat things up with a romantic repast Tuesday on Valentine’s Day. Hostess Raquel Tosaya (left) and server Lisa Levang get ready for the occasion.
• The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Some like it RED HOT on Valentine’s Day

Champagne and oysters and caviar — oh,  my! This year, isle chefs will ignite your passion for Valentine’s Day with all manner of romantic menus and so it will be love at first bite. Do make reservations right after you read this as many top Maui restaurants will sell out for the famed ...

Chef de Cuisine Michael Lofaro (first photo) of the rebranded Humuhumu takes a break from the kitchen and as host of the Emmy Award-winning “Search Hawaii: Where Food Meets Culture”; the Humuhumu lounge (second photo) is the hotel’s new hangout; signature cocktails include the Grand featuring Ron Zacapa 23-year-old Rum (third photo); tomato salad (fourth photo) with local goat cheeses and smoked Kula strawberry kiawe molasses; and spicy beef salad (fifth photo) with tropical fruit escabeche.
GRAND WAILEA photos

Humuhumu

Grand Wailea: A Waldorf Astoria Resort rolled out its revamped signature restaurant over the holidays for its guests, and now it’s poised for the general public to come and savor it. Humuhumunukunukuapua‘a is still its official name, but  it’s been rebranded as Humuhumu. The name of ...

Charley’s Restaurant & Saloon staff get ready to charge ahead for Super Bowl with fun drinks and pupu. They are servers Juliet Clark (from left) Lindsey Stout, bartender Malia Ness, server Sarah Johnson, hostess Oakley Jackson and general manager Renae Roberts.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Super Bowl island grinds

On Super Bowl Sunday, when the New England Patriots battle the Atlanta Falcons, Maui establishments will be ready for action. Watch the big game at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului and enjoy free admission. Gates open at noon and Willie K will entertain before kickoff at ...

Cheftestant Sheldon Simeon remains on Season 14 of “Top Chef” as a veteran who with the others will test his palate in a blindfolded experiment on the Bravo channel. Will Sheldon  advance past this evening? Stay tuned to find out. “Top Chef” photo

‘TOP CHEF’

With $125,000 to win or lose, Maui’s Sheldon Simeon has a lot at stake as one of the remaining cheftestants on Season 14 of “Top Chef” on the Bravo Channel. Episode 9 of “Top Chef” will air at 7 p.m. today on cable channels 20 or 560. “Top Chef” Season 6 winner Michael ...

The Banyan Tree kitchen staff includes Brenner Duarozan (from left), Chef de Cuisine Alvin Savella, Virgie Cappal, RJ Tumpap and Kha Nguyen. Photos by Carla Tracy and The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

Banyan Tree

Before I arrived at the Banyan Tree for dinner last week, I already knew that the meal would be off the charts in taste and presentation. That’s because I was already familiar with new Chef de Cuisine Alvin Savella from when he impressed me at another top West Maui resort. This time ...

At Ichiban Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Kahului, owners Henry and Patsy Chan showcase their specialties in the front row as sushi chef Ren Padilla and servers Carol Jaramillo and Anna Pader all relax behind. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Kung Hee Fat Choy

The Year of the Rooster will strut into Maui’s Asian restaurants and stores starting this week with authentic and auspicious tastes sure to please your palate. * Mike’s Hong Kong Bistro, 1900 Main St., Wailuku; 244-7888; www.mikeshongkongbistro.com Now through Feb. 7, Mike’s Hong Kong ...

This waddle of seven African Black-Footed Penguins will be the star of the show at 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Penguin Awareness Day at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Resort Life: Penguins in paradise

For the second year in a row, the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa will honor  its seven African Black-Footed Penguins on Penguin Awareness Day. The celebration and penguin feeding will take place at 9:30 a.m. Friday in the Hyatt  Atrium Lobby at the penguin habitat. Learn more about ...

Montage Kapalua Bay Executive Chef David Viviano will wow lovebirds with feasts for the senses at the Cliff House and at the signature Cane & Canoe. Montage Kapalua Bay photo

Wanna ‘pop the question’ . . . in style?

Love Is In the Air at Montage Kapalua Bay, which is unveiling an exclusive engagement program with the House of Harry Winston — Legendary King of Diamonds. This is a first for the renowned American jeweler to  partner with Montage Hotels & Resorts to deliver this one-of-a-kind ...

Craig Erickson wears a chef’s jacket and also directs food and beverage for the title of CheF&B at Diamond Resort International’s Ka‘anapali Beach Club across from Honokowai Marketplace. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

All in the ‘Ohana

A lot had changed since I’d visited the pink pyramid of a resort that’s known as  Diamond Resort International: Ka‘anapali Beach Club. But I’m sure glad I did as CheF&B Craig Erickson once again impressed with what new items he’s got cooking. A veteran in the industry, ...

Nachos Grande Chef Miguel Reyes makes everything from scratch including his enchiladas and salsas and guacamoles from fresh Kula-grown tomatoes and avocados. CARLA TRACY photo

Nachos Grande

If you want to have “death by salsa” and then come back more alive than you’ve ever felt before with clear mental faculties and sinuses and sweat on your brow, raring to go like a bull about to chase a matador, then dine at Nachos Grande Cantina in West Maui. Situated in its own ...

Chef Craig Erickson of Ka‘anapali Beach Club will present a Christmas Day buffet from 4 to 8 p.m. at the poolside Ohana Bar & Grill at the resort. Savor all you can eat of local and holiday cuisine. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

WARM WISHES!

Getting visions of fresh fish, prime rib and coconut-cream pie dancing in your heads? No worries. ’Tis the season and isle chefs are ready. Just pick up the phone to make your dining reservations at Maui’s hotels and restaurants, and to order pies and other holiday items at awaiting ...

Savor a different creation each day during the 12 Days of Poke at the new Auntie’s Kitchen poolside at the Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas now through Dec. 25. These fun poke dishes are add-ons to the regular menu. Westin KOR photo

‘12 Days of Poke’ at Auntie’s Kitchen

The countdown has already begun at the Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas’ new restaurant, Auntie’s Kitchen. Starting yesterday and running through Dec. 25, Auntie’s Kitchen is presenting the 12 Days of Poke with a different featured dish each day in addition to its regular ...

Owner Marco Defanis (from left) and his new General Manager Dan Egnatshick stand in the foyer.  The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Think Marco’s

Wolfing down a hot dog at a big-box store sometimes just doesn’t cut the mustard. For those who want to kick back,  relax in comfort and eat flavorful cuisine  while out and about holiday shopping, think Marco’s Italian Grill & Deli to meet with your family or friends for ...

Culinary experts Diane Stanislaw (wife of chef  Alex Stanislaw of Sea House in Napili) and Will Hawkins are happy to educate you on wine picks, cheese pairings, and getting live Maine lobsters out of the tank. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

Maui Prime

Gourmet food lovers will be in heaven for the holidays with Kurobuta bone-in hams; thick and well-marbled prime steaks; and game meats and birds such as venison, quail and pheasant. These coveted holiday foods and much more are all available at Maui Prime Fine Foods in Lahaina. Pick up ...