MAKENA TO WAIKAPU . . . . It's been announced in the news lately that Makena Beach & Golf Resort will be transformed (permits pending), starting in the summer of 2015. But rest assured that it will remain open until then for epic meals, brunches, fun food and beverage events and overnight accommodations.
As far as events go, the winery of the month dinner will flow tonight with Caymus Vineyards and Wagner Family of Wines. This month's liquid chef series June 26 out on the ocean lawn will feature Maui-inspired Mojitos by Old Lahaina Rum; pupu and deejay music. Coming up on July 10 will be the food and wine education series featuring American-inspired classics taught by Master Sommelier Patrick Okubo.
Kurt Lesmerises is now in charge of the kitchens. He was formerly a chef at David Paul's as well as Merrimans. Meanwhile, Makena's old executive chef Marc McDowell has jumped ship to Maui Tropical Plantation. Or should I say, "jumped trains?"
Pi Artisan Pizzeria’s managing partner Bert Noury tests the new 8,000-pound, kiawe-wood-burning oven in anticipation of opening soon in the former David Paul’s in Lahaina.
"We are totally in a construction mode on the Mill House restaurant and Wild Bill's Train Bar," says McDowell. "So the outlets are not open to the public yet. We have an actual steam engine and a caboose."
One of the designers for Mama's Fish House, Bill Cole, came up with the industrial-revolution theme that defines Maui's history.
"The Mill House will be a very cool cafe," McDowell adds. "Opening target date is in a couple of months. It will be a cafe by day with a juice bar and a barrista. Then at 5 p.m., Wild Bill's will serve tapas. Hopefully by January, our full dinner service will open."
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With the 75-acre organic Kumu Farms on property, Maui Tropical Plantation serves as the production facility for Kumu's basil and mac-nut pesto. " There is so much going on. I'm really excited to be part of the team here," the veteran chef adds.
BITS AND PIECES . . . Opening its doors soon in the old David Paul's location oceanside of the Outlets of Maui mall in Lahaina will be the stunning, new Pi Artisan Pizzeria.
Pi boasts an 8,000-pound, kiawe-wood-burning oven that will be fired at 800 degrees to produce a crispy, rustic pizza in five minutes.
"Our pizza oven is a massive reservoir of heat and it is the only one of its kind in Hawaii," says managing partner Bert Noury. "The dome height and oven curvatures allow the heat to flow evenly and the bottom is a little porous to create crisp pizza."
Alex Stanislaw is the brand new executive chef at Fish & Pasta at Whalers Village in Kaanapali, creating pastas such as pan-roasted jumbo white shrimp on fettuccine in housemade tomato-cream sauce with Hamakua mushrooms and local baby spinach; and entrees like twin herb-grilled pork chops in mushroom demi.
His former boss, Cary Button of Maui Prime Fine Foods in Lahaina, was sad to see Alex leave as his general manager, but wishes the inspiring chef well in his latest restaurant venture.
Everyone's still talking about Montage Kapalua Bay's stellar participation in last weekend's 33rd Kapalua Wine & Food Festival. Montage's signature restaurant, Cane & Canoe, is almost finished and will be open for business on June 23. So hurry and make reservations, as this place will aim to please.
Chef Riko Bartolome's starters will include goat-cheese tempura with Kadota figs grown on Maui and arugula in a balsamic caramel; and calamari chow fun noodles with lup cheong, bean sprouts and charred scallions along with smothered kale. Entrees will be Maui coffee-crusted beef tenderloin with Maui onions and blue cheese pain perdu; and whole, fried local catch with orange fennel salad, basil chimichurri and roast potatoes.
Tamura's Fine Wines and Liquors has opened near Star Noodle in Lahaina. We hear another facility is planned for Kihei.
Maui is jumping and it just doesn't quit!