It was a rainy grey weekend here in SF, but knowing that in a few short days I’ll be heading to sun-soaked Maui kept my spirits up! Yayyy!!! Warm sunshine, and pineapples, and umbrella drinks, here I come. Oh, and shave ice. Mountains of shave ice.
So excited to get a huge fluffy shave ice the size of my head.
We’ll be in South Maui this time around, covering the Wailea Wine and Food Festival. Yeaaap, life does not suck. It’ll be great too because we will be staying right by this great spot we discovered on our last trip: Monkeypod Kitchen…and their awesome Watermelon and Feta Pizza with Arugula! Gotta love a place where you can get sweet watermelon in December.
I am convinced I was an island girl in a past life. Palm tree dotted vistas, blue skies, candy colored tropical flowers, golden sun…it all speaks to me. I may be back on mainland now, but my mind is still in this happy place…somewhere in Maui with a coconut shave ice in hand.
It’s easy to see how people come to Hawaii and never leave. Take chef Peter Merriman for example. Originally a Pittsburgh native, Merriman got his education at UPenn before embarking on a career in the culinary world. Hawaii lured him away in 1983 and I have a feeling he hasn’t weathered an East coast winter ever since.
Today Merriman has prominent restaurants on the Big Island, Maui, and Kauai. He is the founding president of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine Chefs Organization, and a pioneer in the burgeoning farm-to-table movement in Hawaii.
I had the pleasure of soaking up the drop dead gorgeous ocean view at Merriman’s Kapalua and stealing a few moments with the chef. Here’s what he had to say about Hawaii’s culinary scene, doing the right thing, and three local foods you have to try.
Hawaii, I think you are the honey bee’s knees.
I heart your sunny disposition, the flowers in your hair, and your shaka salutes. May I add, you have crazy amazing rainbows.
I was super excited to return to the Kapalua Wine and Food Festival this year. Some of you may remember when I covered it a few years ago. If so, you’ll remember how it was just a love fest of food, wine, and ridiculously beautiful views.