Wailea News and Blog Updates
Chances are you don’t think about Maui’s invasive plant speacies. But Grand Wailea’s chef, Mike Lofaro, does – and he’s approaching the issue in a very unique and innovative way.
This recent article in the Robb Report captured it well in the headline:
This Chef Is Trying to Help Hawaii Eat Its Way Out of an Ecological Threat
The best way to solve the problem of invasive species may be to make them delicious.
Lofaro, named Maui’s “Chef of the Year” in 2016, has always been a champion of finding innovative ways to live off the land. The concept of his Emmy-winning “Search Hawaii” show—which also ran in 2016—featured him and Grand Wailea’s cultural ambassador, Kainoa Horcajo, traveling through Hawaii to unearth ingredients found in nature and create meals based on the Hawaiian lunar calendar and local culture.
The delicious result of this research (and the discovery of wild foods pioneers Vince Dodge and Sunny Savage) is that guests will now find these local treats on the menu and can help address the issue of invasive species:
Waianae Gold – gluten-free flour made from kiawe wood
Strawberry Guava – ubiquitous trees across Maui
Nasturtium and wild fennel – found island-wide
New Zealand spinach (grows in abundance along the shoreline)
Here’s a new article that highlights one of our Wailea resorts, the Fairmont Kea Lani. It’s written by Los Angeles-based writer, Melissa Curtin. Her tips are well-documented and she supplied numerous photos to back up her claims!
It’s an excellent read whether you are local and wanting a “staycation” or if you are thinking of visiting the luxurious and beautiful Wailea resort destination! For example, did you know that all rooms are suites, averaging 860 – 1100 square feet? No need to feel cramped on Maui, especially when you add in the numerous outdoor activities on the resort property and nearby.
Here’s a little something to get your plans in motion:
The Fairmont Kea Lani boasts three pools (with an adults-only pool and 2 activity pools connected by a 140-foot waterslide), 4 restaurants and lounges, 24-hour fitness with daily fitness and wellness classes, Kid’s Club, a gourmet bakery and deli, chic boutiques, and award-winning Willow Stream Spa.
Yes, we know it’s summer. But things are really heating up at the Grand Wailea! Saturday, July 7th, was the second time for the Fire It Up! “barbecue of the Pacific! Several guest chefs from near and far:
This year’s participants include repeats Justin Brunson of Old Major in Denver; Sam Jones of Sam Jones Barbecue in Winterville, N.C.; Hubert Keller of Fleur in Las Vegas; Chris Lilly of Bob Gibson Barbecue in Decatur, Ala; Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller BBQ in Taylor, Texas; Aaron Sanchez of Johnny Sanchez in New Orleans; and Maui’s Sheldon Simeon of Tin Roof in Kahului and the upcoming Lineage at The Shops at Wailea.
This event has become so popular (and smokin’ hot delicious!) that several major media outlets are here to cover the event. They include Travel + Leisure, Wine Enthusiast, the Food Network, Food & Wine, Coast Magazine, USA Today and Texas Monthly. This event was packed with local food, professional chefs, Aaron Sanchez – judge for the TV show Chopped, custom cocktails, a traditional imu, fabulous desserts, and more.
The article also includes an opening announcement for Okoa, a new outdoor barbecue restaurant at the Grand Wailea.
“Okoa will feature a 26-foot smoker that we got out of Houston,” says Gonzalez. “It will be a barbecue restaurant with tastes from all over the land, from the various regions including the Carolinas, Alabama and Texas and Hawaii.”
Yes, of course people love to visit Wailea and Maui in the winter – as a warm getaway from snow and sleet. Priceline recently ranked Wailea in the Top Ten of emerging summer travel destinations! Locals understand that Wailea easily represents a year round choice for vacation travel.
Wailea was ranked number 10 on a list that also shows rising popularity of destinations like Alpharetta, Georgia (no. 1); Grand Forks, North Dakota (no. 2); and Cape May, New Jersey (no. 3). Lake Geneva Wisconsin (no. 8) and West Hollywood, California (no. 9) also made the list.
You can read the full details on MauiNow.com
This is the 17th year that the association has offered Maui county scholarships to local high school seniors, sending them on their way to college! Students from throughout Maui County were selected. The review process, overseen by Bud Pikrone, WCA General Manager, was extensive and broad; these students are truly deserving of the support.
Here are the 2018 Wailea Community Association scholarship recipients:
Alexis Matias, Lahainaluna HS attending University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa
Caele Manley, Molokaʻi HS attending Wheaton College
Francis Bui, Lahainaluna HS attending University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Jaymar Quedding, Maui HS attending Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
John Supnet, Lahainaluna HS attending University of Hawaiʻi, Maui
Jun Kai, Seabury Hall attending Whitman College
Lady Elaydo, Lānaʻi HS attending Kapiʻolani Community College
Lily Katz, Baldwin HS attending George Washington University
Lino Yoshikawa, Maui HS attending University of Hawaiʻi, Hilo
Paula Maroto, Molokaʻi HS attending Grand Canyon University
Every May and November, the Wailea Resort Association hosts this delicious event, Restaurant Week Wailea. This May, we have 19 Wailea restaurants offering special fixed price menus for your delight! Plus, the Maui Food Bank receives a portion of the proceeds are donated to the . That’s what we call a triple win! Make your reservations in under a minute by using the direct links to Open Table on our #RWWailea page.
The Maui News has some interesting back story on this semi-annual event.
Wailea Resort is renowned for award-winning culinary talent, exceptional restaurants and celebrity chefs, who will once again create remarkable three-course, chef-inspired prix-fixe menus for $29, $39, $49 or $59 per person.