3 New Maui Dining Options
Where to eat now in Wailea
1. LINEAGE — HOME COOKING, HAWAIIAN-STYLE
BY JEN MURPHY
“Eat, drink, talk story” is an apt slogan for Lineage, the highly anticipated new restaurant from Top Chef fan favorite Sheldon Simeon. Native Hawaiians “talk story” when they pass information from generation to generation using Olelo, or spoken word. At Lineage, which opened in November in the Shops at Wailea on Maui, Simeon uses food to tell the story of his childhood on the Big Island and his family’s Filipino heritage. His menu is a love letter to his familial food inspirations. “The recipes have been passed down from my parents, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, and my community,” he shares. “I’m cooking the food Hawaiians eat at home surrounded by their families.”
To that end, much of the menu is intended to be shared. Minutes after I’m seated, pupu carts, a riff on dim sum trolleys built by Simeon’s father, arrive tableside tempting guests with appetizers such as tangy green papaya slaw and boiled peanuts with five spice. Massive platters of Huli Huli Chicken, usually sold from roadside stands, and crispy pata (pork hock) come garnished with produce from local suppliers, including Oprah’s upcountry farm and Kumu Farms in Waikapu–. The storytelling goes beyond the plate. Simeon weaves tales into every detail of Lineage, from the restaurant design (the abstract drawing on the back wall is a map of his childhood neighborhood in Hilo) to the cocktails, such as the kiawe-wood-smoked Old-Fashioned.
He says the enthusiasm locals showed for his humble stick-to-your-ribs island fare at Tin Roof, his 3-year-old counter-service spot in Kahului, gave him the courage to dig deeper into his family’s culinary past and serve those recipes in an elevated setting.
For Lineage, Simeon read Hawaiian cookbooks to teach himself techniques such as the traditional paniolo, or cowboy, way of making pipikaula, a salted dried beef. He also traveled to the Ilocos region of the Philippines to find his paternal grandmother’s recipe for adobo, a traditional Filipino meat dish prepared with a marinade of vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. When he returned home and prepared the dish for his father, Simeon says his dad’s eyes lit up in recognition after one bite. “That’s the sign of true success,” he says. “I feel so much pride every time a diner comes in and has that same reaction to one of my dishes.” 808-879-8800; lineagemaui.com
Try these recipes from Chef Sheldon Simeon:
2. NEW COOKING CLASS AT HOTEL WAILEA
BY JEN MURPHY
Hawaii’s only Relais & Châteaux property has become one of Maui’s toughest reservations. The hotel offers its highly interactive cooking experience — more dinner party than culinary tutorial — to just 12 to 14 guests every other week in a demonstration kitchen built exclusively for classes.
Upon arrival, guests don chef whites and Hedley & Bennett aprons and drink bubbly and snack on appetizers such as ahi-topped squid ink crackers. Chef Krista Garcia, who cut her teeth as pastry chef at Napa’s storied French Laundry, then shows guests how to cube Kanpachi to build their own poke bowl garnished with seaweed, fried garlic, and Maui sweet onion. Next, Garcia tasks students with slicing Maui venison that has been cooked sous vide in advance and artfully plating it with accompaniments such as furikake granola, papaya, and miso cream. For dessert, Garcia teaches guests how to make a variation on Hawaii’s ubiquitous shave ice. Students craft a savory syrup from calamansi citrus and li hing mui (salty dried plum) to drizzle atop a sweet mango granita.
After each dish is complete, students taste their work alongside a wine pairing. “Food is even more delicious when you make it with your own hands,” says Garcia. 808-874-0500; hotelwailea.com/cooking-class/
3. THE FEAST AT MOKAPU
BY DON NICHOLS
Last May, the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort launched this luau that’s unlike so many others in the islands. Held on the hotel’s lawn overlooking Mokapu Beach, it’s kept intimate (no more than 150 people) and staffers serve a three-course, upscale family-style meal at your table — no standing in long buffet lines. Besides the requisite Kalua Pig, beautifully plated dishes include Pulehu Rib-Eye and Wok-Stirred Black Pepper Kauai Prawns, with sides such as Molokai Sweet Potatoes and Edamame Fried Rice. An added bonus: unlimited craft cocktails. Through music and native dances, entertainers tell the story of Hawaii’s Polynesian ancestors arriving on Maui and settling into their lives on the island. Sunday and Tuesday evenings, $200 to $250. 808-573-1234; feastatmokapu.com
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