While we no longer dine on the expensive side here, Hawaii does boast some of the best chefs in the world. And we have been to a few, over the years. If you have not tried at least one of these chef’s delights, I would go at least once.
What exactly is Hawaiian Regional cuisine? It blends Hawaii’s unique flavors with the cuisine of the world. These twelve founding chefs decided to feature the freshest island ingredients, such as cattle raised on the Big Island, fruit and vegetables from their rich, volcanic soil, and the fresh fish from the Pacific.
My personal favorite is Roy Yamaguchi, who heads up the world wide chain of Roy’s. His outpost at The Inn at Spanish Bay is our personal favorite. And here is a secret. It is Roy’s favorite too. Do you know why? Because of the golf at Pebble, Spyglass, and Spanish Bay of course. But his food here is the best of all the Roy’s we have tried around the country and world.
Probably the second most famous is Bev Gannon, who rose to fame with her famous Haliimaile General Store on Maui. Set in an old general store, the food is not only Hawaiian regional cuisine, it is outstandingly fresh, as in farm to table. In fact, most days, produce brought to the “store” can be found next door, for sale, mostly by the honor system.
There are many others worth noting: Alan Wong, Peter Merriman, Sam Choy, Mark Ellman, Roger Dikon, Amy Ota, and many others. But Roy was the island’s first winner of the James Beard Award. Another winner, George Mavrothalissitas, owner of Chef Mavro’s, features French-Hawaiian cuisine. Even Iron Chef Morimoto has a place in Waikiki, as does Nobu.
Mala Ocean Tavern in Lahaina by Mark Ellman is another place with fantastic ocean views, and a California twist to his food. He recently opened a pizza place, Honu Seafood and Pizza in Lahaina that might be worth a try.
But I will guarantee two things: One, dining at these places will be expensive, and two, I can lead you to equally delicious food at a fraction of the price! Just follow me!!!!
You will have to read some of my other blogs form this trip to get the “G2” on the local food.