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Farm to Table Maui
According to Hawaiian legend, the demi god Maui slowed the sun over the island so that his mother would have more sunshine to dry her kapa (bark cloth). This same lingering sun blesses the slopes of Haleakala and makes the area called Upcountry one of the most fertile sources for Maui’s highly-acclaimed chefs. Just visit the resort areas of Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua and Wailea and you’ll discover an endless list of must-eats, including Chef Peter Merriman’s packed Hula Grill and Haliimaile General Store by Chef Bev Gannon.
After tasting these fabulous dishes, follow your favorite ingredients to their source at Maui’s plantations, farms and gardens. 1,219 metres above sea level in Kula, take a farm tour of Oo Farm, the private farm of Chef James McDonald, owner of PacificO, IO and the Feast at Lele. Not far from Oo Farm is the 3.4 hectare Alii Kula Lavender Farm where you can see more than 25,000 lavender plants as well as protea, hydrangea and other exotic flora. The views from these serene Upcountry hills are amazing. The award winning Surfing Goat Dairy is a 16.9 hectare dairy located in lower Kula where visitors can learn about the cheese making process, tour the pastures and — for the truly adventurous — actually milk a goat.
In the words of Maui’s Chef James McDonald, "We’re going back in time. We’re moving away from food being processed to the way it used to be."
Although not readily apparent to visitors, Hawaii has distinct growing seasons. This makes for a tasty variety of offerings at our Maui farmers’ markets. One of the most popular is the Upcountry Farmers Market where you can find seasonal Maui-grown products you might not find elsewhere, such as “ulu” or breadfruit. A Hawaiian staple with the consistency similar to a baked potato (but it grows on a tree), you might find breadfruit mashed as ulu poi, baked, roasted, made in gnocchi, pasta, hummus or whatever else comes to mind. If you’re at the market during breadfruit season, consider yourself lucky indeed.
Maui Farm to Table Culinary Events
Plan your vacation around Maui’s most popular culinary events.