Maui Meals and Memories

 

Sue Wolfgang Spago

Hangin’ with Wolfgang Puck at his Spago restaurant on Maui.

After a tense and trying 2014, we packed our bags at the end of December and fled to Maui for 6 days of tropical therapy.

The Grand Wailea Resort, Maui

The Grand Wailea Resort, Maui

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We crammed in a lot during our 6 days on the island – snuba and snorkeling, swimming with turtles, surfing lessons, a luau – and yet also managed to enjoy much-needed time doing nothing at all.

A family of humpback whales played alongside our snuba/snorkel boat.(Aqua Adventures)

A family of humpback whales played alongside our snuba/snorkel boat. (Aqua Adventures)

Of course, as food lovers, many of our daily activities centered around meals. After traveling 4,850 miles, we were determined to get a good taste of the local cuisine. My favorite of the trip? Our last dinner on Maui – at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago at the Four Seasons hotel next door. Maybe I was swayed by the surprise appearance of Wolfgang himself, but the lobster with banana curry and green papaya “noodles” was a dish I’ll remember for years to come.

This standout dish featured Kona Maine lobster - lobster from Maine that was raised in Hawaii. Also note the herb salad on top -- so simple yet so delicious and refined!

This standout dish featured Kona Maine lobster – lobster from Maine that was raised in Hawaii. Also note the herb salad on top — so simple yet so delicious and refined!

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Another autographed cookbook for my collection! Some great-looking recipes as well. (Sorry about the rabbit ears, Wolfgang.)

We were all big fans of our hotel’s all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. Since our internal clocks were on EST for most of the trip, we got into a somewhat cost-effective routine of eating a big, early breakfast, skipping lunch, and then going to an early dinner. (Lucky for us, since it was hard securing reservations for later than 5:30 during the busy holiday week.)

Digging into the Grand Wailea's breakfast buffet. All you can eat Hawaiian pineapple! (and everything else)

Digging into the Grand Wailea’s breakfast buffet. All you can eat Hawaiian pineapple! (and everything else) 

I also really liked my flavor-packed meal at Migrant – “Modern, local cuisine” cooked up by Chef Sheldon from Top Chef Seattle. The family placed Monkeypod ahead on their lists, perhaps influenced by a really amazing chocolate cream pie.

Save room for the pies at Monkeypod!

Save room for the pies at Monkeypod!

Our hotel’s Humuhumunukunukuapua’a restaurant felt the most tropical, and was in everyone’s “Top 3” of the trip.

Humu's open-air lagoon setting was hard to top.

Humu’s open-air lagoon setting was hard to beat.

The piña coladas and mai tais were pretty good too!

The piña coladas and mai tais were pretty good too!

The view from our table at Humuhumu

The view from our table at Humu.

The Grand Luau at Honuaula was conveniently located at our hotel. Touristy but fun! Buy discount tickets at Costco.

The Grand Luau at Honuaula was conveniently located at our hotel. Kind of touristy, but fun! (Get your discount tickets at Costco.)

Digging up the main course . . .

Digging up the luau’s main course . . .

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Whipped butter mixed with chopped macadamia nuts — a must-try for home!

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Aloha, 2015! We’re ready for you.

 

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