Maui's bustling food landscape prioritizes sustainable, multiethnic cuisine

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Friday, August 26, 2022
Take your taste buds on a trip through Maui's sustainable food scene
Maui's food landscape encourages visitors to sample multiethnic, sustainable cuisine inspired by the spirit of Hawaii.

MAUI, Hawaii (KGO) -- Maui's bustling food scene encourages visitors to eat their way across the island, stopping at everything from farm-to-table hotspots to mom-and-pop shops. At each destination, experience multiethnic, sustainable cuisine inspired by the spirit of Hawaii.

"Hawaii is really a melting pot," explained celebrity chef and restauranteur Roy Yamaguchi. "You can have all these different flares that become Hawaii, whether it be fast food or whether it be high end."

In partnership with a group of renowned chefs, Yamaguchi founded Hawaii Regional Cuisine, a food revolution that weaves together a broad network of farmers and ranchers.

The goal? To combine locally grown food with the ethnic flavors already present in Hawaii for a grand fusion of the islands' unique resources.

"It's really important for us to buy local," said Yamaguchi. "What we want to do is make Hawaii more sustainable. We started this over 30 years ago, and it has really gotten to the point where people are embracing that."

"In traditional Hawaii, they wouldn't over fish or over pick crops," adds Sales & Marketing Manager of Huihui, Julie Y. "They harvested what they needed, so that they wouldn't deplete any resource."

Kaanapali Beach Hotel's restaurant, Huihui incorporates sustainability into its flavorful menu options. The spot's team of chefs adds offerings from crop surpluses into a variety of dishes.

"A local farmer comes up and says, 'Hey, I have an abundance of bananas,' of course we grab their bananas and make more banana ice cream and banana bread."

A trip to the islands isn't complete without touring the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. Developed by the Hawaii Ag and Culinary Alliance, the program features more than 150 internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, mixologists, and more.

"Our festival is kind of an extension of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement," explained Yamaguchi. "Our motto is 'Taste our love for the land.' It's all about fresh, it's all about taking care of our land."

The 12th Annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival will be held from Thursday, October 20th through Sunday, November 6th. For more information, visit here.

For additional Maui travel and planning resources, visit here.