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Maui No Ka Oi Announces Winners of ‘Aipono Restaurant Awards

Posted May 1, 2015, 09:49 AM HST Updated May 7, 2015, 09:55 AM HST
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Jeff Scheer pf Maui Executive Catering earned the prestigious “Chef of the Year” award. The title is decided by peer review, voted on exclusively by Maui chefs and industry insiders.

By Debra Lordan

The 2015 ‘Aipono Restaurant Awards ceremonies were held on April 26 on the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa’s Ocean Lawn, drawing a crowd of 450 attendees and participants to honor the island’s finest restaurants. This was the largest ‘Aipono Awards Gala to date.

The ‘Aipono Restaurant Awards are the first, high-profile dining awards devoted entirely to Maui. The awards celebrate the stars of Maui’s culinary industry as well as students of the University of Hawai‘i Maui College’s Culinary Academy.

“‘Aipono,” the name for these prestigious awards, is derived from two Hawaiian words–‘ai, which means “to eat,” and pono, which means “excellence.”

The 13th Annual ‘Aipono Restaurant Awards recognize Maui’s best restaurants in three-dozen categories as voted by Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi Magazine readers. More than 2,000 readers voted this year. The prestigious “Chef of the Year” title is decided by peer review, voted on exclusively by Maui chefs and industry insiders.

During the gala, attendees were transported to the Casbah—no magic carpet required—for a celebration with a Mediterranean/North African-theme.

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The gala serves as a benefit for the Maui Culinary Academy. Since its launch in 2003, ticket sales have generated more than $200,000 for the school, and scholarships for deserving students.

In addition, academy students gain the invaluable experience of working with sponsor restaurant chefs on the day of the event as they help to prepare the evening’s dinner. More than 52 students worked alongside the chefs and banquet/stewarding teams.

Throughout the year, ‘Aipono raises additional funds for MCA with wine dinners held at ‘Aipono-winning restaurants, where advanced Sommelier Charles Fredy of Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants leads guests on explorations of wines from around the globe, in a dinner paired with cuisine by the venue’s chef.

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2015 ʻAipono Winners

Restaurant of the Year
Mama’s Fish House

Chef of the Year
Jeff Scheer, Maui Executive Catering

Maui County Farm Bureau’s Friend of Agriculture
Executive Chef Francois Milliet, Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Excellence in Sustainability
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

Lifetime Achievement Award
Chef Paris Nabavi, Pizza Paradiso & Sangrita Grill & Cantina

Icon Award
Clyde Sakamoto, UH Maui College

Gold

Silver

RESTAURANT
OF THE YEAR

Mama’s Fish House
799 Poho Pl., Kūʻau
579-8488 • mamasfishhouse.com

Ka‘ana Kitchen
Andaz, 3550 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea
573-1234 • maui.andaz.hyatt.com

BEST NEW RESTAURANT

TIE FOR GOLD

Cane & Canoe
1 Bay Dr., Lahaina
662-6681
montagehotels.com

TIE FOR GOLD

Cow Pig Bun
535 Līpoa Pkwy., Kīhei
875-8100
cowpigbun.com

Sale Pepe
878 Front St., Lahaina
667-7667 • salepepemaui.com

MOST
MAUI-EST

Mama’s Fish House
799 Poho Pl., Kūʻau
579-8488 • mamasfishhouse.com

Monkeypod Kitchen
10 Wailea Gateway Pl., Wailea
891-2322 • monkeypodkitchen.com

BEST RESTAURANT ON AN ISLAND
NEXT DOOR

Alan Wong’s Honolulu
1857 S. King St., Honolulu
949-2526 • AlanWongs.com

Nobu Lāna’i
1 Mānele Bay Rd., Lāna‘i City
565-2393 • FourSeasons.com

BEST SERVICE

Spago
Four Seasons Resort Maui
3900 Wailea Alanui, Wailea
874-8000 • fourseasons.com

Lahaina Grill
127 Lahainaluna Rd., Lahaina
661-1234 • lahainagrill.com

BEST OCEANFRONT DINING

Mama’s Fish House
799 Poho Pl., Kūʻau
579-8488 • mamasfishhouse.com

TIE FOR SILVER

Honu Seafood & Pizza
1295 Front St., Lahaina
667-9390
honumaui.com

TIE FOR SILVER

Sea House Restaurant
Napili Kai Beach Resort
5900 Lower Honoapi‘ilani Rd.,
Napili
669-1500
seahousemaui.com

MOST ROMANTIC

Capische?
Hotel Wailea, 555 Kaukahi Rd., Wailea
879-2224 • capische.com

Merriman’s Kapalua
1 Bay Dr., Kapalua
669-6400 • merrimanshawaii.com

BEST SHORTS & SLIPPERS DINING

Hula Grill
Whalers Village
2435 Kā‘anapali Pkwy., Kā‘anapali
667-6636 • hulagrill.com

Aloha Mixed Plate
1285 Front St., Lahaina
661-3322 • alohamixedplate.com

BEST HEALTHY CHOICES

Choice Health Bar
1087 Limahana Pl., Lahaina
661-3322 • choicemaui

Mala
1307 Front St., Lahaina
667-9394 • malaoceantavern.com

MOST INNOVATIVE MENU

Ka‘ana Kitchen
Andaz, 3550 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea
573-1234 • maui.andaz.hyatt.com

MiGRANT
3700 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea
875-9394 • migrantmaui.com

BEST BREAKFAST

Plantation House
2000 Plantation Club Dr., Kapalua
669-6299 • ThePlantationHouse.com

The Gazebo
Napili Shores
5315 Lower Honoapi‘ilani Rd., Napili
669-5621

BEST BUSINESS LUNCH

Longhi’s
888 Front St., Lahaina, 667-2288
3750 Wailea Alanui, Wailea
891-8883 • longhis.com

Bistro Casanova
33 Lono Ave., Kahului
873-3650 • bistrocasanova.com

BEST HAPPY HOUR

Sea House Restaurant
Napili Kai Beach Resort
5900 Lower Honoapi‘ilani Rd., Napili
669-1500 • seahousemaui.com

Monkeypod Kitchen
10 Wailea Gateway Pl.
891-2322 • monkeypodkitchen.com

BEST ASIAN

Morimoto Maui
3550 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea
243-4766 • morimotomaui.com

Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar
600 Office Rd., Kapalua, 669-6286
1881 S. Kīhei Rd., Kīhei
879-0004 • sanseihawaii.com

BEST SOUTHEAST ASIAN

A Saigon Cafe
1792 Main St., Wailuku
243-9560

Thai Chef
Old Lahaina Center
878 Front St., A12, Lahaina
667-2814 • thaichefrestaurantmaui.com

BEST BURGER

Cow Pig Bun
535 Līpoa Pkwy., Kīhei
875-8100 • cowpigbun.com

Mala
1307 Front St., Lahaina
667-9394 • malaoceantavern.com

BEST HAWAI‘I REGIONAL

TIE FOR GOLD

Kō 
Fairmont Kea Lani Resort
4100 Wailea Alanui, Wailea
875-2210 • korestaurant.com

TIE FOR GOLD

Spago
Four Seasons Resort Maui
3900 Wailea Alanui, Wailea
874-8000
fourseasons.com

Cane & Canoe
1 Bay Dr., Lahaina
662-6681 • montagehotels.com

BEST
PACIFIC RIM

Japengo
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa
200 Nohea Kai Dr., Kā‘anapali
661-1234 • maui.hyatt.com

Pacific’O
505 Front St., Lahaina
667-4341 • pacificomaui.com

BEST LŪAU

Old Lahaina Lūau
1251 Front St., Lahaina
667-1998 • oldlahainaluau.com

TIE FOR SILVER

The Feast at Lele
505 Front St., Lahaina
667-5353
feastatlele.com

TIE FOR SILVER

Wailele Polynesian Lū‘au
Westin Maui Resort
2365 Kā‘anapali Pkwy.,
Kā‘anapali
667-2525

BEST ITALIAN

TIE FOR GOLD

Pūlehu, an Italian Grill
Westin KOR Villas
6 Kai Ala Dr., Kā‘anapali
667-3200
pulehurestaurantmaui.com

TIE FOR GOLD

Sale Pepe
878 Front St., Lahaina
667-7667
salepepemaui.com

Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante
3900 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea
874-8000 • fourseasons.com

BEST MEXICAN

Sangrita Grill + Cantina
2580 Keka‘a Dr., Lahaina
662-6000 • sangritagrill.com

Roasted Chiles
1279 S. Kīhei Rd., Suite 122, Kīhei
868-4357

BEST NOODLES

Star Noodle
286 Kupuohi St., Lahaina
667-5400 • starnoodle.com

MiGRANT
3700 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea
875-9394 • migrantmaui.com

BEST PIZZA

Flatbread Company
89 Hāna Hwy., Pā‘ia
579-8989 • flatbreadcompany.com

Prison Street Pizza
133 Prison St., Lahaina
662-3332 • PrisonStreetPizza.com

BEST
PLATE LUNCH

Aloha Mixed Plate
1285 Front St., Lahaina
661-3322 • alohamixedplate.com

Da Kitchen
425 Koloa St., Kahului, 871-7782
2439 S. Kīhei Rd., Kīhei, 875-7782
da-kitchen.com

BEST FISH
& SEAFOOD

Mama’s Fish House
799 Poho Pl., Kūʻau
579-8488 • mamasfishhouse.com

Nick’s Fishmarket
Fairmont Kea Lani
4100 Wailea Alanui, Wailea
879-7224 • nicksfishmarketmaui.com

BEST FISH TACO

Coconuts Fish Café
1279 S. Kīhei Rd., Kīhei
875-9979 • CoconutsFishCafe.com

Ocean Pool Bar & Grill
Westin KOR Villas
6 Kai Ala Dr., Kā‘anapali
667-3200
WestinKaanapali.com/dining/OceanPool

BEST
FOOD TRUCK

Maui Fresh Streatery
137 E. Kaʻahumanu Ave., Kahului
344-7929 • MauiFreshStreatery.com

Shark Pit
78 Ulupono St., Lahaina
298-7776

BEST POKE

Tamura’s Fine Wine & Liquors
199 Dairy Road, Kahului
873-8000

Foodland
90 Kane St., Kahului, 877-2808
370 Kehalani Village Dr., Wailuku, 244-4460
1881 S. Kīhei Rd., Kīhei, 879-9350
878 Front St., Lahaina, 661-0975
55 Pukalani St., Pukalani, 572-0674
FoodlandStores.com

BEST STEAK

TIE FOR GOLD

Duo
Four Seasons Resort Maui
3900 Wailea Alanui, Wailea
874-8000
fourseasons.com/maui/dining

TIE FOR GOLD

Son’z Steakhouse
Hyatt Regency Maui
200 Nohea Kai Dr.,
Kā‘anapali
667-4506
SonzRestaurant.com

Pineapple Grill
200 Kapalua Dr., Kapalua
669-9600 • pineapplekapalua.com

BEST SUSHI

Japengo
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa
200 Nohea Kai Dr., Kā‘anapali
661-1234 • maui.hyatt.com

Nuka
780 Haʻikū Rd., Haʻikū
575-2939 • NukaMaui.com

BEST DESSERT

TIE FOR GOLD

Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop
820 Olowalu Village Rd., Olowalu
662-3600
Leodas.com

TIE FOR GOLD

Mama’s Fish House
799 Poho Pl., Kūʻau
579-8488
mamasfishhouse.com

Pineapple Grill
200 Kapalua Dr., Kapalua
669-9600 • pineapplekapalua.com

BEST SHAVE ICE

Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice
333 Dairy Rd., Kahului
61 S. Kīhei Rd.,Kīhei
819 Front St., Lahaina
790 Front St., Lahaina
58 Maui Lani Pkwy.,Wailuku
200 Nohea Kai Dr., Kā‘anapali
877-3700
UlulanisHawaiianShaveIce.com

Kō 
Fairmont Kea Lani Resort
4100 Wailea Alanui, Wailea
875-2210 • korestaurant.com

BEST BAR

TIE FOR GOLD

Fleetwood’s on Front St.
744 Front St, Lahaina
669-6425
fleetwoodsonfrontst.com

TIE FOR GOLD

Lahaina Grill
127 Lahainaluna Rd.,
Lahaina
661-1234
lahainagrill.com

Cliff Dive Grill
Sheraton Maui Resort
2605 Kā‘anapali Pkwy., Kā‘anapali
661-0031
Sheraton-Maui.com/dining/Cliff-Dive-Grill

BEST COCKTAILS

TIE FOR GOLD

Black Rock Lounge
Sheraton Maui Resort
2605 Kā‘anapali Pkwy., Kā‘anapali
661-0031
Sheraton-Maui.com/dining/BlackRockLounge

TIE FOR GOLD

Ka‘ana Kitchen
Andaz, 3550 Wailea
Alanui Dr,
Wailea
573-1234
maui.andaz.hyatt.com

Cow Pig Bun
535 Līpoa Pkwy., Kīhei
875-8100 • cowpigbun.com

BEST WINE LIST

Nick’s Fishmarket
Fairmont Kea Lani
4100 Wailea Alanui, Wailea
879-7224 • nicksfishmarketmaui.com

Lahaina Grill
127 Lahainaluna Rd., Lahaina
661-1234 • lahainagrill.com

Jeff Scheer, Maui Executive Catering.

Jeff Scheer pf Maui Executive Catering earned the prestigious “Chef of the Year” award. The title is decided by peer review, voted on exclusively by Maui chefs and industry insiders.

Aipono 2015 (11)

The “Best Steak” award went to Son’z Steakhouse (pictured, Donnie and Desi Abernathy) in a tie with Duo. The “Best Fish & Seafood” silver and “Best Wine List” gold awards went to Nick’s Fishmarket. Photo courtesy of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine.

Aipono 2015 (2)

Mike Umetsu’s Kalinti (chickpea flan with marinated tomatoes and eggplant). Photo courtesy of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine.

Aipono 2015 (3)

Craig Omori’s Baba Ganoush (roasted eggplant and yogurt mousse with cinnamon and mint). Photo courtesy of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine.

JRM0044

A Saigon Cafe. (Left to right) Jason Chau, Lucia Choe, Ranae Cerizo, owner Jennifer Nguyen, Joyce Harris, Val Matsunaga and Francisco Cerizo. Photo courtesy of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine.

Aipono 2015 (5)

Maui Belly Groove dancers entertain at reception. Photo courtesy of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine.

Aipono 2015

Courtesy of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine.

Aipono 2015 (6)

Maui Belly Groove dancers entertain at reception. Photo courtesy of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine.

Aipono 2015 (7)

Sale Pepe owners Qiana and Chef Michele Bari tied for the gold with Pūlehu, an Italian Grill, in the “Best Italian” category. Photo courtesy of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine.

Aipono 2015 (8)

Pūlehu, an Italian Grill (pictured) tied for the gold with Sale Pepe in the “Best Italian” category. Photo courtesy of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine. Photo courtesy of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine.

Aipono 2015 (9)

Stevie Ray Williams, MCA’s “Rising Star” scholarship winner for “Excellence in the Culinary Arts.” Cinda Hueu, MCA’s “Exemplary Graduate Award” winner. Photo courtesy of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine.

Aipono 2015 (10)

Lifetime Achievement winner Chef Paris Nabavi, Diane Haynes-Woodburn, Chris Speere, external outreach coordinator for Maui Culinary Academy. Photo courtesy of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine.

 

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