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Maui No Ka Oi Announces Winners of ‘Aipono Restaurant Awards

May 1, 2015, 9:49 AM HST (Updated May 7, 2015, 9:55 AM) · 0 Comments
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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.

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    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.

    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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