UPDATED: Sadly, David Paul’s had to close their doors and are no longer around to do cooking classes.
When on vacation, food is a HUGE part of the experience. I think it’s where you get to explore, go out of your comfort zone. It’s where you can get a real sense of the culture, and where you can meet good people. Food has a way of bringing all that together, in a miraculous way. The following two foodie experiences, will do all that and more.
Here are two off-the-beaten-path “foodie” things to do on Maui…
O’o Farms Owned and operated by Chef James McDonald of Pacific’O and I’O restaurants, O’o Farms is located in upcountry in Kula. Built on 8.5 acres, this organic farm boast everything from tomatoes to lettuce to coffee. O’o Farms offers tours where you and a group of others are led throughout the property. You are allowed, and encouraged, to pick off the vine…grab that lettuce, pluck that tomato, grab a handful and smell those herbs. It’s a dance with your senses, like an adult and healthier version of being in the chocolate factory. Then once you’ve built up an appetite the Chef on location will cook you lunch in the gorgeous and rustic outdoor kitchen. You’ll soon see that the lettuce you picked is on your plate but now it sits with freshly cut onions, tomatoes and other goodies all grown right there on the property which is sprawling out in front of you. Lunch is followed by fresh pressed coffee from, you guessed it, coffee that was grown and roasted right there on the property. O’o Farms gives you the true “farm to table” experience. You are encouraged to wear walking shoes, bring sunscreen, and a jacket in case it’s cold (and yes, it can be in Kula). They also allow you to bring a bottle of wine to enjoy with your meal. My opinion, bring wine…it truly finishes off this wonderfully relaxing foodie adventure. Click here to book a tour. (Chef James McDonald spends some time up at the farm and may be cooking when you go, be sure to ask about it, although all of the Chefs are fantastic!) Cooking classes at David Paul’s Island Grill.
If you are looking to get past those doors to really see how a bustling first-rate kitchen is run, check out the cooking classes at David Paul’s Island Grill in Lahaina.
Offered twice a month with a range of themes, this cooking class is for both the novice (me!) and those that have that cooking thing down. You can participate as much as you’d like, from cracking eggs, to chopping up veggies to adding ingredients (ack, scary!). Chef let’s you really feel at home in his kitchen and gives tips and tricks all along the way. From boning a duck to how to cook hearts of palm, to how to sharpen knives, SharpenedKnife.com have guaranteed learn tips that anyone at any cooking level can use. The topper of the three-hour class is when you get to take off your apron, sit at a beautifully dressed table in the middle of the not-yet-open and empty restaurant, which overlooks the Pacific ocean, and sit with Chef David Paul. You get to relax, talk story and enjoy all of the yummy goodness that you just learned how to cook. On our “passion menu” in honor of Valentine’s Day was…
- Chilled Roasted Red Beet Soup with Creme fraiche, baby chives
- Fresh mataki oysters with lemoncello mignonette (yup, we learned how to shuck them!)
- Pomme frittes (yes, I sliced one of those potatoes) with truffle ketchup (wow!)
- Orange glazed boneless duck rolled salad with hearts of palm and blood orange vinaigrette
- Dark chocolate mousse
All is paired with the perfect wine to top off the perfect afternoon. You can learn more and book your cooking class here.
Get your foodie on, on Maui!
Whether you want to get your hands dirty in the fields and eat under the open sky or put on your white apron and head back into a professional kitchen, these two foodie finds on Maui are ones that will have you wanting more, feeling drunk with a love for food and leaving with incredibly satisfied taste buds. Do check them out!