Maui’s food scene offers a little bit for everyone… beachside fish taco trucks, upscale sushi restaurants, inventive vegan restaurants, classic breakfast diners, delicious local plate lunch restaurants, etc., that keep people coming back for more.
One thing the Valley Isle is lacking, however, is a gourmet dining experience in a truly intimate, unique, low-key setting. Maui Executive Catering, located on the north shore in the lush town of Haiku, is changing that fact, one awesomely memorable dinner event at a time.
Primarily a catering company, Maui Executive Catering has been hosting special Chef’s Table events for the last couple of years. This year, however, people are catching on, which means this once randomly-held event is now available multiple times a month.
Held in their prep kitchen, and surrounded by all the things I hope to see in a true chef’s kitchen – racks of endless spices I can’t pronounce, a walk-in fridge stocked full of the best local produce, a butcher’s hook dangling from the ceiling, cutting boards, pots, pans and plenty of sharp knives and hot surfaces – combined with all the things I expect to see in a room full of people anticipating 7 courses of extremely good food – bottles of wine, pints of beer, music, laughter and incessant instagramming – the Chef’s Table combines the best of both worlds, with elegantly prepared, locally-sourced gourmet dishes, and thankfully, none of the typical wicker decor or pretentious service.
As an added bonus, all Chef’s Table events are BYOB with no corkage fee. Simply bring your favorite adult beverage and they’ll take care of the rest.
Jason Hacker, Owner and Client Liaison, got things going with a brief overview of the company and its dedication to serving the best local ingredients before handing the floor over to Owner and Executive Chef, Jeff Scheer, who introduced the rest of the staff and welcomed everyone to the establishment.
A delicate, delicious amuse bouche was served first, and after a couple of celebratory cheers, the first course of Trotters, Egg and Peas was up and ready. One thing I particularly appreciated was Jeff’s commentary for each course as it was handed out, including a detailed explanation of the dish, what goes into making it and even the process for finding and gathering the ingredients around Maui. His passion for utilizing local ingredients is infectious, and it’s clear that he has no problem creating an innovative menu with what he’s found.
Some of the most mouthwatering ingredients on the menu included tako (octopus), a homemade charcuterie board, rare Hawaiian opae (tiny red shrimp), wild boar, taro agnolotti, and lilikoi ice cream, all of which were beautifully-plated and yumtastical. If that’s not a word, it is now.
The service was phenomenal, and although I missed the 6th and 7th course thanks to a particularly ill-timed 20 minute migraine, they were nice enough to box it up for me to take to-go. Glorious!
Tickets for the event, which seats a max of 24 people, are $100 each. I’ve been to my fair share of restaurants on Maui, and spent the same on a mediocre appetizer and good-but-predictable entrée. Change it up, try something new, and experience the flavors of Maui beyond the usual fresh fish dinner and fruity cocktail. It’s worth it.
Till next time, Maui Exec. Well done.
Reserve a spot at the Chef’s Table or contact them directly at (808) 270-0305.