If you haven’t had the chance to see the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa’s renovations, completed at the beginning of the year, it’s time to stop in. The resort introduced new Executive Chef Greg Gaspar recently as Chef Bryan Ashlock moved on to Kauai after 30 years with Starwood Hawaii. Gaspar will be a breath of fresh air in the resort’s Food and Beverage department, and will change-up his classical French cuisine training by adding his own Filipino and Asian influences to the menu.
“I plan to go back to basics,” says Gaspar. “Traditional styles on food preparation, but with less filling dishes, no or little accompaniments such as starches and no heavy saucing on plates to mass the flavors. Clean and simple, but eye appealing, with powerful taste and flavor that are not too overwhelming.”
The resort has also joined the digital world and added wireless internet in every guest room with their latest renovation. Their wireless environment continues into a social environment at the Link Lounge, where Sheraton has just launched a wine tasting program featuring bottles rated 90 or high on the Wine Spectator list. Two ounce pours are just $5 at the social which runs 5:30-6:30pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Open to the public, it’s geared to attract 20 to 30 attendees at a time.
“There are brief tasting notes provided for each pour, and the staff present is also trained in the particulars of the wines featured,” says Brandon Maeda, Director of Food and Beverage. “The wines are chosen from the Southern Wine & Spirits portfolio; two must be rated 85 or above, two must be 90 or above by Wine Spectator. You may also enjoy these wines at Black Rock Steak & Seafood or at the Link at any time.”
Maeda says this is the perfect opportunity to segue into dining opportunities on property. Chef Gaspar hosts a culinary demo on Tuesdays at 3pm where you can ask about sustainability and tour the back of the house and main kitchen.
“Farm to Table concepts are an expectation of our guests and at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, in addition to our menu creations we also offer a complimentary weekly Chef’s Culinary Tour,” says Gaspar. “In sourcing locally grown produce, we include this in with interaction with our guests. Right now, we are utilizing local farms here on Maui to develop my menus: farm-raised Big Island shrimp and Treje Farms of Kula, which are known for their eggplant, fresh island herbs and Chinese long beans.”
Another kind of chef’s demonstration is the preparation of food table-side at the Teppan-yaki Dan restaurant. Sheraton Maui has a special for dinner for two for $60 that includes veggies, salads, dipping sauces, main course and dessert. Or you may just want to try some of Chef Gaspar’s items at Black Rock Steak and Seafood. Their special runs from 5:30-6:30pm and features a buy-one-get-one-half-off deal. Look for Gaspar’s special dish that includes a seared cut of sashimi grade ahi, dusted with his signature five-pepper spice and served on a bed of Fettuccine Alfredo with lots of fresh ground black pepper, freshly shaved Parmesan Regginao cheese, just enough sauce to coat the noodles and a hint of freshly grated nutmeg.
Another new program just offered at the resort includes an intimate dinner for two under the stars called the Hale Pilialoha. It’s as romantic as you can get, with a multicourse dinner with tropical inspired cocktails, a Maui sunset, your own personal butler and a table for two in a private spot on their lush property. This is a perfect opportunity to get down on one knee and pop the question or celebrate anniversaries and birthdays.
Susan Havens, Director of Sales and Marketing says the Cliff Dive bar is still offering their great happy hours, too. “Kaanapali’s best ocean view Happy Hour starts every day from 10-12 at the Mai Tai Bar, featuring Stoli cocktails starting at $6, and at our Cliff Dive Bar from 3-5pm, featuring $7 tropicals, $5 draft beers, including our signature Black Rock Lager, made exclusively for the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa by Maui Brewing Company,” she says. “The Black Rock Lager embodies its name by beginning with crisp yet shallow bitterness and slightly smooth and roasted malt flavors before rising to a heavenly floral and spicy finish. An American Dark Lager, the Black Rock Lager contains 5.5 percent alcohol and 25 IBUs. Guests can enjoy this deceptively dark yet rewarding craft beer while watching history come to life as the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa reenacts the legendary Cliff Dive Ceremony every evening at sunset.”