Chef Jennifer Evetushick. Photo by Sean Michael Hower.
Tropica Restaurant & Bar, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa
As I enjoy making desserts, the White Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding is my favorite. There’s something magical about soaking Portuguese sweet bread in white chocolate anglaise overnight. Pacific Seafood Pho is a signature favorite at Tropica but I find Hawaiian Waters Catch of the Day a must-have, too. It’s made using the freshest variety of fish and inspiring local ingredients. I enjoy coming up with creative touches to make each catch of the day unique and I get to create a different one every day! The Roasted Beet Salad is a completely local dish. Chauncey from Kula Country Farms grows the beets for Tropica Restaurant. We use between 25 and 40 pounds a week! Arugula comes from Kula as well, and the cheese is a product from Surfing Goat Dairy. Does it get any more sustainable than that?
Always make a prep list. Prioritize everything from the longest time to prepare, right down to shortest time to create something. That way, you’re working as efficiently as possible and you never forget anything!
I found this recipe when I first joined The Westin Maui Resort & Spa. Tasting it for the first time, it completely wow-ed me! It’s extremely universal and you could dress it down and put it on your toast for breakfast or make it into an exquisite dish such as serving with seared diver scallops with grilled romaine and jalapeno oil, like we do at Tropica Restaurant. I make this jam once a week and it gets better and better as the days go on. I’m sharing this because everyone should have a little bacon jam in their life.
1 lb bacon
2 Maui onions (julienne)
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white wine
½ cup chicken stock
Using a medium saucepan, render bacon until it’s almost burnt.
Add onions and caramelize.
Add brown sugar and cook until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Deglaze with white wine and reduce until half the liquid remains.
Add chicken stock and reduce again by half.
Remove from heat and puree the mixture until it is smooth.
Cool it, then store in an airtight container.
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About Jen Russo
I write lifestyle and culinary columns for MauiTime. I love being a Maui girl and adore my big family. Dedicated food taster, blogger, internet fanatic, and Maui and Hawaii specialist.