Chef Wes Holder. Photo Courtesy of Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas.
Pulehu, an Italian Grill & The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas
Chef Wes assists executive chef Francois Milliet in overseeing the resort’s culinary operations, in addition to being responsible for the resort’s award-winning restaurant Pulehu, an Italian Grill.
Thursday through Mondays, 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm (dinner)
What item do you love to prepare from your menu?
The Bolognese Sauce for the classic lasagna
What dish is the “must order” thing on the menu?
Kona Cold Lobster Speggetti Carbonara with Guanciale (original pork of Carboara)
What dish uses products / produce / proteins from Maui?
We made a conscious effort to ensure that every dish on Pulehu’s menu uses at least one Maui-grown or made ingredient. The dish that uses the most is our Arugula & Roasted Beets. This refreshing salad features wild arugula from Ho’opono Farm, roasted baby beets from Simpli-Fresh Farm in Kula, crispy cheese balls made using cheese from Surfing Goat Dairy in Kula and Maui onion vinaigrette.
What ingredient is a must have for you and why?
Garlic! It is so diverse that every cuisine across the world uses it in some form or other. I particularly love garlic as it has a different flavor depending on the way you cut it. Here at Pulehu, we chop, slice, roast, fry and even use it raw to enhance the flavor of the dish.
One tip from your kitchen (Any how to, timesaver, sanitation, or preparation tip):
Focus and improve on your knife skills it is the basics of cooking. I personally find it the important element as it determines how well your dish turns out to be. When you cut correctly and precisely, you can see and taste the way all the flavors come together. Every chef worth his/her weight has superb knife skills.
One recipe: (Like I said it can be simple, or complicated, sweet or savory, from the restaurant or something you like to make at home)
Oil (to fry)
1. Slice raw garlic as thinly as you can with a knife or on a mandolin.
2. Soak the garlic in milk for ten minutes. Rinse, then pat dry.
3. Heat oil (medium heat) in a deep frying pan, then add the garlic.
4. When it turns golden, remove and place it on a plate covered with a paper towel.
5. The garlic will continue to cook a bit more.
6. When cool, serve it as a garnish or as part of a dish as it adds flavor.
Explain the recipe, Why are you sharing this? When do you make this? Does it use Maui ingredients?
With this recipe, not only do you end up with garlic chips but you will also have garlic flavored oil. It’s my version of “killing two birds with a stone” as you enjoy two diverse flavors with just one recipe. While garlic is not grown commercially in Maui, I am looking forward to the day that we would have locally-grown garlic to support the restaurants and food establishments in Maui and Hawaii.
Facebook: The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas
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.