This year, be a bad-ass Santa and stuff your stocking with these rockin’ local gifts…
by Jen Russo, Jacob Shafer and Anu Yagi
(CLICK HERE for more)
We can be thankful that we live in a land of plenty with myriad local alternatives to the pesticide-laden, processed foods have become so much a part of our food culture. Start with gift boxes of Maui-grown veggies and specialty items from Kula Fields. You can go online, choose your box size and products and have it delivered. Even better: an annual membership for your family ensures fresh Maui veggies will arrive at your door. If you can’t pull that off, head to a local farmers’ market and make your own veggie baskets to give away; it won’t pack the sugary punch of the usual cookie basket, but it will make your gift unique.
Maui Culinary Academy’s food court in the Paina building on the UH Maui campus has a product line of seasoned salts, jams, coffee, scone mixes and spice rubs made using Maui ingredients. The Patisserie and the Academy bakery also produce beautiful cookies, brownies and loaves of bread.
Homemaid Bakery, a mom and pop operation open since 1960 on Lower Main, has adorable pre-made gift baskets for $24.99, and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays this month you can buy one dozen malasadas and get one free. If you’d like to customize your gift basket with, say, their famous manju or mochi, give them a few days lead time.
Chocolates make a fantastic Christmas gift, especially with the ladies. Sweet Paradise Chocolate in Lahaina is the newest chocolatier to hit Maui, and their artistic designs are to die for. For the best truffles on the island, head to Maui Bake Shop in Wailuku; Jose and Clair Krall hand-make these decadent and irresistible chocolate balls. Also sweet, a gift certificate at Tutti Frutti.
Give the gift of a dining experience with gift cards for a night out. Rather than taking up space in a closet or drawer, these presents offer rich memories, good food and drink and, perhaps most importantly, no cleanup. At the top of the list is Stella Blues’ amazing line-up of Supper Club shows, a production done nowhere else on Maui. Live music is paired with four courses and wine. Reserve seats early for the seven-course extravaganza on New Year’s Eve with Jon Cruz.
At Mulligan’s on the Blue you can ring in the holidays with Willie K and a prime rib and seafood buffet. Meanwhile, at Pita Paradise Wailea, every $100 purchased in gift certificates nets you a $20 gift card.
For the wine geeks, on December 21 Merriman’s Kapalua will offer a special three-course pairing and advanced sommelier challenge between Jason “Cass” Castle and Charles Fredy. Also on the West side, you can get dinner and show packages for Ulalena at the Maui Myth and Magic Theatre with Lahaina Prime Rib and Fish Company, David Paul’s Island Grill, Lahaina Grill and Ruths Chris.
A hot ticket right now in the foodie world is to hire a private chef to do the dinner duties. You get to designate your dishes, but the chef does all the work. If you’re having a hard time finding someone, the folks at Sneak Peek Eats have already done the homework for you; log on to their Website and see a list of available Maui chefs, including John Galvan, Rodger “Raja” Shortell, Jana McMahon and Susan Teton. Take the stress out of your Christmas dinner party and let them do the shopping and cooking for you.
CLICK HERE to return to MauiTime‘s 2010 Local Gift Guide. Or, click a category to jump to it:
PET SOUNDS / [BEGGARS BANQUET] / SAFE AS MILK / THE CHRONIC / KID A / CRAZYSEXYCOOL / LADY (AND GENTLEMAN) IN SATIN / DIAMONDS FROM SIERRA LEONE / PAUL’S BOUTIQUE / HEAD LIKE A HOLE / ON AN ISLAND / SPEAKERBOXX/THE LOVE BELOW / CHALK MARK IN A RAINSTORM / THE RISE AND FALL OF ZIGGY STARDUST… / BEYOND THE SEA
*Note: Each category hed is also the title of a famous (or semi-famous) album or song. See how many of the artists you can name.