The Humuhumunukunukuapua’a Restaurant at the lovely Grand Wailea Resort has got to have one of the longest names ever, so we call it Humu for short. Starting next week Sunday March 13 they are launching Localvore week where they feature an amazing pre fixe menu that exemplifies the glorious bounty we can create on Maui. It is a treat for guests and residents alike.
Humuhumunukunukuapua’a’s new Chef, Isaac Bancaco is actually from Maui. But he didn’t settle in back home before cutting his teeth working alongside celebrity Chef Ming Tsai, known for his chinese fusion.
Born and raised on Maui, Bancaco strives to showcase the best the islands have to offer, both from the land and sea, while incorporating techniques and influences of his Filipino, Hawaiian and Chinese roots. Experience Chef Bancaco’s delicious creations at Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. I caught up with him recently to ask about Localvore week at the Grand.
Jen Russo: What is Localvore week?
Isaac Bancaco: Localvore week is a seven day event that celebrates and showcases Maui’s fantastic local produce. It’s really a time to brag about our local farmers and their meticulous efforts to create some of the world’s best produce.
JR: Why do you feel it is important to work with local farmers?
IB: The importance of working with local farmers for me is very simple; the produce is the best product I can get my hands on. You won’t find juicier strawberries, crispier asparagus, more vibrant haricot verts, healthier bok choy or more nutrient filled Tatsoi than right here on Maui. In addition to the quality of the product, I’m born and raised in Kula and grew up with and around most of the farms and the families that depend on local restaurants to sustain production. The significance of never forgetting my roots, supporting my community, and effectively working together with the farmers to be innovative needs to remain at the front of the Localvore movement.
JR: What is the inspiration for the menu for localvore week?
IB: Our inspiration continually comes from new products, new ideas, new techniques and the ability to immediately implement them into a menu. Localvore week is a format where we can put innovation into practice. All chefs thrive on the immediate gratification of cooking, but we also understand that just because it looks good, taste’s good and smells good, doesn’t mean it will sell. As with any business, the guests’ dictate what both farmer and chef will continue to supply. It is a great a chance for guests to communicate directly to me about what excites them and in turn I correspond to the farmers.
JR: Will you be able to take the experience from localvore week and incorporate them into the daily menu?
IB: Local produce is incorporated into our daily menu. No matter what day guests comes in, they can count on finding locally sourced items in the menu. Localvore week is our very own Humuhumunukunukuapua’a test kitchen where we get to experiment with our recipes prior to incorporating them into our ala carte menu. By running this farm-to-table concept for a full week, it gives us the chance to consistently expose innovative ingredients to our guests. Then we can get a good feel if it will work long term or not. For example “Blue Spice” paired with Opakapaka which is a brand new herb grown in Kula at Evonuk Farms. Blue spice has this wonderful tropical fruit and black pepper aroma. We will be drying it out and making our very own blackening spice derivative.
JR: How do you select what farms to work with in localvore week?
IB: The trick to selecting farms falls into two major categories, Superior Quality and Safe food handling. Quality of products are important but, we can’t overlook cleanliness, sanitation and operational systems of each farm. Being able to safely serve our guests is always the most important area of concern with all products but, especially when time of harvest to time of consumption can be within 24 hours. With the volume at Humu nightly, proper handling of all items are a critical portion of our daily operations. Public safety is an important reason why visiting farms and talking to farmers are a necessary part of my job, trusting them is good but verification is better. 99.9% of the time when a farmer takes pride in the quality of his work and produce he or she will also care about safe food handling. It is my job to make sure our guests are 100% safe.
March 13 – 19, 2011
“All Grown on Maui” Papaya-Baby Tatsoi Toss
with Papaya Seed Dressing, Red Radish and Crisp Kula Onions
Olowalu Tomato “Martini”
Grape Tomato Concasse, Mozzarella,
Caper Berry Skewer and Basil Drip
Kalbi Muscovy Duck Breast
with Spring Pea Tendrils, Blue Lake Beans,
Duck Confit Jasmine Rice and Candied Kumquats
Blue Spiced Opakapaka
with Blue Crab, CN Farms Baby Spinach, Kula White Corn Grits and Yuzu-White Corn Pico de Gallo
Created by Humu Chef Isaac Bancaco
Peanut Crème Caramel
with Local Organic Apple Banana “Brulee”
and Cinnamon Rum Cremeux
Created by Pastry Chef Natalie Wilkinson
$59 per person
Price excludes tax and service charge.
Not combinable with other discounts or promotions.
To ensure quality our menu may be subject to change
Featuring Local Products by:
Bill Mertens, Anuhea Farms
Craig Nihei, CN Farms
Walter & Terry Evonuk, Evonuk Farms
Bryan Otani, Otani Farms
Geoff Haines, Waipoli Hydroponic Farm
Restaurant Reservations 808.875.1234 x4900
3850 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753
Next Farm to Table Menu will be at Bistro Molokini March 20-26