Monday morning started with banana lilikoi gelato. The only thing that can be better than starting the morning with ice cream is to have it on a grassy knoll overlooking Wailea Beach. I was there with a group of 20 people, celebrating the opening of the Beachwalk Cafe, the newest shop at the Four Seasons Maui. It serves coffees, grab-and go food and house-made gourmet gelato designed by Pastry Chef Bruce Trouyet. The cafe features tables and chairs to soak in the gorgeous view.
The ceremony started with General Manager Jean Claude Wietzel talking about his future plans for the space, perhaps expanding to more food, events and service. For now, the cafe serves coffees, sandwiches, bagels and fruits and gelato, as well as selling sunscreens, rash guards and handy stuff you would want for the beach day. Kahu Kealahou Alika performed the blessing, with Jeff Melcher, the Director of Recreation, holding the maile lei representing the piko.
“We are here today to bless a place of work, and to clear the way and mark a new beginning,” said Alika. “In the early years when our kupuna built their structures out of pili grass, when the buildings were ready to be occupied the people would gather and they would say ‘the cutting of the navel, strength to the house’ because they equated the completion of the building with a birth of a child. The maile lei is the piko, the umbilical cord to the beachwalk cafe.”
Creating the gelato menu was a fitting inauguration for Trouyet, who flew to Maui just a year earlier. His specialties are ice creams and chocolate.
“Tomorrow will be one year,” says Trouyet. “I flew on February 14, 2016 and started working the next day at Four Seasons Wailea.”
The Beachwalk Cafe has six flavors, but Trouyet says they want to keep it small.
“We decided to create a really small selection of ice cream and sorbet to make sure it’s really good,” Trouyet said. “We only use good ingredients. The sorbet is just sugar and fruit. It’s made with really good products. I like to add banana and lilikoi together, they really enhance each other. We have mango flavor because in Hawaii we have really good mangoes. It’s just perfect. Of course we have coconut–I use fresh coconut meat, and I add a little lime zest. The meat of the coconut is wrapped and pressed. No water, it’s just pure coconut. The vanilla is from French Polynesia–it’s the best vanilla in the world. We needed to have something classic so I have salted caramel. I love this flavor. We also have raspberry sorbet. The chocolate uses Manjari Valrhona chocolate from Madagascar. I’m also working on a recipe using chocolate grown on Maui.”
The resort has just completed a huge transformation of 383 guest rooms, and the cafe was not exempt from the updates. Previously Snorkels Snack Bar along the beach walk, it had coffee and bagels, but this new remodel has a sleek new look, and an area for customers to step in off of the beachwalk as well as new areas for retail items and the gelato bar. What’s more, the new outdoor seating area offers a prime ocean view to enjoy coffee, gelato and whale-spotting.
Beachwalk Cafe is open daily from 7am to 4pm.