For twenty years, Pizza Paradiso Mediterranean Grill has been serving Mediterranean comfort food on Maui’s West Side. Just north of Lahaina and Ka‘anapali in the Honokowai Marketplace, the restaurant has been steadily serving up Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern food, flavors that are hard to find on Maui.
To celebrate their two decades of business, the locally owned restaurant is putting on a fundraiser in November. From the first to the 20th of the month, customers will get a 10 percent discount on orders over $15. Chef Paris Nabavi will match 10 percent of the sales for donation. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward Habitat for Humanity Maui’s Hurricane Lane recovery efforts and the victims of the fire in Lahaina who lost their homes.
“I want to give back to Maui,” said Chef Nabavi, the friendly owner of Pizza Paradiso. So much so, that Chef Nabavi and his family have created a plan to give back to their community beyond this fundraiser. “It really began after my daughter, Layla, was born,” he said. “As she grew up, I wanted her to be aware of where her food came from and inspire in her a love of cooking.”
Growing from the seeds of his own home garden, Chef Nabavi began working with schools and community groups to foster gardens on school campuses as a learning and teaching platform. Now, working with other organizations, he supplies seeds to over 40 schools on Maui. He cares deeply about educating Maui’s children to to use healthy food choices as a way to empower them. He puts his personal values alongside his values as a business owner, and also promotes the use of local foods in his restaurants.
More recently, the family created a nonprofit, the Nabavi Legacy Fund, with a mission to “nourish the bodies and minds of Maui’s children.” Their interest lies in educating students to make healthy, sustainable food choices, and partner with nonprofits with the same mission. So far, their list of beneficiaries includes Grow Some Good, Imua Family Services, and the Maui Food Innovation Center, among others.
Beyond their good deeds, their food is a service in itself. The thin-crust pizza with fresh variety of toppings is very popular at the restaurant, and they offer gluten-free crust for those who want it. The restaurant also has other ethnic influences, based on the travels and training of Chef Nabavi, and serves gyros and kebabs, hummus and pitas, falafel, and sandwiches. For desert, there is the sought-after Dole whip and authentic gelato.
Chef Nabavi, who originated in Tehran, Iran and went to the French Culinary School in London, has lived and worked in Canada, Europe, and the U.S. In his almost 30 years as a Maui resident, he has worked as the Director of Food and Beverage at the Kapalua Bay Hotel before beginning his life and an entrepreneur and restaurateur.
For more information about Nabavi Legacy Fund visit Chefnabavi.org/nabavi-legacy-fund
Pizza Paradiso Mediterranean Grill
3350 L Honoapi‘ilani Rd. #208, Lahaina
Open daily, 10am-9pm
Photos courtesy of Pizza Paradiso