3 Questions for Maui's Hottest Chef, Mike Lofaro

BY Kai Andersen | January 18, 2017 | Feature Features

It's time to pay a visit to the restaurant with perhaps the longest name in the islands, Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, Humu, for short. In honor of its 25th anniversary, the Grand Wailea's signature eatery, recently unveiled a fresh new look in December. But that's not the only reason to book a reservation. There's also talented Chef de Cuisine Mike Lofaro, who also serves as co-host on the new series, "SEARCH Hawai'i, Where Food Meets Culture." During a rare moment off camera and out of the kitchen, the talented toque gave us the inside scoop.
Mike Lofaro

1. You’ve been exploring the islands with Grand Wailea’s own Hawaiian cultural ambassador, Kainoa Horcajo, for SEARCH Hawai’i. And Maui’s agricultural scene continues to boom. What are the favorite ingredients you’ve been discovering?
Every time we go to a place, I think Kainoa and I say to each other. ‘This might be my favorite,’ [but] the truth is, every place is so special in its own right; and its people, beautiful. I love pa’i’a (pounded taro), and the apple snail, kalo (taro) and wana (sea urchin) carbornara [we prepared on camera] was pretty cool. As for ingredients, definitely, the Kiawe flour from Vince Dodge at Waianae Gold.

2. We know that there is a lot to choose from on the menu at Humu. What would be the one dish that a newcomer absolutely has to try?
The hamachi carpaccio ($20) or the Kai Momona (price upon request), for sure.

3. We’re all excited about Humu’s new space. What should we expect?
The restaurant turned 25 [in 2016]… along with the hotel so we’re getting a face-lift. The bar will go through a full renovation to maximize those amazing sunsets at Humu, and we’ll touch up the wood and add new furniture. I’m also inspired to do some new things for the menu. It’s going to be great!

3850 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea, Maui, 875.1234

*Chef Lofaro was interviewed last fall

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