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Merriman’s Kapalua shares its second anniversary with benefit for Maui Food Bank

By Staff | Jul 15, 2010

Chef Peter Merriman finds some ripe tomatoes for his restaurant. Photo by Charla Photography.

KAPALUA — Merriman’s Kapalua will celebrate its second anniversary by offering a special three-course “locavore” menu with $10 of each dinner going to the Maui Food Bank from July 18-24.

In addition, if patrons wish to add an additional, tax-deductible contribution, Chef and Restaurateur Peter Merriman said, “We will match additional patron contributions to the Maui Food Bank up to $2,500.”

Restaurant General Manager Brandi Romain said, “Merriman’s is founded on the belief that we should support local agriculture, local education and local charities. The Maui Food Bank is the truest expression of this fundamental commitment to the land and people around us.”

“The Maui Food Bank is able to fulfill its mission to help the hungry living in Maui County through partnerships with local businesses such as Merriman’s Kapalua restaurant,” said Maui Food Bank Executive Director Richard Yust. “In celebration of their Second Year Anniversary, Merriman’s thoughtful contribution to the Maui Food Bank will make it possible to continue serving over 11,000 hungry people a month. A very special mahalo to Merriman’s for the generosity they continue to extend to the Maui Food Bank.” 

For just $48, the special anniversary menu will feature Hawaii grown and produced food. “We wanted each dish to contain all grown in Hawaii items. It’s too easy to just have one item in a dish grown locally and then fill the plate with imports. We are not 100 percent local in these dishes, but we’re damn close,” said Merriman.

For vegetarians, Chef Merriman is offering a unique Maui Lehua Taro “Mignon” with Kapalua arugula, tomato, pineapple and Surfing Goat Dairy cheese vinaigrette. “We chose the items in these dishes because they are some of our favorite food items being grown in Hawaii,” said Merriman.

Fish lovers will be treated to sautéed Big Island abalone with Hirabara Farms spinach, Honopua fennel, Naked Cow Dairy brown butter and local lemon.

“The anniversary items are prepared in our typical Merriman’s style; a minimalist approach allowing the natural great flavors to come through,” said Executive Chef Neil Murphy.

Finally, carnivores can sink their choppers into a Maui Cattle Company filet accompanied by grilled mango Anuhea asparagus, Maui onion and Kula beet-tomato chutney. “You ain’t lived ’til you’ve tried Maui Cattle Company filets with Kula beet chutney,” said Murphy.

 All entrees will be accompanied by farmers market vegetables, pickles, macadamia nut butter and roasted ulu pupu, and coconut crème brulee for dessert. “We are so excited about what’s going on with local agriculture. We chose a menu that we hope gets the diner excited as well,” said Murphy.

Merriman has been serving locally grown and raised foods for over 20 years. This translates to anything eaten at his restaurants, regardless of a special menu or not. Many people are not aware of the lengths that he goes to obtain locally grown and raised foods. For example, he once climbed coconut trees to get just the right coconuts for his spicy fish sauce, and he talked a laundry truck driver into bringing him rare-but-supersweet number ten corn from the other end of the Big Island each day.

When Merriman’s Kapalua opened in July of 2008, Merriman had a clear vision: he wanted to offer Maui diners the authentic “farm to fork” experience his customers had grown to love at his Big Island flagship restaurant. The restaurant is located in a stunning oceanfront, open air setting overlooking magnificent Kapalua Bay in the former Bay Club. “The regional menu concept and spectacular location were the perfect marriage for one of finest and most authentic oceanfront dining experiences on Maui,” said Merriman.

As one might expect in a five-star dining experience, the serving staff is outstanding; knowledgeable without being obnoxious, present without being intrusive, and they truly want the diner to have a great time. Merriman’s also supports live musicians, including Ranga Pae, Phil & Angela Benoit and David Choy. Call to see who will be playing for you.

All Merriman’s restaurants embody three core values: honor the employees, demonstrate leadership in food and service and leave the world a better place.

Open for dinner daily from 5:30 to 9 p.m., an oceanfront wine bar menu is also available Saturdays and Sundays starting at 3:00 p.m. along with daily Happy Hour from 3 p.m. For reservations, call (808) 669-6400 or visit www.merrimanshawaii.com.