paradise on a plate

Secret and Unique Recipes of Maui's Best Restaurants, Past and Present

charlie hull About the Author

Charlie conceived the concept for a collection of Secret and Unique Recipes from Maui restaurants when he first landed on the island in 1990. In the years to follow he and his wife, Jennifer visited restaurant after restaurant receiving recipes from generous owners or chefs in return for a place in their cookbook. Often a chef would invite them to sample the signature dish they agreed to publish.

Charlie meticulously typed out the recipes, hunted down photographers who took shots of the preparations to get permission to publish their work, and so began a saga cookbook. 22 years later, after accumulating over 600 recipes and photographs from 77 of Maui´s Best Restaurants, PARADISE ON A PLATE emerged as a fully searchable digital cookbook­a functional and high-concept resource for cooks at all levels of expertise.

PARADISE ON A PLATE is the latest venture of Charles Hull, entrepreneur, originally from Holyoke, Massachusetts. Although he humbly quips," I just see things that need to be done, and do them," Charlie served in the United States Air Force at home and in the Far East in special services. Later he earned a B.A. Degree in Speech and Communication Arts from the University of California at Chico. In 1975 he was one of the first entrepreneurs to successfully "crowd fund" an enterprise, selling enough $5 "free pizza" coupons to capitalize his first OCEANS OF PIZZA in Tucson Arizona. The franchise eventually grew to three restaurants.

Charlie came to Maui in 1990 and in 1992 created DOLPHIN DREAM WEDDINGS. where he coordinated, photographed and performed nearly 3,000 weddings. In 2007 he created MAUI DIGITAL WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY (where he continues to perform and coordinate weddings.) After "retiring once and for all," he and his wife Jennifer began CRUISE N SNOOZE TRAVEL specializing in Oceania LTD custom two-for-one cruise all over the world.

Charlie and Jennifer live at Kapalua and enjoy, outdoor exercise, entertaining, traveling and dining at fabulous restaurants on Maui.

For many years a paper version of PARADISE ON A PLATE was put on and off the shelf. Then in 2011 friend Brad Hurte stepped up to become Editor of PARADISE ON A PLATE. He is responsible for organizing, editing and putting the entire recipe collection in digital format. Charlie´s two grandsons David and Daniel provided graphic art for the CD cover and website. Slowly after years of patience, hard work and tenacity everything came together. Always knowing that it would come to fruition, Charlie says, "all the loving effort put into PARADISE ON A PLATE proves that ´Persistence beats Resistance.´"


I first decided to write this cookbook when one day I looked around and discovered all of these wonderful restaurants right here on Maui. I had been in many of them on several occasions but never really discovered them, if you know what I mean. My first approach would be to the chef. I found out early on that chefs are very busy people. They don't just work from 8 to 5. They work as many hours as it takes to 'prep' the food, create the recipes, cook the food and design the beautiful presentation on your plate in addition to starting to look at the next day’s menu. They take no bows and receive no applause. The greatest compliment they can receive is for another restaurant's chef to sit down at their table and dine on his or her creation. As consumers we generally take for granted the man or woman in the kitchen. To get started with this book I needed recipes. Not just any recipes. I wanted some 'secret and unique recipes’ from the chef’s personal files. Recipes that in some cases were never given to anyone before; recipes guarded by these chefs.

So after eating at several fine restaurants I decided to call on some chefs. Not just any chef, either. I chose the best chefs on the island. I was impressed with the cooperation and hospitality they extended to me in spite of their busy schedules. I received recipes, photographs and biographies. In the time it took, I managed to put on twenty-seven pounds, and I also learned that persistence really does beat resistance. This cook book contains a wonderful selection of Pacific Rim Cuisine recipes ranging from Pupus (appetizers) to a complete five course Japanese dinner – a five course Japanese dinner in which the chef had to obtain permission from the hierarchy in Japan in order for us to pass it on to you. Truly PARADISE ON A PLATE is a collectable for all cook book lovers.

How does one thank someone for helping them produce a book? Thank you never seems enough. Also, with whom does one start? There are so many people that helped make this text possible I would not want to leave anyone out of my gratitude.  Please keep in mind that the order in which they appear is unimportant except for one person. God! For it was He that implanted the idea into my head one day to write this cook book, and fashioned my meeting John Weldon, for whose help I am very grateful with the biographies and research within the pages of this book. When I first met John I recognized him as being a kind and gentle person. When I told him of this project and how his experience would help me greatly he had a genuine desire to work on this production. We both agreed our meeting was not accident. It wasn't until later that I discovered that we shared a love for the same God. For your help, John, thank you. Thank you too Lord, for this new friend.

I simply cannot neglect thanking my daughter, Annie Hope Todd for all the work she has done in typing and retyping all the indexes in this book. I can tell you this is a lot of work. I know because I did it over and over and then turned it over to Annie for her endless help. And to Brad Hurte who without him this book would still be sitting on the shelf in my closet not collecting recipes but collecting dust. He saved it and put it all together. Edited it, digitally designed it and made it all come together and work linking every recipe to every restaurant. 

There are 77 restaurants represented in this three-volume cook book and a collection of over 600 of their recipes. It also includes an Index of Restaurants, Index of Recipes and Key Ingredients, an extensive Contributor Index, a complete Glossary of Terms, and Weights and Measurement section. Many of the restaurants are no longer in existence and some chefs are no longer with the restaurant from which they contributed recipes. Some chefs have moved on to other restaurants on Maui. Some have gone to other exotic places in the world to please other palettes with their creative talent. This is a collection of their work and it becomes a time capsule for them. So, to honor those chefs the author has listed those recipes that have been preserved under a special name; Historical Recipes. Through this cook book their SECRET AND UNIQUE RECIPES will live on forever along with the preservation of the history of them for the enjoyment and eating pleasure for all to come and, for many years to come…..

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