paradise on a plate

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


This book is dedicated to Jennifer, my wonderful wife and friend. Without her this book would be difficult to read. She allowed me to pick her ‘spelling’ brain when I was too lazy to go to the computer dictionary. She made phone call after phone call gathering much needed information. She gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going. She also fed me with her own wonderful cooking as I locked in recipe after recipe into the memory bank of this wonder of the age, the computer. I put on several pounds during this project and it wasn't all from her cooking. It seems that whenever I got tired from typing I would take a break. Then I would look for something to eat. After a while I noticed I had gained a considerable amount of weight so I stopped to analyze why I was eating so much. My unscientific conclusion was, sub-consciously a mechanism triggers the word eat whenever one writes about food over long periods of time especially if the food that is being written about is as delicious, scrumptious, delectable and exotic as what is found in this cookbook. Humm, odd at this time I have a sudden urge to take a well deserved break from typing...but, I think I'll pass for now.

There are well over a hundred restaurants on Maui. Choosing the ones for this cookbook was not an easy task. It was however, at times, a pleasant one. I got to eat many incredible culinary creations. In addition, along the way I met some very exceptional people. Exceptional in their fields: Chefs, Sous chefs, cooks, food and beverage managers, public relation directors. There are so many other important people involved in the behind the scene ‘restaurant business’ but at this time I would like to offer my very special thanks and appreciation to the many who labored very hard in readying the 'ingredients' necessary for the material in this cookbook. Carol Dawson is the public relations director at the Prince Hotel. Although her daily workload included deadlines, meetings, trips to the outer islands, she managed to take time from her busy schedule to gather material needed from the Prince Hotel Restaurants. Carol exemplifies what a 'P.R.' person is all about.

When I informed Joan Johnson, a friend of mine who lives in San Francisco, about this project she flooded me with vital information and supportive phone calls urging me onward. She is a wonderful friend and has been a blessing in my life since we first met ...eons ago.

Then there is Katherine Kama’emae Smith, the most generous, caring, giving and unselfish individual I have ever met. Katherine was very helpful in guiding me through the copyright process and showing me how to get an ISBN number and so much more to do with getting a book ready for publication. If I had a question about anything she would have the answer to me within minutes. If I needed something done she would often drop what she was doing and respond immediately. She is truly an angel of mercy without Katherine I would have not got far with this book. In addition she is a successful author having written and published a novel called The Love Remains.  I urge you to read this gripping story of a 20 year old woman who takes refuge in Honokahua, Maui.

In order to obtain recipes from restaurants for a cookbook such as this is, one has to develop a method. Where do I start? I asked myself. It's not as though I write a cookbook like this every day. There are no classes to take for teaching the steps. So just like anything else in life, if you want it bad enough, you just ‘do it’. So, right here I would like to thank all the chefs for their most treasured secrets.

There are several other people I would like to thank for their help and encouragement. Kim Marshall, public relations director for the Grand Hyatt, Wailea, Hawaii. Also, Bonnie Freidman owner of Grapevine public relation firm in Makawao, Hawaii, because when she said "it was in the mail", it was in the mail. I must not forget Jeni Milliken the hard working, deadline keeping, piano playing, singing, public relations director for the Kapalua Bay Hotel. She told me that she lived by deadlines and would have all the information for me on Monday of the next week and she did it! Thank you, Jeni. There is another very professional public relations lady that is head of her class. Believe me, she does have class. I'm speaking of Michelle Payer, Public Relations Director for the new Ritz-Carlton on Maui. It is my understanding that the Ritz-Carlton will be the last resort to grace the island. Fortunately for us they got in before the moratorium on building resorts on Maui. Fortunately for us they placed Michelle in the PR. position. She will benefit them very much!


You can read a recipe but it helps to see what the end result looks like. For many of the marvelous photos of dishes and restaurants I thank these wonderful photographers: Randy Hufford, David Franzen, Tony Novak-Clifford, and Steven Minkowski. ( I took a few, too)

I met a young man, Steven Sawyer, in Kahului, Hawaii who just opened Island Software, a new business that contains the largest selection on software on the island. Steve was so generous in helping me I can't say enough. I sincerely wish him the best with his business venture.

I am not very proficient at the computer. For me the danger comes when I hit the wrong key and the entire program gets "blown", or lost. One night this happened and I panicked. Unfortunately, the more I tried to recover the program on my own the more I messed up. The next day I met some vacationers in my condo 'hot tub". I waited for the opportunity to arise when I could ask, "What type of work do you do?" I waited breathlessly for their reply. If they had known my motive, they might not have replied I had hoped that they might be into computers. Then he spoke. "I work with computers." Then the water temperature around me shot up to about 110 degrees. "Oh," I said, "You're a computer genius?" "No,” He continued, "I just input data." His wife interrupted. "He's an expert." I went into my sad story of how I wiped out 500 hours of data from my computer, and how I needed help. I learned that these lovely people were on their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary/vacation and I was about to interrupt it, but only for a few minutes, I thought. "Sure, he said, I'll give it a look and try to restore your data". The few minutes turned into many hours and before we knew, it was well past midnight. Well, he may think he's not a computer "genius” but as you can see, I'm inputting, again. The next night Peggy and Roy Choate, who are no longer strangers, came over for seafood dinner. (Naturally, I will use one of these delicious recipes.) Did I mention that it seemed like Peggy typed a thousand words a minute? Well, once Roy got the computer back on line, Peggy retyped a file that got destroyed. It took her 1-hour to do what it took me six weeks to do. It was sad to say good-bye as they left for their home in Santa Cruz, California. I'll miss these new friends.

Speaking of not being very proficient on the computer, I am very grateful for having two grandsons who are professional computer technicians and web site builders. They have both been tremendous assets to me. When I needed the computer, and it inevitably crashed, Dan was right there remotely accessing it, repairing it, cleaning it up, and making it run faster.  Dan also created the web site for PARADISE ON A PLATE.  His brother David has also been very helpful in keeping my computer running and, as an artist; he designed the CD and book artwork. He too is always right there when I need him. One of them is my favorite grandson, but I don’t know which one. How lucky can a proud grandfather be?

My special thanks go to Inga and Kevin Pugsley for testing recipes. I can’t take responsibility for her husband Kevin gaining weight. She tested….he ate many thanks to both of them.

Most of all I want to thank Brad Hurte. Just when I thought, “this book will never get off the ground… there’s too much work that has to be done on it,” Brad walks into my life. Now, I say ‘walks’ because he was recovering from a near fatal bike accident. He came back to life perhaps to help me finish this book. I would like to think, but I am sure, someone up there has bigger plans for him. Brad constructed all the indexes in this book to link with each recipe. He spent hundreds of hours working to accomplish this project. Without Brad this book would still be sitting in my closet wondering if and when it would ever be finished. Brad, thank you so very much!