Ryan Urig is executive chef at Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, and oversees nine restaurants and lounges. On July 19-21, Grand Wailea hosts the third annual Fire It Up! festival featuring US celebrity chefs, winemakers and distillers. See grandwailea.com
Cafe Kula, at the Grand Wailea, boasts some of the best pastries on the island, including the famous Kona Coffee Cinnamon Roll. Marinated in Kona coffee and baked with "secret ingredients" by executive pastry chef Fabrice Benezit, this delectable pastry melts in your mouth and pairs perfectly with a freshly brewed Nutty Hawaiian Latte (Kona coffee with macadamia nut syrup and cream). Enjoying this combo on the cafe's outdoor patio with breathtaking ocean views is the best way to start the day. If you're looking for something beyond the resort area, head over to Hoi Hoi Hawaiian Bakery in Wailuku and order a box of crispy Mochi Donuts and a fresh Custard Fruit Croissant, made with local fruit from nearby farmers. See facebook.com/hoihoibakery/
Tin Roof Maui, often described as a new generation "mom and pop shop", is a must for anyone visiting the island. Try their Mochiko Chicken: chicken thighs marinated in ginger sake shoyu, covered in a sweet mochiko batter then fried twice and topped with homemade su-miso sauce and mochi crunch. Arriving early is recommended as this small lunch shop sells out quickly and often has a line of locals out the door. See tinroofmaui.com
Surfing Goat Dairy Farm in Upcountry Maui serves the freshest goat cheese on the island in a variety of inventive flavours and styles. From the "It's Not Sushi" cheese containing wasabi and soy sauce to the "Mango Supreme" with fresh mangos and chutney, their award-winning cheeses paired with crackers and local fruit makes for the perfect snack. The farm provides multiple farm tours a day and offers a small menu of panini sandwiches, expansive cheese plates, and specialty goat cheese truffles – don't leave without trying the Hawaiian Chili Pepper Truffle. See surfinggoatdairy.com
For an elevated dining experience, you can't go wrong with the Hawaii seasonal cuisine served at Humuhumunukunukuapua'a. Make a reservation for just before sunset and enjoy stunning views while indulging in Chef Alvin Savella's innovative menu creations along with a Grand Mai Tai, an elevated version of the classic Hawaii cocktail using aged rum and lilikoi foam. Be sure to try my favourite dish, Seared Togarashi Ahi & Foie Gras with local hearts of palm, shiitake, bok choy, and mushroom kabayaki.
Head to Maui Brewing Company for creative cocktails and locally crafted beer in a casual setting. Be sure to try the Grand Wailea Gose (pronounced goh-suh), a custom namesake beer brewed for our resort's 25th anniversary. The Gose a uniquely tangy and salty flavour, derived from li hing mui, a Chinese salty dried plum powder that's loved throughout the Hawaiian Islands.