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Olena Heu

Olena is Executive Editor, Food & Lifestyle at MAUIWatch. The founder of Olena Heu Communications, a social media, digital marketing, consulting and freelance writing company, Olena holds a BA and MA in Communication and Speech from Hawaii Pacific University. An adjunct professor, lecturer and motivational speaker Olena is also an award winning journalist, writer, photographer and avid traveler.

Experience the Ohana Table at the Sheraton Maui

“Could you please pass the potatoes?” Sounds like home doesn’t it? Thinking back, those moments when you can share a meal, share a moment and share memories together are the ones that mean the most. “My favorite food is the food my mom makes,” Executive Sous Chef Chris Lederer of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa said. “Passing food to …

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Maui-resident Sheldon Simeon cooks his way to the Top Chef top 3

For the second time since competing in Top Chef Season 10 and now Top Chef Season 14 Maui-resident Sheldon Simeon has cooked his way to the top 3, finale and won the hearts of fans around the globe. Thursday night viewers were shocked to find the Hilo-native eliminated in Part 1 of the show’s finale. “It’s bittersweet, it was tough …

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MANAOLA pops-up on Maui

From Disney’s Moana Aulii Cravalho, Irie Love, Kimie Miner, recent Grammy winner Kalani Pe’a are just a few wearing MANAOLA… Hawaiians from around the globe have been sporting locally inspired, designed and crafted looks by MANAOLA. The lifestyle brand, created by Manaola Yap, launched in the Spring of 2014 and has reached international notoriety for one-of-a-kind, unique, “sacred” geometric prints that resonate …

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Maui designer expands interior design business

After 25 years in Hawaii, interior designer Karl Gottling has opened a new luxury home furnishing store in Wailea. The Maui-based European designer has been blessed to call Hawaii home for more than two-decades and uses his various inspirations from Asia, Polynesia, Europe and abroad to add to his island-inspired interior concepts. Gottling has designed for five-star resorts, residences, restaurants on …

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Good Eats: Java Cafe

No doubt, there are lots of places to grab a bite and a beverage in South Maui. I stumbled upon this little gem while seeking out a fast, cheap and hearty breakfast spot that wasn’t coming from a drive-thru or convenience store. Upon entering Java Cafe the rich aroma of coffee fills the air and lively patrons and friendly staff …

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Wine tasting in Ulupalakua

I would venture to say that it’s practically common knowledge that upcountry Maui is home to pristine wine vineyards. And what better place than the rolling hills of Ulupalakua to grow, nurture and discover the art that is winemaking. As a couple of young ladies with no plans on a Friday afternoon, an adventure along Piilani Highway led us to Maui …

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My very first whiskey dinner

I know, I know whiskey is all the rage right now… But I gotta admit, I am more of a wine and vodka drinker, in moderation of course. When I was invited to take part in a Jack Daniel’s Barrel Pairing Menu I cringed a little. Firstly, I am not a huge fan of Jack Daniel’s or any other brown liquor. …

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New Eats: Vanta Cafe

Brunch is always a good idea! That hour or two between breakfast and lunch when you can’t decide if you want pancakes or a plate lunch… I discovered a new spot that opened four months ago in Wailuku. B&S Vanta Coffee Hut is the creation of Uncle Sam and Uncle Billy. Both are originally from Korea, but met in Alaska. The …

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What Maui Chefs crave for Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! While we sit down, enjoy a meal together with our ohana and take a moment to be thankful… I wondered what are Maui’s hottest chefs eating right now? I set out to find the answer. Here’s a look of some of the Valley Isle’s most notable chefs and what they’re craving this, and every, Thanksgiving. Pumpkin Crunch “Growing up I loved …

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Good Eats: Miso Phat Sushi

Regarded as one of the best sushi spots in Hawaii, I had to give Miso Phat Sushi a try. With two locations, one in Kahana – West Maui and the other located in Kihei’s Azeka Shopping Center, this artfully crafted, fresh fish, sushi restaurant has received critical acclaim by the likes of the Food Network and holds a nearly perfect 5-star …

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