Cooking without borders in Ka’anapali

The finale of a 3-day event aimed at bridging the gap between cultures with food brought friends, families, farmers, chefs and foodies together at Pulehu an Italian Grill, located at The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas.

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From the moment the award-winning restaurant was within view the lovely aroma of spices, curries and fresh local vegetables filled the air. Celebrity chef Vikram Vij, well-known internationally for his vivacious personality, award-winning cuisine, countless appearances on Canadian television and a certified sommelier, eagerly greeted the guests.

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“The menu highlights stewed, cooked spices, flavor, aromatics… But more than that it was to bring awareness to cuisine and the culture of the country that I left behind,” Chef Vikram Vij who was born in India, attended culinary school in Austria and resides in Vancouver said.

Canadian celebrity chef Vikram Vij celebrating his first time to Hawaii.
Canadian celebrity chef Vikram Vij celebrating his first time to Hawaii.

It was both Chef Vij’s personality and award-winning Indian comfort food that inspired public relations, tourism and hospitality expert Charlene Kauhane to invite the chef, resaturanteur and author to the islands in partnership with Ka’anapali Beach Resort Association.

“I am not the kind of Indian chef who sits in the back, I am a talker, I love people, I love connecting with people, I love people’s hearts. I don’t just cook food,” he adds.

Guests from across Maui made their way to the Westin for this epic event.
Guests from across Maui made their way to the Westin for this epic event, including Kauhane who is second from the right.

 

This culinary and beverage experience showcased stations offering dishes highlighting Chef Vij’s Indian heritage, as well as the island-inspired fare with a French twist from Executive Chef Milliet.

getting to know restauranteur and chef Bev Gannon.
Japengo chef de cuisine Gevin Utrillo, executive chef Francois Milliet and chef & restauranteur Bev Gannon

 

 

 

 

“I wanted people to understand to be proud of where they came from and be proud of this melting pot be proud that you are a mosaic of this beautiful tapestry,” he said. Essentially, we all left with our tummies full, our hearts open and inspired to not only cook without borders but embrace our differences and welcome them.

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Here’s a look at the featured dishes:

Pulehu Antipasto and cheese selection.
Pulehu antipasto and cheese selection.
Prawns in coconut masala.
Prawns in coconut masala.
Charred Maui cattle flat iron steak, ulu hash, salsa.
Charred Maui cattle flat iron steak, ulu hash, salsa.
Vij’s family chicken curry Coconut curried vegetables
Vij’s family chicken curry with coconut curried vegetables.
Misoyaki Kona kampachi skewers.
Misoyaki Kona kampachi skewers.

Promotional Considerations:
Inter-Island Travel for Olena is brought to you by Island Air.
Travel Accommodations provided by Maui Coast Hotel.

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About Olena Heu

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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.

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