As I write this post, Chef Jeff Scheer is going through some big changes – for one, once the rest of their previously scheduled catering gigs are up, they’re officially getting out of the off-site catering game. Weep away, brides-to-be. We don’t blame you, but have no fear! They’re still catering. They’re moving locations from their signature prep kitchen in Haiku to a much larger, scenic, and centrally-located spot at Maui Tropical Plantation to open up the brand new Mill House Restaurant. Cheer away, Maui residents. We’re with you.
While always a beautiful and peaceful place to spend an afternoon, we’re thrilled to see the new chapter of Maui Tropical Plantation with the addition of Jeff Scheer and his team. After all, everything’s better with a great meal and a cocktail, right? Right.
Before their big move, however, we were lucky enough to attend the next-to-last Maui Chef’s Table in Haiku, a 7-course foodie delight and overall sexy evening of gourmet goodness.
For my second time at the Chef’s Table, and with the knowledge that the event is BYOB (something that will change at the new location since they have a fabulous full bar), I decided to up the usual wine-and-beer game with pineapple soaked vodka with grapefruit juice, mint and perrier, and old fashioned cocktails with Pendleton whiskey, luxardo cherries, local Maui orange slices, sugar cubes and angostura bitters. When eating well, why not drink well, too.
But back to the food.
7 Course Breakdown
The first course included a Haleakala Ranch pickled egg, beets, chorizo and celery, all beautifully presented by Chef extraordinaire, mister Jeff Scheer.
Not long after, the second course was served – root vegetable, Kupa’a Farms vegetables, savory granola and pesto sauce. In a word, yum.
The third course (and always one of my very favorites), was the homemade charcuterie board, a vegan’s nightmare of hand-cured meats, bread crisps, and spicy dipping sauces. Yes, yes, and yes again.
While seven courses may sound like a lot, and it is, I appreciate the fact that they take their time – no one is in a rush, and there is plenty of time to get up, stretch your legs and talk story with friends in between courses. The ole burn-and-turn restaurant effect is thankfully not in effect here, and it makes the evening much more informal and relaxed, in the best of ways.
The fourth course consisted of gnocchi with creme fraiche, sage, and lemon preserve, and was absolutely phenomenal.
After muddling more old-fashioned cocktails, the fifth course was served – Kauai shrimp, Kona lobster, cioppino, fennel and forbidden rice. I was encouraged to eat the head of the shrimp, something I’d done many times previously at crawfish boils in Texas and Louisiana, and felt right at home. Only better. ‘Cause it’s Maui.
The sixth course of the evening, a beef and bloom flank with bone marrow broth, rainbow chard and chayote, was my favorite of the evening, and a true treat for your taste buds if ever there were one.
And finally, it was time for the last course (sigh), a dessert of lychee gazpacho, aloe, mustard beignets and macadamia nuts. The crunch and subtle sweetness were a perfect mixture, and while I’m no Gordon Ramsay, it’s safe to call it bloody delicious.
Big mahalo to Jeff Scheer and his crew for showing us yet another grand evening of food and fun, and we cannot wait to visit you at Maui Tropical Plantation soon!