Wailea Wine & Food Festival Chefs
Wailea’s Got Talent – Culinary Talent!
Wailea Resort is proud to be home to an amazing collection of award-winning restaurants offering innovative and creative cuisine and the most passionate culinary talent (our chefs) on Maui. We wanted to share the stories of some of the most talented culinary artists in our Wailea Resort Ohana (family).
We are privileged to be the only resort destination in the state of Hawaii to have four of the original founding members of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine movement (Mark Ellman, Bev Gannon, Peter Merriman and Alan Wong) on our resort culinary team.
Executive Pastry Chef
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
When Rhonda Ashton-Chavez was a 9th grader in Innisfail, North Queensland, Australia, she dreamed of becoming a chef. Two days after completing high school, she found herself starting a four-year apprenticeship at the Sheraton Breakwater Casino Hotel in Townsville, Queensland, Australia, becoming a journeyman pastry cook by age 21. That dream has taken her far—professionally and geographically. Today, Ashton-Chavez brings 25 years of experience — and an impressive globe-hopping portfolio — to Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, serving as its Executive Pastry Chef.
Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa
Chef Jason was born and raised here on Maui (Happy Valley in Wailuku), graduated From Baldwin High School ( 1987) and went to Maui Community College to study and to achieve his AS Degree in Culinary in 1989. He started cooking at a very young age (thanks to his mom). He is married to his wife of 22 years, Sueann, and has three children. His very first Food service job was working at a Mexican restaurant called “La Familia” in Wailuku as a prep cook/commissary. That’s where he first learned that hard work pays off later for his future.
His first hotel job was at the Hyatt Regency Maui and now presently works at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa.
In his spare time away from the kitchens, he volunteers at UHMC Culinary Department (teach/ mentor students) and also at Hui Malama Learning Center. His other hobby is building cars (mostly Imports) for show and go; and recently won 1st place for “Best Four Door” at a local carshow!
Mala Wailea Restaurant, in the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
Owners Chef Mark Ellman and his wife Judy have lived on Maui for 27 years where they have raised a family of three daughters, Tina, Ariana and Michelle. Also they have raised a family of restaurants on three islands in Hawaii, Maui Tacos, Penne Pasta Café , Mala Ocean Tavern and Mala Wailea. Mark and Judy met over 30 years ago in a small western town in Los Angeles where Judy was the bartender and Mark was a cook in the kitchen at a Mexican Restaurant in Calabasas. They fell in love and opened their first restaurant in Sherman Oaks California called Cuisine Cuisine, a small Italian Eatery, Where they made homemade pasta and great friends.
Capische? Restaurant, in the Hotel Wailea
Washing pots as a thirteen year-old with the aspiration of some day being allowed to chop parsley doesn’t sound like a thrilling introduction to the glamour of the culinary world. But that is the way Capische owner and executive chef Brian Etheredge got his start. Chef Brian has been in the restaurant and food service business since adolescence, and a lifetime of building skills, refining his talents and hard work have led to his remarkable success in the highly competitive fine dining industry.
Fabiani's Bakery & Pizza
The Grand Wailea
Chef Eric Faivre has been the Executive Chef of Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort since 2001. He was born and raised in France and completed his formal culinary training at the Ecole Hôtelière de Gerardmer. His career includes working at the 1* Michelin restaurant “La Maison du Boeuf” in Strasbourg with Chef Dominique Michou, and at the 2** Michelin restaurant “Le Cygne” in Geneva with Chef Gilles Dupont. After leaving Europe, he worked for the Hilton International Guam, the Hilton Hawaiian Village and the Orchid at Mauna Lani on the island of Hawaii.
Gannon’s - A Pacific View Restaurant, at the Wailea Golf Club
Joe’s at the Wailea Tennis Club
Born in Dallas, Texas, and raised in the Jewish tradition of eat, eat, eat, one of Hawaii’s most celebrated chefs, Bev Gannon, reminisces, “It’s what really got me interested in food and its preparation. I think it’s still what people want: the kind of warm, comforting food that came out of Mom’s kitchen provided, of course, that Mom was a good cook!” Bev’s passion for food combined with her love of island-inspired dishes, is the reason why Bev Gannon has become a culinary powerhouse and has enjoyed ardent followers and critical claim across the country.
Longhi’s Wailea, in the Shops at Wailea
Roger grew up in Orem, Utah, and moved to Maui in 1988. He began his culinary career working for Bob Longhi at the original Longhi’s Front street location. For seven years he worked closely with the Longhi family to preserve Bob's classic Mediterranean recipes using only the freshest, quality ingredients. Roger also served for many years as chef at Basil Tomato Italian Grill in Ka’anapali and at Besaw’s Café in Portland, Oregon. In 2006, Roger returned to Longhi’s and is currently a chef at the Longhi’s Wailea Restaurant.
Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
Chef Manfred is from Vienna, Austria. His interests in cooking started at early age because his father always cooked great meals at home. At age 15, he started working professionally at Hotel Sacher, one of the most prestigious hotels in Vienna, located just across the famous State Opera House. Then he moved on to Hotel Marriott when it opened in Vienna in 1985.
Executive Chef, SPAGO
Cameron Lewark was drawn to cooking at an early age – where he would prepare nightly dinners for his mother and older brother. As a young child, he would experiment with basic recipes and try to recreate them into new culinary creations. His passion for cooking and old fashioned hard work got him to where he is today, as Executive Chef of Spago at the Four Seasons Maui.
Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman, in the Wailea Gateway Center
For over twenty years now, Peter Merriman, has served as a culinary pioneer in Hawaii, utilizing both an unmatched creativity and a locally inspired way of thinking. Chef Merriman is a man of vision. Famously called “The Pied Piper of Hawaii Regional Cuisine” by The Los Angeles Times, Peter has proudly maintained an unfaltering commitment to showcasing Hawaii’s breadth of local offerings, and in doing so, he is ever-advancing Hawaii’s thriving culinary scene.
Mulligan's on the Blue
The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
Executive Chef, Tylun Pang is one of Maui’s most well-known culinary leaders. A native of Hawai’i, his culinary career began in 1974 as an apprentice with the Westin Hotels Culinary Apprenticeship Program. Since, he has travelled to Asia, South America and numerous cities in the United States. He has participated in the Best Hotel Chefs of America Series at the James Beard House and has been recognized with The Mayor's Award in Culinary Excellence for the County of Maui in 2005. More recently, Chef Pang was honored with the coveted 2012 Friend of Agriculture award by Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa. This special award, recognizes one Maui chef per year who goes above and beyond to support local agriculture.
Senior Executive Chef
Nick’s Fishmarket Maui, in the Fairmont Kea Lani
Chef Sarmiento’s philosophy is straight forward: support the small farmers and agriculture in the islands when creating exciting, innovative menu items for our guests. It can’t get any simpler than that! Overseeing Nick’s Fishmarket Maui at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Chef Sarmiento handpicks all of the Tri-Star Restaurant Groups chefs and is the mastermind behind the menus. Not only does Chef Sarmiento bring his culinary expertise and creativity to the restaurants, he also exudes compassion and sincerity. Tri-Star Restaurant Group President and CEO Aaron Placourakis says “Geno’s knowledge, experience, professionalism and zest for life are key ingredients in our restaurants’ philosophies. He fits in perfectly with our family.”
Chef Brandon Shim, born and raised on Maui, grew up in a farming community located in Keokea – Upcountry. As both a farmer and an avid fisherman, Brandon brings his passion for using local products and flavors to his dishes. A graduate of Maui Culinary Academy, Brandon joined Tommy Bahama Restaurant and opened the Wailea location. He had the opportunity to venture out on his own a few years later, opening the well known and highly regarded, Pauwela Cafe, located in Haiku.
After five years he returned to Tommy Bahama and brought his experience and passion for food where he now is the Executive Chef sharing his culinary talent and love for Maui with his staff and guests.
Roger D. Stettler
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Executive Chef Roger Stettler creates excitement in the dining scene at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. Though classically French trained, Stettler introduces an array of new flavors to the Resort kitchens with his culinary fluency of Germany, Italy, Korea, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, the Caribbean and the U.S. Born in Bern, Switzerland in 1967, Stettler discovered his love for the culinary art as a young boy. Inspired by his mother, Stettler was often found in the kitchen learning the craft that would lead to his successful and award-winning career. He received a chef degree after completing the renowned apprenticeship program at Switzerland’s Hotel Kulm Arosa and traveled the world honing his talents in five-star hotels.
Alan Wong’s AMASIA, in the Grand Wailea
In the world of gourmet cooking, critically-acclaimed Chef Alan Wong is well-known for his unique creative flair. A renowned master of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, Chef Wong has made a highly-successful career out of marrying elements of different ethnic cooking styles using the finest Island-grown ingredients. As his Asian roots combine with his French culinary background, east and west cuisines do not merely meet -- they meld. In 1994, Chef Wong was named one of 13 Rising Star Chefs in America by the Robert Mondavi Winery for his culinary excellence. He is a James Beard Award winner for Best Chef, Pacific Northwest 1996. Sante Magazine for Wine and Spirits named him Chef of the Year 2001, and the Inaugural 2001 Wedgewood Awards nominated him as one of 10 U.S. chefs for the title of World Master of Culinary Arts. In 2003, Bon Appetit Magazine recognized Chef Wong among its culinary legends as the 'Master of Hawaii Regional Cuisine'.
© 2013 Wailea Wine and Food Festival