Dee Ann Tsurumaki, the executive chef, is a recent addition to Hotel Hana-Maui. Having previously worked at The Peninsula Hotel’s Felix restaurant in Hong Kong, and in the kitchens of Switzerland, “I really just wanted to come back home,” she confides. Growing up on Oahu, Tsurumaki remembers “fishing on the south shore and grilling the day’s catch over an open fire on the beach.”
It was Maui’s local produce that was one of the major draws of returning. “The freshness of ingredients available in the islands, Hana caught fish, freshly pounded keanae poi, multiple varieties of produce grown by local farmers brought to our restaurant’s back door is inspiring,” says Tsurmaki. Sourcing local foods fits the ethos of the property which is dedicated to ecofriendly practices. “A sense of oneness with nature, and by extension, a reverence for all plant and animal life, is a deep-seated Hawaiian trait; the cultivation of food is marked by a spiritual purpose,” reads the hotel’s literature. From recycling to using cooking oil as biodiesel to composting, the resort is a holistic eco-conscious retreat.
This is an excerpt of an original article. Read more about Chef Tsurumaki in the Summer 2010 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.