Making Mindful Memories on Maui With Kiawe Outdoor

Around here we talk a lot about conscious eating and, of course, many good reasons! But, for me at least, I often consider it a personal practice. Maybe not exactly solo, but it’s something I do for myself, not because someone else is influencing it.

But mindful is one of the first words I used when describing my incredible outdoor dining experience with Kiawe Outdoor, along with thoughtful, elevated and, Holy cow, how did I get so lucky?

I happened to be in Maui for my husband’s work (which, yes, is a big part of the answer to the last question) when a PR contact reached out to set up an experiential dinner with outdoor kiawe Later that week, he had a couple of slots available for the media. Fortunately, it was the only night we were free from work obligations (luck hits us again), so we happily accepted.

So. Happy.

I believe that the atmosphere and the company are just as important as the ingredients used when it comes to a truly elevated dining experience, and that is part of what makes Kiawe Outdoor events so special. You’re not just getting them to light their famous coal. sourdough bread with Kihei mango butter and sea salt; you’re watching that bread being taken straight from the fire, where it’s been baking in a cast-iron pot. Not only are you drinking what is quite possibly the best champagne you’ve ever tasted, but you’re watching the sommelier open it (or, if you’re lucky, maybe even try it yourself!).

Each wine they opened came with a thoughtful story, often about its origins, but always with at least a nod to why it paired so perfectly with each dish. (In one case, the story lasted almost 10 minutes, during which time we all sat, eyes closed, watching a grape turn into wine and thinking about where we were at each point in that wine’s journey.)

Kiawe Outdoor founder Yeshua Goodman grew up running around Maui, hunting and fishing and sharing his catch with friends by the fire. After becoming an advanced sommelier, he decided to fuse his love of wine with his appreciation of the island’s abundant produce, all mixed with the experience of sharing a special meal prepared over an open fire, served in magnificent outdoor settings using glassware. ancient in Impeccable tablescapes.

Oh and not only any an open flame will do. Every dish, from the most incredible snapper stew to the mushroom gnocchi that convinced even Jared to become a mushroom lover, is cooked over wood fires or using smoke from the kiawe tree, an invasive species on Maui. That’s no coincidence, and indeed, Kiawe Outdoor regularly incorporates other invasive species, such as axis deer and wild boar, into its menu.

While they offer custom events, visitors can partake in this elevated experience at pre-planned dinners; Kiawe is regularly associated with various properties on Maui such as the Royal Lahaina Resort, where we join them. (Normally, they host their dinners there in an area called “Las Ramas”, under a 100-year-old, 40-foot-tall rubber tree, but some strong winds caused us to move to a slightly more sheltered outdoor spot.) .

It is expensive? Yeah, you won’t get any argument from me about that. But it’s the kind of experience that can be once in a lifetime and one you won’t regret (especially if you’re smart enough to take pictures of the wine bottles and take a few notes about the food!). Foodies and wine lovers can drop by for the traditional luau and opt for this elevated dinner without a second thought. Unless you have a truly magical whale encounter, I can guarantee that this will be the highlight of your visit.

Have you had a dining experience that you know you will never forget? Tell me all about it! –Kristen

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