Waikoloa Beach Resort Welcomes Mai Grille
Hawai`i Island’s chefs are blessed with an abundance of fresh, local ingredients from the land and sea, as well as a food culture that is rooted in deep tradition. Chef Allen Hess is taking full advantage of all that bounty at his new eatery, Mai Grille, located inside the resort’s Kings’ Golf Course clubhouse.
Hess says it is his culinary mission to take fresh- raised foods from local farmers, ranchers, and fishermen, and prepare them with state-of-the-art skills. “There’s a story behind each of the ingredients,” he says. “I personally know the people who provide the food, from fresh-caught ‘ahi to local zucchini.”
Mai Grille features Hess’s well-known “slow foods” philosophy of regional cooking, which he has practiced during stints at Alan Wong, Canoe House, his own bistro, Allen’s Table, and Merriman’s in Waimea.
“‘Slow foods’ is about more than how you cook the food,” Hess says, “but about how food is raised, buying seasonally appropriate ingredients, and taking your time to put the right foods on the plate. If you are buying fresh ingredients, it’s important to serve them when they taste the best. It’s also about supporting the community ... that’s part of our whole approach.”
The former Kings’ Grille closed for a two-week renovation in September, and reopened as Mai Grille on October 5, serving daily breakfast (such as a signature BLT with two eggs) and lunch (think grilled shrimp kabobs on toasted mac nut rice; or a “20/80 burger” with 20 percent ground bacon combined with 80 percent aged ground beef), with dinner service planned for a winter start.