The recent Stag's Leap wine dinner at the Plantation House in Kapalua was a savory success, with more than 50 people on the wait list, hoping to get in.
That's because longtime Executive Chef / Partner Alex Stanislaw and his right-hand man, Chef de Cuisine Maro Gjurasic, are rocking the house down with off-the-scale tastes and presentations.
"Maro is an incredibly talented chef and a bona fide wine enthusiast as well," says Stanislaw. "He blends ingredients and flavors that blow me away, and combinations that really compliment the total wine experience. He is also an artist with plate presentation."
Chef de Cuisine Maro Gjurasic is not only creating new dishes, but cooking them nightly for dinner at the popular restaurant.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
From Seattle, Gjurasic was a chef at many restaurants there. He also cooked aboard a yacht and in various private mansions. Plantation House is his first gig on Maui, and he has been spending time developing different menus as well as executive the nightly dinners.
"One of the dishes I've created is the Hawaiian-style sweet-and-spicy prawn appetizer," says Gjurasic. "It's a blend of 12 different herbs and spices, along with garlic, soy, honey and coconut milk."
Gjurasic has also added a phenomenal calamari steak to the daytime menu, and calamari tubes and tentacles to the dinner menu.
"We serve it with Meyer lemon aioli and Mediterranean salsa verde," he says. "We're also starting a daily fresh sheet. It's something we haven't done in the past."
Stanislaw adds that a "farmer comes in with a box of this or a box of that, and they make four-cheese risotto with fresh Hawaiian fish in a pesto drizzle; or, say, rib eye steak with truffled tomato relish and sweet corn."
The restaurant is situated on the famous Plantation Golf Course, and is open for both breakfast and lunch all day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. A limited cafe menu is available from 3 to 5:30 p.m. daily; and dinner is served from 5:30 to 9 p.m. At its elevation high in the hills of Kapalua Resort, it can get chilly at night and there is a two-sided fireplace to keep it romantic and cozy.
"I can't say enough about what Maro brings to the table. He's passionate, intuitive, a food geek and he loves big, bold flavors," says Stanislaw. Call 669-6299.