A Fig Moment

A quick trip to Maui in May allowed me the privilege to experience Chef Jojo Vasquez’s tasting menu at The Plantation House Restaurant at Kapalua.

A quick trip to Maui in May allowed me the privilege to experience Chef Jojo Vasquez’s tasting menu at The Plantation House Restaurant at Kapalua. The 5-course dinner was paired with wines from Grgich Hills Estate Winery in Napa, and each dish showcased fresh local figs from Simpli-Fresh Farms on Maui. The amuse bouche, Roasted Fig and Kataifi Tartlet with caramelized Maui onion and mascarpone showcased the fig in a basket of texture and flavor and truly started the meal with a clear theme. The Tempura Soft Shell Crab with jicama carpaccio, avocado and fig chutney followed which was flavorful and balanced—the hot crunch of the tempura balanced with the jicama while the fig chutney introduced a bit of sweet and savory. The third course, Steelhead Salmon with cauliflower, sugar snap peas, tempura prosciutto fig and honey gastrique was paired with a 2011 Chardonnay, and was a nice progression to the entrée. Undeniably my favorite dish of the night was the Grilled Tenderloin with zucchini, gorgonzola stuffed peppadew pepper and fig-port demi. Every bite was better than the last, and the pairing with the 2011 Zinfandel was the highlight of the tasting meal. Chef Vasquez’s cuisine uses local ingredients and cultural influences and matches that with a variety of cooking techniques for a unique and modern take on food. With memorable dishes at this beautiful Kapalua setting, I can’t wait to come back soon.

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