Hawaii was fusion before fusion was cool. It’s a way of life in the Islands,
which sits at the midway between East and
West with a truly multicultural society that
has brought its native styles to complement
and blend with the indigenous cuisine.
“I blend a lot of styles,” said Oahu native
Lyndon Honda, executive chef at Sheraton
Maui Resort & Spa. “Hawaii’s been doing
that fusion cuisine since the turn of the
[last] century. It’s not all about pineapples
and papayas; now all these name chefs are
cooking really good food and product right
here from Hawaii.”
Indeed, Hawaii has seen a renaissance of
sorts in its fine-dining scene over the past
decade or so.
“Fifteen years ago the food scene, even
on Oahu, wasn’t as big as it is now,” Honda
said. “In the last five years there’s been a
big push on Maui and Oahu as well in the
Local farmers are also getting in on the act.
“Within the last few years a lot of farmers
have really been stepping up,” Honda said,
adding that a new generation of back-to-
the-landers are paying forward on the
traditional aloha spirit. “There are a lot of
Millennials who want to farm. Way back
when everyone grew their own product
and traded and bartered. Everyone helps
each other—it’s one big ohana [family].”
This blossoming of the small local farm
scene is helping fill in the gap on some of
the ingredients, such as fresh tomatoes,
that were once hard to come by.
“First we flag down the plane and then
we swim out to get it and then we start
cooking,” Honda joked about the old days.
Kidding aside, Honda, who leads the
property’s banquet and catering operations
as well as five on-site food and beverage
outlets, is adept at the wide range of cuisines
demanded by a resort of the Sheraton’s
stature, including Pacific Rim and Hawaii
regional cuisines, French, Japanese, Mediterranean, Italian, Thai, Filipino and others.
“For me, being from Hawaii, we get so
inundated with the same-old, same-old
thing,” Honda, who opened numerous
restaurants and owned his own event
catering company before coming to the
Sheraton in May 2017, said. “I wanted to do
something different and challenge myself.
My forte has been providing a global menu,
and if guests are doing seven or eight
meals at the resort they can’t do Hawaiian
regional cuisine for every meal because
it will start tasting the same. It’s all about
showcasing global influences with local
cuisine—Hawaiian cuisine informed by my
global influences over the years.”
A very popular group banquet and reception
option at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa is
the Ocean Lawn, which offers 12,000 square
feet of oceanfront event space—the largest
in Kaanapali—perfect for sit-down dinners,
luaus or a beach barbecue.
The resort, which completed a $26.5
million renovation of its 508 guest rooms
and suites in July 2018, opened the new
signature ROCKsalt restaurant in June
2018, specializing in globally inspired share
plates and Hawaii-grown ingredients.
And on a sustainability note, Honda said
the resort is particularly proud of being
the first hotel in Hawaii, in August 2017, to
eliminate single-use plastic straws, which
has resulted in 330,000 straws not being
sent to the landfill.
MOJO VERDE TOFU
LYNDON HONDA // EXECUTIVE CHEF
SHERATON MAUI RESORT & SPA // LAHAINA, MAUI // WWW.SHERATON-MAUI.COM
By Tyler Davidson
MAKES 2 SERVINGS
Recipe Yield: 2 cups
4 T garlic powder
4 T onion powder
2 T coriander
2 T salt
4 T dried thyme
1/2 tsp. cayenne
2 T paprika
Recipe yield: 1 qt.
3 jalapenos (remove stem)
1 oz. roasted garlic
2 oz. green onion
1.5 oz. cilantro
¾ oz. oregano
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tsp. salt
1 T cumin
Plain corn nuts, crushed
Sugar snap peas
1. Tofu Spice
In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and mix well.
Cut tofu in half sideways and freeze overnight. Then defrost and squeeze the water. Sprinkle the tofu spice over the tofu. Heat a pan with olive oil and sear, then cool down. Dice the tofu and set aside.
Mojo verde sauce
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Spoon 1/2 cup mojo verde sauce on the bottom of the plate. Top with seared tofu. Garnish w/ crushed plain corn nuts, sugar snap peas and calamansi.