makena MAKENA BEACH & GOLF RESORT
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It is here that my spirit soars upon the morning calm, It is here that my spirit soars to dance with the winds of Oneuli, It is here that my spirit finds peace on the evening tide. —EXCERPT FROM “THE BEAUTY OF MAKENA” BY THE REV. KEALAHOU C. ALIKA
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makena makena beach & golf resort / maui, hawai'i
VOLUME 1 / NUMBER 1 /
FRESH FROM THE ‘ĀINA A garden bursting with plants from around the world inspires the unique dishes of chef Marc McDowell. BY VANESSA WOLF
BEACH JOURNAL A photographer captures the wonder of a day spent on Big Beach. BY RACHEL OLSSON
ISLANDS BORN OF FIRE Lava offers clues to Hawai‘i’s past and its future. BY TERI FREITAS GORMAN
LA PEROUSE BAY History and nature converge in this place of stark contrasts. BY JILL ENGLEDOW
©Bob Bangerter 2
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B E AC H & G O L F R E S O R T / M AU I , H AWA I ' I
THE SINGING BARISTA
Evelyn Moreno serves up coffee with a song. BY BONNIE FRIEDMAN
SEIZE THE DAY— AND NIGHT
From yoga to stargazing, activities abound to make any day special.
SENSE OF PLACE
A lū‘au is the setting for ‘Ulalena, which tells the stories of the Islands, while Turtle Town is home to the majestic Hawaiian green sea turtle.
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A Quieter Side of Maui Just south of Makena, the paved road ends to reveal an entirely different side
of Maui—wilder, less developed, more pristine. And that’s just fine with guests at the 1,800acre Makena Beach & Golf Resort, who enjoy discovering nearby beaches (Oneloa Beach and Pu‘uōla‘i Beach, commonly called Big Beach and Little Beach, are must-visit destinations), marveling at the vast lava fields covering the hillsides all the way to the summit of Haleakalā, snorkeling the protected and colorful reefs and kayaking the clear Pacific waters, as much as they enjoy returning to the resort each evening to a bountiful feast lovingly prepared by Executive Chef Marc McDowell. Here is a destination steeped in history and adventure, with the story of Makena reaching back to ancient times when the original Hawaiians settled in small fishing villages along these shores. In 1786, it was just south of Makena that the French explorer Jean-François de Galaup de La Pérouse became the first European to set foot on Maui—and La Perouse Bay, the site where he landed, is a familiar name to resort guests today. The Keawala‘i Congregational Church was founded in Makena in 1832, and the original pili-grass structure was replaced by sturdier, three-foot-thick lava-rock walls in 1855. Today, congregations still gather for Sunday morning worship services. Makena Landing was once an important international shipping port used by Maui farmers to ship their crops. And, as late as 1948, paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) from the historic upcountry ‘Ulupalakua Ranch would drive their herds down Haleakalā’s slopes into the surf at Makena Landing and guide the cattle onto barges to be shipped to markets on the West Coast. During World War II, the U.S. Army built barracks, bunkers and the shoreline road while they used Makena as a training and military exercise site. During this time, the historic pier was torn down at Makena Landing, ending its days as an active trading port. It wasn’t until the 1980s, when the golf course was built and construction on the hotel began, that Makena gained acclaim as a destination for savvy travelers. But this is not your typical tourist destination. Yes, guests find elegant accommodations, world-class cuisine, an attentive and professional staff, along with tennis and all the other amenities expected at a top-caliber resort, but there’s something different here, too. Makena exudes a sense of place that is deeply authentic and full of stories. It is a destination rich with the culture and geological history of Maui, while at the same time offering singularly unique charms. It is a place that tugs at your heartstrings and draws you back, as there is always something more to discover. As the song lyrics go: “As the seasons change and the years go by, I return to the beauty of Makena.” —George Fuller
Here in the beauty of Makena, I return. The seas surrounding the bay at Keawala‘i beckon me, come. As the seasons change and the years go by, I return to the beauty of Makena. —FROM “THE BEAUTY OF MAKENA,” WRITTEN BY THE REV. KEALAHOU C. ALIKA
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makena beach & golf resort / maui, hawai'i
Regional Vice President and Publisher Patti Ruesch firstname.lastname@example.org ADVE RTIS IN G Regional Publisher Suzanne McClellan email@example.com Account Managers Elizabeth Cotton firstname.lastname@example.org Katherine Ellwood email@example.com Wanda Garcia-Fetherston firstname.lastname@example.org Bob Kowal email@example.com Sales Coordinator Kaitlyn Murphy firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Sales (808) 955-2378 E XE C U TIVE President Donna W. Kessler Vice President of Operations Angela E. Allen P RO D U C TIO N Director of Production Kris Miller Product Manager Jasond Fernandez Production Manager Brittany L. Kevan
E D ITO RIAL Chief Creative Officer Haines Wilkerson Design Director Jane Frey Photography Director Susan Strayer Senior Regional Editorial Director Margaret Martin Editor George Fuller Features Consultant Jocelyn Fujii Designer Michelle Theis Copy Editor Lucy Kim Contributing Writers Jill Engledow, Teri Freitas Gorman, Bonnie Friedman, Rachel Olsson, Vanessa Wolf Contributing Photographers Bob Bangerter, Rachel Olsson MANUFACTURING & TE C HN O LO GY Director of Manufacturing Donald Horton Technical Operations Manager Tony Thorne-Booth
Retouching Jerry Hartman M orris Communications Chairman & CEO William S. Morris III President William S. Morris IV
Makena Magazine (Vol. 1, No. 1) is published by Where Hawaii, 1833 Kalakaua Ave, Ste. 810, Honolulu, HI 96815 CopyrightÂŠ 2013 by Morris Visitor Publications. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, in whole or in part, without the express prior written permission of the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility to any party for the content of any advertisement in this publication, including any errors and omissions therein. By placing an order for an advertisement, the advertiser agrees to indemnify the publisher against any claims relating to the advertisement. MVP is a proud sponsor of Les Clefs dâ€™Or USA
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/ T E X T BY BO N N IE F R I E D M A N / P H OTO G R A P H Y BY R AC H E L O L S S O N
Evelyn Moreno serves up coffee with a song
velyn Moreno started singing when she was a little girl— just three or four years old—in her native Philippines. “The electricity would go out and we’d be scared,” she says, “so I would sing gospel songs.” That was how she helped herself and her siblings cope. She probably could have lit up the house with her broad, genuine smile too. It certainly lights up Barista 5400, the coffee bar in the lobby of Makena Beach & Golf Resort, where she is fondly known as the resort’s “singing barista.” Moreno arrived from the Philippines in 1993 and, just three months later, got her first job as a merchandise clerk in the logo shop at what was then the Maui Prince Hotel. During her 20 years at the resort, she’s also worked in the tennis shop, as a restaurant hostess, in room service, as a cashier and, finally, as a barista. “That was in 1999 and the place was called Cappuccino Corner,” she says. “It changed to Barista 5400 in 2011. And it’s on the very same spot where the logo shop used to be, where I had my first job here,” she laughs. Talk about full circle. The story of how she came to Maui is a bit like a fairy tale … with a very happy ending. Also originally from the Philippines, her husband, Ricardo, first came to the U.S. in 1973 with his mother and American stepfather. He moved to O‘ahu and worked for 15 years as a barber at Schofield Barracks, the U.S. Army installation made famous in the novel “From Here to Eternity.” He then moved to San Francisco for a while, but because his “heart is in warm weather,” as he says, he eventually 10
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Evelyn Moreno brings her own unique aloha to Barista 5400.
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Her passion for singing integrates with the joy she finds in her job. Below: Evelyn Moreno (in red shirt) shares the joy of music with daughters Edriana, Celina and Elizabeth.
returned to Hawai‘i and settled on Maui. “Ricardo and I started as pen pals,” Evelyn says. “We wrote to each other for 18 months before we met. In 1992, he returned to the Philippines, where we finally met in person and got married. After that, he brought me back to Maui.” After arriving on the island, Evelyn hit the ground running: “I saw how many Japanese visitors we had at the resort, so I learned to speak some Japanese. My husband taught me how to drive and I had a license within three months.” He also bought her a piano, an instrument that she’s been playing since she was six years old, and she put her talents to work on Maui, giving lessons to the children of her resort coworkers. She taught for seven years until, finally, the Morenos were able to start a family of their own. They are now the proud parents of four daughters, all of whom sing and play the ‘ukulele: nine-year-old Erica, 11-year-old Edriana, 12-year-old Elizabeth and 14-year-old Celina, who apparently inherited even more of her mother’s musical aptitude. “She can compose, play any instrument—guitar, bass guitar, piano—she can even rap,” reports Evelyn, whose own passion for music was evident early on. From the time Evelyn was in elementary school, the performing arts were a part of her daily life. She sang in the choir and the glee club, and participated in competitions all the way through college. Today, her passion for singing integrates with the joy she finds in her job. “My favorite part of my job is serving,” says Evelyn. “This place is unique. The atmosphere really is like a family and we have terrific guests.” Terrific guests who get a side order of song with their morning coffee. What kind of music does Evelyn sing? “Old songs,” she admits, “good old standards.” So if you’re passing through the lobby and hear the strains of a great Frank Sinatra or Nat King Cole ballad emanating from Barista 5400, the voice you’re listening to belongs to Evelyn Moreno, the singing barista.
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Music Men The Hawaiian music scene reverberates across the Islands, thanks to a group of artists who are committed to keeping the island sound alive and thriving. The Brothers Cazimero A trip to Hawai‘i wouldn’t be complete without hearing “Home on the Islands” by renowned musicians The Brothers Cazimero. With Robert on bass and Roland on 12-string guitar, the Cazimeros continue the legacy of contemporary Hawaiian music at local concerts, international events and festivals.
“Iz” Kamakawiwo‘ole “Over the Rainbow” averts our attention from Dorothy in Oz, and brings us to an image of that jolly Hawaiian man permanently strumming his ukulele. Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, better known as Bruddah Iz, has gained acclaim as the best-selling Hawaiian musician of all time, even after his passing in 1997. His most popular album, “Wonderful World,” gained No. 44 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart a decade after his death.
Gabby Pahinui A self-taught master of the slack-key and steel guitar, musician Phillip Kunia “Gabby” or “Pops” Pahinui was the epitome of a legendary artist. The soft and bright tunes of his charismatic falsetto voice combined with his lightning fast fingers birthed timeless hits such as “‘Ulili E,” “Hawaiian Love” and “Hi‘ilawe.”
Willie K. “Uncle Willie K.” has been deemed the Hawaiian Jimi Hendrix for his tenacity on stage and extensive influence on contemporary Hawaiian music. Known to be the big man on stage by old-timers, the Maui native still tours and has regular appearances on Maui. Anyone who has heard him live can attest that he’s the chameleon of Hawai‘i, with a vocal repertoire of blues, jazz, reggae, rock ’n’ roll, country, Hawaiian and opera. —Simplicio Paragas MAKENA
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Seize the Dayâ€”and Night From yoga under the sun to sâ€™mores under the stars, Makena Beach & Golf Resort offers a wealth of activities that energize, entertain and educate
acations offer the chance to indulge, to take the time to make new discoveries or simply enjoy a favorite pastime. It might include an exploration of the waters off Maui, a rousing game of tennis, a rejuvenating morning yoga class or an evening around a fire pit learning more about the constellations above.
Oceanfront Yoga Aficionados and beginners alike can take part in the low-impact, oceanfront yoga classes offered every Tuesday and Thursday morning on the Pacific Lawn at 7 a.m. Taught by Juliet Lee, a Maui instructor with 20 years of yoga teaching experience, the classes are free to all registered resort guests. The Tuesday classes focus on tai chi yoga, a zero-impact therapeutic exercise that includes breathing, stretching and relaxation techniques to energize, boost immunity and normalize blood pressure. Thursday classes explore Pilates, a workout that is designed to build strong core and lower-back muscles, while enhancing muscular symmetry, body alignment, strength and flexibility.
Tasty, Starry Nights Every Monday evening, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Makena guests can head to the Molokini Bar & Grille to enjoy the sunset and feast on fresh Caesar salad and the Makena Mixed Grill Plate made with teriyaki 14
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—TENNIS DIRECTOR FRANK SALVADOR
Tennis Club in the country’s top 50? “It isn’t just about the world-class facilities,” says Tennis Director Frank Salvador. “In addition to our six championship Plexipave courts, excellent teaching programs and fully stocked pro shop, we have an unbelievably warm and welcoming staff full of aloha.” There is something for everyone, with clinics, group and private lessons, junior programs and even a special package for honeymooners. The friendly tennis staff can also help arrange player matching for singles or doubles, no matter your skill level. “When people come to the Islands on vacation, potentially their
significant other or travel partner doesn’t play tennis,” Salvador says. “One of the things we do best is player matching. We are the largest tennis club in south Maui, and we have all levels of players locally that we can match up with resort guests.”
Undersea Wonderworld New to Maui, HUKA is a hybrid of snorkeling and scuba that allows divers to stay underwater for one hour. Offered by the Maui Dive Shop located at Makena Beach & Golf Resort’s beach activities center, HUKA provides divers with the ability to breathe below the water’s surface to get up close and personal with the area’s plentiful marine life. A scuba tank floats in a raft on the water, while divers swim below, breathing air from a 20-foot hose that gives them the freedom to interact with sea turtles, parrot fish, yellow tangs, needle fish, octopi, humuhumunukunukuapua‘a— Hawai‘i’s state fish—and all the colorful marine life found in Maui’s inviting waters. At 9 a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, enjoy a complimentary lesson in the pool and afterward partake in a one-hour HUKA dive off Malu‘aka Beach.
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beef, grilled mahi, chicken katsu, seasonal “We are the vegetables and steamed white largest tennis stir-fried rice. This Stargazing Dinner also includes a club in south s’mores kit so guests can enjoy the tasty treat Maui, and we as they gather around the cozy fire pit after dinner to listen to astronomer Mike Herbert have all levels as he takes them on a tour of the starry skies of players with the on-site telescope. The presentation also uses lasers to create an entertaining, locally that interactive night. we can match up with resort Tennis, Anyone? Why does Tennis.com rank the Makena guests.”
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SENSE OF PLACE
The lore of the Hawaiian Islands is a blend of mythology, history and the wonders of nature
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sense of place is gained through knowledge of its people, their legends, their history and their environment. From lū‘au to swimming with sea turtles, opportunities abound to know this place called Makena.
©DAVID BARRY, MAKAI STUDIOS
Lu‘au at Makena The lū‘au tradition in Hawai‘i dates back nearly 200 years, and when first introduced by King Kamehameha II in 1819, it represented a complete break with ancient custom. In early Hawai‘i, men and women ate their meals separately, and commoners and women of all ranks were forbidden by the Hawaiian religion to eat certain delicacies. But in 1819, Kamehameha II abolished many of the traditional religious practices, and to symbolize this break with the ancient ways, he brought men, women and ali‘i (Hawaiian royalty) together for a regal feast. This symbolic act ended the ancient Hawaiian kapu (religious taboos), and the lū‘au was born. Today’s lū‘au are often spectacular affairs with Polynesian music, chanting and dancing and, of course, bountiful plates of food, including the namesake dish that gave the lū‘au its name: young and tender leaves of the taro plant combined with chicken or fish and baked in coconut milk. The Lū‘au at Makena takes the concept one step farther—bringing one of Hawai‘i’s most celebrated theatrical productions, ‘Ulalena, into a traditional lū‘au setting. Guests relax at sunset as Maui’s history is told through music, dance and theatrical flair, all while enjoying an exquisite sit-down dinner of traditional lū‘au fare prepared by Makena Resort’s Executive Chef Marc McDowell and delivered to their table. A lū‘au extravaganza, ‘Ulalena takes guests on a journey from the start of Hawaiian civilization to the fall of the Hawaiian monarchy. A living rainforest, underwater creatures, aerial performers and some of Hawai‘i’s best hula dancers and musicians present the amazing stories and legends of the Islands. MAKENA
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SENSE OF PLACE Turtle Town The majestic Hawaiian green sea turtle, or honu, is a magical creature to encounter, revered by the Hawaiian people as ‘aumakua, guardian spirits. The honu also symbolizes the navigator who finds his way home time and time again, as these turtles will swim hundreds of miles, returning to their place of birth to lay eggs. Makena Resort guests can find the honu in abundance at Turtle Town, the long stretch of coastline that fronts the hotel between Nahuna Point and Black Sand Beach in Makena. You are invited to admire (but not touch) these gracious animals, an endangered species, as they bask in the sand, nibble on the coral reef or paddle in the gentle Pacific waters.
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“The honu also symbolizes the navigator who finds his way home time and time again.”
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This Could Be Your Lanai…
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SENSE OF PLACE
Pele, Goddess of the Volcano Hawai‘i’s Famous Legend Ka mea nani ka i Paliuli ‘eā Ke pulelo a‘e lā i nā pali ‘eā Aia ka palena i Maui ‘eā The Beautiful One is at Paliuli Rising over the cliffs She is at the borders of Maui —EXCERPT FROM THE TRADITIONAL CHANT, AIA Lā ‘O PELE I HAWAI‘I (PELE IS IN HAWAI‘I), ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY KīHEI DE SILVA
Perhaps the most famous character in Hawaiian mythology is Pele, the goddess of the volcano. According to legend, by the time Polynesian voyagers arrived in Hawai‘i during the fifth century, Pele had already claimed the islands as hers. She came from Tahiti in search of a new home to bury her sacred fire. Navigating by the North Star, she landed first at Mokumanamana (Necker Island) and then traveled south to Ni‘ihau, Kaua‘i, and eventually made her way through the entire island chain. Finally, she settled into Kīlauea on the Big Island and made her home deep within Halema‘uma‘u Crater, where she resides today. Scientists say this myth accurately chronicles the geological history of the Hawaiian Islands. Local legend has it that removing lava rocks from their home in Hawai‘i will invoke Pele’s curse and bad luck will follow. The origin of the curse is unclear, as is its veracity. Nevertheless, Makena Beach & Golf Resort regularly receives lava rocks in the mail, sent back by remorseful visitors seeking to stop a streak of bad luck. True or not, the resort’s Native Hawaiian Cultural Advisor Kimokeo Kapahulehua warned, “Taking Pele’s children away from her definitely upsets her. I would advise against it.” Even for the nonbeliever, it’s still a bad idea. Taking lava rocks is illegal and punishable by fines of up to $500. —Jill Engledow
F RES H F RO M T H E ‘A I NA EXECUTIVE CHEF MARC MCDOWELL MIXES H O R T I C U LT U R A L S K I L L S W I T H C U L I N A R Y C R E AT I V I T Y T O T H E D E L I G H T O F M A K E N A’ S D I N I N G G U E S T S text by VANESSA WOLF photography by RACHEL OLSSON
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The garden developed from a desire for sustainability coupled with McDowell’s continued culinary experimentation. Cuban oregano is one of the more exotic herbs found in the chef’s garden. (Opposite) McDowell’s take on the cemita combines pápalo, roasted Kurobuta Heritage pork, Oaxacan cheese and avocado.
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“If you can grow it yourself, that’s even better.”
Makena Beach & Golf Resort’s Executive Chef Marc McDowell is both a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park and a passionate horticulturist. It is the combination of these connected interests that makes him one of Maui’s most creative chefs.
The resort’s onsite garden provides everything he needs to experiment in his cooking, from staples such as basil and thyme to more exotic edibles such as the French spike lavender that grows a few feet away from a lush hedge of Cuban oregano. There are even a few surprises: A member of the landscaping department identified what McDowell thought was a weed as a cherry tomato-sized eggplant from Laos, which he now plans to use in the kitchen. Very little is by accident, however. The latest addition to the sprawling garden is pápalo or pápaloquelite, a cilantro mimic from Central America used in Mexican cooking and in Central and South America. Tasting it, one picks up notes of green pepper, cucumber and the soapiness of cilantro. “It’s kind of like gazpacho,” McDowell remarks. This presence of authentic Hispanic herbs like Mexican oregano, epazote and pápalo doesn’t stem from McDowell’s extensive background in or focus on the region. Rather, he is continually pushing himself, stretching his own skills and repertoire and seeking new flavors and challenges. He discovered pápalo through his reading. “It was in a book called ‘Exotic Herbs: A Compendium of Exceptional Culinary Herbs’ by Carole Saville,” he says. “The copy was old and crusty by the time I got it, but in its pages I learned about Mrs. Burns’ lemon basil, cilantro and pápalo. We’re going to be doing a lot more Latin stuff now that I’m growing it.” He proceeds to describe a sandwich called a cemita, originally from Puebla, Mexico. The ingredients are typically restricted to meat, cheese, sliced avocado and red sauce on a sesame seed-covered brioche-like bun. McDowell’s version, he explains, will feature “roasted and sliced Kurobuta heritage pork, avocado, Oaxacan cheese, a chipotle pepper puree and pápalo—essential to the sandwich. It’s incredibly tasty, but I couldn’t offer it until I could grow the pápalo. There was no other way to get it.” 26
The garden itself developed from a desire for sustainability coupled with McDowell’s continued culinary experimentation. “The thought of growing everything I serve stimulated me to plan and develop the garden I had at a former job, where I only had one acre to use,” he says. “The opportunity to use much more land enticed me to Makena and inspired this new garden.” The space continues to grow and evolve. Peach palms have been planted along the garden’s edge and will eventually provide fresh hearts of palm. Non-GMO (genetically modified organism) papaya trees flank the other side. In the middle, a mix of pantry necessities such as basil and thyme mingle with exotic chocolate mint and purple sage seedlings. With such a bold and experimental attitude, do things ever go wrong when incorporating a new and unusual element into his food? “Yes,” McDowell confirms, shuddering slightly at the memory, “with African blue basil. There was an episode of ‘Iron Chef America,’ where Morimoto went for that herb. He was able to make 10 dishes with it and ultimately won. I realized, ‘I have a lot of African blue basil. I’m going to go crazy with it!’” But it turns out this particular strain of basil has a robust flavor, akin to camphor and anise. “It’s an extremely strong taste that will easily overpower things if you don’t watch out,” McDowell says. “You know right away: a little too much is too much. It’s about experimenting ahead of time and fine-tuning.” Experimentation tempered with expertise is a theme in McDowell’s food, but so is a pervasive “do-it-yourself ” attitude. “I believe in sourcing the freshest stuff,” he says. “If you can grow or raise or make it yourself, that’s even better. Don’t overcomplicate the food. Yes, your presentation needs to be appealing, but the food itself cannot have flavors that clash.” Fresh ingredients are key. “If you get something from Mexico, does it have any flavor left by the time it’s shipped
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THE FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND HERBS THAT POPULATE THE RESORT’S GARDEN REPRESENT THE FLAVORS OF MANY COUNTRIES AND ARE THE INSPIRATION FOR THE IMAGINATIVE DISHES MCDOWELL CREATES FOR THE RESORT’S RESTAURANTS.
here?” he muses. “Tomatoes, for example, shouldn’t ever be put in the refrigerator; their essence starts to deteriorate. If they arrive refrigerated—because that’s the only way they can get them to you—you’re handcuffing yourself from the start.” Not everything, however, can be sourced from the resort’s garden. Seasonality plays a role, as do the axis deer that live on the island—a gift from Hong Kong to King Kamehameha V in the 1860s—which wreak regular havoc on the crops. As a result, McDowell looks to Maui’s Kumu
Farms for fresh, organic solutions. They provide nearly everything he can’t grow himself. Recently, McDowell began experimenting with deerproof crops. “The deer don’t like the French lavender, and we can use it in the pastry shop,” he says. “It makes a nice sorbet if we match it up with lemon, particularly the sweeter Meyer variety.” With the thriving garden’s help, McDowell creates culinary magic by blending curiosity, sustainability and passion. MAKENA
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BEACH JOURNAL A D AY I N T H E L I F E O F B I G B E A C H text and photography by RACHEL OLSSON
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The morning rain
hits my lips like small needles as I ride my Moto Guzzi from Ha‘iku in the dim morning light. I am headed to Big Beach—Oneloa Beach by its Hawaiian name— and praying it will be sunny there. As I turn onto the highway west of Spreckelsville, it is bone dry. Easy riding and the wind warms my face. Between the sun’s warmth and the wind from the ride, I am dry in no time. The sun peeks over the gentle slopes of a now very visible Haleakala and casually reaches her long, warm arms down the verdant hillside over Kula and along the ridge of ‘Ulupalakua Ranch. Another beautiful Maui day is born.
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I thought I was arriving early, but Big Beach is already inhabited: a woman walking her happy black lab, a young boy playing ukulele, a couple in matching striped beach chairs. The silhouettes of the kiawe trees draw crooked lines like a dark brown crayon onto the teal of the ocean. The bright yellow lifeguard hut against the blue of the ocean is like a pop art painting. In the distance, Kahoâ€˜olawe rises low and long on the horizon, its red dirt, green fields and brown cliffs lit by the sun. The beach has a salty clean scent. Bird songs fill the air with joyful music, accompanied by the sound of the waves rhythmically massaging the sand like low, soft, rumbling drums. Many more birds are singing than are seen. They are invisible, then suddenly dart from the foliage of the trees and the scrub at the edge of the sand, flitting from twig to branch, their colorful feathers making red, orange, brown and gray streaks through the air. I take up residence under a kiawe tree at the north end of the beach and am thankful for its presence, its gentle shade. After setting up my open-air hale, I venture out toward the beautiful seaside. The sand is already warm from the sun and feels lovely between my toes. The trade winds blow softly. I reach the trail that leads up to the cinder 30
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cone known to the Hawaiians as Pu‘uōla‘i, and as I climb I see and feel the hard, craggy lava rock and investigate all of the cracks and holes that formed caves when Pele first created Maui. Blacks and browns, hard and rough, getting hotter as the sun warms them. I look toward the sea and am struck by the contrast of the stationary, black lava rock holding its ground against the fluid, teal water, sparkling and dancing and ever changing. Below, the beach has begun to populate now. Tourists, families, couples in love, children frolicking, many locals, all who come here for the surf and the sun. The clouds pass by, pushed along gently by the constant trade winds, reflecting on the sand below and continually changing the tones like a kaleidoscope. Back on the beach, I meet so many wonderful people filled with aloha and a relaxed, carefree vibe. Folks are reading, snorkeling, playing in the surf, swimming, digging in the sand, sleeping, boogie boarding, fishing. Ukuleles and guitars add one more track to Big Beach’s musical background as I walk along. I talk with a young man whose eyes are the exact color of the light blue-green water. He is a musician and plays his guitar and sings for me on the shore. As the hot, sunshiny day turns into a cooler evening, the beach clears out and grows quiet. The birds sing their evening songs and play along the shore, picking up any little treats that might have been left behind. The clouds float down from Haleakalā, fall in line and prepare themselves to be painted by the sunset. Each night is a new and exciting performance. Tonight: Blues and grays are painted yellow and orange against a blue sky. The ocean below dances in a dozen shades of blue and silver. The phosphorus on the waves looks like it was lit by a black light. Colors erupt as the sun begins its slow dip into the sea. What an extraordinary day. 34
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ISLANDS BORN OF FIRE L AV A O F F E R S C L U E S T O H AW A I ‘ I ’ S P A S T A N D I T S F U T U R E text by TERI FREITAS GORMAN photography by BOB BANGERTER
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When people think of the
Hawaiian Islands, the eight major islands come to mind. But the island chain actually includes 137 islands, islets and atolls, and stretches some 1,600 miles from the Big Island in the south to Kure Atoll in the northwest. All of the landforms in the island chain are volcanic in nature, birthed over eons from a dynamic hot spot in the earth’s mantle.
T H E H AWA I I A N H OT S P OT
The Hawaiian hot spot, presently brewing under the Big Island, deep beneath the floor of the Pacific Ocean, exudes massive quantities of molten lava and, with each new eruption, the lava piles up on the ocean floor. Over many hundreds of thousands of years, enough solid ground—cooled lava—builds up so that an island rises above the waterline. Even though a landmass rises above the ocean’s surface, however, the lava does not stop flowing. Witness the molten lava that has been actively flowing from Kīlauea Volcano on the Big Island for more than 25 years, creating the newest land on earth. The Hawaiian hot spot is stationary, but the earth’s tectonic plates are moving continuously. Thus, in the case of the Hawaiian Islands, each landmass that forms over the immobile hot spot is carried northwest by the Pacific Plate, at a rate of about 2 to 3.9 inches per year, as if on a very slow conveyor belt that manufactures a string of islands on an assembly line. The landforms that are closest to the hot spot are the youngest, while those farthest away are the oldest.
Lava from Kilauea on the Big Island has been actively flowing for more than 25 years. Despite the devastating effects of the eruption on the town of Kalapana, people are rebuilding on the new land created by the lava.
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Carbon testing can determine when a volcano last erupted. HaleakalÄ â€™s last lava flow occurred somewhere between 1480 and 1600.
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Molten lava reaches temperatures of more than 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Lava typically flows slowly (under one mile per hour), but can reach speeds as fast as 35 miles per hour in a channel.
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The Hawaiian hot spot is about 50 miles in diameter. Currently, one side of this lava plume is under the Big Island of Hawai‘i, fueling the eruptions of Kīlauea. The other side is about 18 miles southeast of the Big Island, where it is creating the Lō‘ihi Seamount, which now rises about 9,000 feet from the ocean floor, with its summit about 3,116 feet below sea level. Eventually, Lō‘ihi will be centered over the hot spot and within 50,000 years it is expected to break the ocean surface to become the newest Hawaiian Island. C LU E S TO T H E PA S T
Just as the study of lava allows scientists to predict the birth of a new island, it also offers clues to an island’s past. Through carbon testing of lava, scientists are able to estimate the growth rate of plants, the age of archaeological structures and the approximate period when an ancient eruption occurred. Lava flows on Maui, for example, provided the information scientists needed to rectify a long-held misconception about Haleakalā’s last eruption. The island of Maui is actually a volcanic doublet, composed of two volcanoes that overlap to form a connecting isthmus. According to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the West Maui Volcano (Mauna Kahalawai) stopped most of its growth about one million years ago. It began a brief rejuvenated stage, with its last eruption occurring approximately 385,000 years ago. The East Maui Volcano, Haleakalā, probably began its growth about two million years ago. While we have a good estimate of Haleakalā’s first eruptions, until recently the date of its last lava flow has been a source of speculation. For years it was believed the eruptions that were the source of this flow occurred around 1790. Native Hawaiians had no written language prior to the 19th century, so the event was recorded only through oral history. During the late 1800s, Honolulu newspaper publisher Lorrin A. Thurston tried to pinpoint a date by comparing the 1786 maps of French explorer Jean-François de Galaup de La Pérouse to those drawn by English explorer George Vancouver in 1793. Due to illustrative discrepancies between the two maps, Thurston concluded the eruption must have occurred sometime between those years. La Pérouse, however, and unbeknownst to Thurston, was notorious for his poor surveying skills. Thurston’s cartographic conclusions were dutifully matched to stories told to American missionary Edward Bailey. Area natives informed him that their MAKENA
Magma emitted by a hot spot in the the ocean floor created the Hawaiian Islands. Acidic steam containing volcanic particles results when molten lava meets the sea.
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grandparents had personally witnessed the eruption and managed to escape. Thurston took the seven years between maps and calculated in the average length of a generation, then split the difference and guesstimated the 1790 date. SCIENCE TO THE RESCUE
Modern science recently rectified Thurston’s date. According to Jim Kauahikaua, scientist-in-charge at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, a battery of tests proved the flow from Kalua ‘o Lapa vent actually occurred more than 400 years ago. “Carbon-14 testing dates the eruption sometime between 1480 and 1600, and parallel magnetic-pole testing showed similar but consistent variations,” explains Kauahikaua. “We wonder if the oral histories were misinterpreted by nonnative speakers. The word for ‘elders’ or ‘ancestors’ may have been wrongly translated as ‘grandparents.’ It’s also possible that the Hawaiians were describing a later series of smaller flows in the area and not the flow that went into the ocean.” The relatively short 400- to 500-year span since this eruption is the reason why volcanologists classify the apparently resting mountain as an “active volcano.” It may not look like it now but, according to Kauahikaua, “Haleakalā will erupt again.” Luckily, Hawai‘i volcanoes almost never erupt explosively like Mount St. Helens. In keeping with the laid-back lifestyle of the Island, even the volcanoes here tend to erupt gently and just go with the flow. S E E I N G M AU I ’S L A S T L AVA F LO W
Visitors can see Maui’s last lava flow by driving approximately three miles south of Makena Beach & Golf Resort. The smooth, narrow road winds past tropical shoreline views into the ‘Āhihi-Kīna‘u Natural Area Reserve. (Visitors must remain on the road as the reserve is currently closed to the public.) Then, without warning, one of Maui’s most bizarre landscapes appears: a mile-wide river of jagged rock formations extends from mountain to shore, dissected by the highway. This 1.7-mile self-guided tour of a coastal lava field is a paradox of beauty and devastation unique to this region of Maui. Gaze up toward Haleakalā’s summit and locate Pu‘u Mahoe, the source of the smoother upper flow at the 2,600-foot elevation. Look for a mixture of smooth and rough, rocky lava. Below, at the 469-foot level, is Kalua ‘o Lapa, a cinder cone and font of the lower, more jagged lava, that appears to tumble down Haleakalā’s southern slope. MAKENA
The site of the first visit by Europeans to Maui,
L A PandEits surrounding R O UareaSis E B A Y today a reserve containing marine ecosystems, lava fields and archaeological treasures. text by JILL ENGLEDOW
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(FROM LEFT) ©JENNA SZERLAG/PACIFIC STOCK-DESIGN PICS/SUPERSTOCK; THE ART ARCHIVE/SUPERSTOCK
The dramatic shoreline of La Perouse Bay,
located four miles south of Makena Resort, is a place of stark contrasts: black lava stretches down Haleakalā’s southwestern slopes to meet white sand and sea foam, while azure waves splash between lava-rock inlets that reach into the sapphire sea. A rough trail leads to small, sandy beaches scattered with bits of coral. Green kiawe trees shade the ground where villages once stood, hiding crumbling stone walls and the worn hollows where people sharpened stone tools and evaporated seawater to make salt. It was here that the first Europeans set foot on Maui. On May 30, 1786, the native people of the shoreline they called Keone‘ō‘io welcomed Jean-François de Galaup de la Pérouse, leader of a French scientific expedition exploring the Pacific Ocean. He had anchored off this dry coastline after attempting unsuccessfully to stop for trade around the southeast edge of Maui On May 30, 1786, near Hāna. There, canoe-paddling natives tried the native people valiantly to meet the expedition to trade their of the shoreline pigs and vegetables, but strong winds swiftly they called Keone‘o‘io carried La Pérouse’s ships out of reach. Rounding the southern point of the island, welcomed JeanLa Pérouse found a suitable anchorage at what François de Galaup he described as “a dismal coast, where torrents of de la Pérouse, leader lava had formerly flowed.” This was Keone‘ō‘io, of a French scientific which translates to the sandy place with ‘ō‘io expedition exploring (or bonefish, a Hawaiian delicacy). The villagers here depended on brackish springs and the the Pacific Ocean. harvest of the sea to survive. It was a brief visit, as La Pérouse left the next day, having refreshed the food stores of his two frigates by trading with Keone‘ō‘io residents eager to acquire pieces of iron. He had sailed to Hawai‘i only to determine whether the island group shown on old Spanish charts existed. Unable to locate them, he decided the islands were erroneously mapped and were actually Hawai‘i, the “Sandwich Islands” that British explorer Captain James Cook had mapped in 1778. In 1973, the area was designated for protection by the U.S. Depart ment of Land and Natural Resources, and became known as the ‘Āhihi-Kīna‘u Natural Area Reserve. The 1,238-acre reserve—807 of which are submerged—contains complex marine ecosystems, rare and fragile anchialine ponds (landlocked bodies of water with subterranean connections to the ocean), endangered native-plant communities and lava fields from Haleakalā’s last eruption, some 400 to 500 years ago, in addition to Hawaiian archeological treasures. Portions of the reserve have been closed to the public since 2008, as the state develops plans to further protect the area from invasive species and careless human harm. Visitors can still snorkel to view the area’s plentiful fish and marine life at Waiala Cove (one of only two areas of the reserve that is still open to the public), see Kalua ‘o Lapa (site of the last lava flow) from the road to La Perouse Bay and hike along the coastline. It’s as close to an adventure into ancient Hawai‘i as one is likely to find on Maui. MAKENA
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Hanohano launa ‘ole A‘o Maui la i ka la‘i Ha‘aheo no kualono A‘o Maui nō la ka ‘oi ‘A‘ohe lua e like ai ō Mahiehie launa ‘ole Hia‘ai wale Haleakala A ‘o Maui nō la ka ‘oi Majestic beyond compare Is Maui in the calm Proud, her mountain tops For Maui excels There is none to compare with her In her calm tranquility A joy always, is Haleakala Maui excels
FROM MAUI NŌ KA ‘OI—REV. SAMUEL KAPU
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