Stroll any city’s farmers market and you get to nibble on fruit slices, celery sticks, the latest cheese samples, and taste exotic olive oils. Boring! The food and beverage team at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea has blown up the farmers market concept, taking guests and the experience to new professional heights.
Every Friday night, Maui’s farmers market meets Four Seasons at DUO Steak and Seafood’s Market Night. The weekly dining experience takes “farm-to-table” to the next level by showcasing seasonal local produce and allowing guests to hand-pick their dinners from displays overflowing with the freshest seafood and premium cuts of meats. In the centre of the restaurant is a beautiful local produce stand from which guests create their own salads from a wide variety of the farm fresh ingredients.
Other features of the market include a hand-sliced charcuterie station, a dessert station and a brew station spotlighting specialty craft beers by local brewery Maui Brewing Co.
Adding to the ambiance is a live musician and a Keiki Corner, a place to let the kids be kids while Mom and Dad enjoy a leisurely meal. Supervised by the Kids for All Seasons staff, the Keiki Corner features entertainment such as face painters and balloon artists, butcher paper table cloths and crayons for budding artists, games and toys, and, of course, a keiki buffet.
Executive Chef Craig Dryhurst has made it his mission to support community farmers and fisherman by locally sourcing ingredients for the Resort’s restaurants whenever possible. He maintains strong relationships with several key farmers by visiting them regularly, ensuring that the Resort receives only the freshest, best quality produce. Head chef of DUO Steak and Seafood Michael Wilson, who also is passionate about using local, sustainable ingredients, incorporates many of these products into his inventive Market Night menu. The result is a menu that is approximately 70 percent locally sourced, with items that support upwards of 60 local fisherman, ranchers and farmers.
“The Market Night concept was born out of the desire to provide our guests with an authentic local experience,” says Stephane Castera, Director of Food and Beverage. “It allows us to highlight Maui’s amazing agricultural community and the gorgeous products that are grown here in a fresh new way that guests are really enjoying.”
The scene is further set by incorporating small pots of locally grown herbs and Hawaiian ti leaves on the dining tables. Locally made produce stands and signage are also part of the decor. Hostesses wear Hawaiian inspired summer dresses, and servers’ uniforms incorporate hints of Hawaiian patterns.
The restaurant donates one dollar from each Produce Stand Salad sold to Grow Some Good, the nonprofit program dedicated to creating hands-on outdoor learning experiences that cultivate curiosity about natural life cycles, connect students to their food sources, and inspire better nutrition choices.