Just as the Cannes International Film Festival comes to a close, the Maui Film Festival is set to begin!
This is the 15th year that stars will flock to Wailea in Maui to celebrate a year of outstanding films and performances for the festival, which will begin on June 4.
Amongst the A-list attendees will be Lupita Nyong'o, who's set to receive the Rainmaker Award. Emma Roberts will also drop by to accept the Shining Star Award. And other honorees include Joe Manganiello, Evan Rachel Wood and producer Shep Gordon.
But let's be real—when the stars aren't on the red carpet they will be beachin' or eatin'. So we got the exclusive from Hotel Wailea's Executive Chef Brian Etheredge and Chef de Cuisine Christopher Kulis on what islanders munch on in paradise. From hidden gems in the form of gourmet food trucks to mouthwatering fruit-infused tropical brews, this menu will make you want to hop on the next plane to Maui. Here are the chef's top five tips for island dining:
1. Best A-Lister Meal: Porcini Crusted Ahi at Capische? in Hotel Wailea
"This dish is a favorite of ours and our guests alike, and we're serving it to the A-listers who will be attending the Opening Night Twilight Reception at Capische? for this year's Maui Film Festival. It's an incredible opportunity to highlight the very best Hawai'i has to offer— the root vegetables change with the season but are all picked daily from our own Wailea Organics garden on property, the tender ahi is brought in daily off the boats of Maui fishermen, the ali'i mushrooms are handpicked on the Big Island of Hawai'i, and the fun is sprinkled on top – Oahu-grown cocoa nibs. It's a delightfully unexpected combination of flavors. Chocolate and mushrooms? Trust us. We'll change the way you think about chocolate."
2. Secret Spot: Sushi Paradise in Kihei
"Owned and operated six days a week by the same Itamae (aka Japanese chef) and his wife for over 16 years, Sushi Paradise is a popular hangout for local chefs. From the outside, it's a very unassuming hole-in-the-wall, but the fish is of the freshest, highest quality and the chef slings his sashimi with passion. What more do you need?"
3. Local Grinds: Island Chef Food Truck on the Road to Hana
"Just past Nahiku on the road to Hana, a hollowed-out Winnebago sits by the side of the road. In it, a lone chef dishes out the best local kine plate lunches on the island. It's Chef Brian's go-to spot whenever he is on his way to Hana. The portions are hefty and the fish is super fresh."
4. Fast Food, Maui-Style: Foraging for Island Fruit
"We have the original fast food here on Maui…and it grows in everyone's backyard. Foraging for fruit is something that everyone should try when they are on the island. The selection is incredible and the fruit is abundant: rambutan, mango, banana, avocado, lychee, breadfruit, cherimoya (the 'ice cream fruit'), soursop, carambola (star fruit), lilikoi (passion fruit) to name a few. A friendly knock on a local's door can land you a feast fit for a king."
5. Trendiest Drink on the Island: The Kombucha Movement
"[This is] Maui's twist on microbrews and an instant spirit-lifter. With an ideal fermenting environment and such a wide variety of local fruit flavor infusions, Kombucha brewing has been raised to the level of art on this island. Chef Chris chose the Valley Isle Kombucha for his on-tap brew at The Market by Capische, which just opened in April. This week's selection: pineapple-ginger, cherry hibiscus and lillikoi."