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A Pioneering Locavore Bistro in Maui


Hawaii is blessed with abundant natural resources – especially the edible kind. From fresh fish to fresh vegetables, the islands are teeming with life, both on and off land. So it’s a bit of a head-scratcher that the locavore craze – which has even taken hold in such inhospitable environs as the scorching, drought-prone Austin, Texas – took a while to get going in Hawaii.

That’s Food & Wine magazine’s take, and its editors credit Market Fresh Bistro chef Jeff Pardo as the man who led the charge. From his kitchen in Maui, Pardo has worked tirelessly to create gorgeous, inventive, and, of course, tasty dishes using only the best natural ingredients, the overwhelming majority of which come from Hawaii.

The method to his madness is strongly hinted at in his restaurant’s name: Pardo simply scours a slew of farmer’s markets – including the Makawao Market (3654 Baldwin Avenue) – selects what he needs, and heads back to his digs.  These tireless searches and the careful preparations they inspire have garnered Market Fresh Bistro lots of praise. (Food & Wine, for example, named it No. 44 of 100 on its 2010 “Go List.”)

Perhaps the best way to experience this jewel of an eatery is on Thursdays, when Pardo and his team put on a special themed dinner. This week, Pardo, along with his sommelier David Magenheim and sister/”culinary cupid” Olivia Coletti, have created a menu based on a Mediterranean theme.

Every one of these events we’ve attended has been terrific. For more information or to place a reservation for Thursday’s dinner, call 808-572-4877.