PHOTGRAPHY BY MIEKO HORIKOSHI
RECIPES COURTESY OF ALOHA MIXED PLATE
When did Aloha Mixed Plate originally open?
NB: Aloha Mixed Plate opened in its current location, oceanfront in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii in 1996. We were briefly located in Kaahumanu Shopping Center in Kahului, Maui, Hawaii a couple of years before but that was short lived.
IP: As we are talking story Aloha Mixed Plate is being completely remodeled along with the menu.
What was the restaurant concept back in 1996 and has that concept changed today?
NB: Aloha Mixed Plate’s concept has always been to feature the food of the plantation days – we have a story we share with our guests to describe the history of the mixed plate that we refer to often.
IP: Our aloha is timeless and, moving forward, we are evolving our food to an extent but keeping the “Aloha is our first name” service standard alive and well. The food now is still of our plantation days but some menu items have been recreated using more modern techniques while keeping true to the flavors of Hawaii. Some specific menu items remain untouched – you need to come in and see what remains unchanged.
Chef Ivan, what was the inspiration for the new menu?
IP: Creating new menu items that reach back to our local favorites and using local ingredients from our own farm where we can utilize modern techniques to improve upon our already flavorful palate. A nod towards modern local food while paying close attention to our mixed plate roots.
Nicky, please tell us about the mission or style of service for Aloha Mixed Plate?
NB: Aloha Mixed Plate has always been casual service – we used to serve everything on paper plates and our service staff was knowledgeable, friendly and fun. Now we are moving toward a more formal setting – no more paper plates – but the service will not be changing. Friendly and fun is a timeless style that we think fits well with our food, our oceanfront location and with the changing food culture on Maui in general. Knowledge is a core feature of service.
We understand you have your own farm, how does this support the restaurant?
NB: Many of the new menu items feature Kalo from our farm, Na Hoaloha Farms. We are proud and diligent about sharing our knowledge about our farm and the many varieties of Kalo we grow there. We also are able to support other local farmers who participate in our farm location and in turn we are able to feature their items on our menu including cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, bananas and much more.
We know the company that owns Aloha Mixed Plate just celebrated their 30-year anniversary, what is the reason for your successful run?
NB: Na Hoaloha Ekolu – our parent company – is run by a team of the most caring people on the planet. I do not overstate when I say that. Besides the non-stop community service we do as a company or as individuals, the leadership – founded by Tim Moore, Michael Moore and Rob Aguiar– puts its employees first. Our success is directly impacted by our employee happiness. It’s by far the best place to work.
IP: I am personally inviting everyone to come and try our new menu; it’s served with a great ocean view and warm friendly service.
Aloha Mixed Plate