Maui Sunset Luau Dining: The Feast at Lele
When baby boomers travel to the Hawaiian Islands, one tourist attraction that tops a great many of their lists is the Hawaiian Luau.
We’ve been to a number of wonderful luaus in our many years of travel to Hawaii, but The Feast at Lele on the island of Maui stands unique among the bunch.
For those of you who fancy yourselves as a well-traveled foodie, you’ll be delighted to know that The Feast of Lele is the brainchild of one of Hawaii’s best chefs: James McDonald.
Here’s this from the James Beard Foundation:
“If you think all of Hawaii is aloha shirts and continental cuisine, or that the epitome of restaurant design there is the cantilevered umbrella at the poolside cafe, then you haven’t met James McDonald.
Chef/co-owner of pacific’O and i’o, McDonald fancies himself a rebel of sorts: he’s a skinny chef who can cook as well as the big boys; he dons periwinkle blue chef jackets instead of ho-hum white; and although he considers himself successful, young, and good-looking, in a Salvador Dali kind of way, he knows it’s the quality of the food that secures him a place in Hawaii’s pantheon of best chefs.”
Lele is the ancient name for Lahaina, and during this feast you will dine on the very beach where the royal family of Maui would feast and entertain.
Our previous luau experiences had us setting en masse at large tables. However, The Feast at Lele offers its guests romantic, white-clothed, candlelit tables that are set right on the sandy beach offering views of neighboring islands and stunning sunsets.
Here too, The Feast at Lele ventures into the unique when it comes to a traditional luau. Rather than solely focused on the cuisine of Hawaii, Chef McDonald takes his guests on a gastronomical journey around Polynesia.
Of course there was the famous Hawaiian Imu-roasted Kalua Pig with a side of Poi, but we also enjoyed fabulous cuisine from New Zealand, Tahiti, Samoa; a fabulous fifth course of desserts, and all the tropical cocktails, wine, and beer one desired included in the price.
In addition to the celebrated chef, the beautiful setting, and the glorious cuisine, there remains yet the wonderful show.
Interspersed between the cuisine of the various Polynesian Islands, we also enjoyed music, costumes, and dance from each of the islands.
Our show, courtesy of award-winning creative director Robert “Lopaka” Aguiar, began with beautiful Hawaiian Hula and then took us again around the Polynesian triangle with stops in New Zealand, Tahiti, and Samoa.
As I reflect back on our Feast of Lele luau experience, we both agree that this was one of our favorites.
We enjoyed the stunning sunset beach location, intimate tables on the beach, fabulous cuisine, lively and colorful performers, and most of all, each other’s company in one of the most romantic places in the world.
If you find yourself planning a visit to the island of Maui, we highly recommend serious consideration be given to an evening with Chef McDonald at his Feast at Lele in Lahaina Town.
We promise, you will love it!
Link: The Feast at Lele
Disclosure: our wonderful luau dining experience was provided by Chef James McDonald, and our Maui press trip was provided by the Maui Convention and Visitors Bureau. Thanks!
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