My Maui

Mi­grant ex­ec­u­tive chef shares his day.

Where Maui - - News - Shel­don Simeon

Simeon says, “Come my house. Eat.” Af­ter a suc­cess­ful run on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef,” Shel­don Simeon de­cided to take a five­month hia­tus from the lime­light to spend time with his fam­ily and to pon­der his fu­ture. We caught up with the pop­u­lar chef at his new restau­rant at Wailea Beach Mar­riott Re­sort.

It must have been a whirl­wind af­ter “Top Chef.” How has the show helped your ca­reer?

Af­ter I left Star Noo­dle last April with noth­ing in the pipe­line, I had a lot of of­fers from New York to San Fran­cisco but I wanted to stay on Maui. And then this op­por­tu­nity came up when Shep Gor­don (vet­eran Mauibased mu­sic ex­ec­u­tive) asked me to run Mi­GRANT Maui. I wanted to stay in the is­lands so I ac­cepted.

How do you de­scribe your style of cook­ing?

I cel­e­brate the food of my grand­par­ents, my aun­ties and un­cles, and my dad who — I’ll put it out there — is the best chef I know. When my mother died eight years ago, my dad and I re­ally didn’t speak much to each other. Food, though, brought us to­gether. He’s a welder by trade but he was al­ways cook­ing and our house was al­ways the gath­er­ing spot. I’ve def­i­nitely learned a lot from him.

Can you ex­plain the con­cept at Mi­GRANT?

The restau­rant’s name sug­gests im­mi­grants and the menu re­flects Hawaii’s mul­ti­cul­tural pop­u­la­tion. But we’re not do­ing tra­di­tional Filipino, Korean, Hawai­ian, Thai or Ja­panese dishes. We’re hav­ing fun with all the ingredients and cel­e­brat­ing lo­cal farm­ers and fish­er­men.

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