Fresh salad supports up-and-coming Maui farmers
Greg Gifford is one of the founding chefs of the “Localicious, Dine Out Maui” program, which aims to keep agriculture thriving on Maui by raising money for the Maui County Farm Bureau’s “Growing Future Farmers” campaign.
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When Greg Gifford, head chef of Duke’s Beach House at the Honua Kai Resort in North Kaanapali, cooks, he starts with fresh, local ingredients to spotlight Maui’s amazing produce and fish.
With nearly one decade at Duke’s Beach House and 27 years with its parent company, TS Restaurant Group Hawai‘i and California, Gifford said he enjoys working with his team at the oceanfront eatery and is proud that giving back to the community is ingrained in the company’s culture.
TS Restaurant Group is one of Maui’s leaders when it comes to community giving. When Rob Thibaut and Sandy Saxton founded the company in 1977, giving back was at the forefront of their business plan. Their Legacy of Aloha program provides not only monetary donations, but shares its resources with charities and nonprofit organizations that support youth, kupuna, the environment, education, music, arts, agriculture and more.
Gifford is one of the founding chefs of the “Localicious, Dine Out Maui” program, which aims to keep agriculture thriving on Maui by raising money for the Maui County Farm Bureau’s “Growing Future Farmers” campaign. Participating restaurants donate a portion of the proceeds from the Localicious salad selection on their menus to help Maui’s next-generation farmers who want to expand their farms or simply need funds to maintain existing farm operations. Other beneficiaries include college students pursuing agricultural degrees with an interest in farming on Maui.
It was Gifford, with Scott McGill, corporate chef for TS Restaurant Group, who launched “Localicious, Dine Out Maui” along with former chef Chris Schobel, Charlie Owen of Hula Grill Ka‘anapali, Tylun Pang from the Fairmont Kea Lani, Francois Milliet from the Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Eric Faivre and Mike Lofaro of Grand Wailea, and others.
All of these chefs are well-known supporters of agriculture on Maui who buy locally grown produce, value-added agricultural products and proteins first.
Consumers can make a difference, too, by buying local ingredients and supporting restaurants and chefs who buy local. When you visit Duke’s Beach House, you can support local agriculture by ordering pretty much anything on the menu since most of dishes feature local fish, beef and produce.
A former marathon runner, Gifford’s philosophy and passion for cooking extends to his home life. He enjoys making delicious, healthful meals for his wife, Nicola, and their three sons.
Gifford’s Maui Farm Salad is Duke Beach House’s official “Localicious” dish.
Maui Farm Salad
By Chef Greg Gifford, Duke’s Beach House
8 ounces Maui-grown lettuce
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/4 Maui onion, sliced
1/4 fennel bulb, sliced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 ounces macadamia nuts, diced
1/2 shaved watermelon radish
1/2 cup shaved cauliflower
1/2 cup shaved yellow zucchini
1/2 cup shaved green zucchini
1/2 cup shaved turnip
Papaya Seed Dressing
2 medium, overripe papaya, peeled, plus seeds
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1-3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
9 tablespoons honey
2-1/2 cups canola oil
Combine all dressing ingredients except oil in a blender and blend until smooth. Slowly drizzle oil into blender until dressing is thoroughly combined.