You might imagine Hawaii’s climate to be nothing but an endless summer, but it actually features 11 of the world’s 13 climate zones, each with its own unique ecosystem. In just one afternoon, you can experience humid tropical zones (perfect for growing fruit and honey blossoms), semi-arid hills (where hearts of palm thrive) and temperate regions at higher mountain altitudes (where farmers grow coffee beans and world-class chocolate).
What does this rich diversity spell for the menus at Beach Tree and ‘ULU? An embarrassment of riches when it comes to ingredients – some 75% of the food at ‘ULU is sourced locally.
Indeed, we challenge every dish for regionality, right down to the ingredients for our marinades and sauces: local honey or Maui brown sugar instead of processed white sugar, Maui onion instead of shallots, and local soy whenever possible.
And we’re constantly striving to go even further. We’ve recently circulated to local farmers a wish list of items we can currently get only from the mainland. In the meantime, we buy our grass-fed meats from Kulana Foods, a nearby ranch that dry-ages one whole carcass for us per week, and we feature local wild boar that graze the macadamia nut fields nearby. Most of our sustainable seafood comes from the Natural Energy Lab of Hawaii’s (NELHA’s) aquaculture farms, where cold, nutrient-rich seawater is pumped up from 2000 feet (610 metres) below.