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Bev Gannon – Chef and Businesswoman Extraordinaire

Chef Bev Gannon

Chef Bev Gannon

For the past ten years Bev Gannon, her restaurants, and catering business, have garnered enough awards to fill the entire wall of her upcountry dining room including Top Maui Restaurant as noted by Honolulu Magazine’s Hale `Aina Award,  in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 and Maui No Ka Oi Magazine’s `Aipono Award in 2004, 21005, 2006. Readers of the Maui News voted her Best Chef on Maui this year, but she was almost too busy to notice!

Bev Gannon is on a roll! Admittedly, she’s been rolling along for twenty years, ever since moving to Maui and opening Hali`imaile General Store.  It’s not as if success is anything new for Chef Gannon, but the past year we’ve seen her stand in the spotlight even more than usual as the winsome and highly acclaimed Chef ratchets her significant talents to a whole new level.

Perhaps it’s the satisfaction she gained after celebrating Hali`imaile’s twentieth birthday last year, or the inspiration derived recently by finishing her second cookbook, Family Style Meals at the Hali`imaile General Store, or the fact she’s added yet another restaurant to her list of enterprises.

The Restaurants!
Already there was Joe’s in Wailea, Hali`maile General Store, the Lanai Grill, and Celebration Catering. Then in August Chef Gannon “quietly” took over Sea Watch in Wailea. After participating in the upcoming Restaurant Week Wailea, Nov. 8-14th during which a prix fixe menu will be offered at Sea Watch for $29, (link here) the doors of Sea Watch will temporarily close December 1st for a full remodeling. Quite an undertaking, sure to result in a new and exciting dining experience for Maui.

Flying High!
Bev also serves as executive chef for Hawaiian Airlines and constantly updates the innovative menu options. Her delicious food is one of the main reasons to fly Hawaiian! What other airline serves duck stir-fry or Grilled Salmon with Coconut Curry Sauce and Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes? Beyond creating menus, Bev supervises chefs in all major Hawaiian air terminal locations –from Sydney to Portland, Oregon, and shares her recipes via in-flight videos. (Try this recipe for Blackened Ahi with Sweet Thai Chili Sauce, Wasabi Greens, Tobiko & Mashed Potatoes which I snatched from Bev’s Blog.)

The Spotlight!
Chef Gannon accomplishes all that when she is not fulfilling her role as media darling, appearing with Sam Choy, Rachel Ray, Giada or giving cooking demonstrations on the mainland. (Search YouTube to see some of the places Bev has appeared on camera in the past twenty years.)

The Community!
In her role as community leader, Bev believes in giving back to many local organizations including the Maui Food Bank, Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center, and the Maui Culinary Academy.

On December 6th, Bev is offering her home as part of the Holiday Home Tour sponsored by the Maui branch of Planned Parenthood to benefit educational outreach programs. Although typically closed on Sundays, the gracious and generous Chef will open Hali`imaile General Store for tour participants from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Call 808-572-2666 for reservations and information.)

The Zin!
Adding to her impressive schedule and accomplishments, Bev will also headline at the 19th Annual Zinfandel Festival (or ZAP) in San Francisco, January 28-30, 2010. During the three day affair she will be wowing local foodies with a signature Hawaii dish “certain to surprise expectations,” among other expressions of her culinary talents. Because promoter John Hanhauser is such a Gannon Fan as well as Maui homeowner, the Maui Culinary Academy has been named a beneficiary of funds raised at the event.

The Woman!
Besides her obvious skills in the kitchen, it is her positive outlook, innate sense of hospitality, and practiced Aloha that all adds up and keeps the award winning Chef in such high demand. She’s been compared to Julia Child which is not totally off-track. Both women project a strong sense of themselves along with a love of food and the people they feed. Both crashed through gender barriers in a profession dominated by males. Bev was the only female member of the original twelve chefs who helped create the Hawaiian Regional Cuisine movement – the gang that started the whole “Pacific Rim” style of food preparation which took the world by storm and did for Hawaiian dining what Wynn did for Vegas. In short, Bev Gannon deserves all the accolades and opportunities that have come her way. We can’t wait to see what she takes on next!

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