An east coast boy, born and raised, Michael Lofaro kept heading west until he landed on Maui. He's currently chef de cuisine of Humu Humu at Grand Wailea, a Polynesian thatch-roof restaurant serving Hawai’i seasonal cuisine, including delicious island fish and meat entrees. A husband, father, and long course triathlete, he loves exploring his beautiful slice of the island.
What are three things you wish people knew about you?
I am actually a really shy guy and dislike confrontation. I am completely devoted to my friends and family. My brother made me eat snow cap candies till I was sick once; I can’t even look at the box to this day!
What are you most proud of?
My four beautiful children.
What is your most cherished possession?
My family, I couldn’t ask for a stronger support system
What was the best gift you’ve ever received?
Being shown different parts of the country when I was little by my parents. Some people never leave a town or state. I thank my family for encouraging me to travel and explore, although I think they wish I was closer now!
What is your favorite thing to splurge on?
Triathlon gear, spearfishing equipment, and clothes.
When traveling, what do you never leave home without?
My running shoes, I always have to go for at least one run wherever I go.
Where is your all-time favorite travel destination?
Colorado mountains in the winter are pretty epic
Describe the perfect weekend in Maui.
Camping out in Hana with the family and friends. Bodysurfing the corner at Hamoa all day. Playing with my daughter in the sand and chasing her down the beach. Throwing a baseball with my older boys and diving. Lighting a fire, cooking what we catch or brought, and having a family cribbage tournament. It’s a dream weekend.
What makes someone a local in Maui?
Your attitude toward this place and others. Be humble, be respectful.
Tell us about your favorite restaurant or cafe in Maui.
My wife and I love Izakaya Matsu in Kihei. Small place, great people and food, and we love to sip Orion beer out of small glasses and just catch up on life with each other.
What is the most unique experience in Maui?
Really getting to know true history and practices of this place. The symbiotic relationship that Hawaiians had with its plants and sea life, each other. What always sticks with me is remembering that in Hawaiian belief, we are the younger siblings of that plant or that rock and that stream. We show it the same respect we would show our older siblings. Very important lesson!
What is the perfect souvenir from Maui?
Knowledge. Learn about this place when you’re here. Yes, enjoy the surf, sun, and fun, but this place has a magical history filled with beautiful people. Show them the respect of spreading aloha to your place from theirs.