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PERSONAL CHEF

PERSONAL CHEF
FOOD FOR REAL PEOPLE

Friday, January 2, 2015

FRIDA'S BEACH HOUSE

It is a new year, the second day of 2015, I have some personals I need to take care of when all of a sudden my iPhone 5s rings. It's my business associate Sascha Bauml.

"Hey man what you doing?"
"I'm about to hit the road and take care of some personal stuff what's up?"
"Mark just called me up I need to take some photos of his new restaurant Frida's."

Okay I'm thinking, this should be interesting because anyone in the foodie world on Maui especially the west side understands if Mark Ellman does something, a good smart betting man would put money down on any business venture he starts, and the return on investment will be SAH WEEEEEEET!!!!

Mark's other restaurants in Lahaina are Mala Ocean Tavern (in Wailea too), he's part of the team that put Chef Sheldon Simeon in his own MIGRANT restaurant also in Wailea, as well as HONU right next door to Mala, and the new FRIDA'S BEACH HOUSE.
Judy (L) Mark (R) © 2015

Mark gave me a short tour of the soon to be opened Mexican Restaurant, that like his HONU and MALA eateries sits right on the water's edge in what is known as the Mala District of Lahaina, mention Mala to anyone who lives in Lahaina, great stories will be told. However, let's get to the new restaurant.

RON: Mark, what kind of food will you be offering here?

MARK: Ron let's go tour the kitchen.

Mark shows me the kitchen, all brand spanking new cooking equipment. I was thinking 'Man, if I can get a kitchen studio like this, with a stage for my own rock band, to film our cooking shows I'll be in f....ing heaven!!'

Mark shows me his new stove, complete with an oven underneath, the topside broilers or salamanders, the soup making equipment, deep fryers for fresh fried tortillas, a butcher room that will be the home of fresh cut meats to supply his two sister restaurants right next door.

MARK: We have a room that will have all the hook ups to all the beers... you guys gotta stop by when we open and come in and have a drink.

RON: Yes, we shall... we shall Mark.

Then we walk outside.

MARK: Monkey Pod tables, hand crafted.

JUDY: Yeah, we didn't want the place to look like it could be anybody's place, as much as we can, we want to put our own stamp on it.

RON: Hey that bar looks kick ass all wood?

Judy walks me over.

JUDY: Yep, all wood, the bottom half is coated, but the workers are finishing up the top of the bar.

MARK: Check out the lights Ron, fixtures from a barn.

I look up and the place feels rustic, Lahaina rustic infused with Mexico's rustic if that makes sense. 

JUDY: And Ron the trade winds seems to be a little bit breezier here than next door at Honu and Mala, so I think the patrons will enjoy this bar.

MARK: We met in the mid-70's I was a chef at a Mexican restaurant, and Judy was bartending.

RON: I wanna cry, beautiful... and now you guys are revisiting Mexican cuisine again.

JUDY: Yes we are.

The all wood bar Judy was talking about under its finishing stages © 2015
Monkey Pod Tables on the lanai © 2015
Back of the house ©2015

Kitchen brand new © 2015


MARK: Judy has great ideas, we worked together on building this concept, there really isn't any place better than this area, right on the water brah.

RON: Yeah, imagine you've come a long way Mark, I remember Avalon, then the Maui Tacos and Penne Pasta gigs, you really are one of the geniuses on this island when it comes to the restaurant business.

MARK: (Laughs), genius or idiot.

RON: Man, no idiot starts a food biz and lasts as long as you do man, seriously, not just a great chef, a businessman with a brand. That's what sets you apart.

MARK: Well, got to keep trying.

RON: You got a 'How to Succeed in Business on Maui book?"

MARK: (Laughs) Not yet....

JUDY: Guys I got to go thanks for stopping by.

Judy is busy with some details on the flooring, I've noticed that Judy is paying attention to detail, leading me to this conclusion. Mark and Judy isn't just making money in business, they love what they do, and they love the people they associate with in business. All the people I know that work for them love them to the max, that says a lot about them.

RON: Hey Mark, how did you guys get the name Frida's?

MARK: She's a Mexican painter, an artist, a movie was made about her starring Selma Heyak. Did you see that movie?
Portait of Frida Kahlo de Rivera

RON: I think I did, it was a nuts time back then, her story...

MARK: Yeah she started painting after a bus accident as a teenager... incredible story.

Well, Frida's Beach House is like a tribute to the painter artist, if you haven't been introduced to Frida's story, try googling her. Frida Kahlo de Rivera. Her story is incredible, she kind of lived on the edge, or in fact did. Okay, go ahead, for me? I just want to sample the food!!!! In a few weeks.

MARK: As soon as we get Maui Electric to do their thing, we're just holding on.

RON: I can't wait, so is there going to be a kick ass grand opening?

MARK: (Folds his arms, and rubs his face) No, not at all, it'll be like the one we had at Honu a few years ago remember? The opening will benefit the children of Hawaii.

RON: I guess no Alice Cooper, Aerosmith concert right outside, no closing down Front Street?

MARK: (Laughs) Not this time Ron, but I'll let you know when you guys stop by and we'll have a good time.

RON: Will do chef...

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