A NEW STAR JOINED the already bright roster of culinary powerhouses at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on Maui’s northwest shore. Chef Isabelle “Bella” Toland joined the resort this spring when its reimagined signature restaurant, The Banyan Tree, reopened.
Toland’s esteemed reputation in the industry preceded her recent appointment; she joins the Hawai’ian luxury property from Travaasa Hana, where she directed food and beverage efforts since 2016. Prior to that, she worked for Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, including as sous chef at Spago at Four Seasons Resort Maui, where she immersed herself in traditional Hawai’ian cuisine and culture.
After delighting their taste buds at The Banyan Tree, guests at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua can also enjoy newly reimagined guestrooms, new décor, an indulgent spa, five other dining experiences, meeting space, luxury cabanas, Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program and much more.
WHICH DESTINATIONS INSPIRED YOU, AND HOW HAS THAT INSPIRATION TRANSLATED INTO YOUR CULINARY CONCEPTS? Growing up with a French dad and a Fil- Spanish mother, food has always been part of loving. It’s a culture as opposed to a choice. I spent most of my teenage years in Manila, spending summers in California and Hawai’i. My parents have always been travelers and so have I. So I guess I am a world nomad with many cultures involved in my cooking and lifestyle. Asian flavors and French techniques have always been present in my menus and cooking. It’s always evolving as well. My most recent travels to Nepal expanded my spice cabinet, and Marseilles has me using more fennel lately.
WHOM DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR CULINARY HERO? Anthony Bourdain always intrigued me. I loved his authenticity and lack of “caring what others think” mentality. His travels and need to explore and try things others wouldn’t are things I push for myself.
WHAT ONE PERSON MOST INFLUENCED YOUR COOKING STYLE? My mom — she left Manila at 18 years old and moved to New York City, where she met my dad. Then they lived in Bordeaux and moved to the Philippines and later California. She’s a wacky one, and always pushes to be different. That goes for her cooking; I grew up eating classic French food to which she always added her twist.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD CITY? Paris. I can have all types of cuisine and all types done properly. The French have food and wine in their culture. You don’t have to be a chef to know good food techniques and wine knowledge.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT BIG TREND ON THE FOOD SCENE WILL BE? Family style — more and more we see restaurants moving away from the classical three-course meal. The hardest thing about going out is wanting to eat everything but not physically being able to order 10 menu items. That’s why tasting menus have taken off. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a $300-plus meal, so why not share everything and taste more?
At The Banyan Tree, this is something we push for. We want guests to be able to take a bit of the first dish, then go back and compare it to the third, fourth or fifth. We want everyone to eat together, talk about the food and pass the dishes down the table as you would at home or at a dinner party.
THE BANYAN TREE
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
1 Ritz-Carlton Drive
Kapalua, HI 96761
tel 808 669 6200
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
Lufthansa is starting an innovative new carbon offset program, Compensaid, which will allow customers to purchase CO2 neutral aviation fuels. The platform allows customers to replace the fossil fuel of their flights with sustainable aviation fuel.
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United Airlines announces a number of new routes.
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For those without accessibility issues, going to the beach can be simple. There’s nothing to do but pack up your gear, head to the shore and walk out onto the sand. For those who may be inhibited, however, the beach poses more of a challenge.