UH Maui College’s Leis Family Class Act Restaurant – Maui’s Best Kept Culinary Secret Revealed

I’ve got another best kept secret for you too! During the past 2 years, in addition to being a full time Realtor, I attended the UH Maui College Maui Culinary Academy as a full time student.


I graduated in May with a degree in Culinary Arts and Baking. Boy, what a crazy, hectic 2 years that was. My reasoning, the real estate market was slow! Anyway, I have always wanted to write a real estate related blog combining my culinary world with my real estate world, and here it is.

What’s Maui’s Best Kept Culinary Secret?

I was excited and not really surprised to hear that the Leis Family Class Act Restaurant was named Open Table Diners “Best Overall Restaurant Hawaii as reported by MauiNow.com list.

If you haven’t been there yet, it’s located on the second floor of the Pa’ina building with amazing views of the Kahului Harbor and the West Maui Mountains.┬áThe restaurant features a very reasonable $32 price fixed 4 course menu for lunch only on Wednesdays and Fridays during the school session.

Both the front and back of the house are manned by students under the direction of Chef instructors. It’s probably the best deal on the island if you can make the time. If you like to have a cocktail at lunch, you can BYOB. If you are interested, here is the Fall ’12 Menu.

The menu schedule is laid out in themes: American, French, Moroccan, Pacific Island and Italian. The offerings are too numerous to mention so just check out the menu, and if you have a leisurely Wednesday or Friday afternoon to spend, I suggest you head on out.

My Recipe For Success

The culinary school experience was so amazing and I now have a new found respect for cooks. I was always good in the kitchen, but my skills have grown beyond my wildest dreams. I have included Sous Vide cooking in my repertoire. I will occasionally dabble in some molecular gastronomy and I make some amazing desserts. Chicken stock from scratch, no problem. Filleting a salmon, no problem; slaughtering a hog…well, I stop there!

I needed to keep my real estate persona separate from my culinary persona so I blogged under the moniker “tinfoilduck.” I did a weekly blog about my life in culinary school. I was once featured on the WordPress “Freshly Pressed” site and had over 5,000 blog views one weekend. It was awesome.

If you like, I’m including one of my blogs from my Leis Family Class Act days. You can live vicariously through me on the road to culinary school. I’m hoping someday to compile all 85 blogs into a book. (Any publishers out there?) Take a journey with me: Culinary School Here I Come (38) Week 13, Pacific Rim Cuisines, Malasadas on Fire and Pork Loin.

So that was then, and now I’m back in the real world dealing with adults, not the 18 and 19 year olds in culinary school. The biggest takeaway for me was that I can do anything that I set my mind to do. If I could juggle real estate sales and culinary school for 2 years, I can do anything.

People ask me how can I meld both the culinary and real estate together. I say that my clients will have the best closing dinners ever. So if you’d like an amazing 6 course gourmet dinner cooked for you and 4 of your closest friends, list or buy a house through me! I hope you liked this post.

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4 Responses to “UH Maui College’s Leis Family Class Act Restaurant – Maui’s Best Kept Culinary Secret Revealed”

  1. Katie Minkus, R(BIC)
    October 20, 2012 at 8:56 am #

    Ken, if you need a BIC present for any of those closing dinners, I’m available!! Until then, let’s hit lunch – sounds amazing and you need to be my “tour guide!”

    • Ken Molina R(S)
      October 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

      @katie – The Class Act restaurant has a conference room that seat up to 20 or so, so if we ever want to hold an office wide lunch meeting, we could probably reserve it….just suggesting!

  2. Heidi Farmer, R(S)
    October 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

    I am going to send my daughter who lives in California this blog, she just told me today she wants to go to culinary school. And yes I have gone there for lunch, is is great.

    • Ken Molina R(S)
      October 21, 2012 at 10:52 am #

      @heidi – she can read about my whole 2 year experience. It’s a great profession to get involved in. Lots of opportunity for advancement…if you are young!

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