Local Hero: Sheldon Simeon Helps Mould Maui
Known for cooking authentic Hawaiian food in unexpected locales, the celebrated chef takes on Maui’s tony Wailea.
It’s tough to believe it was eight years ago that a young Hilo-born chef named Sheldon Simeon was part of the opening team at Star Noodle, in an out-of-the-way business complex above the touristy town of Lahaina. At the time it was everything that most Maui restaurants weren’t; it was cheap and the pan-Pacific cooking was unbelievably pure. Word soon spread amongst both locals and visiting foodies, and Simeon—thanks in part to a popular Top Chef appearance—became something of a celebrity chef.
After a few years he moved on, opening the sublime lunch spot Tin Roof, again in an unexpected location, a strip mall in busy Kahalui. It was even cheaper, the food was great and the lines were long. But as great as Tin Roof is, its urban location and lunchtime-only hours make it a tough order for most visitors. So when it was announced last year that Simeon was working on a new concept, hopes were very high.
The result is the newly opened Lineage—which is thankfully located not in some far-off industrial park but in the very swank Shops at Wailea, and it’s a game-changer. Local, without being hokey. Relaxed, but with a dialed-in menu showcasing gems like cold ginger chicken with green onion pesto and chili oil ($18). And it being Simeon, the prices are significantly lower than the most of Wailea. At this point maybe he should just run for mayor?