Merriman's Restaurant for dining in Waimea on the Big Island Hawaii

Merriman's Restaurant
Home of Hawaii Regional Cuisine
65-1227 Opelo Road
Kamuela (Waimea), Hawaii 96743
Phone: 808.885.6822
Fax: 808.885.8756


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Chef's Bio
Peter Merriman

Chef and Restaurateur Peter Merriman is a culinary pioneer, a man of vision who is ever-advancing Hawaii's thriving culinary scene.

After arriving on Hawaii Island in 1983, to accept a position with the world-class Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, Merriman was quickly promoted to Executive Chef of the Resort's Gallery Restaurant.

Peter Merriman, Chef and Restaurateur

It was at the Mauna Lani where Peter began to develop his vision as the pioneer of Hawaii Regional Cuisine.

Peter's reputation flourished and in 1988, he and his wife Vicki opened their signature upcountry restaurant, Merrimen's, in Waimea. At his restaurant, Peter deepened his personal relationships with several local farmers and ranchers, encouraging them to grow produce, range-raised meats and new varieties of vegetables and fruits for incorporation within his dynamic menu.

While he established this new culinary and agricultural movement, Merriman's, Waimea, quickly became the culinary crossroads for Hawaii Regional Cuisine, earning critical acclaim from diners and publications throughout the world.

For Peter, his flagship restaurant offers an authentic dining experience. "Our interpretation allows the predominant natural flavors of the food to come through. If you combine too many flavors, you've disguised the food and you've confused the palette," Peter says. "We showcase the food, not a complicated preparation, so our guests authentically taste the lettuce organically grown in Waimea; they authentically enjoy our wonderful local tomatoes."

Merriman's uses 90% local product in its dishes, a standard unsurpassed within the Hawaii culinary world, and many of his growers farm organically.

Peter's culinary interpretation also is the predominant creative force at his more casual restaurant, Merriman's Market Cafe, Waikoloa King's Shops on Hawaii Island. Opened in November 2003, this charming cafe offers indoor/outdoor seating and a diverse menu, ranging from Hummus with Warm Pita to the Tagine Roasted Fresh Island Catch, Moroccan Style.

Peter Merriman, at-a-glance
Hometown: ▪ Pittsburgh, Penn.
Education: ▪ University of Pennsylvania, Political Science degree
▪ American Culinary Federation, three-year chef's apprentice program
Early Mentors: ▪ Master Chef Ferdinand Metz, H.J. Heinz Co.
▪ Chef Hans Schadler, Woodstock Inn
Interesting Facts: ▪ Mother, Woodene, was a prominent food writer and restaurant critic for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
▪ Attended the University of Pennsylvania on a football scholarship.
▪ Worked in the Champagne vineyards of France.
▪ Married with three children.
▪ Loves to read; stays abreast of political and economic events; enjoys hiking; was an Eagle Scout as a boy and now serves on Maui's Executive Council for the Boy Scouts.
Philanthropy: ▪ The Merriman's Foundation provides educational scholarships for students interested in the culinary arts.
▪ Peter and his businesses support various community efforts and non-profits, from agricultural endeavors to local arts organizations.
Additional Business Endeavors: ▪ Hula Grill, Lahaina, Maui
▪ Merriman's Market Cafe, Waikoloa King's Shops, Hawaii Island
Aspirations: "My personal passion is to stay in motion. I enjoy innovation within the culinary realm, so it seems like I'm always moving forward to further showcase Hawaii Regional Cuisine and the farmers and ranchers that make HRC possible. Stay posted, we have some exciting things on the horizon." -- Peter Merriman
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