Practice Aloha for Mark Ellman

The creator of Practice Aloha Mark Ellman, iconic Maui chef and restaurtaeur, has passed away. He was 67....

Beloved Maui Chef Passes Away

Mark Ellman, the creator of Practice Aloha and iconic Maui chef and restaurateur, has passed away. He was 67.

Ellman’s culinary career began at the age of 13. He took ownership of his first Maui restaurant, Avalon, in 1991 in Lahaina.

He founded Maui Tacos in Napili in 1993. He also owned the Mexican eatery Frida’s Beach House, with cuisine inspired by painter Frida Khalo, and owned and operated various establishments, including Mala Ocean Tavern, Mala Wailea, and Honu Seafood, among others.

He was a mentor, he employed hundreds of people, and he served as a father figure to many.

Ellman was also one of a dozen chefs to pioneer the Hawai’i regional cuisine movement, alongside Sam Choy, Philippe Padovani, Roger Dikon, Gary Strehl, Roy Yamaguchi, Amy Ferguson Ota, Jean-Marie Josselin, George Mavrothalassitis, Bev Gannon, Peter Merriman, and Alan Wong.

He was instrumental in the creation of the cookbook, The New Cuisine of Hawai’i. His contributions to our island and community are incalculable, and he will be sorely missed.

He practiced aloha.

Jacob Shafer

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