Media Contact:

Megan Haertling

The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui

Tel 808/875-2236



Wailea, Maui, Hawai΄i, April 24, 2013 – Kō, the signature restaurant at The Fairmont Kea Lani, was recently honored with Maui’s most prestigious dining accolade, The 2013 Restaurant of The Year ‘Aipono Award. The recently-renovated restaurant also earned the gold award for Best Hawaiian Regional Cuisine. Kō, which translates to “sugarcane” in Hawaiian, showcases the diverse culinary history of the sugarcane plantation era, serving innovative Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean, and Japanese dishes. The expansive menu utilizes nearly 90% local ingredients and features family recipes that have been passed down for generations.

“We’re honored to accept the award for Restaurant of the Year,” said Executive Chef Tylun Pang. “Our team takes tremendous pride in showcasing cuisine that represents Maui’s many cultures. We couldn’t have been successful this year without the support of our island community. We’re very grateful.”

‘Aipono combines the Hawaiian words ‘ai (food) and pono (excellence) to encompass the theme of exceptional dining. Sponsored by Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi magazine, the ‘Aipono Awards annually recognize the best of Maui’s food, wine and hospitality industries. Winners are selected by Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi magazine readers.

Kō restaurant received four ‘Aipono awards in April 2012, including the gold award for Best Menu for a Small Planet and the silver award for both Best Epicurean Twist on a Local Favorite and Best Hawaii Regional Cuisine. At that time, the Maui County Farm Bureau also awarded Executive Chef Tylun Pang its Friend of Agriculture award for his support of local purveyors and agriculture programs.

“Kō restaurant is certainly deserving of this honor,” said Diane Haynes Woodburn, Publisher of MauiNō Ka ‘Oi Magazine. “The menu is a delicious celebration of our island’s heritage, presented beautifully with attention to every detail.”

Prior to the Awards Gala, Kō collaborated with Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi magazine to host an ‘Aipono Wine Dinner featuring Storybook Mountain Vineyards. The dinner, which benefited Maui Culinary Academy, was prepared in part by students Kendra Carter and Peamsook Park, the 2013 recipient of the Fairmont Kea Lani’s $5,000 Tylun Pang Aspiring Chef Scholarship.

“Maui Culinary Academy is grateful for the generosity, friendship and support of Kō restaurant,” said Chris Speere, External Program Coordinator at the Maui Culinary Academy. “Our students aspire to be the next generation of great chefs in Hawaii and capture meaningful and relevant skills under Chef Pang’s mentorship. We offer our deepest congratulations on Kō’s numerous accolades, including Restaurant of the Year.”

To learn more about Kō restaurant, visit or watch the short Kō video.



Located on the pristine white sands of Wailea, The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui is Hawaii’s only luxury oceanfront resort featuring spacious suites and villas.  This distinctive hotel encompasses 22 acres of tropical landscape and offers authentic Hawaiian cultural experiences and warm and personal service which portray the essence of aloha.  A luxurious haven in one of the most scenic places on earth, the resort rests gracefully on Polo Beach, situated on the sunny southwest shores of Maui.




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Maralyn D. HillThe Epicurean Explorer

International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA)

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