Mark Ellman Chef Owner his wife Judy Ellman have lived on Maui for 30 years where we have raised a family of three daughters, Tina, Ariana and Michelle. Also they have raised a family of restaurants on three islands in Hawaii, Maui Tacos, Penne Pasta Café and Mala Ocean Tavern.
Mark and Judy met over 30 years ago in a small western town in Los Angeles where Judy was the bartender and Mark was a cook in the kitchen at a Mexican Restaurant in Calabasas.
They fell in love and opened their first restaurant in Sherman Oaks California called Cuisine Cuisine, a small Italian Eatery., Where they made homemade pasta and great friends. Eventually, they moved to Colorado for new surroundings, too cold.
Maui it was to be in 1985 Mark and Judy landed on Maui and knew they were home.
In 1987 they opened their highly acclaimed Avalon Restaurant and Bar in downtown Lahaina where Mark forged a path of Pacific Rim Cuisine and eventually along with eleven other Hawaii Chefs formed the Hawaii Regional Cuisine Movement.
Roy Yamaguchi, Sam Choy , Peter Merriman, Alan Wong, Roger Dikon, Amy Ferguson Ota, Gary Strehl, Pierre Padovanni, George Mavro, Jean Marie Josselin, Beverly Gannon, Mark Ellman, Together they published a compilation of recipes, giving each chef their own chapter.
In 1998 Mark and Judy sold Avalon to concentrate on their small taco stands called Maui Tacos, which they started in 1993, because they missed their beloved Mexican food of Los Angeles.
In 2001 they also opened a small Italian Café called Penne Pasta Café where Mark enjoys his Italian heritage from foods from the south of the boot. It is a small family eatery serving paper-thin pizzas, pastas and salads, Lamb Osso Bucco, Roast Chicken and Fresh Island Fish. Penne Pasta Café is now in its 6th year.
In 2005 Mark and Judy opened Mala Ocean Tavern, along with their daughters, Ariana and Michelle, a small Oceanside tavern serving Mediterranean and Pacific Rim and even some Latino flavored dishes.
With long time friend and partner Shep Gordon Mala Wailea was created for the Wailea Beach Marriott resort and spa.
In 2008 Mark and Judy sold Penne Pasta Café, and their chain,Maui Tacos, to focus on Mala and Mala Wailea and Honu. Mark Ellman is the author and editor of his book called Practice Aloha, Secrets to Living Life Hawaiian Style. A gathering of stories, songs and recipes from famous and not so famous people that live in the land of Aloha.