Merriman’s Waimea, Hawaii’s first carbon neutral restaurant, is thinking out-of-the-box when it comes to sustainability. Led by chef owner Peter Merriman, the restaurant has engaged in green practices since its inception, and is now introducing even more sustainability processes to continue their mission. The goal is to expand these initiatives to the group’s other locations in Kauai, Maui and Oahu.
Seaweed-fed goats, lighter wine bottles, and solar panels are among the many reasons this iconic restaurant has become carbon neutral.
by Regan Stephens - Published 3/8/23
When Peter Merriman opened his eponymous restaurant on Hawai'i’s Big Island in 1988, the chef was an early champion for working with local farmers and fishermen. Thirty-five years later, and with the help of solar panels, lighter wine bottles, and a new seaweed diet for goats, Merriman’s Waimea just became the state’s first carbon neutral restaurant.
“The restaurant business is a reflection of society, and [sustainability] is important for our industry, not just in Hawai'i, but all over,” says Merriman. “We can at least do our part.”
Merriman’s Waimea was recently featured in a TV segment for TBS Japan as part of the "Malama Hawaii" program, interviewing Ben Brinton, Merriman’s Waimea's GM, highlighting the companies commitment to Hawaii Regional Cuisine.
Introducing the top 100 restaurants that diners loved in 2022. To determine the list, we analyzed more than 13 million reviews from restaurants across America — all submitted by verified OpenTable diners.
Merriman’s Waimea is going carbon neutral! We are proud to do our part for the planet and commit to being a carbon neutral restaurant. In partnership with GreenPlaces, we’ve completed our first carbon assessment to understand our emissions, offset those emissions by investing in verified environmental projects around the globe that reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Now we’re focused on our plan to reduce our footprint where we can. These exciting initiatives include expanding our solar capacity, switching to all electric kitchen equipment, exploring new sustainable alternatives to glass wine and spirit bottles, and investing in carbon-friendly, locally made, goat cheese!
In this podcast Peter talks about what the past 2 years have been like, the correlation between staffing challenges and affordable housing on Maui, navigating through the workforce shortage in general, industry changes created by the pandemic that will stick around, what went into the decision to switch to a prix-fixe menu at Merriman’s Kapalua, the challenge the industry is facing with increased costs, how he will be the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Aipono Awards on August 20th, recounting what it was like to get local products for a restaurant back in the mid-80’s compared to what it’s like today, his passion for conservation and sustainability in Hawaii, his goal to transform one of his restaurants into a carbon neutral business (and what that will entail), and his goals in general for Merriman’s and Monkeypod here on Maui over the next 6-12 months.
In partnership with Koholā Brewery, Peter Merriman created a customized
brew called “Pete’s Island Wheat” that will be exclusively offered at
select Merriman’s Hawaiʻi and Handcrafted Restaurants.
For years, Peter Merriman has been concerned about viruses like the flu spreading through the air of his restaurants.
So even before the pandemic,
Merriman’s restaurant in Kakaako has pumped in enough outdoor air to
turn it over 24 times per hour – more air exchanges than the standard
hospital operating room.
More recently, he invested in carbon
dioxide monitors and ultraviolet disinfection lights for the Oahu
restaurant’s HVAC system, plus HEPA filters and carbon dioxide monitors
at his Waimea location on Hawaii Island. His other two restaurants on
Kauai and Maui are both open-air.
Cheers Magazine article featuring Merriman’s Honolulu along with our Sommelier, Jim Lunchick, with highlights of a few favorite dishes and beverages. The story touches upon everything – from
Peter and the start of Merriman’s, our beverage program and our team’s COVID strategies.
"Everybody Loves Raymond" creator Phil Rosenthal travels the globe to
take in the local cuisine and culture. In Season 4 - Episode 4, Phil experiences the "Aloha Spirit" throughout Oahu and the Big Island ending on Kahua Ranch with Peter Merriman.
Mahalo & Aloha Phil!
This foodie favorite earned a 2019 Emmy Award nod for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program.
- Outdoor and/or open-air seating options
- All tables spaced 6' or more apart
- Masks required when not eating or drinking
- Hand sanitizer stations available
- Sanitation of all tables and chairs after each use
- Daily staff health checks
- Ground markers for social distancing
Additional precautions for those sitting inside:
- Check in at the host desk outside
- Glass partitions on all back-to-back booths
- UV germicidal lights in the air handling units
- HVAC system has 24 air changes per hour of fresh, outdoor air
- Dining room windows remain open for increased ventilation
- Commercial grade HEPA filters in the dining room, bathrooms and in front of the kitchen
we continue to do the right thing for our staff and community, we ask
that all of our guests Kokua (come together to respect all).
2020 has not been easy for the wine world. To list off a few hurdles:
a globe of bars shut down. A global pandemic. Climate change.
California and Oregon facing the most destructive wildfire season in
In this ongoing series, we’re speaking with major players in the fine wine world to understand how the year is affecting the luxury wine industry.
Pacific Business News is excited to announce chef and restaurateur Peter Merriman as this year’s Career Achievement honoree for the annual Business Leadership Hawaii awards.
“I’m glad it’s the career [award] and not the lifetime because I thought hey, how old am I?” Merriman said with a laugh.
“It’s a real honor,” he added. “It’s an interesting time to be getting honors — it’s a precarious moment for any business in Hawaii, let alone the restaurant business.”
Click title to read the full story.
We are moving into the second week of the shutdown on Oahu. For those
in the food service industry, it has been a long six months grappling
with the uncertainty around this health and economic crisis. Planning
has been pretty hard to do - most people hoped for a short turnaround
but recovery is moving ever so slowly. So many businesses have shut down
and many more are hanging by a thread and the supply chain has a taken a
Our show today discusses the challenges facing the food service industry caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
- Peter Merriman, owner and chef of Merriman's Hawaii, a collection of restaurants across the state;
Garrick, incoming chair of the board of the Hawaii Restaurant
Association, and vice president of the Maui Pineapple Store; and
- Unyong Nakata, marketing manager, Y. Hata & Co., a 107-year-old Hawaii-based food industry wholesaler.
Merriman’s Fish House
offers savory Hawaiian flavors to the lucky guests who make it out to
the garden isle of Kauai. Although you probably won’t be traveling there
anytime in the immediate future, you can still capture the island vibe
with these tangy pork and sweet onion quesadillas.
Published Aug. 11, 2020
A list of things you can do during this partial island shutdown from Hawaii Magazine.
Merriman's Chef's enjoyed an inspirational culinary adventure to Mexico City this past September. They experienced the best traditional, modern and street Mexican food, shopped the Coyoacán fresh markets, explored the wonders of Xochimilco canals, and topped the trip off with a Mezcal Tequilla tasting! Starting Tuesday, January 7th, Merriman's at Ward Village in Honolulu will be offering a "Mucho Mahalo" three course menu paying tribute to all the inspiring cuisine of Mexico City.
Mucho Mahalo Menu
* For a limited time
Peter Merriman, a decade ago, talking story with Ken Love on the importance of fresh and local in Hawaii.