Meet Chef Junior Ulep – Meridia Restaurant at Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

In our latest YouTube video, we introduce you to Chef de Cuisine, Junior Ulep, Meridia Restaurant, at the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and show you glimpses of his Mediterranean themed menu. We were treated to a menu tasting of an eclectic array of appetizers which included locally sourced Keahole abalone and grilled octopus with fiddlehead ferns, as well as Kaua’i shrimp, Kona clams, mango gazpacho, bacon wrapped dates and more! We also enjoyed dinner (the lamb chops were divine), dessert (chocolate and raspberry lava cake) and cocktails (check out Ophelia’s Remedy)

(For more photos and menu items check out my blog post at!)

In this video we also discuss our intention to bring you more of these types of “Meet the Chef”/ “Meet the Farmer” videos to learn about the lifestyle of the Big Island. Who should we feature next? Comments here on the blog or on the YouTube channel are welcome!

Chef de Cuisine, Junior Ulep, Julie and Eric Ziemelis

Meet Chef Junior

Chef Junior is one of the most inventive (and resourceful!) chefs on the island, utilizing his relationship with local farmers and food hubs to incorporate locally grown produce and fruits into his menu, as well as growing herbs and vegetables in the resort gardens. His passion for creating unique and beautiful food is evident in each dish! He even created his own Pahoa Berry jam for the carefully constructed Charcuterie board with hand made wild boars head cheese! (see below)
Chef said if you dine at the restaurant, ask the server to have him come to your table and introduce himself and talk story about the menu items. Now, THAT’s service!

For reservations, see the whole menu and directions:

If you read this before Mother’s Day, make reservations! Check out the  menu on Chef Junior’s Facebook page: 

Charcuterie Plate De Maison featuring Jamon Iberico-“Spanish Cured Ham” , Prosciutto di Parma-Italian Carved Ham, ‘Njuja-spicy spreadable park salumi, house made pickled green beans, Castelvetrano Olives from Southern Italy, wild boar head cheese, pahoa berry jam, lavosh, and grilled sourdough bread.

Chef Junior brings his expertise, Aloha and amazing food to our table!


What is Chef Junior holding?

Grilled Octopus, Mojo Verde, ‘Ulu Bravas, Big Island Fiddle Head Fern Salad


Keahole Abalone Escabeche

Garden coriander left, chive vinaigrette, pickled mustard seeds

You're Invited to




Family, relative, kin group; related; extended family, clan

We have been creating content for people just like you over the past 10 years. As you can imagine, there is a ton of great info out there but the problem is finding the information that is relevant to you as you look to buy here in Hawaii. That is why we created our 365 Ohana where you will get everything you need, all in one spot.

Regular emails with tips, advice and insider knowledge to not only make moving here easier, but also living here more enjoyable.

Free access to our books, “How to Move to Kona” and “The Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island”.

Live monthly real estate & mortgage market updates

Private Facebook Group with like-minded individuals to make friends and gain insight

Hours of video content covering how to move to Hawaii, life on the island and adventures for you and your family