Is it too hot outside to have a hot coffee? Never mind, have an iced chai latte at Passion Bakery, in the back of Kinipopo Shopping Village.
Michael Sterioff’s incredible baking skills — inherited from his Macedonian family — are a perfect match for this thousands-of-years-old Indian drink.
When Michael used to live in Detroit, he would often cross the boarder into Canada, just to have dinner in a famous Indian restaurant, whose chef was a blind Indian man.
Michael said the man cooked by smell, and prepared some of the best meals he ever had — worth going to another country for dinner, literally.
A few years ago, Michael moved to Kaua‘i to sell heavy tractors, but with the downturn of the economy, he got laid off. He didn’t let himself down; instead, he looked at his wife and said, “Honey, it’s time.”
And that’s how Michael decided to share with Kaua‘i his love for baking, and started Passion Bakery a little more than a year ago.
But it gets better — all these years, Michael kept with him the chai recipe he got from the old Indian chef.
You ought to try it. No, indulge in it. It’s packed with flavor in every sip.
Michael is a baking aficionado, preparing everything from scratch and creating a quite a few vegan and gluten-free alternatives. If there’s something you would like to try and it’s not in the menu, just ask Michael and he might be able to come up with something.
Passion Bakery opens Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., although Monday it may close earlier. Wednesday through Saturday, the bakery reopens for a second shift from 5 to 8 p.m. On Sunday it only opens for the evening shift, 5 to 8 p.m.
Sense of smell
The homemade chai is prepared using locally grown sliced and driedginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and a variety of spices. Mix theblack tea with the chai, steep it and then chill it. Pour it overice and add milk. Close your eyes and smell it slowly, to absorbthe chai’s true effects through its powerful aroma.