A-List Parties in Wailea

The party continues after Wednesday’s opening-night reception at Capische? Next up will be Friday’s Taste of Chocolate at Four Seasons Resort Maui. It’s under the stars, sweet and savory.

“This year, Maui Film Festival’s over-the-top event for lovers of chocolate just got even better!” says Barry Rivers, founder and co-director.

“Why? Because Mabanzi Marimba Maui, an eight-piece band playing dance music from Africa, the birthplace of chocolate, will perform for both your listening and dancing pleasure!”

Rivers also says the group’s lively music is, “Exuberant high energy, poly-melodic rhythms, with soulful grooves that move the body and spirit.”

The Willie Wonka-style extravaganza for adults 21 and older transpires from 8 to 10 p.m. this year. In used to be a soiree, held later in the evening.

So what is there to indulge in?

“You do not want to miss the molten-chocolate cake with avocado ice cream and Maui olive-oil powder,” says Four Seasons Pastry Chef Rhonda Ashton-Chavez. “Made with Hawaii-grown chocolate, the combo is made of ingredients grown here in the islands.”

Ashton-Chavez also recommends the, “soda, sandwich and sundae station that incorporates items such as homemade green-apple soda and cheesecake ice cream, and chocolate rum ice cream sandwiches,” and her personal favorite of “mocha almond fudge sundae.”

Executive Chef Roger Stettler says Friday’s event will have a salty element as well.

“This year, we’ll have a savory station for the first time, featuring beef brisket sliders with home-cut fries and a mole chipotle aioli.”

Specialty drinks will be plentiful and will include such fun concoctions as the Liquid Indulgence, the Coco Boulevard, and the Hole Mole, along with wines, ports, Maui’s own Pau Vodka martinis and Stella Artois beers.

“Mmm . . . chocolate! Eat it, drink it, love it,” says Rivers. “Dress up and experience the never-been-there, never-had-that, extraordinary flavors and sensual experience that is the Taste of Chocolate.”

The much-anticipated Taste of Wailea will be co-hosted by “Where Hawaii” from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Wailea Gold and Emerald Golf Course’s Leadbetter private golf academy locale.

“This year’s Taste of Wailea is looking to be better than ever,” says Michael Rose, general manager of Longhi’s Wailea and liquid coordinator for the 14th annual outdoor party for those 21 and older.

“Pau Vodka, a local Maui distillery will join the festival for the first time,” says Rose. “They will be mixing martinis, and you can expect that they will get the party rolling. Kimo Correa of Southern Wine and Spirits and his team will return to add their expertise in pairing wines with the 11 different restaurants and hotels that will be serving an assortment of delicious tastes. Stella Artois will be served ice cold beer on tap, so all the bases are covered. As usual, Barry Rivers is putting on another great event.”

Chefs Mark Ellman and Garrett Guerrero of Mala Wailea will do aromatic white-bean soup with truffle oil; and fresh wok-fried opakapaka with ginger, garlic and black-bean mushroom sauce. Sip and savor, and enjoy the jaw-dropping views before the movies that evening.

Chef Tylun Pang of Ko at Fairmont Kea Lani Maui will wow the crowds with his world-famous tangled tiger prawns in sweet-chili garlic sauce, as well as with his barbecue pork skewers with banana ketchup.

At Alan Wong’s Amasia tent, Chef Chris Damskey will impress with soy-braised short ribs and chopped-ahi sashimi won tons. Four Seasons Chef Samuel Faggetti will tempt you with ono poke and avocado-wasabi mousse; and kiawe smoked slow-roasted huli-huli chicken. Beverly Gannon of Joe’s and Gannon’s will bake aromatic chicken pot pies and serve Malama Farms Berkshire pork in steamed buns. Other participants are listed in the sidebar.

“Taste of Wailea features exceptional cuisine, exceptional drinks and exceptional views,” says Rivers. “Enjoy!”