A Culinary Experience

Iit will be a labor of love over Labor Day weekend, and tickets are going faster than you can say, “grown on Maui.”

“We’re talking about the second annual Ka’anapali Fresh culinary extravaganza, encompassing two days and two nights of fresh-as-it-gets fun Friday and Saturday at various venues at Ka’anapali Resort.

“This two-day summer event highlights Ka’anapali as the premium spot on Maui for exquisite cuisine, meaningful experiences, and superb activities,” says Shelley Kekuna, executive director of Ka’anapali Beach Resort Association that’s putting on the party.

First up will be Mixology: A Fresh Approach from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday at Royal Lahaina Resort. Chandra Lucariello, director of mixology for Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii, will shake it up in this interactive outdoor, oceanview event that includes crafting and tasting of three distinct cocktails with the freshest ingredients. Chat up the expert as you sip away and enjoy signature pupu by the resort. You must be 21 years and older.

Next up, will be Progressive Ka’anapali from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday. It will be a fun walkabout that begins at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa for the main courses, to Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa for dessert, where ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro performs.

Of interesting note is that all of the courses will be infused with coffee. For instance, Westin Maui will team up with its sister property, Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas to feature steamed snapper with coffee truffle nage; prime steak and lobster with Ka’anapali Coffee and cardamom-infused sea salt; crispy pork belly with Hawaiian chili pepper biscuit in Ka’anapali Estate red-eye gravy; and 10-hour brisket with maple coffee barbecue and Kula Farms sweet corn polenta.

Then just walk down the oceanfront beachwalk to the Sheraton, where Executive Chef Greg Gaspar will team with Hula Grill Kaanapali to feature innovative, grown-on-Maui desserts. Or take a shuttle.

Besides rich chocolate and coffee tortes, green tea creme brulees, and Maui coffee cheesecakes and tiramisus, you’ll find ONO Organic Farms tropical fruit flans, and Ali’i Kula Lavender’s strawberry shortcakes. You must be 21 and older to attend. Sip from Southern Wine & Spirits cocktails and wines, coffee and teas.

Saturday, there will be two daytime events. The first is the KFresh Grown on Maui Farmers Market from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at Whalers Fine Shops & Restaurants. Parking is free, when validated.

“Come see what Maui grows, talk story with farmers and food producers, and see what’s quality, flavorful, and fresh,” says Kekuna.

The second daytime event on Saturday is the Ka’anapali Coffee Tour and luncheon from 10:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. at a private estate. The MauiGrown Coffee Co. team will talk about coffee cultivation here, and CJ’s Deli and Diner will provide the gourmet lunch.

Last, but not least, the signature Hawaii ‘5-0 Book ‘Em Dano dinner will transpire under the stars at the third hole of Ka’anapali Golf Course. Hawaii artists Amy Hanaiali’i and Makana will perform, and 12 chefs will team with 12 growers in the farm-to-fork walkabout. Of course, Southern Wine & Spirits’ drinks will flow.

Chef Greg Grohowski of Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa will sear Maui Cattle Co. beef Vietnamese style with Evonuk Farms fresh mint, cilantro, basil and arugula along with ribeye of tuna on sushi rice.

Other participants include Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, Maui Fish & Pasta, Leilani’s, Roy’s, Royal Lahaina Resort, CJ’s, both Westins, Sheraton, Hula Grill and Marriott. One thing’s for sure. It will be as fresh as it gets.