Malama Maui

A star-studded chef gala will launch the third annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival that runs from Sept. 1 to 9 on Maui and Oahu.

While most of the events will transpire in Honolulu, Malama Maui will kick it all off on Sunday, Sept. 1, at Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa in Kaanapali.

The gala will feature six top chefs from Hawaii and the Mainland and will be held under the stars on Maui’s “Dig Me Beach,” aka Kaanapali Beach.

It will be an unforgettable evening with delicious food and incredible wines. Those who attend will enjoy reserved seating and much more.

Malama Maui’s co-chairs and founders are chefs Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi, both James Beard Award winners who have restaurants on Maui.

“We’re so excited to bring the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival to Maui,” Yamaguchi explains. “Normally, people would need to travel thousands of miles to see these famous chefs cooking. We’re bringing them together for one incredible collaboration highlighting the freshest island ingredients, all under the stars at beautiful Kaanapali.”

Wong agrees.

“Hawaii Food & Wine Festival gives guest chefs, visitors and residents a unique opportunity to connect through island food and culture. In addition to showcasing our evolving culinary scene, together we are planting the seed for future generations of Hawaii farmers and chefs.”

Bravo channel’s 2012 “Top Chef” finalist Sheldon Simeon will among the participants (also see story, below). He’ll do chow fun noodles with pork belly, pipinola squash and achiote spice.

Other featured chefs will include Rick Tramonto, of Tramonto Steak & Seafood in Wheeling, Ill., who will wow with Hawaiian shrimp and corn cappuccino with ceviche and coconut crema.

Hiroyuki Sakai, of La Rochelle in Tokyo will roast beef with, fried pate-brick wrapped vegetables in miso sauce.

Chef Marcel Vigneron of Modern Global Tasting in Los Angeles will do masago fried onaga and hearts of palm salad.

From Maui, Host Executive Chef Gregory Grohowski of the Hyatt will sear Big Island kampachi and serve with lavender sea urchin cream; and Beverly Gannon of Bev Gannon Restaurants will do two desserts, including goat-cheese panna cotta and Hawaiian-chili pepper chocolate tart.

Cost is $250 per person. For tickets, visit