Maui Calls

As usual, guests will be welcomed with fresh flower lei as they enter. This year, they’ll also get to meet a sea of Maui’s legendary watermen – as the theme is “In Celebration of the Surfrider.”

Schmooze veteran waveriders Archie Kalepa, Ian Walsh, David Kalama, Buzzy Kerbox, Robby Naish, Darrell Wong, Fred Haywood and more as you show support for Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

Maui Calls is the MACC’s annual gala fundraiser, and it takes one back to the Boat Days of Hawaii, when passenger ships like the Lurline were embraced with lei, hula dancers and Hawaiian music.

The 18th annual evening event will be all of that and more when it surfs in from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday under the stars at the A&B Amphitheater and the pyramid-shaped Yokouchi Pavilion in Kahului.

Hints of pikake, puakenikeni and plumeria will entice you, and so will aromatic dishes from 15 top restaurants. You may also sip wines by 18 visiting winemakers, dance to Jimmy Mac and the Kool Kats, bid at auction on coveted items, and watch hula and a short film.

“I put together a short that will screen on Friday,” says waterman Mike Waltze, who has braved the surf at Jaws. “It will walk us through the history of those who have carved the path since the inception of watermen. There will be some never before seen footage.”

Other veteran watermen to be in attendance include Erik Aeder, Alex Aguera, , Pete Cabrinha, Matt Schweitzer, Kim Ball and John Severson as well as Paige Alms. They were all hand picked by event chairs Wendy Rice Peterson, Gloria N. Buckingham and Heather Haynes.

As usual, Maui-grown-and-raised will be the prevailing concept,” says returning food chair Eric Faivre, who is also executive chef at Grand Wailea.

“It is going to be another great year for Maui Calls with our island celebrity chefs’ continued participation. I am also very excited to welcome some newcomers, including Chefs Mark Ellman and Garrett Guerrero with Mala Wailea, and Chefs Travis Morrin, Cody Christopher and Jaron Blosser of Three’s Bar and Grill.”

Each restaurant will serve two dishes at booths scattered around the circumference, which will be intermingled with winery booths.

Alan Wong’s Amasia will toss Asian pear salad and skewer Maui Cattle Co. beef. Ko will do tangled tiger prawns and oishi sushi; Ritz-Carlton will do seared lamb and pork sliders, and hamachi tartare. Sansei will make Korean shrimp pancakes and fried octopus.

Other participants include Capische?, Hula Grill, Roy’s , Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, Main Street Bistro, Makena Beach & Golf Resort, Monkeypod Kitchen, Sansei, Spago and Tommy Bahama.

Pastry Chefs Rhonda Ashton-Chavez and Heather Campbell of Four Seasons Resort Maui and Natalie Wilkinson of Grand Wailea will wow with gourmet desserts.

Food-related auction items include dinner at Mama’s Fish House with Kai Lenny, three-time stand-up paddleboard world champion; Girl’s Night Out with Chef Bev Gannon; Ulupalakua Ranch barbecue; Ocean Vodka Tour with food by Soup to Nuts; Asian cooking school in Kula; Indian fare dinner with Chef Uma Dugied; and Willie K dinner show by Mulligan’s on the Blue.

“We have more wineries participating than in any of my previous four years as sponsor,” says Alan Jahns of Paradise Beverages. “I’m counting 18 participants! Crowd favorites are Duckhorn, Rombauer, PlumpJack/Cade, Miner Family, Owen Roe, Paradigm, John Anthony – and my favorite Argentine importer, Vino del Sol.

Local wine-hero Ray Signorello joins Orin Swift, creator of The Prisoner wine as newbies. Enjoy!