Ka‘anapali Fresh is two festivals in one this weekend

Ka’anapali Fresh will present a Labor Day weekend chock full of food, fun and wine along with Hawaiian culture and stellar music at various venues throughout the Ka’anapali Resort.

This year, it will team with Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival on Sunday for a finale with celebrity chefs.

So in essence, if you attend it all, you get two festivals in one. Or you may opt to pick one or two events. But hurry and book your tickets, as this is the freshest, most exciting game in town this weekend.

The signature event will be Ka’anapali: From Range to Sea from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Royal Ka’anapali Golf Course’s scenic Hole No. 3. As with the other evening events, it’s for those 21 and older, as wines and spirits will flow.

Not only does it pair chefs with farmers, but it will dazzle you with music by Keli’i Kaneali’i and Barry Flanagan of Hapa, an acclaimed, multi- Na Hoku Award-winning Hawaiian music duo; and with the falsetto virtuosity of rising-star singer Kamakakehau Fernandez.

“Within the ancient Hawaiian ahupua’a (land to sea) system, Hawaiians followed a model of truly green living,” says Shelley Kekuna, executive director of Ka’anapali Beach Resort Assoc. “For this memorable dining extravaganza, chefs and restaurants will follow that ancient model, in a showcase that uses the island’s harvest from the range, farms and sea.”

For instance, Chef Tom Muromoto of Ka’anapali Beach Hotel will work his magic with crisp cabbage from J. Shishido Farm in Kula, making won-bok cabbage with fried okra and white-truffle oil.

“For Hawaiians, the food was simple and natural,” Muromoto says. “It’s not necessary to overdo it.”

Chef Ryan Luckey of Leilani’s on the Beach will team with Surfing Goat Dairy to present Kahuku sea asparagus and smokin’ tomato lomi lomi with kiawe-smoked cheese and Molokai sweet bread croutons. And Chef Paris Nabavi of the new Sangrita’s Grill & Cantina will join Eduardo Pineda of Traje Farm to serve vegetable ceviche, paired with spicy chipotle rotisserie chicken tostadas. Chef Bobby Masters of Hula Grill will team with Evonuk Farms for kiawe-grilled coconut kale with panzanella bread salad for crunch.

Other teams include Alex Stanislaw of Maui Fish & Pasta and Dave Horsman of Ho’opono Farms; Joey Macadangdang of Roy’s with Bryan Otani of B. Otani Farm; Greg Grohowski of Hyatt with Watanabe Vegetable Processing; Bernardo Salazar of Royal Lahaina Resort with James “Kimo” Simpliciano of SimpliFresh; Raymond Nicasio and Greg Gaspar of Sheraton with Syl’s Produce; Francois Milliet and Wes Holder of Westin KOR with Escobedo Farm; Garret Fujieda of Westin with Waipoli Hydroponics; and Scott McGill of TS Restaurants, the food chairman, who is overseeing it all.

“You can mingle with the state’s best chefs and farmers, watch a sunset, enjoy a drink and listen to Hapa,” McGill says. “This event cannot be missed.”

The weekend wraps with the beachfront Kitchen Stadium Under the Maui Moon at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa’s Napili Gardens. Six renowned chefs, such as Ming Tsai and Mourad Laulou, will create a six-course menu highlighting Maui-grown products. It’s co-chaired by famous chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong. It will be exciting – and fresh.