Project Kokua for Hawai‘i Island

The lineup of 28 top Maui chefs isn’t unprecedented, but it’s rare. Perhaps the last time an equal amount or more cooked in one spot was back in the days of Taste of Lahaina.

On Sunday, this group of chefs will team to cook at Project Kokua, a culinary benefit for victims of the recent Hurricane-turned Tropical Storm Iselle. Many have family and farmer friends on the Big Island and want to lend a hand.

Project Kokua will be held from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu.

Leading the charge is Lyndon Honda, chef-owner of Laulima Events and Catering, with the support of Executive Chef Marc McDowell of Maui Tropical Plantation’s soon-to-open Mill House by providing the site; and Jojo Vasquez of Plantation House with his insight.

“I realized we needed to pull together as one community, one ohana, because if that happened to Maui, we would need all the help we could get,” says Honda.

“Hawaii is a unique place – though we are not connected by land, we are connected in our aloha, our desire to want to help one another and our way of life. In a time like this, we all come together to kokua where we are able.”

There will be action stations and a buffet, offering attendees a sampling of tastes of restaurants from all over the island. For only $50, it’s the deal of the year. Each chef will create 200 items.

Manning action stations will be Wes Holder of Pulehu: an Italian Grill with mini pork tacos on handmade corn tortillas with roasted jalapeno and beet pico de gallo and goat cheese crema; Adrian Aina of Grand Wailea with chicken and waffles and Korean chicken; and Gevin Utrillo of Japengo with Kung Pao chicken meatballs with bamboo shoots and peppers.

Sheldon Simeon of MiGRANT and Mala Wailea will also man an action station with Tocino Filipino sweet pork with guava jelly and pickled Kula onions; host McDowell will do pork gyozas with roasted-pineapple relish and chipotle aioli; and Ryan Luckey of Leilani’s will serve shutome skewers with Kumu Farms fennel and orange gastrique; while Travis Morrin of Three’s Bar & Grill will toss Upcountry kale salad with daikon sprouts, raw beets, onions and Bleu cheese in tahini dressing.

Other participants are Maui Fresh Streatery; B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery; Fat Daddy’s; Simpli Fresh; Aloha Events Catering; Roy’s; Ka’anapali Beach Hotel; Pacific’o; Cake Fanatics; Shark Pit Food Truck; Da Kitchen; Maui Culinary Academy; Na Hoaloha Ekolu; Sansei Kapalua; Ko; Maui Breadfruit Co.; Maui Cookie Lady; Sugar Beach Bake Shop; Napili Flo Farms and Wow Wow Lemonade.

The evening also features entertainment and a silent auction with meals at places such as Mama’s Fish House. Tickets are available at both Da Kitchens in Kahului and Kihei. Parking is free.