Ka‘anapali jumping

West Maui resort is lively with festivals, new chefs, farmers market, beer dinners and more on agenda

At last year’s Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, chefs included Isaac Bancaco of Andaz Maui (from left), TV personality Ming Tsai (who will film at this year’s Chef’s Paradise event) and Chris Kajioka of the soon to open, highly anticipated Senia in Oahu’s Chinatown.
Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival photo

At last year’s Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, chefs included Isaac Bancaco of Andaz Maui (from left), TV personality Ming Tsai (who will film at this year’s Chef’s Paradise event) and Chris Kajioka of the soon to open, highly anticipated Senia in Oahu’s Chinatown. Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival photo

From Friday through Sunday, the Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival will be creating lots of buzz.

But Roy’s Golf Classic at Ka’anapali Golf Course teeing off Friday is already sold out and tickets are going fast to the Soaring Plates on Sunday at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa. So now is the time to get on the internet for tickets.

“We are honored to be a part of the Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival again this year,” says Allan Farwell, the Hyatt Maui’s general manager.

“To be able to host a signature event for this renowned festival is extremely exciting, and we get to showcase our brand-new event lawn overlooking palm-fringed Ka’anapali Beach as the sun sets. We look forward to a spectacular evening with great wine and delicious dishes created by some of the top chefs around the world, including our own Executive Chef Greg Grohowski.”

Other world-class chefs to appear at the Hyatt’s Hawaiian Airlines Presents Soaring  Palates on Sunday evening will be Jonathan Waxman, Francois Payard and Alessandro Stratta.

The 2016 World’s Best Ocean Cocktail is the Keokea Park by Ka‘ai Fong.
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa photo

The 2016 World’s Best Ocean Cocktail is the Keokea Park by Ka‘ai Fong. Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa photo

Tickets are at a premium and cost $250 per person and up.

But the Grown on Maui Farmers Market from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Whalers Village Fine Shops & Restaurants is free and open to the public and will be fun for the whole family.

Meet Maui’s farmers and food producers at the open-air market who will bring their  colorful root vegetables and field greens, tropical fruits, free-range eggs and micro greens. Taste samples of coffee from the Maui Coffee Growers Association, and enjoy cooking demonstrations and breakfast items for purchase as well as complimentary parking for attendees.

You may even catch a glimpse of star chefs such as TV personality Ming Tsai and other superstars.

Another highlight of the festival will be Dark & Stormy, the Underbelly of Cocktails from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas. At $75 for a luncheon and cocktails as well a ton of fun, it’s one of the festival’s best deals.

Learn how bartenders used adversity and creativity to outsmart a Mexican drug cartel; hear how a rum company compromised a New York tiki institution and sip your way through Limegate.

Ka’anapali: A Chef’s Paradise will be at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

With a typical West Maui  sunset and Pu’u Kukui as the backdrops, the ocean lawn of the Sheraton will be a paradise for this walk-around event with epicurean cuisine by 13 top chefs, cocktails, fine wines and icy beers.

The above-mentioned celebrity chef Tsai will be filming for his TV show at the walk-about affair and star California chefs are Martin Yan of San Matteo; Andrew Sutton of Napa Rose in Anaheim; Rory Hermann of Sprout LA. For tickets, visit www.hfwf.me.

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa also invites beer lovers to celebrate Black Rocktoberfest with a special beer-pairing menu on tap at the resort’s signature restaurant Black Rock Kitchen every Friday during the month of October.

The three-course menu marries flavors from delicious local ingredients with beer tastings. Begin with Upcountry Harvest beet salad with Surfing Goat cheese mousse, pea shoots, corn sprouts and Meyer lemon-infused honey citrus vinaigrette paired with Sam Smith Pure Brewery Organic Lager.

Then savor the duet of seared Maui Nui venison and Keahole lobster with poha berry Maui onion jus, lobster sausage, sweet and sour Kula cabbage, herb-scented spaetzle and roasted root vegetables, balanced with Belching Beaver Great Lei IPA.

Dessert is vanilla-sponge mascarpone cheesecake with espresso whipped cream cheese, chocolate cocoa dust and Tahitian vanilla bean sauce paired with Young’s Double Chocolate Stout.

The menu is priced at $55 per person, not inclusive of tax and gratuity. For reservations, call 661-0031.

The Sheraton also recently hosted the World’s Best Ocean Cocktail Showdown and the winners have been picked.

Six mixologists, each paired with a celebrity chef and local nonprofit organization, competed in the third annual event on the ocean lawn.

Claiming the title of making the World’s Best Ocean Cocktail was Maui resident Ka’ai Fong with his Keokea Park cocktail, made with Ocean Vodka along with fresh red bell pepper juice, pineapple juice, lime juice and Adobo Loco Mangoes Bumbye Syrup. Fong was paired with Chef Isaac Bancaco from Andaz Maui at Wailea and the nonprofit organization Imua Family Services.

The Keokea Park cocktail is now featured on the beverage menus at Sheraton Maui   for one year, with a portion of proceeds from its sales being donated to Imua.

During the event, Sheraton Maui General Manager Tetsuji Yamazaki presented a check for $3,209 to Make-A-Wish Hawaii, the nonprofit paired with last year’s winning cocktail. The proceeds were a result of beverage sales at the resort over the past year.

Royal Lahaina Resort, renowned for its award-winning Hawaiian hospitality, boasts two new executive sous chefs.

Idustry veteran John McEwan was most recently an executive kitchen manager at the Kaanapali Grille & Tap Room where he was responsible for development and overall operations.

Jared Krausen is a seasoned culinarian with more then 17 years of restaurant and hospitality experience. Prior to joining the Royal Lahaina, Krausen cultivated his passion for food at the Hyatt Regency Maui and The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.

He  actively participated in the local culinary scene at such events as the Maui Onion Festival, Kapalua Seafood & Wine Festival and Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival.

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