Humble Market Kitchin presents MACC fundraiser

Roy Yamaguchi’s new restaurant in Wailea will celebrate its grand opening with benefit

World-famous chef and owner Roy Yamaguchi. Photo by Carla Tracy

The name Humble Market Kitchin may be modest. But it’s a spectacular restaurant in size, design and cuisine and it’s also icing on the cake of a $100 million renovation at the former Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa owned by Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc.

Now called Wailea Beach Resort — Marriott Maui, the stunning hotel property boasts 547 redesigned rooms and suites, three distinct and epic pool environments and six hot dining options including the Humble Market Kitchin in the old Mala and MiGrant spot.

James Beard Award-winning chef Roy Yamaguchi and partner Shep Gordon, who is Maui’s own “Supermensch” movie star, author and restaurateur, will celebrate the grand opening of Humble Market Kitchen on Thursday, April 27, although it started serving its first meals to the public just before the Christmas holiday rush.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for the celebration that is a fundraiser for the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului and its programs.

The night begins with pupu and cocktails followed by dinner at 7 p.m., featuring celebrity guest hosts Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler; Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui, Mayor Alan Arakawa, surfers Kai Lenny and Matt Meola, former NBA player and coach Don Nelson, musician Marty Dread, civic leader Tony Taketani, chef Kimi Warner, artist Ed Lane and TV host Kanoa Leahey.

MACC Can-Do! movement class. Photo by MACC

“We are so grateful to Roy Yamaguchi and his Humble Market Kitchin team for their generous support of the MACC and our many arts education and community programs,” says MACC President and CEO Art Vento, who has been the visionary heart and soul of the organization for years. “We expect to see a packed house at next week’s grand-opening event, dining on some of Roy’s signature cuisine while they mix and mingle with such a stellar list of Maui celebrities.”

Vento adds that proceeds from the event will help support the MACC’s many ventures, such as an engagement by Henry Kapono and bandmates performing at a special al fresco concert at the homeless resource center, Ka Hale A Ke Ola, organized through the MACC’s ongoing Artists in the Community program.

“This program is a huge part of the MACC’s efforts to bring artists to Maui and into the community — as well as onstage — so that people who may not be able to come to the MACC can still enjoy a show and benefit through the nourishing power of the arts.”

As it turns out, arts education plays a large role in the big MACC picture.

“It has been proven by a large body of research that integration of the arts into the classroom curriculum results in a greater retention of information as well as increased cognitive skills,” Vento explains.

Humble Market Kitchin interior. Photo by the restaurant

“Arts education programs at the MACC encompass many aspects of performing and visual arts, all of which help engage student attention and result in more effective learning for grades K-12.”

Getting back to the grand opening, menu highlights are grilled Kauai shrimp lettuce wraps, ahi poke, beef-and-reef sushi and dynamite-salmon sushi, chateaubriand, steamed local catch, salads and dessert bites.

The reception pupu will be passed butler style, while the main courses will be a sit-down affair served family style. Desserts will be set up at stations so you may cruise and schmooze after dinner.

“A lot of my cooking is based on my childhood memories of my grandfather and father’s cooking,” Yamaguchi says about his past. “My grandfather lived on Maui and he worked at the sugar plantation. And then he eventually opened Yamaguchi Grocery Store on Vineyard Street in Wailuku. As a kid, I spent my summers on Maui hanging out in his store and his restaurant.

“At Humble Market Kitchin, I am paying tribute to him and utilizing as many Maui products as I can because he used to buy from farmers here,” he adds. “Along with Shep, our Humble Market Kitchin ohana and our celebrity hosts, I’m looking forward to our grand opening benefiting the Maui Arts and Cultural Center and being a part of the Wailea Community.”

“Roy and I are so happy to be able to support the great work of the MACC and to have so many friends help us make the event a one-of-a-kind on Maui,” says Gordon. “Be there or be square!”

Cost is $150 per person. Reservations are a must. Call 879-4655.