Side Orders • Aug. 15, 2013

YO, HO, HO . . . Friday is national Rum Day, and Maui’s own Sammy-Hagar-look-alike of-a-Master-Distiller, Mark Nigbur, is ready to rock ‘n’ roll with his new rum, and then some.

He will appear on an esteemed panel of judges Saturday at the Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival at Royal Kona Resort on the Big Island.

In conjunction with Hagar, he just introduced Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum Red Head. And, soon he’ll release Paniolo Whiskey; and Maui Moon, his Pau vodka, only flavored with hibiscus, pineapple and macadamia nuts.

Vino-Barista International Co., Ltd. announced today that Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa is the first major resort in the U.S. to integrate its wine preservation system at outlets on its Kaanapali property.

The new system will allow Sheraton to revolutionize the way wine is offered by the glass, as it completely prevents any oxidation.

“The system affords us the advantage of serving top-tier wines by the glass to our guests that we would not otherwise have the opportunity to offer,” says Director of Food and Beverage Brandon J. Maeda.

Cowboys crave chili like keiki do popsicles. So, it’s no surprise that Ulupalakua Ranch will host its first CASI Hawaii State Chili Championship from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 1. And, none other than Shaka Pops Maui is the co-sponsor. Hmm. . . I wonder if they are partnering on a frozen wine treat?

Deadline to enter is Aug. 22. The top three winners will be invited to compete at the Terlingua International Chili Championship (TICC) in Texas on Nov. 2.

Maui prizes include a hand-painted cook stove donated by Shaka Pops Maui, as well as gifts from Ulupalakua Ranch and Maui’s Winery.

Chili must be cooked onsite that day. The $50 entry fee includes ground beef by Maui Cattle Co. and Ulupalakua Ranch. Entry forms, rules and details are available online at

The Willie K Dinner Show is heating things up in Wailea weekly at Mulligan’s on the Blue. There is a $55 kamaaina rate, with regular seats at $65. The next show is Thursday, Aug. 22, followed by Wednesdays all the way to the end of September.

The menu changes weekly, but may include watermelon gazpacho, Greek salad, grilled ahi cooked medium rare with potato croquettes and Hayden mango beurre blanc topped with tropical fruit salsa and sauteed yellow and green zucchini. Dessert is always baked fresh at is sister restaurant, Fabiani’s Kihei.

Sounds divine. Not Irish, of course, but Executive Chef Danny LeBag did train at Kell’s Irish Bar in Portland, Ore., before coming to Mulligan’s. However, the restaurant menu is full of robust Irish flavors. Enjoy $6 pupu at happy hour.

Maui Country Club in Spreckelsville sure is jumping with fun events. Next up will be Italian Summer Wines on Aug. 24. You may join the club for a two-month trial run, and taste the wines of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region with selections from the famed Bastianich Winery and Fantinel. New Executive Chef Sean Christensen is hitting his stride and will present Italian themed pairings in his fresh, local and sustainable style.

Another “club,” the Chaine des Rotisseurs, will head to Lanai for its next function. Savor a luncheon at 11 a.m. Aug. 31 at Nobu Lanai in Four Seasons Resorts Lanai at Manele Bay. Since it’s a daytime event, you may take the ferry over and back before sunset.

Manele Bay will also host a five-course Septemberfest beer dinner at 6 p.m. Sept. 2 with Maui Brewing Co. at Kailani Restaurant with food by Chef Dario Montelvere. Hmm. . . beer pops would be cool. Then again, so would mai tai pops, whiskey pops and vodka pops!