Side Orders • Mar. 27, 2014

OUT HANA WAY . . . Driving to East Maui on a rainy day recently, I saw wondrous waterfalls, butterflies and fun signs such as, “Honk if You’re Hungry,” and “Five Bananas for $1.”

We stopped in Hana town at the new Surfing Burro food trailer, which makes chorizo burritos and desserts like vegan lilikoi pie. Owners Travis Tunnicliff and Andrew Kearny also craft tamales with ulu (breadfruit) batter and fill them with chicken mole. Ono! “We invented it and use the batter for empanadas, too,” says Kearny.

“Operation: Vacation” was filming at Travaasa Hana, buffing out a deserving Canadian couple, who have opened their hearts and home to more than 100 foster children over the decades.

We learned about the I Am Haloa Benefit Dinner that will be be hosted by Travaasa at Kahanu Garden on Friday, May 2, the evening before the East Maui Taro Festival that draws crowds of up to 4,000.

The benefit will be a multicourse taro dinner featuring Chefs Lee Anne Wong of Koko Head Cafe, who was on “Top Chef” and the Cooking Channel; Isaac Bancaco of Ka’ana Kitchen at Andaz Maui;; James Simpliciano of Simpli-Fresh and Derek Watanabe of Travaasa Hana as the host culinarian.

“I Am Haloa” documentary chronicles Kamehameha Schools seniors for 90 days as they commit to cultivating, harvesting and eating kalo (taro) for three meals a day. The filming began in February and will follow the students as they travel to the taro fest.

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BITS AND PIECES . . . Has anybody seen Maui’s own famous “Top Chef” finalist Sheldon Simeon all over the news lately? He and his Migrant restaurant at Mala Wailea were featured in a two-page spread March 9 in the San Francisco Chronicle. Ditto for Four Seasons Lanai and Honua Kai Resort & Spa.

Simeon is also featured Dining Out of Scene this week, along with being a nominee in Food & Wine magazine’s People Choice Awards for Best New Chef in the U.S., along with Chris Kajioka of Vintage Cave on Oahu and Kevin Lee of Prime in Kailua. Let’s keep our fingers crossed Simeon wins. Vote for Simeon online at Best New Chef Contest.

Hali’imaile General Store will indulge oenophiles with the Ca’Momi wine dinner at 6 p.m. Friday. The five-course sit-down affair includes pheasant, fava bean and morel mushroom pie; venison with cherry demi glaze; and caramelized pineapple with smoked duck breast and seared foie gras. Cost is $110. Call 572-2666.

George Clooney is a handsome actor who also owns the new Casamigos Tequila. Makena Beach & Golf Resort will set the stage at 6:30 p.m. on its oceanfront lawn for its next Liquid Chef Series with top mixologists shaking it up at five booths, and chefs creating Latino food pairings. Cost is $60. Call 875-5888.

Oscar-winning actor and musician Jamie Foxx and his family were spotted slurping Ululani Shave Ice in Lahaina this week. The island franchise’s newest outlet just opened in Maalaea, and another one is targeted to draw in shave ice lovers this summer at Maui Lani in Wailuku.

Earth Hour will be celebrated at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui at 8:30 p.m. Saturday with a lights-out yoga class, wine for purchase, eco-friendly cocktails with Maui-grown fruits, unplugged music and more than 200 candles floating about.

You may also join the Montessori School of Maui for an intimate dinner created by Four Seasons’ Executive Chef Roger Stettler on campus at 2933 Baldwin Ave., Makawao at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. “Enjoy an exquisite four-course meal of fresh local ingredients and carefully selected wines,” says Betsy Bergevin. Call 573-1046.

Hmm . . . I’m starting to get hungry. . . Maybe I’ll go out to my car and “honk.”