Side Orders: May 12, 2016

FOR FILM BUFFS? . . . The clock is ticking down to June, when Maui Film Festival at Wailea will appear larger than life with cutting-edge movies and celebs such as Viola Davis and Michael B. Jordan presented with awards under the stars.

But the culinary events surrounding the films and the stars always seem to steal the show. According to Bob Craver, the man in charge of coordinating these stellar events, the 2016 schedule will roll out Wednesday, June 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. with the Opening Reception at Grand Wailea; followed by a VIP Soiree at Spago on June 16; the Taste of Chocolate at Four Seasons Resort Maui’s Ocean Lawn on June 17; and Taste of Wailea at David Leadbetter Golf Academy on June 18, at which the upcoming Pint & Cork restaurant will participate. “Please note, you get 20 to 40 percent off savings on all festival passes and special event tickets extended to May 23,” says Craver. Visit

Yvonne Biegel, the woman who is still the reigning top public relations director in the world of the Hilton hotel group, has done it again.

As PR director of Grand Wailea, she has also turned her talents to be the executive producer of “Search Hawaii: Where Food Meets Culture.”

“Search” just received two Emmy nominations. Winners will be announced at the Emmy Gala in the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco on June 4.

Biegel oversees Grand Wailea Chef de Cuisine Michael Lofaro and the resort’s Hawaiian cultural ambassador Kainoa Horcajo, the stars in “Search,” as they forage, hunt and gather foods to eat. Kathy Muneno Thompson is the show’s producer.

“It truly is an honor to receive recognition for a show that we love and believe in,” says Biegel. “We are just a few friends who respect the Hawaiian culture and like great food. When Kainoa and Chef Mike started talking about a dinner based on the Hawaiian Moon Calendar, Kathy and I knew we had a show.”

“Mahalo to KHON2 and our early presenting sponsor Ulupono Initiative and supporting sponsor Grand Wailea for aligning with the story and vision. There is so much more to the story, so we will be launching a summer series and shooting a one-hour special on Hokule’a,” continues Biegel.

“Search Hawaii” will air in its new weekly time slot at 9 p.m. Saturdays starting June 4. Hey, that’s the same night Emmy winners will be announced. The one-hour Hokule’a special will air mid-September.

In addition, the next Ka Malama Dinner that is part of a series based on “Search Hawaii” is coming at 6 p.m. Friday at the Grand’s Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. Seats are going, going . . . almost gone. The cost of $150 per person includes dinner, wine, cocktail pairings, tax and tip. Call 875-1234, ext. 51.

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BITS AND PIECES . . . Speaking of awards, Four Seasons Resort Lana’i announces it has received a coveted AAA Five Diamond designation.

The resort attained this prestigious rating following its Feb. 1 reopening after an extensive renovation to its guest rooms and suites, restaurants One Forty and Nobu Lanai (which now boasts a sushi bar), spa, luxury retail boutiques and Manele Golf Course.

“We are humbled and honored to receive this designation and strong vote of confidence while establishing a loyal following of guests for this exciting destination,” says Tom Roelens, general manager.

Want to explore the interplay between diet and genes in the prevention of disease?

Then come to the talk, “Stop Blaming Your Genes,” by Rosane Oliveira, PhD., at 7 this evening in the Cameron Center in Wailuku. Oliveira will talk about weight and health, and how daily lifestyle choices matter. Down to Earth will provide free pupu. No reservations are needed. For more details, call 385-2790.

MiGrant and Mala Wailea are targeted to close for good on Sunday at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. Chef Sheldon Simeon says that MiGrant will be taking a hiatus and plans are in the works for another incarnation to pop up in Central Maui this year.