Side Orders • August 24, 2017

Paradise Beverage’s trade tasting last Friday at Maui Arts & Cultural Center attracted veteran restaurant pros such as Richard Clark, now with Longhi’s Wailea, and Denise Black, of the upcoming Lahaina Loft. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

OVERHEARD . . . The chin-wagging was being uncorked faster than the wine at last Friday’s trade tasting at Maui Arts & Cultural Center, hosted by Alan Jahns of Paradise Beverages before the annual Maui Calls event.

Visiting winery owner Ernie Pink of the Amalie Robert Estate in Oregon says that the phrase “in the pink” came about back in the day in London when famed haberdasher Thomas Pink designed the top fashions. Those seen wearing his clothing line were “in the pink.”

Checking people into the event was the ever gracious Adele Rugg, who is in charge of the Maui chapter of the oldest culinary organization in the world, the Chaine des Rotisseurs.

“We just had our most recent event at Lumeria Maui in Makawao,” says Rugg. “Our 40th anniversary event will be held on Oct. 3 at The Class Act (see related story on Page 15). Our first baillie, or chapter head, was Pardy Erdman of Ulupalakua Ranch so many years ago.”

Between sips of wine and bites of pates and cheeses, veteran restaurant industry pro Denise Black said she hopes to open Maui’s newest oceanview venue for catered affairs such as weddings, rehearsal dinners and corporate parties in early fall. Black will be the new general manager for Lahaina Loft, situated in the old Tony Roma’s, Famous Dave’s and Sugar Cane location upstairs from Lahaina Galleries on Front Street.

“We’ll use private catering companies and hotel groups can bring their own chefs if they like,” she says. For further details, visit

Also spotted were Moose McGillycuddy of Kihei business partners George Watson and Penny Jo Putnam.

“We’re putting in a new air-conditioning system for football season,” says Watson. “It’s the best game in town.”

Peter Longhi was also spotted tasting wine for his famed Longhi’s restaurants in Lahaina and Wailea.

“Longhi’s concept was always family style,” he explained. “But we brought the prices down and are back to crudo plates, appetizers, pastas and entrees in individual servings.”

Five-time Grammy Award nominee and Hawaii’s top songstress Amy Hanaiali’i was pouring her own wines and requesting that everyone sing “Tiny Bubbles” before she gave up a taste of her new sparkling wine of the same name.

Amy will also pour her award-winning Hanaiali’i Wines at the 22nd annual Maui Wedding Expo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali. Do practice your “Tiny Bubbles” lines if attending.

Beverly Gannon was relaxed at Maui Calls afterwards. She and her team will also be at the Maui Wedding Expo representing her Celebrations Catering. Bev’s hubby Joe Gannon looked chipper in a glittery peace-sign shirt. The couple recently got back from an epic holiday in both Paris and Croatia. . . Jennifer Nguyen of A Saigon Cafe also plans a trip to Croatia this fall. The Dalmation Coast must be the vacation spot du jour. . . Nguyen’s pal Lucia Choe was at the trade tasting, too, bragging about Isana Restaurant in Kihei, owned by her friends Cindy and Andy Chun.

“It serves authentic Korean food,” says Choe, a native of South Korea. “And also the best yakiniku and sushi.”

* Got restaurant / dining-event scoop?

Call Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342; or email