Side Orders • August 31, 2017
A-LIST ISLAND . . . Movie stars, rock legends and top chefs were out in force last week at the home of Shep Gordon, who graciously hosted a political fundraiser and threw a heck of a party with live music and culinary delights.
Actor Jim Carrey was friendly and said that his Showtime series, “I’m Dying Up Here,” which he produces is a true reflection of what it was like to do standup comedy in the ’80s. He also said that he’s a new Maui resident, and he wowed the crowd with a rousing “Oh, Well” by Fleetwood Mac, nailing it with singer Gretchen Rhodes and backed up by drummer Mick Fleetwood, former Traffic superstar Dave Mason and Maui great Uncle Willie K.
“That man Willie K has such a beautiful voice,” Carrey said as fresh ahi bruschetta was passed around.
Also among the political supporters were Oscar-winner Helen Hunt and music-icon Willie Nelson and his son, Lukas Nelson, who has his famous dad’s fabulous voice in him, for sure. All of the people mentioned above live on Maui, at least part of the time between touring and movies.
Questlove, who is the music director for “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” is a New York Times best-selling author of “something to food about.” He’s penning a second book on chefs due out in October, he told me, patting his belly, and saying that he had plenty of experience in that realm.
Mark Ellman, wife Judy and daughter Michelle Ellman lent a hand with the pupu at the event. The owner of Frida’s Mexican Beach House and other Lahaina restaurants, Ellman says they recently visited the Patron Hacienda in Jalisco, Mexico.
“We spent an educational time in the agave fields, the factory and the distillery and found out how all of the Patrons are made,” Ellman said. “We went there to choose our third barrel, which holds 90 cases, and we pour that anejo tequila at all three of our Lahaina restaurants — Frida’s, Honu Seafood & Pizza and Mala Ocean Tavern.”
Chef-restaurateur Peter Merriman was spotted listening to Willie Nelson sing and strum. He says that his latest venture, a Monkeypod concept, is targeted to open in October at Whalers Village mall in Kaanapali.
The A-listing on Maui goes beyond just a one-night party. The Mill House at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu will present its second annual Maui Chefs Invitational Friday through Sunday with chefs from San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City descending on island to cook up a storm. Participants include “Top Chef” winner Brooke Williamson of the Hudson House in L.A.; phenoms Brett Cooper of Aster in San Francisco; Travis Grimes of Husk in Charleston, S.C.; Fabian Von Hauske of Contra in New York and more, who will impress at sit-down dinners on Friday and Saturday for $250 a pop.
Sunday’s outdoor barbecue will feature local greats Perry Bateman of Mama’s Fish House and Oahu’s Lee Anne Wong of Koko Head Cafe and more. Cost is $75. Bateman says Jim Nabors who has a home in Hana just dined at the famous Kuau restaurant.
For tickets, call 270-0303 or visit www. mauichefsinvitational.com.
Starting Sept. 8, Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea will launch a saxy chain of events at the seventh annual Maui Jazz & Blues Festival on its oceanfront lawn with gourmet food and Grammy music Hall of Famers from New York, Chicago, Louisiana, Kansas and Canada. Call 874-2221, for tickets.
And last but not least, The Maui News’ Best of Maui results will be hot off the press on Sunday with the A-List of island restaurants, resorts, shops and activities. With such amenities, it’s no wonder that celebs keep moving here.
* Got restaurant / dining-event scoop?
Call Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.