Side Orders • August 9, 2018

Executive Chef Lyndon Honda of Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali was a leader in Project Kokua for Kauai & Hawaii Island — raising more than $38,000 for the cause. Sheraton Maui photo

CHEFS JOIN FORCES . . . The rains on Kauai have subsided and the lava flows have eased up on the Big Island, but those impacted by the recent natural disasters on both isles still need our help.

That’s why Project Kokua for Kauai & Hawaii Island was such a hit last month as a sold-out fundraiser at Maui Tropical Plantation. The event raised more than $38,000 for the cause through efforts of Lyndon Honda, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa’s executive chef; and Lisa and Halemanu Villiarimo. Lisa is owner of Aloha Lifestyle and Halemanu is a 2018 Na Hoku Hanohano winner.

Dozens of Maui chefs served their creations, Halemanu performed, businesses and volunteers donated time and auction items, and 100 percent of proceeds went to Malama Kauai and Rotary Club of Pahoa. It took just one month to put it all together.

“It’s inspiring to watch the local community come together to support our ohana on Kauai and Hawaii Islands, especially in such a short time frame,” says Honda. “We surpassed our donation goal, and the overwhelming success of this fundraiser was accomplished because of the true aloha spirit of our community.”

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BITS AND PIECES . . . The dog days of summer are still hounding us, but you can step out of the island heat into Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar in The Shops at Wailea and cool down with the new frozen Mai Tai with a dark-rum float with extra pizzazz.

“The frozen cocktail offers a taste of island life, which may include the occasional brain freeze, if you are not careful!” according to publicist Greg Lutchko.

Those heading to The Shops at Wailea on Wednesday may want to catch Hilo-born Kuana Torres Kahele at 5:30 p.m. in a complimentary concert on the ground level center stage. He’s a multiple Na Hoku Award-winner renowned for genre-bending creativity.

By the way, the word is “genre,” not “gender.” Those with brain freeze may get it confused.

Upstairs at the Shops, Ruth’s Chris Steak House sizzles with its early-bird Prime Time special. Get three-course menus daily starting at $54.95 with your choice of pupu, entree with accompaniment and dessert. If you are there on the genre-bending Wednesday, you can get 25 percent off select bottles of wine.

Hot on the heels of the Seed to Cup Festival on all things coffee at Maui Tropical Plantation last weekend is news on some Maui farmers who won in the statewide Cupping Competition recently held on Kauai.

The 10th annual cupping event attracted robust interest from 92 growers from across the state who assembled to compete and also to attend the 23rd annual Hawaii Coffee Association Conference. Hot topics included new coffee varieties using wine yeast. First place Maui regional winner was Maui Mountain Coffee owned by Bobbie Becker. Second place went to Tambra Gardens/Kula Beans owned by Tama Brandeburg and third place was awarded to Maui Estate Coffee owned by Erik Anderson.

“It is inspiring that so many Hawaii coffee producers are striving to make coffee better,” says Cupping Committee Chair Brian Webb. “The future of Specialty Coffee in Hawaii looks very bright.”

Lahaina Second Friday will be a Summer Block Party with happy hour and free billiards at pet-friendly Spanky’s Rip Tide, $5 pupu at Pioneer Inn, all-day specials on Ocean Vodka Moscow Mules at Koa’s 156, an “official” after-party at Down The Hatch, and much more on every block. Just sip slow to avoid brain freeze.

* Got restaurant/dining-event scoop? Call Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342; or email carlatracy@mauinews.com.

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