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Chefs and farmers team for Kapalua's Grand Tasting

May 23, 2011 - Carla Tracy

Hawaii’s longest-running wine and food event will provide a new spin on an old favorite. We’re talking about the Grand Tasting that’s part of the 30th annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival that runs June 9 to 12 at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.

“This year, in conjunction with the Maui County Farm Bureau, the festival has retooled the Friday, June 10th Grand Tasting into ‘A Maui Grown Gala,’ where top island chefs are paired with local farmers and growers to create specialized culinary creations,” says Karin Sagar, consultant for the festival.

“For the event, which takes place at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua’s open-air Aloha Garden Pavilion, organizers are working closely with the featured chefs and Maui County farmers to choose the perfect partner pairings.”

Restaurants, farmers and featured dishes include:

- Cilantro Mexican Grill and Pacific Produce - mahimahi ceviche tostada with citrus, watercress and jicama salad and Mother Clucker flautas with hibiscus jalapeno jelly on a bed of Kula greens, roasted corn and pomegranate vinaigrette.

- Flatbread Company and Hana Herbs and Flowers - Pohole fern flatbread and salad.

- The Plantation House Restaurant and Escobedo Farm - Chef’s meze table with baba ghanjouj (eggplant-tahini), melitzanosalata (eggplant-walnut), eggplant-sausage caponata, hummus, Mediterranean olives, peppers, marinated cheese, pitas and crostinis.

- Ruth’s Chris Steak House and J Shishido Farm - Broccoli Beef with house cured bersola, with a cilantro vinaigrette and wild mushroom fricassee with house cured pancetta, parmigiano reggiano, red wine demi glaze and whole leaf parsley

- The Banyan Tree and Syl’s Produce - Seafood sausage with pumpernickel and bearnaise sauce and smoked ono on a Maui-style tortilla with crème fraiche

- Monkeypod Kitchen and Olowalu Nui Farm - Grilled cheese sandwich and Olowalu Nui Farm tomato, pineapple and beet gazpacho.

- Desserts by Chef Ashley – The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua and Kula Country Farms.

“As always, a central focus of the Friday night event will be the hundreds of premium wines that will flow at various stations.

Featured Master Sommelier Selections and Wine Stations include a Tour of California with selections by Festival Host Fred Dame; Southern Hemisphere Wines; Pacific Northwest Wines; Master Sommelier Selections by Jay Fletcher; European Wines; and the ever popular Sparkling Wines by Master Sommelier Larry Stone.

Additional Sponsor Stations during the evening include Maui Brewing Co. Draft Beer Bar, Maui Coffee Roasters Specialty Brews, Maui County Farm Bureau and Iced Coffee Station and Waiwera US.


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Hundreds of wines will flow at the Grand Tasting