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Farm fresh lunch with Peter Merriman

June 5, 2011 - Carla Tracy

Chef and restaurateur Peter Merriman is all over the map. He’s got hugely popular restaurants on three Hawaiian islands, and he’ll be the featured chef at the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival, which is celebrating its 30th year June 9 to 12 at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.

“I first participated as a chef in the Kapalua Food & Wine event in the late 1980s,” says Merriman. “I traveled over from the Big Island.”

This year, his Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea will partner with Olowalu Nui Farm at the festival’s Grand Tasting, to be held June 10 at the Ritz’s Aloha Pavilion. The focus is on pairing farmers with chefs, while guests sip fine wines from over 200 selections.

Merriman’s team will grill cheese sandwiches and add plump and juicy Olowalu Nui Farm tomato slices, and serve them with fresh as it gets pineapple and beet gazpacho.

“Back when I first attended, it would not even have been possible to have a local agricultural event,” he continues. “It is great to see the progress we've made. There are many more products available today. I hope we can keep them going in the years to come.”

At the festival’s grand finale event, the newly named Maui Seafood Festival, Merriman’s Kapalua will prepare gourmet shrimp pupu for the attendees. It will be held Sunday, June 12 at the Ritz’s Beach House lawn.

In addition, the celebrate chef will also wow the crowds with a luncheon Sunday, June 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Ritz. It’s called Farm Fresh with Peter Merriman, and it will surely be a highlight of the entire event.

“I do all I can to support local ag. Cooking a luncheon for such a prestigious group of guests does much to spread the word about the great products raised here on Maui.”

“Many of the people attending this event are the food and wine opinion makers for the entire country. This event is gastronomic tournament of champions in that it allows the whole country to witness the great things we raise here.”

As the press release states, “Chef Peter Merriman invites you to join him for a localized feat of unparalleled farm fresh simple signature dishes. Submerge your senses in this custom dining experience, complemented with extraordinary wine pairings.”

Panelists will include:

Rob Bigelow, MS Food & Beverage Director, Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas

Judd Carroll NW Regional Manager, Freixenet USA

Fred Dame, MS VP of Luxury Sales, Treasury Wine Estates

Jay Fletcher, MS Executive Director of Fine Wine, Southern Wine & Spirits of Colorado

Armen Khachaturian National Sales Manager, Ehlers Estate

Brian McClintic, MS Regional Manager of Northern California, Heirloom Wine Group

Featured Four-Course Menu includes:

Poisson Cru

Strawberry and Maui Onion Surfing Goat Cheese Salad

Maui Cattle Co. Filet of Beef, Hamakua Alii Mushrooms and Basil-Feta Pesto wrapped in Phyllo

Dough with Charred Tomato Vinaigrette

Old School Hawaiian Chocolate Cream Pie

Featured Wines include:

Ehlers Merlot, St. Helena

Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvee Brut, Sonoma

Gunderloch Kabinett “Jean Baptiste” Riesling, Rheinhessen, Germany

St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley

Navarro Gewurztraminer, Anderson Valley

For more information about the 30th annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival, call 665-9160 or visit Kapalua Website.


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Peter Merriman is the featured chef of this year's Kapalua Wine & Seafood Festival.