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April 3, 2008
The Maui News
CELEBRITY CHEF PROGRAM . . . Chef de Cuisine Jojo Vasquez of The Banyan Tree Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua will be breaking in the Viking Kitchen at Cucina Bella specialty kitchenware store in Kahului when he is featured as the first chef in the store’s new Celebrity Chef Program at 7:30 p.m. April 10. Guests will be served tastings of five to seven courses prepared by the chef in a theater format facing the kitchen.

Chef Jojo is planning a “seasonal menu” to ensure that all the products are at their prime and flavors at their peak.

“It’s my way of paying homage to island traditions by always utilizing the most abundant offerings from both the ‘aina and the ocean,” said Chef Jojo.

He has been a part of prestigious cooking events including the “Best Hotel Chefs of America” series at the James Beard House in New York; a cooking event with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto in California; and at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colo.

Tickets for the Celebrity Chef Program range from $65 to $85 and may be purchased at the store or by calling 871-6428. Cucina Bella is located at 55 Pakaula St., No. 102 in the new building between Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

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COOKIN’ AT THE MACC . . . The “Moor” side of SoMoor: Maui Tropical Jams, Jellies & Moor will be serving light meals in the Yokouchi Founders’ Court from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday preceding the Opera Rocks! encore performance at the MACC’s Castle Theater at 2 p.m. Customers may choose any two of the following items for $9. Hearty and filling mushroom-barley soup; curried chicken salad on a croissant; and mixed greens tossed with a homemade liliko‘i vinaigrette and topped with pear tomatoes, olives and cucumbers. The soup, salad and salad dressing are all vegan preparations.

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LOCAL DAIRY A FINALIST IN NATIONWIDE CONTEST . . . Surfing Goat Dairy in Kula is among the three finalists from Hawaii in the third annual Gallo Family Vineyards Gold Medal Awards. The finalists are being judged by a panel of culinary experts who will determine the Grand Prize winners across seven categories.

This nationwide search for the country’s top artisanal food producers was created by the Gallo family in 2005. All Grand Prize winners will each receive a $5,000 business development grant.

Additional information, including the judges, prizes and prior winners can be found on the Gallo Family Vineyard’s Web site at'>

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AN OCEAN AWAY . . . Maui’s own OCEAN Vodka took center stage last month in New York City at the opening of a Broadway musical legend. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1949 musical classic, “South Pacific” debuted in the Vivian Beaumont Theater at the Lincoln Center with a benefit dinner on March 13. Signature “Bali H’ai” cocktails, featuring OCEAN Vodka, were served during the evening’s pre-show party and intermission festivities. Proceeds from the benefit evening supported the Lincoln Center Theater’s productions and educational programs.Dining Editor Carla Tracy is on leave. Her dining features and column will return May 1. In the meantime, the Dining Scene contact is Rich Van Scoy. Call him at 242-6323 or e-mail'>'>'>

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