KAPALUA TEES OFF. . . Thousands of spectators will soon gather at Kapalua's Plantation Course for the 2009 Mercedes-Benz Championship Monday to Jan. 11. As usual, there will be plenty of ono grinds to enjoy as you watch the golf action.
"Cafe O' Lei's catering and banquet department is once again gearing up to do the food," says owner Dana Pastula. "Wednesday is the Pro-Am and that's when to come and see all of the stars and the pros."
Cafe O'Lei will set up food trailers on the 2nd and 10th holes, a food booth on the 18th hole along with easy-access foods in the Spectator Village. "We'll have the typical hot dogs and burgers, Caesar salads and we'll also make plate lunches of blackened mahimahi and barbecued kalua pork," says Pastula. "We'll have Haagen-Dazs bars, Budweiser, Heineken and Coca-Cola. Come and enjoy this world-class event. It's such a great experience."
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Cafe O’Lei’s catering team of Molly Wilson (from left), Arnel Abellon and Dana Pastula will once again create the food for the Mercedes-Benz Championship in Kapalua.
Besides on the links, Kapalua restaurants are the places you'll be sure to spot pro golfers and celebrity participants such as former Denver Broncos' quarterback John Elway, actors Greg Kinear, Kyle McLaughlin and Jack Wagner and crooner Michael Bolton.
"We look forward to hosting participants for dinner at the signature Banyan Tree and Kai Sushi restaurants," says Kim Kessler, the public relations director of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. "For breakfast, we feature our daily plantation-style breakfast buffet at The Terrace. Guests may also enjoy drinks at the Alaloa Lounge and lunch at the oceanfront Beach House."
Plantation House will be in the thick of it all, hosting the Pro-Am dinner Wednesday, and the PGA's farewell dinner Jan. 11. Both are closed to the public. But it will be open for dinner during the tournament from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Executive Chef Alex Stanislaw will feature farm-to-table fresh local foods such as Kapalua Farms beet salad with feta and balsamic drizzle; and dinner sides of local asparagus spears with Emilia-Romano cheese, and Upcountry spinach sauteed in olive oil and garlic.
Famous for his five different fish preparations nightly, Stanislaw creates "tastes of" the Mediterranean, Venice, Maui and Italy, among others.
New York Yankee pitcher Andy Pettitte was spotted at Alex's brunch Saturday. "The Plantation House is a fun place to dine now through the next few weeks," says publicist David Hoffman. "You never know who might be sitting at the table next to you, and besides, the food and the views are always so fantastic."
MORE STAR SIGHTINGS. . . Spotted in the Four Seasons Resort Maui's newly renovated Lobby Lounge last Friday was actor Tom Arnold. The new granite slab doubles the size of the bar seating, ocean views are opened up wide and there is live music nightly . . . Celebrated Chef Wolfgang Puck is now frequenting his Spago Wailea during his annual holiday on Maui.
But the place to be discovered by Hollywood executives has got to be Mala Wailea. Dining there recently were some top directors such as Dick Donner ("Lethal Weapon"), Ivan Reitman ("Ghostbusters") and Jason Reitman ("Juno"). Even Jerry Moss, whose horse won the Kentucky Derby, is a regular fixture.
BITS AND PIECES. . . Opening its doors in the old Auntie Pasto's location at Queen Ka'ahumanu Center near Sears last Friday was the Vietnamese-themed Lemongrass Maui. We'll have more more about this exotic new Central Maui establishment soon.
Penny pinching after too much holiday spending? Jack in the Box has introduced the $2.99 Jumbo Deal with two tacos, hamburger and fries.
* Carla Tracy is the dining editor of the Maui Scene.