END OF AN ERA . . . This Sunday marks the last day of operation for Waikiki landmark, Aaron's Atop the Ala Moana on Oahu. "We have enjoyed 25 terrific years serving the people and visitors of Hawaii," says Tri-Star Restaurant Group's President and CEO Aaron Placourakis, who is based on Maui. "Due to the softening economy, we have made the difficult decision to not renew the lease and will focus our energy on our four award-winning Hawaii restaurants that continue to thrive."
In fact, Aaron's Maui restaurants, Nick's Fish Market, Sarento's on the Beach and Son'z at Swan Court helped him to win the "Culinary Ambassador Award" recently for his "outstanding service and exceptional contribution to culinary arts education and training in Maui County." It was awarded to him by Maui Culinary Academy and the only other people to ever receive it were chefs Sam Choy and Tylun Pang.
As many already know, beloved longtime Maui restaurateur Barry Tippett has passed away and his Celebration of Life will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday in his Sports Page Grill & Bar in Kihei.
Photo courtesy Maui Culinary Academy
Chef Eric Tucker of Millennium in San Francisco will host a two-hour vegan and vegetarian cooking demo at Maui Culinary Academy Tuesday.
o o o o
IT'S SHOWTIME . . . "The McCoy Theater will be the happening place this weekend," says Luana Argel, the food and beverage co-manager at the MACC in Kahului. "For the local comedy of Augie T. this Friday, better store up some energy with Vasi Catering's home-style meat loaf with smashed potatoes. Her veggie lasagna is also to die for with Caesar salad. Try a glass of Heron pinot noir to get you in the mood. You'll be laughing all night!" In addition, Coconut Cabaret is Saturday night, and you'll be tempted with wild salmon in lilikoi-butter sauce by Consuelo's Catering. Is your mouth watering yet? Maybe you'll want to have a glass of Pacific Rim dry reisling with something light. She'll feature free-range chicken soup and her famous veggie wraps in basil-citrus sauce. Food service at both shows starts at 5:30 p.m."
o o o o
BITS AND PIECES . . . We hear that the Valley Isle's Ocean Vodka and Maui Brewing Co., have teamed with Stella Blues in Kihei for its Friday night live music performances. This week, BrownChicken BrownCow string band will play and the blueberry martinis and the Maui-made ales will flow. Show starts at 8 p.m.
Speaking of the Maui Brewing Co., it just received an honorable mention at the 2009 Small Biz Success Awards held at the Hawaii Prince on Oahu.
"When you are drinking a MBC micro brew, you are guaranteed that you are enjoying an authentic Maui beer," says Garrett Marrero, owner.
Another recent award-winner for Food Artisan is Ono Gelato in Paia, bestowed by Edible Hawaiian Islands. It uses all natural, organic when possible, local, sustainable and ono ingredients such as Kula strawberries and Maui pineapples.
Also in Paia, the Green Banana Cafe is blending pina colada smoothies (sorry, no rum) all month and a portion of the proceeds goes to Women Helping Women agency for those affected by domestic violence. Green Banana will also host a 5K and 10K fun runs for WHW March 28.
"Both of the Longhi's Maui locations are offering new nightly sunset prix-fixe menus from 5 to 6:30 p.m.," says publicist Deborah Hoopingarner. "It includes a starter course, salad, pasta, entree and dessert for $39.99, plus tax and tip."
James Beard Award-winning Oahu Chef Roy Yamaguchi will come to Maui April 2 to cook a five-course prix-fixe feast for the senses at Roy's Kahana.
"We invite you to help us celebrate 17 years of bringing award-winning Hawaiian fusion cuisine to Maui," says General Manager Justin Zeches. "Cost is $65 per person or $85 with wine pairings (plus tax and tip). The menu is being finalized."
More and more diners "are going vegan and vegetarian these days," says Chris Speere of Maui Culinary Academy in Kahului. " So we will present Guest Chef Eric Tucker of the award-winning Millennium restaurant in San Francisco Tuesday from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. for a two-hour cooking demo for chefs and culinary professionals. His cooking style embraces traditional concepts along with unique ethnic cuisine. Cost is $15 and it will be held in the Paina Building."
A blast from Maui's past will soon be up and running with a restaurant under his name in historic Lahaina town. Chef David Paul Johnson now targets April as the opening month at the Lahaina Center in the former Zuihao location. He's calling it "tropical chic and island cool" and the name is David Paul's Island Grill. The highlights are two outdoor dining areas, a see-in kitchen and a unique wine program.
* Reach Carla Tracy at 242-6342.