HOW SWEET IT IS . . . As expected, some juicy news was squeezed out of the 20th annual Maui Onion Festival Saturday under the sunny skies at Whalers Village in Kaanapali.
Chef David Paul Johnson took first place in the chef cook-off with his pan-seared island snapper with reduced Maui onion jus, soft polenta and pickled Maui onions. Maybe he'll add it to the menu of his just-opened David Paul's Island Grill in Lahaina. Wow, what a comeback to Maui. Congrats, David!
Patrick Callarec of Chez Paul in Olowalu took second place with his French-inspired Maui onion dish. He says he's just launched Chefs Produce and Products on the corner of Lahainaluna Road and the Honoapiilani Highway in Lahaina. It's open from 7 to 11 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays to chefs and the general public, featuring mushrooms such as fresh morels and chanterelles. Other items he sells range from fresh fennel to Black Mission figs.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Onstage at the Maui Onion Festival Saturday were Lisa Donlon, marketing manager of Whalers Village; chefs David Paul Johnson (from left) and Patrick Callarec and KITV event emcee Guy Hagi.
"I have high standards. I cannot compromise quality," says Callarec. "David Paul is one of my clients. We talk the same language. I'm arrogant. He's arrogant. If I can please David, I can please anyone. I also do cooking demos for this new venture and sell whole ducks, Maui beef and Big Island lamb and even rabbits."
About 20 Maui Culinary Academy students cut over 700 pounds of onions for the Maui Onion Growers to make the world-famous deep-fried onions rings.
At the festival, we also heard Maui Brewing Co. will be a participant in the Maui Brewers Festival, to be held at the MACC?in Kahului from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, May 30, with 22 top breweries pouring two beers each and 20 caterers serving food.
BITS AND PIECES . . .The Save Honolua Coalition will host a concert in, where else, Honolua Valley in West Maui at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, featuring the music of Tina Malia and more. Attendees will find vegetarian-prepared foods by the Honokowai farmers market as well as chai, elixers and raw treats by Madava. Coolers are welcomed and the full moon will be rising.
Speaking of full moons, the Werewolf Wine Tasting will be held oceanfront on the point at Merriman's Kapalua at 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Lahaina Grill announces it will offer kamaaina discounts of 50 percent off all dinner entrees every Monday through the month of May. "It is always such fun to see everyone on kamaaina nights at the restaurant. We really just want to say THANK YOU for all of your support over the last 10 years that Linda and I have owned Lahaina Grill," says Chef-owner Jurg Munch.
We hear that over 600 people showed up at Denny's in Kahului last Tuesday for the 99-cent loco moco special that District Manager Prashant Sharan was serving. Those who missed out can dine at Denny's next Tuesday on loco moco for the same price.
SPRINGTIME UPCOUNTRY. . . One of Maui's favorite springtime events, the 36th annual Seabury Hall Craft Fair, will be a paradise for Mother's Day shopping from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Besides 100 craft booths, classic car show, auctions, entertainment and keiki games, there will be tons to eat.
Restaurant Row will feature Westin?Maui's Thai chicken skewers with ginger slaw; Hula Grill's coconut fish curry; Duke's barbecue ribs; and Four Season DUO's short ribs and flat iron steak with mashed potatoes. In addition, there will be offerings from Flatbread Pizza, Serpico's, Kimo's and Roy's along with chow fun, Greek salad and pita bread, Indian food and more, according to Carolyn Wright. For dessert La Patisserie will feature home-style baked goods and treats, as well as fresh waffles with strawberries.
* You may reach dining editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.