STAR-STUDDED MAUI . . . Those who attended the glitzy culinary parties last weekend in Wailea got celebrity glimpses galore.
At Four Seasons Resort Maui's Taste of Chocolate, guests got more than delectable martinis and over-the-top desserts. For starters, Tori Spelling and her husband, Dean McDermott, of "Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood," dazzled the crowd.
Jillian Michaels, host of "The Biggest Loser," a show in which guests try to lose the most weight, grabbed not one, but two candy bars on her way out. (She apparently adores the high-end Guittard chocolate.)
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Actress Tori Spelling made a splash at the Taste of Chocolate Friday at Four Seasons Resort Maui. She’s hugging General Manager Thomas Steinhauer at the step-and-repeat board.
Blonde-bombshell actress Anna Faris attended Taste of Chocolate, too. She'll star in "House Bunny" this Saturday on the Starz movie channel as a Playmate who gets kicked out of the Playboy Mansion.
Other Taste of Chocolate celebs were Justin Chambers, the bad-boy actor of "Grey's Anatomy." Wailea Destination Association Marketing Director Kathy Costello says he's really a nice boy from Ohio. . . and then there was Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" on the Discovery Channels and actors James Marsden of "X-Men" and "Hairspray," Kirsten Bell of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," and repeat visitor and actress Virginia Madsen, best known for her role in the movie "Sideways."
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MORE, MORE, MORE . . . Move over, Aspen. The place to see and be seen last week was Wailea. At Mala Wailea at the Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, the film festival's honorees, Willie Nelson and Zooey Deschanel, joined each other at a table along with her boyfriend, Ben Gibbard, rock star of both Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie. Veteran actors Richard Chamberlain and Madsen also joined the table to enjoy buffet items and Maui's own Ocean Vodka martinis.
"It was a fun party," says Mala partner Shep Gordon. It was a little bit of Hollywood right here on Maui."
Of course, many ladies ogled Eddie Murphy at Tommy Bahama last week. And, Tyra Banks of "America's Next Top Model" couldn't get enough of the soft-serve yogurt at the new Tutti Fruitti in Kihei's Kukui Mall. Owner Skip Wheeler says the beauty came in three times for cups of the creamy dessert.
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BITS AND PIECES . . . A benefit for Leilani Farm Sanctuary will be held from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday at the Flatbread Company in Paia. Basically, a portion of all pizza sales that evening will be donated to the Haiku sanctuary by the restaurant. "It will be a festive time to mingle with friends, share animal stories, and enjoy delicious pizza, hot out of the oven," says Leilani Farm's founder Lauralee Blanchard.
It's hard to believe the Maalaea Waterfront just turned 30 years old. From day one, it's always been one of the top fine-dining restaurants on Maui. Now for a limited time, it's celebrating its anniversary with two-for-one entrees all night long. Choose from the fresh catch to the game dishes to the juicy steaks.
The Citrus College Band is rocking the house down poolside at Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa's Kumu Bar & Grill from noon to 2 p.m. and from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. today and Friday. You may dine indoors or out. People are dancing in the pool, it's so fun.
"Of course, the most popular appetizers are our famous Maui onion rings and our Kobe beef sliders," says Sharon Klaschka, the hotel's director of sales and marketing. Kumu also offers Vietnamese lettuce wraps, spicy Korean chicken wings, and kalua pork nachos.
Who Cut The Cheese in Kihei will present its monthly five wines and five cheese pairings at neighboring Stella Blues from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. This month's theme is the "Queen of Whites." Cost is $30.
* You may reach dining editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.