WEST SIDE STORIES . . . Filming wrapped Tuesday in the guest rooms and the lobby of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali for the feature film, "Hereafter," but the culinary staff is still all abuzz about the happenings.
"It was such a special thing for all of the hotel employees to be a part of a major motion picture," says Klint Kolbu, assistant director of catering and conventions. "Mr. (Clint) Eastwood was very cordial and came up and personally thanked all of the staff.
"Obviously, they are very health conscious. So we grilled off wild Alaskan salmon and served it with steamed spinach and broccoli for breakfast. We served a buffet at lunch and Mr. Eastwood also ate that. What a great experience! Can't wait to see the movie."
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Server Dylan Rist of Nick’s Fishmarket in Wailea holds plates of fresh Hawaiian opakapaka and onaga, done with cutting-edge preparations.
The Westin Maui Resort & Spa's oceanfront restaurant, Tropica, is drawing in diners with specials of 40 percent off wines by the glass on Wednesdays; $7 cocktails, Thursdays; $9 martinis, Fridays; half-priced wine sale on select bottles, Saturdays; and 35 percent off for those working in Maui's hospitality industry on Sundays.
"The goal of Tropica's Chef de Cuisine Rich Hinojosa is to complement Hawaii's incredible products with bold and balanced flavors," says Craig Levy, the resort's food and beverage director.
Roy's Kahana will present the food and wine of Spain at a special five-course dinner at 7 p.m. Saturday. In addition, Roy's will also present the Black Tie & Slippers benefit for Imua Family Services Feb. 6.
The gala will feature a gourmet dinner by Executive Chef Joey Macadangdang, a live auction and music of four-time Grammy nominee Amy Hanaiali'i. The event will honor Michael Moynahan, retired Navy officer and chairman of Roy's Restaurants Golf Classic.
There's a new chef at Maui Brewing Co. in Kahana. Phil Cyr graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. "I am excited to be back on Maui," says Phil, a former resident.
The ever bubbly Michel Roy has jumped ship from The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua to be managing partner of the Mai Tai Lounge on Front Street.
o o o o
BITS AND PIECES . . . There is a way for all of you chefs and restaurateurs to win a place in my heart this year. Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year fall on the same date, Feb. 14. So those of you hosting functions or wanting publicity for either of these holidays should contact me as soon as possible for coverage.
Nick's Fishmarket Maui is impressing diners with its cutting-edge Poi Pounder, an ahi carpaccio appetizer with blue-crab salad, wasabi aioli and Maui avocado. And, the entree of Pacific Coast wild abalone "Chicago style" with lemon butter, rock shrimp, asparagus and Ali'i mushrooms is another winner.
Located garden level of the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui in Wailea with much of its seating under the stars, Nick's keeps winning awards.
"2009 was challenging for most of us. But as we look back, we know how blessed we are to have three restaurants on Maui that have received numerous accolades for food and service," says Aaron Placourakis, president and CEO of the Tri-Star Restaurant Group.
Most recently, Placourakis' Sarento's on the Beach was honored with the 2009 AAA four diamond award for the seventh consecutive year.
"Coupled with Nick's Fishmarket Maui receiving 'Best Service' and Son'z at Swan Court receiving 'Best Wine List' from the readers of The Maui News, we can't thank everyone enough for their support."
Sadly, Jacques North Shore has closed in Paia.
* You may reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342; or email her at email@example.com.