NOBLE CAUSES . . . Just like it does every semester, Maui Culinary Academy's The Class Act restaurant has reopened for lunch with seatings from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. Last week, I joined the Hawaii Sales & Marketing Association for one of its yummy luncheon meetings.
Those in attendance learned that to date, HSMA has given away $100,000 to various beneficiaries. Second semester student chef Marc Andre Pourny was that day's recipient of a $750 check.
"I'm honored and I'm very pleased and I'm very grateful. I want to thank (instructors) Tom Lelli and Juli Umetsu for putting up with me," says Marc Andre, who is recovering from his addiction to alcohol and crystal methamphetamine. "In the past, I really messed up and they see the changes in me. If I can do it, anyone can!"
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Maui Culinary Academy Instructor Juli Umetsu honored Marc Andre Pourny, a second semester student, with a $750 scholarship check.
Two years "clean," Marc Andre says he saw a cooking show on TV when he was high and he started crying and thinking to himself,?"What am I doing in a room tweaking out, when I can be cooking?"
It changed the life of the Anchorage, Alaskan native. He also credits his French-born mother, for influencing him with his love of the kitchen.
Denny's in Kahului will partner with the Rotary Club of Valley Isle Sunset for a fundraising dinner from 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday in the restaurant.
"Just come on over and dine at Denny's and 20 percent of your dinner bill and 100 percent of all the guest servers' tips will be donated to the Neighborhood Place of Wailuku," says the Rotary Club's president Cielo Molina. "Come and see your hardworking guest politicians and others serving the public!"
Put on your dancing shoes for the second annual Orchid Ball, set for Friday, Feb. 5, at King Kamehameha Golf Club in Waikapu. The sit-down affair features a choice of three entrees, including roasted beef with beurre rouge, grilled garden vegetables and herb-roasted potato. Also enjoy cocktails, a live swing band and dancing. Proceeds will go to families who need assistance for Montessori Hale O Keiki, South Maui's only independent school. Live auction items include a cooking class with "Green Queen" author Renee Loux in her Wailea estate.
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BITS AND PIECES . . . The local favorite al-fresco restaurant, Ko, at Fairmont Kea Lani Maui resort in Wailea, is now open for lunch. It's participating in the campaign, "Got Choice - Think Local," with 25 percent off food for kamaaina.
Lunch items span Maui's ethnic salad bowl with Korean spicy chicken in sweet Maui lavender honey, Chinese house cake noodles with chicken, and Japanese miso-glazed tiger prawns as entrees.
Speaking of lavender, Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm will host a Royal Tea, starting at 10 a.m. Sunday. Enjoy "royal table service," and tea and scones for $35 per person. Then walk around the scenic farm, drink in the views and inhale the fragrant aromas.
Now, here's something that's the perfect Valentine's Day gift for the coffee lover in your life. MauiGrown French Kiss is a seductive blend of French roast "kissed" with other island roasts.
Manager Diane Boyd came up with the sexy blend. You may buy it at the MauiGrown Coffee Company Store on Lahainaluna Road, next to the giant smokestack. Or order it online at www.mauigrowncoffee.com.
The MACC in Kahului will showcase two remarkable shows this weekend. "Hi'iaka: Ka Wahinepo'aimoku" will be presented Saturday, and the pre-show food service starts at 5:30 p.m. with Alexander's Famous Fish. Sunday, Alpin Hong will entertain with his keyboard. Consuelo's Catering will present its specialties.
* You may reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.