The shady, oceanfront venue with island views is not only relaxing, it's seldom seen, a rare glimpse of Maui. That's because Chefs on the Beach is always set at a private estate in Makena.
The third annual Chefs on the Beach will make it even more unique with top chefs and entertainment and it's all to support numerous, worthy Maui nonprofits. The fun will run from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 8 - and previous attendees are saying they can't wait to come back again and enjoy the fabulous experience.
"The concept of the event is a casual, elegant afternoon chef's festival," says event chairman Harlan Hughes, a member of the Rotary Club of Maui that is the presenter of Chefs on the Beach.
GERALD BARRON photo
Colorfully clad partiers revel in casual elegance at a previous Chefs on the Beach event at an oceanfront estate in Makena
"Joe Sugarman has generously donated the use of his property for our annual fundraiser and it's limited to only 350 people."
Kick back and listen to music by Gail Swanson and Phil and Angela Benoit of the Benoit JazzWorks, and Rich and Mele Fong of the Hawaii Serenaders. Walk the grounds, and sip wines from a selection of over 12 top varietals donated by Hawaii Liquor Superstore's Ali Biglar.
"There will also be a silent auction of many exciting items such as golf, helicopter rides, fine jewelry, and restaurant and hotel gift certificates," says Hughes. "People attending will have a really great experience. This is a win-win situation for everyone."
As for the food, bring your appetites and get ready for some gourmet grinds. Chef Cameron Lewark of Spago Maui will make the restaurant's signature spicy-ahi poke in sesame-miso cones, served with chile aioli, soy, bonita flakes, green onions and tobiko.
Owner Jennifer Nguyen of A Saigon Cafe will present her famous garden-party Vietnamese shrimp, plump and crunchy crowd pleasers.
Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar will get appetites going with braised short ribs and tempura-fried eggs. The Flatbread Company of Paia will bake their healthful and all organic vegetarian pizzas. Mulligan's on the Blue in Wailea will grab your attention with crab-and-shrimp cocktails with buffalo mozzarella, and fish 'n' chips tender on the inside and crisp on the outside.
But there's more. The new Three's Bar & Grill in Kihei will make plum-braised duck sushi rolls with chilled carrot and ginger soup; and kalua-pork quesadillas with smoked Haiku-tomato coulis. Mala Wailea will layer Kamuela tomatoes and pea-shoots, feta cheese and watermelon and top it with balsamic dressing. Hana Hou Cafe in Haiku will delight with green papaya and shrimp.
Moana Bakery and Cafe will do an exotic breadfruit with red Thai coconut curry; and Zen Zen Pacifica will sear diver scallops served with spring mushroom risotto, ginger butter and micro greens.
For dessert, Bistro Casanova will go Italian with tiramisu; and Dad's Donuts will take you back in time with their old fashioned donuts, rolls and coffee.
"During these difficult times, it is especially important we work together to support the organizations that support our community," says Hughes.
Cost is $75 per person. Shuttles will run from Makena Beach Resort. Outlets are Topaz Goldsmith & Gallery, 879-5877; Hawaii Liquor Superstore, 877-8778; and Hughes at 878-6356.