Wanna dine on the cutting edge? Then come and savor fresh, raw, unadulterated, enzyme-rich foods served in an elegant sit-down setting with biodynamic wines - all for a moderate price and a great cause.
Maui Culinary Academy will present its annual Le Grinds fundraiser at 6 p.m., Friday, April 30 in the Class Act in Kahului and those who partake will be in for a healthful meal of the gourmet kind.
Drawing from the popular raw-and-living-foods diet, the University of Hawaii Maui College's Maui Culinary Academy will team with renowned local raw-food chef and author Jeremy Safron.
Raw food chef Jeremy Safron and Maui Culinary Academy student Nicole Giacona will impress diners at Le Grinds April 30 with a five-course feast. The raw truth is that 85 percent of the nutrition is destroyed in the hot cooking process.
Student chefs will help Safron create the all-raw, five- course gourmet feast and it will flow with organic as well as biodynamic wines.
While you dine, enjoy live music by singer, songwriter and violinist Maesyn. Courses will include Haleakala sunset salsa with crater chips, coconut-caravan soup and Cajun nofu on hemp rice with marinated vegetables. Other courses are to be announced.
With a career spanning over two decades, Safron is an acclaimed expert in things raw as well as in dietary health. As the author of numerous books including "The Raw Truth," "Fasting Handbook" and "Raw Foods Resource Guide," he's been featured in such publications as USA?Today and Vegetarian Times and is a highly sought-after workshop leader.
Safron was owner of the former The Raw Experience in Paia, one of the nation's first sit-down, entirely raw-food restaurants.
"His artistic vision and relentless exploration of raw tastes allowed him to pioneer many of the concepts and dishes that are common in raw eateries today," says Chris Speere, the program coordinator for MCA. "He also developed some of the most successful raw food products on the market, including Powerwraps and Rawmesean."
For the event, Safron will work with MCA students in Chef Instructor Jake Belmonte's class, teaching them not only how to prepare raw foods but also about their nutrition and the importance of using local ingredients. Many of the students say they've heard about raw cuisine but none has any experience in its preparation. MCA is partnering with Whole Foods Market to provide some of the local ingredients used in each dish.
"Le Grinds is an event that focuses on introducing fresh ideas to food enthusiasts at a very reasonable price," says Belmonte. "It's all about enjoying what the aina has to offer and preparing it to its full potential. I am just ecstatic to be a part of this gig and able to showcase what's hot right now in the culinary world."
Speere also knows "raw" is a hot topic, that it's picking up steam although no cooking is involved.
"Our mission at Maui Culinary Academy is to expose our students to food preparation styles that support America's growing trend toward more conscious eating habits," says Speere. "Alternative dining - such as raw, vegetarian and vegan - is beneficial for vibrant living."
Cost is $40 for the public and $20 for UHMC students, faculty and staff. MCA is only able to accept cash or checks and payment will be collected at the door. Student-produced culinary specialty products as well as Safron's books will also be available for sale. Proceeds will benefit the MCA. Seating is limited.
For reservations call Tiffany Iida at 984-3434.