OUT HANA WAY. . . The lush and remote side of Maui will cook this weekend with the East Maui Taro Festival. Saturday, Hana town will come alive with music, hula, 20 food booths, arts and crafts, agricultural tents, poi pounding and a farmers market.
Doria Lind is chairwoman of the food booths and we hear there will be fresh-pressed sugar cane juice, ulu-and-taro poi, laulau, kulolo, coconut candy, fresh and dried fish, pohole fern salad, organic taro chili with taro corn bread, popsicles, tripe stew with taro, squid luau in coconut milk, Kawaiaea Ohana's famous taro-seafood chowder, smoothies, shave ice and taro burgers.
Sadly, the late Carl Lindquist will no longer be a presence at the pancake breakfast Sunday. But Roger Lane, president of the Hana Business Council, is doing pono publicity by renaming it the Taro Pancake BreakFEST with live music and great raffle prizes all morning long.
The East Maui Taro Festival will feature poi pounding and kalo board-making demos by Jerry Konanui at Kahanu Gardens Friday. In Hana town Saturday, you’ll find food and cultural booths and music, and Sunday, the ono Taro Pancake BreakFEST.
photo courtesy JUDY KINSER
"We'll have fluffy taro pancakes, ono scrambled eggs, savory pork sausage, steamed white rice, fresh pineapple, and orange juice and coffee for $8.95 adults, and $5 keiki 12 and under," says Lane.
"Ruby's Diner is donating all of the food and Anthony's Coffee, the java. It's a really fun event. I was Mr. Orange Juice for three years and we have a Sausage Boy. We do it for the love of the Hana community. Come check it out and you might see a rainbow." Breakfast runs from 7 to 10:30 a.m. For tickets, call 248-7804.
We also hear there's a new executive chef at the Hotel Hana-Maui and she's wowed the world everywhere from the acclaimed Felix atop the Peninsula in Hong Kong (I dined there on my honeymoon) to Alan Wong's former Canoe House on the Big Island.
"During the taro festival, we'll be giving away free Thai taro tapiocas at the front desk,"?says Dee Ann Tsurumaki. "We'll also serve our island menu in the Ka'uiki dining room from 6 to 9 p.m."
AROUND THE TOWN . . . There will be a special champagne brunch at Ka'anapali Beach Hotel from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday as many of the special guests from the resort's 2010 Henry Kaleialoha Allen Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival will be on hand to serenade diners.
Located in the hotel's Tiki Terrace restaurant, the brunch will feature Hawaiian steel guitar masters, hula dancers and Sen. Brickwood Galuteria as host.
Brunch highlights include a seafood bar with mussels, oysters, crab, shrimp, ahi and taco poke, kiawe-smoked salmon and sushi.
A carving station will feature kiawe-smoked prime rib and guava-glazed ham. Other hot entrees include waffles, kalua pork, laulau, omelets, coconut green-curry chicken and breaded catfish.
The Baskin Robbins store in Kahului will sweeten the spring season with its fourth annual 31 Cent Scoop Night from 5 to 10 p.m. Wednesday. Monies corporate-wide will go to the National Fallen Firefighters Association in the form of a $100,000 check. "The event gives us a wonderful opportunity to show our appreciation to loyal customers and to honor local heroes," says Baskin Robbins franchisee Nathan Feliciano of Kahului.
"Bah, bah, beautiful sheep" is the them of this month's wine and cheese tasting at Stella Blues Cafe in Kihei. It's sponsored by Who Cut the Cheese Store and it costs $30 for the tastes and sips. . . By the way, Stella's Supper Club is in the swing of things with Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom and jazz pals at a four-course dinner and show Saturday. Dinner seating is at 6 p.m. Bring your appetites.
National Hockey League legend Joe Sakic of the Colorado Avalanche, enjoyed dinner with family at Cheeseburger Island Style in Wailea.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS . . . Remember back in January when I wrote a story Beverly Gannon would be headliner chef of the hugely popular ZAP zinfandel festival in San Francisco?
Well, now ZAP will wing it to Maui for the Zinfandel Grand Tasting and Cook Off May 21 at Maui Culinary Academy in Kahului. Taste award-winning zinfandels, mingle with winemakers, and sample food provided by MCA's future top chefs.
There will be a complimentary trade tasting from 1 to 5 p.m. (those in the biz must register soon); and public tasting and cook-off from 6 to 8 p.m. Visit www.zinfandel.org or call (530) 274-4900.
Coming back for another fun round, Restaurant Week Wailea will return May 23 to 29. Those on a budget will once again be able to dine at their favorite restaurants for a fraction of the real cost.
* You may reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.