The Noble Chef benefit for Maui Culinary Academy just got a little nobler. No, make that way nobler.
That's because the host chef, Tylun Pang of Fairmont Kea Lani Maui resort in Wailea, will launch his first cookbook at the event Friday, Oct. 29.
Here's the big news: He plans to donate all of his proceeds from the book toward the Maui Culinary Academy, earning nothing after a year's hard labor.
Fairmont Kea Lani Maui’s Executive Chef Tylun Pang (from left) shows off his new book that he’ll launch at Noble Chef Oct. 29 outside the hotel’s ballroom in Wailea. He’s seen here with his staff, all graduates of Maui Culinary Academy at University of Hawaii Maui College. They are Marilyn Mina, George Agcolicol and Aristotle Aurelo.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"Many of the people I have working for me are graduates of the academy, and they came in on their own time to help by testing recipes and facts," says Pang about "What Maui Likes to Eat."
"It was a fun project, once it all started coming together. It features people from all over the island and some contributors are coming to the event to sign the book and take part in the dinner. We'll be sitting outside the ballroom."
Contributing chefs include Ryan Luckey of Pineapple Grill, Perry Bateman of Mama's Fish House, Tom Muromoto of Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, Beverly Gannon of Hali'imaile General Store and Geno Sarmiento of Son'z at Swan Court. Gail Ainsworth, who helped Pang with the project, will also be on hand to sign copies.
What: Noble Chef is the Maui Culinary Academy's 14th annual signature fundraiser.
When: Reception is at 6 p.m. Oct. 29; followed by a sit-down dinner at 7 p.m. and live auction.
Where: Fairmont Kea Lani Maui resort in Wailea, flowing out into the garden and in the ballroom.
Guest chefs: Fabrice Huet of Four Seasons Resort Lanai; Colin Hazama of St. Regis Kauai Grill; Colin Thornton of Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii; Sheldon Simeon of Star Noodle, Lahaina; and Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Co. in Los Angeles.
How much: Cost is $150, and tickets are going fast. Call Marilyn Fornwall at 984-3261.
For rooms: Kea Lani will offer room rates starting at $179. Call 875-4100.
As for the event itself, chef instructors from MCA have been asked to prepare small tastes for the reception that pair well with the sparkling and premium wines and specialty beers that will be generously donated by Southern Wines & Spirits. Maui's own Ocean Vodka will also flow in the form of fun martini drinks.
"We will present Southern's Maui branch manager, Kimo Correa, with our highest honor, the Culinary Ambassador Award," says Chris Speere, program coordinator for the academy. "Past recipients have included Sam Choy, George Mavrothalassitis and Tylun Pang, to name a few."
Of course, General Manager Chris Luedi of the Fairmont should get also kudos for stepping up to the plate year after year to host this signature fundraiser for MCA, sponsor it, and give up rooms for visiting chefs from the other islands.
At the reception, MCA Chef Instructor Tom Lelli will tempt your taste buds with spicy tuna tartar on won ton chips with lemon ponzu and micro shiso, and pork tostadas with pineapple salsa and chipotle sour cream.
The other MCA chef instructors preparing tastes for the reception are Jake Belmonte and Craig Omori. Sip some wine, grab a bite, buy a book, and schmooze amidst the magnanimous crowd of MCA supporters.
"The live auction will once again be done by Joe Teipel. He's got a great reputation. Through his efforts last year, and the efforts of our great community partners and Noble Chef committee members, we were able to raise $180,000," says Speere.
But what really makes this year unique is that MCA is bringing in celebrity chefs from the various islands.
The first course will be made by Chef Colin Hazama of the St. Regis Kauai Grill on Kauai. But he hadn't sent in just what he will be making as of press time.
The second course will be by Maui's own Sheldon Simeon of Star Noodle in Lahaina, who will make a deconstructed Portuguese bean soup with ham hocks, braised beans and watercress.
"Sheldon represents Maui and he is also a graduate of the academy," says Speere. "He is awesome."
The third course will be created by Chef Collin Thornton of the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii on the Big Island. He'll impress the attendees with fennel-pollen poached walu with kabocha pumpkin puree, organic baby spinach, garden mango and Hawaiian chile emulsion.
Chef Fabrice Huet of Four Seasons Resort Manele Bay, Lanai will do the entree course of orange-roasted duck breast with spiced duck leg confit with pineapple chutney, and parsnip puree.
Returning Pastry Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard Chocolate Co. in Los Angeles will once again fly in to wow the crowds with his delectable desserts.
He will top the evening off with rum-roasted Maui pineapple with chocolate financier, lychee ice cream and ocumare cremeaux. He'll be backed up by MCA Pastry Chef Teresa Shurilla.
"He's one of the top two pastry chefs in America," says Shurilla. "He has a lot of fun teaching the students."
That's right, this whole event is all about the students. "Now in its 14th year, Noble Chef continually improves, and it's become one of the most recognized events on the island," says Speere. "The cause really does resonate with the community."