Excitement is bubbling with the force of a magnum of champagne about to explode over the third annual Wailea Food & Wine Celebration.
The benefit for the Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center will uncork over 200 wines of the highest caliber along with gourmet foods by top Maui establishments and exclusive VIP auction items from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, outdoors on the Sunset Lawn of the Hotel Wailea.
"What really separates this from other wine events on Maui is that it is limited to just 250 people," says wine educator Jim Powlan of Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants, the mastermind behind the tasty benefit. "Attendees get a much higher level of ingredients than at bigger events. All of the chefs know each other and there is a big competition factor."
Hui artist and wine educator Jim Powlan of Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants (holding bottles) is flanked by chefs Eric Arbogast of Cuatro (from left), Cameron Lewark of Spago, Travis Morrin of Three’s Bar & Grill and Brian Etheredge of Capische, who will all participate in this year’s event with at least two of their signature dishes. The celebration will flow under the stars at a cost of $125 per person ($75 is tax deductible).
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
For instance, Michael and Dana Pastula of Cafe O'Lei restaurants will roast a whole pig and serve it with Chinese sweet buns, hoisin and scallions.
Eric Arbogast of Cuatro will tempt you with south-of-the-border hamachi sashimi and curried-lobster bisque. Chefs at Three's Bar & Grill will do lamb and foie gras roulade with fresh shiitake mushroom duxelle, arugula and goat-cheese polenta cake in Madeira reduction.
Chef Brian Etheredge of Capische, the host hotel's signature restaurant, will wow you with Sicilian-spiced ahi on jicama slaw, and kabocha-pumpkin gnocchi on lavender Alfredo.
Other participants are Spago, Dan Fisk: A Private Maui Chef, Zia Maria's Gelato, and Maui Culinary Academy.
"As far as the wines go, Chambers & Chambers represent high-end wineries and certainly there will be a lot of these offerings at this tasting."
Sip the best from Australia, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Italy as well as Oregon, Washington and California.
"There's no standing in lines. You get to meet the winemakers or the winery owners in a one-on-one scenario."
Chat up the powerhouses from Justin Vineyards, Grgich Hills Estate, Jordan Winery and Shafer Vineyards.
"Larry Turley is coming. He's famous for his zinfandels and is one of the pioneers of old-vine, single-vineyard zins. Rob Sinskey will bring organically farmed wines from Stag's Leap and Carneros. And Dan Morgan of Morgan Winery is a legend in Monterrey for his premium style."
Johannes Selbach from the Mosel area of Germany will be there. His family has been in the wine business since 1600. Michael Dashe of Dashe Cellars makes the best U.S. reisling in Mendocino. Josh Bersgtrom of the Willamette Valley is one of Oregon's top pinot noir producers.
Just when you think it can't get any better, you may meet with the Allegrini people of Veneto, Italy, with their valpolicellos; and Altesino, producers of the much sought-after Italian brunello. The auction items are all as good as it gets with a world-class trip to Napa Valley. Hui calendars will also be for sale . Last year, the event raised $10,000 for the Hui's art programs.
For tickets, call 572-6560.