BOSPHORUS BUZZ . . .When I started writing this week's column, I noticed a common thread: Istanbul, Turkey. Several of my well-known subjects in Maui's food and beverage industry just returned from there on independent trips. Another coincidence is they all are planning upcoming events.
Giovanni "Steven" Cappelli and his wife, Panna, are back and Cappelli says the cuisine in Istanbul was "monochromatic, the same all over. But the fish there was great - so fresh."
Cappelli will host Bistro Casanova's first birthday bash Thursday, Nov. 18, in Kahului as a benefit for Maui Coastal Land Trust.
Maui Prime Fine Foods owner Cary Button is back from Istanbul, where he ate “lamb, lamb and more lamb.” Now he’s promoting “naked” beef.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"We feel especially close to this nonprofit," he says. "The theme is 'our land, our ocean.' The courses will all be served in large platters, family style, honoring the bounty of Maui's harvest."
Savor black linguine with seafood ragu, ahi tartare on taro crostini, mahimahi ceviche with Kula avocados, Kaupo venison in red-wine and Kula-onion reduction, seared Maui-grown beef with salsa verde, and pumpkin gnocchi in sage butter.
The partygoers will also be treated to complimentary Bellini toast, silent auction, Hawaiian tunes by Liko Martin, and poetry by Piero Resta. Cost is $100 per person. Call 244-5263.
Chef Mark Ellman and his wife, Judy, just returned from Istanbul as well as Egypt, Israel and Germany. "We went for the food," he says. Then San Francisco and Chicago, "for book signings and TV appearances," where he made ahi bruschetta in order to promote his new "Practice Aloha" paperback.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Ellman will present the Deschutes beer dinner at Mala Ocean Tavern in Lahaina. "It's five courses with five beers, a feast by Executive Chef Ben Klein," he says. "Including with sous-vide braised all-natural short ribs marinated in Obsidian stout with piquillo-pepper coulis." Cost is $59.95, plus tax and tip. Call 667-9394.
Also doing the "Turkey trot" to Istanbul are Wailuku restaurateurs Jason Chau of Asian Star and Jennifer Nguyen of A Saigon Cafe . . . Wine educator Jim Powlan of Chambers & Chambers just returned with wife, Barbara Fong. "We savored Iranian Beluga caviar at $40 for four ounces."
Powlan will be at the Wailea Celebration of Food & Wine Nov. 19 (see story on Page 21) and so will Dana and Michael Pastula of Cafe O'Lei, who just got back from Hungary, Dublin and Munich.
"At Oktoberfest in Munich, the second most popular song behind 'Chicken Dance' was 'Country Road Take Me Home,' " says Dana. It's unbelievable a John Denver tune beats out "Beer Barrel Polka"!
Then there's Beverly and Joe Gannon, just back from Paris, who, with their 17 friends, had front row seats to the Lady Gaga concert. But the show was canceled due to a French labor strike.
"So we just ate, ate, ate and ate some more," says Beverly, who will present the Turley Wine Dinner at Gannon's: A Pacific View Restaurant in Wailea at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18.
Designed for "serious gourmets," the menu showcases Beverly's culinary muscle and includes butter-poached lobster, terrine of pork and rabbit, milk-and-honey poached foie gras, seared rib eye in white-truffle oil, venison loin in morel-mushroom gravy, and roquefort trifle with quince. French Chef Jacques Pauvert is the man in Gannon's kitchen.
Acclaimed winemaker Larry Turley and his wife, Suzanne Chambers, will be on hand. Diners may also chat with artist Al Lagunero, who was commissioned to do a mural there. Cost of the feast is $150, plus tax and tip. Call 875-8080.
Cary and Karin Button drove from Istanbul south to Izmir, where the Bosphorus coast looked "just like Maui, but with olive trees instead of palms," says Cary. Once home, the owners of Maui Prime Fine Foods in Lahaina Learjetted to Silvies Valley Ranch in Oregon, where they solidified a deal with Dr. Scott Campbell, owner and veterinarian, to get the Hawaii exclusive on his Heritage Naked Beef. "It's completely heart healthy with more Omega 3 than salmon," says Cary, "You can only buy it at our store or order rib-eye or T-bone plates at Lahaina Grill. But make sure to call them first to make a reservation for it."
* Reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.