EBB AND FLOW. . . Maui seems to be all about rain or shine these days. And, of course, snow!
This applies not only to the weather, but to food and beverage events. Coming up is a flurry of activity.
The newest feast in the "Come Join Our Table" gourmet wine-dinner series will flow at Plantation House restaurant in Kapalua on Wednesday.
The Food Network’s Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine (right) talks to restaurant owners in St. Louis.
Restaurant Impossible photo
Edd Lopez of the Seghesio Winery will bring a wonderful selection from Zinfandel to Barbera to pair with Chef-partner Alex Stanislaw's rustic comfort food.
The reception menu will include truffled ahi spoons and Mediterranean shrimp salsa on bruschetta. Then sit down to grilled hearts of Romaine with black-and-blue seared New York angus steaks and gorgonzola aioli. The next course is chicken-sausage cacciatore, then braised lamb on lentils and papparedelle, topped off by a comforting and rich dessert of flourless chocolate torte.
"The festive gathering of friends starts with a reception at 6 p.m., with a sit-down dinner to follow," says Managing Partner Norm Schuhardt. "Cost is $70 and tax and gratuity are included. Please call 669-6299 for reservations."
Besides a rare snowstorm, winter in Maui always brings humpback whale sightings, early sunsets and some of the most exquisite food and wine dinners.
Four Seasons Resort Maui will pull out all of the stops Tuesday with the Trefethen Family Wine Dinner.
This unique and interactive affair will be uncorked from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the resort's oceanfront lawn complete with live actions stations. Janet Trefethen will be on hand.
"With a reputation as the hardest-working person in wine, Janet will share her wealth of knowledge for this one special night," says Director of Food & Beverage Ben Shank. "Acclaimed for its diverse range of varietals, blends and reserve wines, Trefethen has won a plethora of awards over the years, including for best chardonnay and best cabernet in the world in contests."
Executive Chef Roger Stettler will pair his gourmet cuisine with the wines. Savor ono crudo roll in tamarind-soy glaze, beef tartare on bagel chips, oyster shooters, seafood pot au feu with saffron nage, lamb lollipops and miniature filet Wellingtons with merlot wine reduction. Guests may wander and sample at their own pace. Late-harvest wines will be served with sour cream ice cream, and candied Kalamata olive paninis. Cost is $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity. More tickets, call 874-2201.
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NOT IMPOSSIBLE. . . In case you haven't heard, "Restaurant: Impossible," a new prime-time series on the Food Network, is making its way to Hawaii for its second season.
While I got this juicy tidbit way too late to promote its first season that premiered on Wednesday, the following news that was sent to me may be of interest to restaurateurs here on Maui. "The show, produced by the same company behind 'Dinner: Impossible' (which also filmed an episode here in Hawaii last year), travels to different cities in search of restaurants that have had a long-standing history with, and also have a good tie-in to Hawaii, have fallen on hard times and are in need of a major boost to get up and running again," says Beverly Clemente of McNeil Wilson Communications, which represents the TV show here.
"Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine will come in, and in just two days with only $10,000, will transform the restaurant and help to get it back on track."
A few conditions for potential applicants do apply. So take note that you must own a full-service restaurant. They are looking for restaurant owners who exhibit strong and outgoing personalities. You must also be willing to overhaul your menu, decor and theme. Family-owned and run restaurants will especially be considered.
"Interested restaurateurs can fill out the casting application," says Clemente. "There is no deadline, but the producers are looking to find a candidate as soon as possible. Visit www.RestaurantImpossible.com."
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BITS AND PIECES. . . A monster on the airwaves in Los Angeles is KEarth. The behemoth radio station gives away free trips to Hawaii all year long - something like 200 trips a year.
This week, Maui restaurateur, author and chef Mark Ellman is right there in the thick of it, talking up our island with others in the industry.
"I am on tour with the folks from Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa doing TV and radio appearances and dinners, all to promote the hotel and Mala Wailea that is located lobby level as well as my new 'Practice Aloha' book," he says. "I'm also doing Bruce Aidells' cooking show manana in San Francisco. He's known as the 'sausage king.' "
Kahili Restaurant in the rolling hills of Waikapu recently launched a new Sunday brunch. It's fabulous and the price is $22.95. By the way, its longtime restaurant manager, Grace Mallo, will retire after 18 years.
* You may reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at firstname.lastname@example.org.