HOW SWEET IT IS . . . For years, I have enjoyed the succulent and sweet prawns, sold by the owners of Buzz's Wharf from their enterprise in New Caledonia. These prawns are at the top of the food chain as one of the world's cleanest farmed products.
Now, I'm raving about local prawns, raised in 16 sea beds near the Wave Crest in East Molokai. Until recently, they were only available at Kaunakakai farmers market Fridays and at Roy's Kahana restaurant, where the chef has been a huge supporter.
"John Austin is a Kiwi from New Zealand, who now lives in Molokai," says Will Hawkins, operations manager for Maui Prime Fine Foods, the exclusive distributor for these prawns. "They are sweet, white shrimp, and they're great for grilling. They're something new we get direct at 7 a.m. from the Molokai Princess ferry and they're sustainable and support Molokai."
Cary Button, owner-chef of Maui Prime Fine Foods in Lahaina, is now the exclusive distributor of sweet and clean Molokai-raised shrimp.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
After grilling, poaching and stir frying a pound of these Keawanui Shrimp Farm prawns, I'm hooked! Austin also raises tilapia and limu, and has plans for warm-water clams as well as oysters.
Tuesday is National Pancake Day, and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. IHOP at the Maui Mall in Kahului will offer a free short stack of its fluffy buttermilk pancakes to each guest. In return, diners will be asked to leave a little something behind for the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children as a fundraiser.
BITS AND PIECES . . .Guests may enjoy live music Thursdays to Sundays during happy hour at Leilani's on the Beach in Kaanapali with various Maui groups. You may also order $4 sliders as well as $4 draft beers and tropical drinks from 3 to 5 p.m.
Carrying on its tradition, Life's A Beach in Kihei sells $1 tacos every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to midnight. "All home- made ingredients and delicious with choice of chicken, beef, and pork," says owner Howard Grunes. "Have one of each for only $3! In addition, Corona and Cuervo shots are only $3 all day! Singer-guitarist Rick Glencross provides music from 4 to 8 p.m. Junior Lacuesta comes on at 9 p.m. with smooth island sounds."
Ruth's Chris Steak House Lahaina will flow Sunday with a wine dinner at 6 p.m., featuring Duckhorn Vineyard, and it doesn't get much better then this.
"Unlike many of their Napa Valley contemporaries, the Duckhorn name continues to have the same exclusive cache it's had for over 30 years," says Alan Jahns, partner in JMD Beverages, and co-host of the event. "That's because Dan Duckhorn is considered one of the true visionaries of the California wine industry."
I agree, the maker of Paraduxx, Goldeneye, Decoy and more has insight. Dan once told me at a Kapalua Wine & Food Festival that I'm the "only normal woman on Maui!" Now, that's vision!
Courses include Waipoli Farms mixed greens with island pear and gorgonzola cheese; Hawaiian snapper, Chinese- style; New Zealand lamb chop in a black-current red-wine reduction; New York steak with green peppercorn sauce, au gratin potatoes and oven-dried tomatoes; and dessert of fresh apricot creme brulee. Cost is $85 per person, plus tax and tip. Call 661-8815.
Speaking of the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival, it will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year with an all-star lineup of who's who in the industry. Dates have been set for June 9 through 12 at Kapalua Resort. Get ready for seminars on Super Tuscans, Three Decades of Reserve Cabs, Pinots and Cheese and then head to multimillion-dollar Kapalua estates for even more fun. . . Also mark your calendars for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 6, when Maui's Winery teams with Ulupalakua Ranch Store to host top musicians, offer free wine tastings, and sell elk burgers, steak chili and more at the quarterly Sunday-drive event.
* You may reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.