NORTH SHORE FUN . . . Blooming from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Haiku Community Center on Hana Highway will be the 18th annual Haiku Ho'olaule'a & Flower Festival.
What does a flower festival have to do with food?
"This popular event is a yearly attraction where the community as well as visitors can enjoy live entertainment, great food, a bake sale, farmer's market, lei and floral contests, a plant sale, arts and crafts, silent auction, a book sale, a Haiku historical display, pony rides, jumpy castles and kids' games galore!" says spokeswoman Danielle Sears Cadman.
These gourmet chocolates will be the piece de resistance at Friday Night is Art Night in Lahaina.
Sweet Paradise photo
In addition, the food booths will offer a big taste of Upcountry as well as Maui's north shore.
Dig into organic pizza by Flatbread Co., smoothies by Cafe Des Amis, Szechuan ribs and Thai veggie curry by Max World Bistro, vegan and veggie dishes by Cafe Prana Nui, pulled pork sandwiches by Rodeo General Store, children's lunches by Slow Food Maui and live hummus, vegetables, energy bites and kombucha juice by John Cadman's Raw Delights.
"Of course, we also have our usual fare of chow fun, grilled chicken plates with rice and mac salad, Caesar salad, hamburgers, hot dogs, and chili and rice."
For dessert, cool off in a healthful way with vegan ice cream by Coconut Glen, and chocolate-dipped bananas and fruit kebabs by Da Local Banana.
Those with a sweet tooth will also find donuts, pastries, pies, bread, cookies, cake and coffee available throughout the day.
o o o o
LITERARY SENSE . . . A couple of Maui authors with a culinary bent are in the limelight once again. This time around, the second edition of the Raw Truth has just hit the bookshelves.
Maui's own Jeremy Safron was at the forefront of the world's raw food movement before it was even trendy. Some of you may remember his Raw Experience restaurant, formerly in Paia.
"Who needs the heat, when raw foods have so much sizzle," he says. "My book has recipes and resources for the living foods lifestyle."
Local author Vicki Draeger and her co-author Gail Bellamy have been notified that their children's book promoting healthful eating is a U.S. winner in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
The Vegetable Storybook provides a new strategy for encouraging the knee-high set to eat better.
o o o o
BITS AND PIECES . . . Every month, throngs of people amble over to the First Friday block party in old Wailuku. Market Street is closed to car traffic from 6 to 8 p.m., and you'll find live music, great food and shopping.
"Walking around town is a great way to enjoy Wailuku," says Dana Pastula, owner of Cafe O'Lei. "We'll feature half off pupu from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., and Gene and Shea Argel will entertain in the side alley. It's a block party!"
Speaking of strolling around, Friday Night is Art Night in Lahaina is a great way to check out the historic former whaling town. From 7 to 10 p.m. this Friday, Lahaina's newest fine art gallery, Harry - Outdoor Adventure Photography, will welcome an arist of the culinary kind.
Melanie Boudar is a master chocolatier for Sweet Paradise on the Big Island, and she'll be on hand, offering visitors samples throughout the evening.
We hear Boudar has won first place in the Kona Chocolate Festival three years in a row and her background as a graduate from two top culinary schools' artisan chocolate and confections programs have guided her to make eye-popping pieces.
Greg Gaspar, who was executive chef of the former Maui Prince Hotel in Makena for decades, was spotted recently at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa.
o o o o
SAVE THE DATE. . . Maui's only 24-hour shelter for domestic violence victims, Women Helping Women, is gearing up for its annual fundraiser.
The 14th annual Elegant Afternoon Tea will have the theme "Eat, Pray, Love, Laugh" on Sunday, April 10, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
"We are catapulting to all new heights, featuring our silent auction and marketplace, our highly entertaining live auction, incredible food and entertainment," says Brooke Simonds, volunteer.
The tea will be followed by double Emmy Award-winning comedian Kathy Griffin in Castle Theater.
"We are again expected to sell out early to 450 people for the Tea and 1,100 people to the show, all eager to support our shelter and programs for victims of domestic violence. We hope you join us in this opportunity to support our cause."
* You may reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.