LEGENDS ON MAUI . . . He was born in Germany and moved to America as a young man, proudly serving in the U.S. military. Now Heinz Gerner is 70 with decades of Maui restaurant experience under his belt. The legend recently celebrated his birthday by throwing a bash at his Nachos Grande in Honokowai.
Gerner also founded the Waterfront in Maalaea more than 30 years ago, and owned the formerly famous Kihei Prime Rib House and other top establishments.
We also hear that Marco's Grill & Deli in Kahului will celebrate its 18th anniversary this week. It's quite a feat to remain a hugely successful business year after year in this tough economic climate.
Legendary Maui restauranteur Heinz Gerner takes a break from slicing prime rib at his 70th birthday party at Nachos Grande recently.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Owner Marco Defanis is stoked diners still flock to his Central Maui restaurant for dishes such as vodka rigatoni, crisp Greek salads and calamari served in tomato sauce with peas over angel hair pasta.
Wanna sip some legendary wines? Here's a wine dinner that will surely sell out fast, despite the steep ticket price of $350 per person.
Opus One Winemaker Michael Silacci and Executive Chef Roger Stettler will team for an unforgettable dinner May 6 under the stars on the oceanfront lawn of the Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea.
"The original founders of Opus One Winery were Robert Mondavi and Baron Phillippe de Rothschild. The men first met while in Hawaii and later launched the renowned vineyard, so it is quite fitting their select vintages come back to us to be enjoyed by guests at Four Seasons Resort Maui for this special occasion," says Thomas Steinhauer, regional vice president and general manager. (See my blog, "As Maui Dines," for more details.)
Four Seasons Resort Maui will also be in the spotlight Sunday as it presents the Ai Pono Awards in partnership with Maui No Ka Oi magazine.
"The evening also benefits the island's future chefs, raising funds for the Maui Culinary Academy and scholarship money for deserving students," says publisher Diane Haynes Woodburn.
And, Four Seasons will generously donate 100 percent of proceeds from sushi, sake and Hitachino beer in its Lobby Lounge to disaster victims in Japan through April 30. Valet parking is free.
BITS AND PIECES . . . Looking for a West Maui restaurant serving the traditional foods of a Passover Seder? The new Village Cafe & Sweet Shoppe in Kapalua will present a family-style feast starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday. But it's not kosher. "The Reform Seder is open to all kamaaina and visitors who would like to participate," says Village Cafe owner Stuart Katz. "Served family style, the dinner includes matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, turkey, barbecue brisket, spinach casserole, farfel kugel, carrot-bread mold and Passover puffs."
The cost of $40 adults and $25 for children younger than 10 includes tax, tip and Seder wine. Reservations are required. Call 214-0008.
The ambassador for Don Julio Tequila, Keven Vanegas, will appear at Mala Ocean Tavern in Lahaina from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday for a special tequila dinner. Ole!
Beer lovers should mark calendars for Saturday, May 14, when the third annual Maui Brewers Festival will flow at Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului.
The beer-filled afternoon will include a sampling from two dozen craft breweries, appetizers from Maui's popular restaurants, live entertainment with island bands and prize giveaways. Hours are 3 to 7 p.m.
Cost of $45 per adult includes eight, 4-ounce samples of micro-brews and imports, unlimited island-style dishes and parking. Or opt for the $75 connoisseur package to get early entry at 2 p.m.
* You may reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.