When The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua presents its 19th annual Celebration of the Arts from April 22 to 24, perpetuating Hawaiian culture will be on the front burner.
The public may enjoy three days of talks, art, films and demos, but the heart and soul of the weekend is always the Celebration Lu'au and Show.
"If you described it in just one sentence, it would be a 'feast that the entire island chain is participating in,' " says Clifford Nae'ole, the resort's cultural adviser and chairman of the event.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua’s cultural adviser and event chairman Clifford Nae‘ole will team with Executive Sous Chef Ryan Urig and staff to blend traditional and contemporary foods at the Celebration of the Arts Lu‘au.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"We've got Hawaiians gathering limu from Kauai, salt from Niihau and on Maui we're making inamona, an island condiment of kukui nuts."
"The cool thing is-people participate from each island. We've got the Hawaiian bruddahs in T-shirts, preparing kalua turkey and sweet potatoes in the underground oven, or imu. And, then we've got the Ritz chefs in dress whites doing their thing."
For instance, last year the knowledgeable locals helped the Ritz staff cook more than 800 pounds of fresh pig and 16 whole turkeys to perfection in the imu.
They also made 80 pounds of poi, 120 pounds of cooked taro and 800 Ritz-Carlton quality luau. But it doesn't stop there - as diners will get their fill of poke, shrimp and tempting desserts.
"This year's luau will be the best ever," says the Ritz's Executive Chef John Zaner. "We are incorporating several items from our two gardens here on property, and we're doing things family style for guests to really enjoy."
Entertainment will be plentiful and will include Kumu Hula Charles Kaupu and his men from the Kauai Na Kane O Ke Oneloa halau, performing ancient hula. And Kumu Hula Napua Grieg-Makua and her Halau Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka will top it all off with a dazzling sneak preview of the show they'll take to the world championships.
Luau hours are 6 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23. It will be held in the resort's open- air Aloha Pavilion. "Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended as this is an annual sell out," says Nae'ole.
Cost is $90 adults and $45 children 5 to 12 years of age. The Ritz will offer special kamaaina room packages for $235 per night from April 20 to 25 that includes daily breakfast for two, daily resort fee and daily parking.
In addition, the Ritz will present a lavish brunch Easter Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in its Terrace restaurant.
It will be gourmet to the max, the ultimate Easter experience. Cost is $85 per adult and $42.50 for children.
At 10:15 a.m. Easter Sunday, the resort will feature an egg hunt with visits by the Easter Bunny and the Aloha Bear.
For Ritz reservations, call 669-6200.