Hawaii's sweetest bulb will once again be in the spotlight at the 22nd annual Maui Onion Festival on Saturday, May 7, at Whalers Village in Kaanapali.
The fun kicks off at 9:45 a.m. at the oceanfront mall full of fine shops and restaurants. Bring the whole family to see celebrity chefs, get free food samplings and enjoy a host of other events such as the Maui onion recipe contest, keiki and adult raw Maui onion-eating contests, food and product booths, local music and entertainment, retail offerings and free parking.
New this year is the Maui Onion Challenge, which kicks off Friday and runs every day until May 6 leading up to the Maui Onion Festival.
Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas’ Sous Chef Saipin Kumplor of Pulehu, an Italian Grill, will impress diners with her Maui onion strudel.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"The Maui Onion Challenge pits eight top Kaanapali restaurants in a friendly competition to see who has the best Maui onion appetizer," says publicist Charlene Ka'uhane. "During this time, the general public is encouraged to dine at these participating restaurants to taste and score as many of the featured appetizers as possible."
What is in it for diners, you ask?
"Participants will be eligible to win a trip for two between Maui and any nonstop destination that is serviced by Alaska Airlines. The winners will be announced at 3:30 p.m. at the Maui Onion Festival."
Appetizers will all be priced at $9.99. With the exception of CJ's at the Fairway Shops, all the participating Kaanapali restaurants will feature the appetizer on their dinner menu during the promotion. CJ's Chef-owner Christian Jorgenson will offer his Maui Onion prawn quiche with Kula greens during lunch service.
Executive Chef Bryan Ashlock of Black Rock Steak & Seafood at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa will present Kula onion phyllo wrap enhanced with hearts of palm and roasted eggplants. Cane & Taro's Chef Kaipo Nakata will wow you with Maui onion and truffled rock shrimp fritter with Waipoli watercress.
Sous Chef Saipin Kumplor of Pulehu, an Italian Grill at Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort's north tower, will make Maui onion struedel with beurre blanc. Chris Napolean of Tiki Terrace at Ka'anapali Beach Hotel will do Maui onion- stuffed pasta topped with Madeira demi glaze over rainbow beets.
Chef de Cuisine Ikaika Manaku of Tropica Restaurant & Bar at Westin Maui Resort & Spa will make kim chee Kula onion chow fun with tempura braised pork belly. And Bernardo Salazar of Royal Lahaina Resort Ocean Terrace will make Maui onion jalapeno rings.
For more details, visit www.whalersvillage.com.