FOOD FOR THOUGHT. . . This month, I've been feeling like the world is my oyster with all of the gourmet culinary festivals and wine events on the island. Now I hear the Invitation to Foodies: Taste of Hawaii is targeted to take place Sept. 2, 3 and 4 at Makena Beach & Golf Resort.
"This culinary event will explore Hawaii's farm-to-table movement, our agricultural history and cuisines created by talented chefs who are as passionate about their profession as they are about sharing their knowledge about food," says host Liam Mayclem.
You may attend gourmet wine dinners, cooking demos, seminars and the Grand Tasting - with the big-bang finale of a fireworks show.
Teddy’s Bigger Burger workers Andrew Espiritu (left) and Kaili Faust dish up thick and juicy burgers with tater tots and fries.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Featured chefs include Beverly Gannon of Hali'imaile General Store, Ryan Luckey of Pineapple Grill at Kapalua, James McDonald of I'o, Brian Etheredge of Capische? and Marc McDowell, executive chef of host hotel Makena Beach & Golf Resort.
Tickets just went on sale for Maui Calls, which will take you back to old Hawaii on Friday, Aug. 12, at 6 p.m. under the coconut palms in Kahului.
The signature benefit for Maui Arts & Cultural Center will dish up gourmet pupu by Hawaii's top chefs, fine wines, silent and live auctions and dance music. Call 242-7469 or visit mauiarts.org.
BITS AND PIECES . . . Of course, there are also a lot of fun and reasonably priced food deals for people on a budget. For starters, The Maui News is the proud sponsor of the Ki Ho'alu Guitar Festival from 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the MACC in Kahului. Headliners from Dennis Kamakahi to Brother Noland will entertain, admission is free and food will be plentiful.
Dig into wraps by Whole Foods Market, taco poke and Azeka-style ribs by Alexander's Famous Fish, Mexican fare by Nacho Mama's, fresh popcorn by Maui Kazowie Kettlecorn, an array of desserts by Zia Maria's Gelato, Da Local Banana and Maui Macaroons, and beverages by Maui Coast Coffee Co.
Mike's Hong Kong Bistro in Wailuku just debuted an oyster-sauce chicken plate piled high with hot and crunchy cake noodles for $8.95. It's aromatic, tasty and big enough for two to share.
Where's The Beef? is Slow Food Maui's next seminar from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Maui Culinary Academy in Kahului. Cost is $15. Meet William Jacintho of Beef and Blooms, Hawaii's first certified organic ranch. He'll talk about how to prepare local, grass-fed beef products. Register online at slowfoodmaui.org.
Speaking of beef, the new Teddy's Bigger Burgers at Lahaina Gateway serves handmade patties in 5-, 7- and 9- ounce sizes. Do try the Bacado packed with bacon, avocado and cheddar, and the extra-thick, made-on-Maui Roselani ice cream shakes.
Looking for something fun to do with the whole family? Bring them to Surfing Goat Dairy in Kula on Saturday for a two-hour, hands-on tour and tasting that includes more than 20 of the farm's cheeses along with pickles, nuts, grapes and then some. Call 878-2870.
Maui Okinawan Festival will offer authentic tastes of that prefecture from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Maui Mall in Kahului. Savor pig's feet soup, andagi and andadogs (Okinawan donuts and pronto pups), sweet potatoes and goya (bitter melon) namasu.
David Paul's Island Grill in Lahaina Center is offering kamaaina 50 percent off entrees every Sunday and Monday throughout summer if you purchase two or more main dishes.
She may have been "The Woman Who Ate Her Way Through San Francisco," but she left her heart in Hawaii. We're talking about the Wok Wiz, Shirley Fong-Torres, who touched so many lives here in the restaurant and hotel industry with her witty writings and hilarious humor. She passed away Saturday. "It is a sad day . . . but it's a glorious day in heaven: Stir fry is now being served there, with sassy love," says her boyfriend Jim Duncan about the TV talent, author and Chinatown tour leader.
I'm also saddened to read Lahaina's Jon Applegate has just passed away. His services will be held at Ballard Family Mortuary on Saturday. Hee was perhaps Maui's most prolific restaurateur, spawning numerous fun eateries over the decades (including the current Basil Tomatoes Italian Grill) as well as the Olowalu Nui Farms with hydroponic tomatoes. He will be missed.
* You may reach Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342.