WINNERS, ALL . . . Known by coffee fans as "THE Pete," U.S. Barista Champion Pete Licata made an appearance to offer free espresso drinks at Honolulu Coffee Co. last week in the Shops at Wailea.
He aced past others for the national win with coffee from Kaanapali and Kona. Then in June, he went to Bogota, Colombia, for the 2011 World Barista Championship, where he finished second over top baristas from 54 countries. We hear THE Pete will return to the Wailea shop in September to dazzle with more free drinks.
Maui farms brewed lots of interest at the Hawaii Coffee Association's Third Annual Statewide Cupping Competition at the Hilton Waikoloa on the Gold Coast of the Big Island last week.
U.S. Barista Champion Pete Licata dazzled crowds at Honolulu Coffee Co. store in Wailea last week with free espresso drinks.
DONNA JUNG photo
Shim Farm on Middle Road in Kula rose like cream to the top of all the Maui farms and owner Casey Shim was very pleased. Ann Ashley and Raphael Escobar's Keokea Farm came in second place and Michelle Steuermann's Punawai Farms placed third in the Maui group, says David Gridley of Maui Oma Coffee Roasting Co., who is an expert in the field.
Bartender James Shoemaker won the Maui leg of the 2011 Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai contest recently.
" I won with an original Bacardi Mai Tai cocktail," says Shoemaker, who works at Mala Wailea. "The event was sponsored by Youngs Market and I think 20 bartenders were invited to the Royal Lahaina Resort to compete. Three of us will advance to Kona to vie for the $10,000 grand prize. All Neighbor Islands had similar competitions and bartenders from Hawaii as well as the Mainland will gather at Royal Kona Resort on the Big Island the weekend of Aug. 12-14 to get it on. I'll represent Maui and show off my mad skills."
On July 25, top mixologists will gather at Pearl Ultra Lounge, Ala Moana Center in Honolulu, to vie for the title of Bombay Sapphire's Most Inspired Bartender. The winner will be flown to the national competition in Las Vegas in September. They and their drink will appear in GQ's December, 2011 Men of The Year issue. But, hey, what if a woman wins?!
BITS AND PIECES . . . Celebrating its ninth anniversary today from 5 to 8:30 p.m. will be AK's Cafe in Wailuku. Come and enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet for $15 per person. Chef and owner Elaine Nakashima says it's a sneak preview of her new menu that will debut Monday.
It's been confirmed that Raku Japanese restaurant will close July 30. But Makena Beach & Golf Resort, where it's located, continues to make improvements in all areas of food and beverage.
"This does not mean an end to Japanese food at Makena," says Executive Chef Marc McDowell. "We'll move the same Saturday Japanese Dinner Buffet to the Molokini Bar & Grille with its spectacular ocean views and sunsets."
"Hotel guests are favoring a more casual approach to their dining options, and we are adapting to their needs. There is the new Barista 5400 in the lobby, the new pool deck kitchen will include a pizza oven and rotisserie, and we also have two new happy hour menus at Cafe on the Green and Molokini Bar & Grille. We also intend to make sure that our kamaaina patrons are not overlooked by offering and enhancing local favorites like the weekly Sunday brunch and the Japanese buffet. There is more to come from Makena, not less."
Whole Foods Market is going Pupule for Pineapple through July. Storewide cooking demos will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday Foodies may also pick up items such as pineapple ceviche, pineapple kebobs and pineapple pizzas.
This month's Localvore: Farm-to-Table program at Grand Wailea kicks off Sunday for one week. Chef Mike Lofaro will wow you with a three-course menu featuring local products by Anuhea, CN, Evonuk, Otani and Waipoli Hydroponic Farms in the Bistro Molokini. Cost is $39 per person and it's worth every penny.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is going native with the new Kau Kau Tuesdays from 5 to 8 p.m. weekly at the oceanfront and under the stars Beach House.
For $35 adults, and $15 children, you get a plated Hawaiian feast and local entertainment. It include ahi and shrimp poke; Maui onion, Haiku tomato and pipikaula (beef) salad; seared mahi with coconut and ginger; grilled teriyaki steak; kalua pig and cabbage; steamed lemongrass rice, stir-fry broccoli and asparagus; fresh pineapple; haupia; and mac-nut cream pie.
Denny's just announced it meets the Kids LiveWell nutritional guidelines with its Jr. Build Your Own Grand Slam and Spaghetti Plates.
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