AROUND THE TOWN . . . I was playing hooky between appointments in Lahaina and went to the car wash, where Chef Christian Jorgensen ran up to me as my rig was in neutral, inching forward, ready to go through the cycle.
The former executive chef of the Westin Maui Resort & Spa owns Comfort Zone Catering and word on the street is that he throws parties of star quality, over the top in taste, presentation and service.
"I work a lot with visiting celebrities," he says. "I get all of them from Oprah. She's one of my best customers. I do weddings, corporate events. I'll be catering the Nani Biotech Chamber Mixer September 15 in Haiku."
Chef-owner Christian Jorgensen of CJ’s Deli & Diner and Comfort Zone Catering at the Fairway Shops in Kaanapali has a loyal following that just won’t quit. Try his house-made chorizo and eggs with fresh salsa.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
So after that, I also had to go check out his CJ's Deli & Diner, located at the Fairway Shops in Kaanapali, right off Honoapiilani Highway.
He makes the best chorizo and eggs on the planet along with loco moco, eggs Benedict every which way and fluffy pancakes. Lunch items range from herb-grilled salmon to mom's meatloaf to classic Caesars.
"It's comfort food for your stomach, and comforting for you wallet," says the world-class chef, who serves 450 or more customers a day.
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BITS AND PIECES . . . Last week, this column broke the news that acclaimed Oahu chef Alan Wong will open a restaurant at Grand Wailea.
Now, we've received the official word Roy's Kahana is moving to the Kaanapali Golf Clubhouse after 20 years at its present site! "Please note that the Kahana location will be open until November 30, and then we'll open the new Kaanapali location sometime in December," says Restaurant Manager Timothy Caskey.
The 15th annual Noble Chef is set for Saturday, Oct. 22, at Fairmont Kea Lani Maui in Wailea. It benefits Maui Culinary Academy at UH-Maui College in Kahului. "This event sold out quickly last year, so get your tickets early," says Kristin Hettermann, who is on the planning committee. "Celebrity Chef Stanton Ho is coming in from Las Vegas to do an extravagant dessert buffet, unlike anything seen on Maui! It's a great price point for an elegant fundraising gala - only $150 a ticket. Call 984-3261."
Speaking of the Fairmont, its executive chef, Tylun Pang, will appear at Whole Food Market in Kahului at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday to do a cooking demo featuring Maui Cattle Co. beef. . . Vegetarian Chef Devin Kintop will also do a cooking demo at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Down to Earth in Kahului, featuring her barbecue tempeh, corn with roasted peanuts, Okinawan sweet potato salad and fresh fruit popsicles.
Epicureans should also mark calendars for the next Chaine des Rotisseurs event, coming up Sept. 17 at Pineapple Grill in Kapalua.
Tapas Nights launches Wednesday in the back room of Hali'imaile General Store and it will take place every Wednesday and Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. No item is priced over $9 and a roster of local musicians will round out each evening.
Wailuku's First Friday event is this week, and Maui County Farm Bureau and Edible Hawaiian Islands Magazine will team to have Eat Wailuku, Eat What Maui Grows food trucks on Pili Street by American Savings Bank. You'll also find sidewalk food vendors and music up and down Market Street.
Ulupalakua Cares is the next quarterly cultural and musical event Upcountry and it will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Take a drive and check out new lunch specials at Ulupalakua Ranch Store such as the Ulupalakua roasted lamb sandwich on Waipoli greens with black olives and aioli on French roll and more prepared by new chef Eric Sakai.
Bring your appetites to the fashion show at the MACC on Saturday. Catering Creations by Vasi will do salmon with Asian-ginger glaze, vegetable torte with yogurt sauce, and crab cakes with cilantro remoulade. Food service starts at 5:30 p.m.
Local lovers of canned meats are invited to submit a creative and regionally inspired recipe using SPAM to www.spam.com by Sept. 26. Top prize is $1,000 and there are pleny of other prizes. But you have to be tech savvy and tweet it up as well as post your recipe on your Facebook page.
You may buy decadent desserts such as deep-fried Twinkies and deep-fried Oreos at Maui Marketplace in the food court. Hmm maybe I'll go play hooky and check it out.