FIERY FARE AT THE FAIR . . . It sure was fun being at judge at the seventh annual Chili Cook Off at the Maui Fair on Saturday. Tasty, too! I've never had better chili in my life. But apparently, we judges can't add, because there was a snafu.
To set the record straight, the winners of the Traditional Back Draft Chili category were Paia Engine 2 as well as Fairmont Kea Lani Maui. Hazmat Freestyle was awarded to Wailuku Engine 1; and the Five Alarm Inferno category went to Pineapple Grill. The Overall Winner was Wailuku Engine 1.
"The creativity, the presentation and the flavors were just incredible," says judge and real-estate developer Stanford Carr. "As a Maui boy, I say all the chili entries warped my jaw and broke da mouth."
Firefighter Colin Yamamoto of Engine 2 in Paia is stoked his team won the Backdraft division of the Chili Cook Off at Maui Fair on Saturday. Fairmont Kea Lani Maui won in that division as well.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Spectator Emilou Alves jumped at the chance to buy cups of chili after the contest. "I sampled five of the chilis and got completely full for $5," says Alves. "And it was the best tasting chili ever, each and every one of them. The cornbread was delicious, too."
BITS AND PIECES . . . Pedestrians will come out of the woodwork from 6 to 9 p.m. for Wailuku's First Friday OktoberFEST event this week.
Market Street will close at 5:30 p.m. and you may park at Maui Medical Group's lot or anywhere throughout Wailuku. The Native Intelligence store will sell fresh kulolo and other Hawaiian food, and you may sip traditional drinks at the awa bar.
"Back by popular demand, the Beer Garden features cold draft, and proceeds benefit Na Leo Kako'o, Hawaiian Immersion Kula Kaiapuni," says publicist Yuki Lei Sugimura.
"Artisans, crafters, sidewalk vendors and a rainbow of local cuisine can all be enjoyed streetside along Market Street. Other delights await along Vineyard, Church and up to Main Street as Wailuku First Friday expands to neighboring streets."
For instance, Maui Bake Shop will be open, selling special crepes and desserts. French Pastry Chef-owner Jose Krall is a master at his craft. And, Cafe O'Lei will feature food specials and music by Gene Argel and his ohana.
While Wailuku's First Friday has been running for quite some time, and Paia's Fourth Friday is becoming a hit, now we hear Lahaina will have its own party soon on the second Friday of the month, and Makawao will join the towns for its own version on the third Friday of each month. Stay tuned.
Speaking of fun events, mark your calendars for Oct. 20 to 23 for the third annual Lahaina Plantation Days near the historic smokestack in Lahaina. We hear that 20 restaurant food booths will serve signature dishes and that there will be a beer and wine garden, carnival games and horse rides for kids as well as island music and a farmers market.
Dig into shrimp dynamite by Sansei; garlic noodles by Star Noodle and more. Buy onion, strawberries and other produce to take home.
Speaking of farmers markets, the new Green Dragon Indoor Farmers Market has opened in the old Y Hata Building in Wailuku.
IHOP Kahului is dishing up a monthlong promotion of pumpkin pancakes and all-you-can-eat buttermilk pancakes for $4.99 with eggs and hash browns. The promo culminates from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Oct. 28 with the free Scary Face Pancake giveaway for kids 12 and younger.
I'o Restaurant in Lahaina is offering a 50 percent off kamaaina special on all entrees in the bar or dining room through Oct. 31.
The 14th annual Roy's Restaurants Golf Classic, held in Kaanapali recently, raised more than $65,000 for Imua Family Services.
"The combined efforts of the committee and participants made the 14th annual golf tournament the most exciting tournament ever," says owner Roy Yamaguchi. "We are delighted to celebrate 14 years of partnering with Imua Family Services to help children and their families in our Maui community."
Love to chant as well as enjoy Indian food? Then come to the Temple of Peace in Haiku starting at 5:30 p.m. Sunday and enjoy a vegetarian plate for $8 by Monsoon India and the rhythmic kirtan chanting by Govinda and Radha, who have "the playfulness of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez," says promoter Mike Crall. Call 280-8097.