SUMMER HEAT . . . Now through July 1 is the time to pony up to buy limited, early-bird packages for the three-day Ka'anapali Fresh that will pop onto the scene Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 at various venues at the West Side resort.
I say, don't drag your feet as this will be a stellar Labor Day weekend with multiple culinary parties and live music with top bands.
The package includes access to five events kicking off Aug. 31 with the Progressive Dinner at resort restaurants and Maui Coffee Tour, Fresh Food & Wine Festival with Spyro Gyra and Makana on Sept. 1, and Sunday Brunch topped off with the Concert Under The Moonlight with Third Eye Blind on Sept. 2.
Mala Wailea’s Moki Chong Kee (left) and Mark Nigbur of Sammy’s Beach Bar Rum are at a private party during the Maui Film Festival at Wailea in the restaurant. The distiller will also appear with the rum’s owner, Sammy Hagar, Wednesday in Kaanapali.
CARLA TRACY photo
"Ka'anapali Fresh is all about superb food, headliner entertainment, ease, and good fun," says Shelley Kekuna, the executive director of Kaanapali Beach Resort Association. "You don't want to miss it. It so reflects Ka'anapali itself as an invitation to play. Its whole rhythm is - just be yourself, relax, tap into your own beat."
Cost of the package is $365 per person. For more details, visit www.kaanapalifresh.com.
Got restaurant / dining event scoop? Call Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MORE ON KAANAPALI . . . Wednesday, the West Side was jumping with the Pre Mix-Off Mai Tai competition at the Royal Lahaina Resort in Kaanapali.
"Rocker Sammy Hagar helped judge the competition, in which three Maui bartender winners will go to the Big Island on August 18 to challenge 30 other top mixologists from around the globe, vying for the $10,000 first prize and the coveted title of 'World's Best Mai Tai,' " says Ken Phillips, event publicist.
The contest hadn't happened as of press time, but do check out my blog, As Maui Dines, on our newspaper's website, www.mauinews.com, for winners and other details. Royal Lahaina also expects 400 attendees at its Savor the Sunset benefit for Lahaina Public Library on Friday.
Restaurateur-chef DK Kodama has renamed his Cane & Taro restaurant oceanfront at Whalers Village Fine Shops & Restaurants. Now called Maui Fish & Pasta, it features fresh housemade pastas, several fresh fish specials every night, and locally grown farm-to-table produce.
Also in Kaanapali, Hula Grill invites diners to beat the summer heat with live island music daily all the way from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Barefoot Bar, where you may dig your toes in the sand. Aloha Hour is from 3 to 5 p.m. and you may sip cooling $4 drinks and savor pupu such as coconut calamari, Hawaiian ceviche, and crab and macadamia-nut won tons.
BITS AND PIECES . . . . The Summer of Love is the theme for Paia's Fourth Friday Town Party, so break out your tie-dye T-shirts and beads and come enjoy the North Shore's free spirit. And, watch fashionistas and firefighters strut their stuff in a modeling show.
Flatbread Co. will host Maui County's Junior Lifeguards for one of its ongoing fundraisers. Savor organic crusts topped with tomato sauces and support those learning how to keep us safe in the water. Milagro's will be pouring drink specials. Burger lovers should head to Johnny B's for free samples from the locally-sourced menu during the Summer of Love Fashion Show.
Apparently, something is running afowl in Kihei at the stop light above Piilani Shopping Center around 5 p.m. every Friday. It's as colorful as the GMO demonstrations in front of Monsanto.
Men from the new Just Wing It take-out restaurant at the center dress in costumes to engage in Red Light Chicken Fights, entertaining drivers. This week, there will also be a referee clucking about.
Bring appetites to the Ki Ho'alu slack-key guitar festival from 12:30 to 7 p.m. Sunday at The MACC as there will be tons of food booths. Choose from the coconut lime chicken curry plates by Star Anise Indian Cuisine to kalua pork and cabbage by Kalama's Local Grinds to frozen fruit kebabs with chocolate by Da Local Banana.
Buzz's Wharf in Maalaea will be a sea of people today in a ramped up version of its Kanikapila Thursday regular weekly happy hour with live bands and 30 percent off of its select pupu menu.
"We will have tables, lounge furniture and bar all outside on the lawn. There will also be a stage for the performers, and outdoor decor lighting to set the scene, for a romantic and relaxed summer evening," says Marketing Manager Emily Koenig.
The Waterfront finally had a soft opening at the Maalaea Harbor Shops on Tuesday. Caesar salads are tossed tableside again on the island.