This year's theme is Cirque du Cuisine, and the party will entail gourmet food, fun and acrobatics starting at 5:30 p.m. Sunday in the ballroom of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.
It's the 11th annual 'Aipono Awards, and just about everybody who is anybody in Maui's food and beverage industry will be there.
Beverly Gannon of Hali'imaile General Store, Joe's and Gannon's will step up on stage to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the late Bob Longhi will posthumously be honored with the first 'Aipono Icon Award.
Stephane Castera, director of food & beverage for Four Seasons Resort Maui (right), accepts an award for Excellence in Sustainability at last year’s banquet. The hotel won in six categories. At left are Rob Robinson and Kelly King.
Photo courtesy Maui No Ka ‘Oi
"It's going to be a lot of fun," says Diane Haynes Woodburn, publisher of Maui No Ka 'Oi magazine, and presenter of the popular event.
"Chambers and Chambers Wine Merchants are bringing bottles from over 60 wineries," Woodburn continues. "Maui Ocean Vodka and Maui Brewing Co. will be there. Sephora will do face painting and makeup, and we'll have acrobatic entertainment by MAPA's Kit Cat Club."
The gala benefits Maui Culinary Academy and student chefs will prepare assorted reception pupu starting at 5:30 p.m. Savor from fresh prawn poisson cru to creamy lobster vol au vent.
Dinner commences at 7 p.m. with an aperitif by Capische? Chef Chris Kulis; followed by spiced duck entree by the Ritz's Executive Chef John Zaner, and desserts by Pastry Chef Ricky DeBoer of the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui.
"Baron & Leeds will raffle a diamond bracelet, Folli Follie will do a bag giveaway, and more," says Woodburn. Cost is $185 per person; or $60 for the reception only. The Ritz will offer $159 room rates for attendees. For tickets, call 242-8331.