BITS AND PIECES . . . The new Miss America's Miss Valley Isle Outstanding Teen, Jessica Griffiths, also happens to be the owner of the Maui Girlz Shave Ice trailer that's a popular staple at Maui Swap Meet in Kahului from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.
This Saturday, Jessica will host a fundraiser there and give back 100 percent of all money she collects to the nonprofit group, Backpack Buddies.
"The funds will be donated to help our hungry keiki on Maui," says the reigning teen queen, who sells rainbow shave ice and coffee-haupia flavors.
Star Noodle’s publicist Kaala Buenconsejo (left) and new Executive Chef Gemsley Balagso show off the new Ocean Floor ahi tartare with dehydrated fresh scallop chips and fresh garlic chives that look like the coral reef. Yummy! So is the pohole fern shoot salad.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
The Maui Ocean Center will celebrate its 16th anniversary today with a Chef Diver presentation as one of the many activities planned. A scuba diver will appear outside Hammerhead Harbor at 11:30 a.m. and showcase to the crowds how to prepare food for sharks and fish. The diver will not feed the fish.
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Seascape is also jumping with lots of gluten-free options on its regular lunch menu, such as as the Cobb, Greek and Caprese salads; the Pacific Rim chowder; the Southwestern chicken wrap and fish tacos.
The hugely popular Star Noodle in Lahaina has set April 12 as the date for its third annual Empty Bowl Project that benefits Maui Food Bank. Maui artists craft ceramic bowls that you buy and fill with food. The keepsake is to remind you of all of the empty bowls in the world.
"We had 400 bowls last year, and they sold out within the first hour," says company publicist Kaala Buenconsejo. "And we're going to do something different this year. We have invited three guest chefs in addition to serving cuisine from our Starstruck food truck, Star noodle bar and Star tent at our street fair out in the parking lot."
Wailea artist Ed Lane will present his annual new works show on March 20 at Latitudes on Alamaha St. in Kahului. Maui Culinary Academy is beneficiary.
"We are donating a portion of the sales to the scholarship fund. The students will be preparing and serving the pupus," says the artist's wife, Diane Lane.
Kahului Latitudes is the only independent stand-alone purveyor of Tommy Bahama furnishings in the country. So it should set a fun stage for pupu, such as roasted duck spring rolls with plum gastrique; pork buns with pickled vegetables; fresh fish poisson cru with Molokai sweet potato chips; plum-tomato crostini with mushroom tapenade; and grilled veggie empanada with tzaziki.
The reception is free and open to the public. But you must RSVP by Saturday. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 875-0828.
Chaine des Rotisseurs is the world's oldest international gastronomic society, founded in Paris in 1248. It is devoted to preserving the pleasures of the table and to promoting excellence in all areas of the hospitality arts.
Mark your calendars for the Maui chapter's next event to be held March 29 at Pulehu, An Italian Grill at Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villa.
Last week, I wrote that Ocean Vodka Organic Farm & Distillery in Kula is now spirited about making music. Its Celebration of Spring event will feature Paula Fuga with opening acts Benny Uyetake and Kevin Brown from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday.
The menu for the event is shaping up nicely by Three's Food Truck, to be situated on The Point scenic area. Bring your appetites to enjoy fried-ahi sushi roll, coconut-crusted shrimp, kalua-pork quesadilla, bacon-wrapped hot dogs and north-shore burgers.
"Our hurricane fries are really popular, too," says partner Cody Christopher. "We house cut and twice fry potatoes and toss them with furikake and mochi crunch and serve with sriracha aioli." You must be 21 and older to attend, and leave the cooler at home.