Maui Calls

Maui Arts & Cultural Center kicks off its annual signature fundraising gala on Aug. 18


Last month, the sought-after wines of Maui Calls were written up for enthusiasts of the grape. This story will beckon to the patrons of the arts who want to attend Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s annual signature fundraising gala for its gourmet cuisine, entertainment, auction items, and, of course, noble cause.

The fun will flow throughout the Yokouchi Pavilion and onto the A&B Amphitheater lawn at the MACC in Kahului from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18.

This year’s theme is Celebrating Plantation Days. All of the attendees will be greeted with fresh flower garlands and Hawaiian serenaders at the entrance.

“The Maui Calls committee is excited to be days away from another fabulous night,” says honorary co-chair Honey Bun Haynes. “With the recent closing of the last sugar mill on Maui, this year’s theme honors and appreciates the history and beauty of our landscape over the years.”

The cuisine is varied and creative


“In keeping with Maui Calls tradition, we’ll have some of the best Maui chefs and culinary teams providing delicious pupu for our guests,” says MACC Development Director Inger Tully.

“The MACC is thrilled to once again have the expert guidance of Chef Eric Faivre, vice president of Food and Beverage Operations at the Aqua Hospitality/Aston Hotels & Resorts.”

“This is Chef Eric’s 12th year with Maui Calls and, as always, he has contributed to a stellar selection of participating restaurants,” Tully continues. “This year we have 12 restaurants serving two delicious offerings each and an expanded selection of extraordinary desserts to help guests top off an evening under the stars.”

Take note there will be a number of vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free dishes. Meat and fish lovers will also find their fill.

D.K. Kodama’s new Shearwater Tavern in Kihei will let you sink your teeth into cavatelli pasta with oxtail ragu and horseradish crumbs; and ribeye bruschetta with arugula and red-pepper jam.

Jesse Pita of Pulehu, An Italian Grill at Westin Kaanapli Ocean Resort Villas will do potato gnocchi with short-rib ragu and Pecorino-Romano cheeses; and grilled octopus, fingerling potatoes, celery and lemon.

The three owners of Three’s Bar & Grill in Kihei, Travis Morrin, Jared Blosser and Cody Christopher, will be on hand with Korean tacos with gochujang braised pork butt, housemade beet-infused tortillas, pickled avocado apples, cilantro and calamansi aioli; and ancho-chili ahi tataki, with local watermelon, heirloom tomato, cilantro puree, smoked tomato Thai nam pla, and both are gluten and dairy free. The Three’s Fork & Salad eatery will do papaya and strawberry salad with cheeses and herbs; and braised short rib with pesto-smashed potatoes.

Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar Chef Jason LaMotte will go Southern with kiawe-smoked brisket and braised collard greens; and Andouille sausage and chicken gumbo with dirty rice.

Robert Barrera of Cane & Canoe at Montage Kapalua Bay will go gourmet with a pupu of foie gras ganache, Kula strawberry and Hawaiian sweet bread crumb; and do street food with fried-chicken bau bun, smoked hot sauce, pickled vegetables and cilantro.

Hali’imaile General Store’s Marc McDowell will cool you down with watermelon salad with feta, Kalamata olives, micro arugula and raspberry white balsamic; and heat you up with gingered pork-shrimp-and-shiitake potstickers and tangerine-jalapeno slaw.

Chef de Cuisine Adam Reczkowski of Bistro Molokini at Grand Wailea will entice attendees with heirloom-tomato gazpacho with grilled shrimp, melon and yuzu-kosho creme fraiche that is gluten free; and confit pork belly with piquillo romesco, macadamia nuts, charred baby leeks and crumbled feta cheese.

Fairmont Kea Lani’s Tylun Pang will represent Ko with spicy “Pang Pang” shrimp, micro cilantro and sesame seeds; and Hamakua Ali’i mushroom flatbread drizzled with macadamia-nut-kale pesto.

New Star Noodle Chef Abby Ferrer will wow with her veggie Hoaloha Farms taro dumplings and chilled crab mazeman ramen.

Leilani’s on the Beach Chef Ryan Luckey will let you slurp cold noodles, crispy garden vegetables, calamansi ponzu and furikake salt; and bite braised beef, sweet potato and local root vegetables with Maui onion gravy on bone marrow crostinis. Pacific’o of Lahaina Chef Craig Harrison is still planning his Maui Calls dishes.

As for the icing on the cake, Four Seasons Resort Maui of Wailea Executive Pastry Chef Bruce Trouyet will take you into Willie Wonka land with milk chocolate and mac-nut profiteroles; and Tahitian vanilla baba au rhum with Maui Gold Pineapple.

Other dessert stations such as Pono Pies will be manned by John Cadman of Maui Breadfruit Co., and “womanned” by B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery, Cupcake Ladies Catering Co. and The Maui Cookie Lady.

The auction ‘uniquely MACC items’

“This year, the Maui Calls auction offers over 120 items made possible by generous members of our community and businesses offering the island’s best array of silent and live auction options,” says event co-chair Wendy Rice Peterson. “We really look forward to the return of the MACC’s one and only auctioneer extraordinaire Tony Takitani and his co-emcee Deidre Tegarden.”

Auction items include dinner for 12 at the oceanfront home of Hollywood insider Shep “Supermensch” Gordon prepared by Maui’s own “Top Chef” Fan Favorite and Tin Roof restaurateur Sheldon Simeon; a day of fun and fishing aboard the Maui Jim boat for up to 10 friends; and Ultimate Piiholo Ranch Adventure for 10 people with a luxury shuttle to the Blue Hawaiian Heliport for a ride over Hana and Haleakala before landing at the Baldwin family’s private cabin for a gourmet lunch with Bev Gannon. The day ends with a horseback or ATV ride through the 800-acre Piiholo Ranch.

But it doesn’t stop there. Bid on a European vacation for two on the Rhine or Danube with Viking River Cruise for seven nights in partnership with Captivating Journeys; and lift your paddle for the Romantic Napa Valley Getaway with two nights at Meadowood Resort with a round-trip flight courtesy of Alaska Airlines.

Other auction items include signed guitars by Journey, UB40, Bonnie Raitt and Eric Church; Phil Lesh & Friends front-row VIP package for December; and a private gallery experience for 12 that includes a behind-the-scene tour of the Schaefer Portrait Challenge exhibition and a hands-on session covering the basics of portraiture.

Entertainment is ‘something for everyone’

“Maui Calls is known for the wonderful entertainment and this year will be no exception,” says event co-chair Lisa Judge. “We will have something for everyone from the ladies of Ahumanu to Hawaii’s best-selling recording artist Amy Hanaiali’i, a thrilling Maui Aerial Arts performance and our good friend Jimmy Mac wrapping up the evening with his Kool Kats.”

Greeting guests as they enter the A&B Amphitheater and Yokouchi Pavilion with Polynesian harmonies, Ahumanu is comprised of radio personality Liz Morales, surfer/artist Joni DeMello and Aunty Bessie DeMello.

Hanaiali’i is a five-time Grammy nominee and a wine proprietor who will be offering samples of three of her Napa Valley wines. Maui Aerial Arts will defy gravity, debuting a breathtaking doubles-duo silks act created especially for Maui Calls. Enjoy the performances, sip some wine from 21 boutique wineries, savor the cuisine, bid at auction and then dance the night away in the Yokouchi Pavilion to Jimmy Mac, who hits a home run each year.

Raising vital funds is the annual cause

“The Maui Calls event has been raising vital funds for the MACC’s arts and education programs, free community events and the Center’s operations for the past 23 years,” says Tully.

“This year we are again blessed with a fabulous Maui Calls event committee lead by our co-chairs Lisa Judge, Rachel Love and Wendy Rice Peterson. The committee has worked together since February planning all the details of the event from the decor to the one-of-a-kind live and silent auction items available during the evening.

“We are also thrilled to have the support of some of Maui’s finest restaurants again this year, helping us with the event is a big commitment, we couldn’t do the event without them!” she concludes.

MACC fundraiser fast facts:

MAUI CALLS: Maui Arts & Cultural Center will present its signature annual fundraising gala with the Celebrating Planation Days theme from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18 at its Yokouchi Pavilion and A&B Amphitheater in Kahului.

WHAT YOU GET: Savor gourmet food by 12 top Maui restaurants and four dessert vendors, sip fine wines by 21 wineries, dance and listen to music; and bid at exciting auctions. You must be 21 and older to attend.

HOW MUCH: Tickets are $175 for a Cruiser Pass; and $195, $250 or $500 for table seatings. Tables of 10 are $1,950 to $10,000. To reserve, call 242-7469 or visit