Nick’s Fishmarket

Will celebrate its 20th anniversary with philanthropic night of food and fun for upcoming Kihei Charter School

Founder and CEO Aaron Placourakis in his award-winning wine cellar. Photos courtesy Nick’s Fishmarket

Nick’s Fishmarket boasts 20 successful years as one of Maui’s most lauded and popular fine-dining restaurants. President and CEO Aaron Placourakis wants to give back to the community on its anniversary Aug. 25 with a philanthropic fundraiser for Kihei Charter School, slated to open this fall with 700 students.

The gala event will be held from 6 to 10 on that Saturday at Nick’s in the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui in Wailea. All proceeds will go to benefit the school. The goal is to raise $25,000 in all.

“This is not just a celebration about Nick’s Fishmarket turning 20, it’s a community event,” says Placourakis. “Since we opened, our core values have always been rooted in outstanding service, exceptional food, welcoming environment and supporting our community — so raising funds for Kihei Charter School is crucial for us.”

Come and support the cause and indulge in cuisine from all four of Placourakis’ Maui restaurants at various action stations. You may also sip champagne, wine and specialty cocktails, enjoy live entertainment and bid at auction.

“There is going to be plenty of delicious food for everyone to enjoy via action and carving stations,” says Corporate Chef Geno Sarmiento, who will impress with signature food from not only Nick’s, but Sarento’s on the Beach, Son’z Steakhouse and Manoli’s Pizza Co. “The set-up and flow of the dining room and the action stations will encourage guests to mingle and enjoy the night at a leisurely pace.”

Son’z Steakhouse prime filet mignon.

Sink your teeth into prime cuts of filet mignon and ribeye steaks from Son’z; fresh shrimp, oysters, octopus and crudo from Nick’s; handmade pasta, such as spaghetti and Kobe beef meatballs, from Sarento’s; and profiterole, tiramisu, gelato, sorbet and bananas Foster as a special flaming treat. Sarmiento is planning more crowd-pleasing culinary surprises as well.

Cruise around the room and schmooze other community-minded individuals while you sip fine wine.

Nick’s once again earned a “Best of Award Excellence” on Wine Spectator’s esteemed list. Deemed one of the most impressive in Hawaii and the entire U.S., its list features more than 2,000 bottles at any given time. Some of these will surely be uncorked at the fundraiser.

“We are working hard to select wines for the event that have a range that reaches all tastes, as well as matching the creativeness of the menu we will present,” says Director of Operations Donnie Abernathy. “We enjoy great, strong relationships with winemakers and distributors to ensure we are afforded with the best. That is our goal in curating the wine for this special night of celebration and philanthropy.”

During the anniversary bash, you may also bid at auction. Note that all monies raised go to benefit the school.

Sarento’s profiteroles filled with housemade vanilla ice cream.

“It’s these kinds of social programs rooted in its core values that separates Nick’s Fishmarket from other Maui restaurants and keeps it thriving,” says General Manager Doug Mossman.

“The restaurant enjoys a steady flow of loyal patrons, consisting of kamaaina, Maui’s snowbirds and repeat visitors. Yes, they come for their favorite dishes and excellent service, but they also come for the team that has become family and friends.”

At the fundraiser, the team will all be there, refilling water glasses, bussing tables and sharing stories about the upcoming campus, living up to Best Service awards bestowed by a variety of media.

“It will be a fantastic night with delicious food, great wine and live entertainment!” adds Placourakis.

Fundraiser at a glance:

Nick’s fresh oysters on the half shell.

• Where: Festivities will take place in Nick’s Fishmarket at Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea.

• The time: The event is from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25. Nick’s is open nightly for dinner.

• How much: The cost of $150 per person includes gourmet food and drinks. All proceeds will go to Kihei Charter School, slated to open this fall. The goal is to raise $25,000.

• The menu: Savor gourmet fare from not only Nick’s, but its sister restaurants on Maui —  Sarento’s on the Beach, Son’z Steakhouse and Manoli’s Pizza Co.

• Auction items: Bid on private chef dinners, staycation packages at Maui properties such as Fairmont Kea Lani, Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa and more.

Sister restaurant Sarento’s on the Beach will wow with Kobe beef meatballs on handmade pasta with garlic bread.

• For more details: Call 879-7224. For tickets, visit