Side Orders • December 21, 2017

Wailea artist Ed Lane (at left) recently installed 15 new works at Sarento’s on the Beach in Kihei. Owner Aaron Placourakis is pleased with the new look. The restaurant also entices with tiki torches, white tablecloths and ocean views. Sarento’s photo

NAUGHTY OR NICE . . . Lovers of wine and music may mark their calendars for Jan. 12 when two soulful guitarists/wine industry experts return to the isle to perform at Maui Chef’s Table at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu.

These multi-talented dudes are Master Sommelier Michael Jordan, repeat host of Kapalua Wine & Food Festival for the past several years, and famed Winemaker Fred Scherrer of Scherrer Winery in Sebastopol, Calif. The menu will be by The Mill House Executive Chef Jeff Scheer, making the event a “Scherrer and Scheer” experience. And Jordan is not the basketball legend. The diminutive wine expert’s opening line that always gets a laugh is, “I’m Michael Jordan, and I’m standing up.”

Nine courses will be paired with nine wines, and you’ll be treated to music by these talents, who bonded right here on Maui. For tickets, call 270-0333 or visit

Speaking of the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival, next year’s dates have been set for June 7 to 10, and tickets should be on sale after Jan. 15 with kamaaina prices offered for a limited time.

Just heard that acclaimed chefs Hubert Keller of “Fleur” Las Vegas, Nancy Oakes of Boulevard in San Francisco and Nancy Silverton of the Mozza Restaurant Group in Los Angeles will all appear at next year’s Kapalua Wine & Food Festival.

“It’s a sad day in the restaurant industry,” Silverton said recently on Eater NY about Mario Batali, whom she collaborated with on her famous restaurants and who recently was accused of sexual misconduct by four women. “Mario has stepped away from operations,” she reported.

This shows that the mountain of sexual harrassment accusations keeps growing, and it also affects the restaurant industry. In fact, KISS rocker Gene Simmons is being sued by a woman who alleges he groped her at his California eatery. (He’s also a partner in Rock & Brews in Paia.)

On a lighter note, the Kapalua Maui Charities recently presented the University of Hawaii Maui College Culinary Arts Program a check for $10,000 on behalf of the 37th wine festival.

FirstLight will continue to shine bright with first-rate films Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului.

You may make it a date night by coming early to dine at CandleLight Cafe, aka the “courtyard.” Serving food from 4 to 8 p.m. will be Fork & Salad with Kumu Farms crisp eggplant parmesan with organic green salad; beet-and-goat-cheese salad with raw and roasted beets and more; and gluten-free New England clam chowder.

The Down to Earth family of health food stores has recently published the soft-cover, 112 page “Down to Earth Cookbook” with 40 vegetarian recipes, one for each year of the company’s history along with beautiful pictures of each dish.

“We have always been an all-vegetarian store, and our signature offering is our deli, says Mark Fergusson, CEO. “So it was natural we celebrate our 40th anniversary with a cookbook.”

Today, join a sweet little pop-up at Sip Me in Paia to welcome winter solstice. You may sip warm-spiced apple cider, and then gather around a table where Chefs Mijin Kang and Tak Toride of Natto Kimchee in Kihei will share a beautiful tea-infused Japanese stew called ochazuke. The FEAST pop-up will let you be creative as founder Amanda Robson will be there to teach a workshop on how to make mini gingerbread houses.

Or you may try your hand at the holiday wreath workshop with local botanicals that were harvested by flower farmers Reba Dodge and Christina Hartman. Each guest may craft two creations. Coffee, tea and hot cocoa drinks will be available for purchase. Tickets are $75 for adults and $35 for keiki. To reserve a spot, call Sip Me in Paia at 856-9097.

* Got restaurant/dining-event scoop?

Call Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342; or email