Side Orders • June 21, 2018

Master Distiller Mark Nigbur of Maui’s Pau Vodka kisses fiancee Laurie Rutkowski at the Taste of Summer at Grand Wailea last week. Movie star Nick Robinson is in background at right facing the couple. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

LAID-BACK AFTERNOON . . . The 27th annual Ki Ho’alu Festival will delight from 1 to 7 p.m. Sunday in the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s A&B Amphitheater and Yokouchi Pavilion in Kahului. Featuring some of Hawaii’s best slack-key guitar players, this free event is sponsored by The Maui News.

Buy food from top Maui eateries such as Three’s Bar & Grill and listen to Makana, pick up slices from Outrigger Pizza and hear Ho’okena and Brother Noland, enjoy fun desserts that range the gamut from Shaka Pops to 808 Mini Donuts, and kick back to songs by Grammy Award-winner George Kahumoku and others.

Besides an afternoon full of guitar music, the festival includes Hawaiian crafters and made-in-Hawaii products. Bring a low-back beach chair, blanket or mat and enjoy a day of slack key outdoors.

Shearwater Tavern in Kihei will present the Maui Nui Bounty dinner with a reception at 6 p.m. Wednesday followed by six food courses paired with four beverages. Guests from Hali’imaile Distilling Co. and Maui Nui Farms will speak.

Maui’s own Master Distiller Mark Nigbur of Pau Vodka, Fid Street Gin and Paniolo Whiskey will talk and pair his spirits with beet carpaccio, pork-belly cachapas, salad, prawn and kale paella, seared strip loin and mango cheesecake by Shearwater Executive Chef Carl Yeh. The cost is $60 per person. Call 793-2324.

Nigbur was spotted at Taste of Summer at Grand Wailea last week along with movie stars and fans. The resort will present Fire it Up! live-fire food, wine, beer and booze event with an all-star lineup of America’s best barbecue chefs with music by Makana. Cost is $150 per person. For tickets, call 875-1234.

Want to learn more about Maui’s fresh water rights? Come to Kaulana ‘o Na Wai ‘Eha from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu and enjoy ono grinds made from crops grown near the four waters of Na Wai ‘Eha (Wailuku River and Waihee, Waikapu and Waiehu streams) prepared by vendors such as Pono Pies, Savage Kitchen, Maui Fresh Streatery and more along with live music.

Ulana Terrace is the newly reimagined breakfast outlet at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. It officially is up and running with a soft opening earlier this week. Enjoy made-to-order omelets and a Bloody Mary bar. Ulana was where a dinner for $1,000 per person was held in honor of Mauian Shep Gordon during the recent Kapalua Wine & Food Festival, so they got the first “peep.” The event reportedly raised $20,000 for Maui Food Bank.

Sad to report that the beloved Greek Oven Maui in Haiku will be closing soon as the owners will be moving back to Greece.

Aloha Hour at Hula Grill Ka’anapali is rocking with live music from 2:30 to 5 p.m. every day at its toes-in-the-sand Barefoot Bar with crowd-pleasing food specials. Enjoy Hawaiian hula and Tahitian dancing and non-stop music on Aloha Fridays, too.

* Got restaurant/dining-event scoop? Call Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342; or email