Side Orders • November 22, 2018

Sandra Florence (center), is flanked by pals at the annual First Night, set for Wednesday at the Hui No‘eau Visual Arts Center in Makawao. Photo courtesy Erin Wooldridge

‘TIS THE SEASON . . . Some artists are skilled in more than one medium. That is the case of Upcountry sculptor Tim Garcia, also a talented chef. Garcia will cook at First Night from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, the annual shopping event decorated to the nines at the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center in Makawao.

“It’s always a treat to cook for First Night,” says Garcia. “It’s such a joyous and festive event that rings in in the holiday season. People who do holiday shopping support local artists and Hui No’eau with their unique gift purchases. I hear laughter coming from the historic dining room (now gallery), and I can feel Ethel smiling down at the community sharing her family home during the holiday season.”

Ethel Baldwin was the original resident of Kaluanui Estate where Hui No’eau is located, and where Garcia will make coconut-curry chicken skewers, mushroom-and-onion quesadillas, avocado-bacon marmalade toast, triple-garlic noodles with parsley in Chinese boxes and lilikoi tarts with fresh raspberries. Sip holiday beverages. Diane Ybarra of Sweet Betty Confections will be there, too. The cost is $30. Only those 21 and older only may attend. For tickets, visit

Craving bubbly and oysters? The Champagne Hale at Cliff House, a seasonal pop-up bar and lounge featuring Veuve Clicquot, reopens from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. today and runs through Sunday. Set atop Namalu Bay fronting the Montage Kapalua Bay resort, it offers fine champagne, food pairings and views galore. Walk-ins only. The hale, or hut, will pop up in late December. For more details, call Montage at 662-6200.

When country superstar Lee Brice rides into town to headline an outdoor concert at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on Wednesday, fans won’t need to pack saddlebags of food to enjoy the show. Star Anise will do Indian Madras chicken curry and Asian-fried noodles. Smoke & Spice will do brisket, pork ribs, pulled pork, dry-rubbed chicken and combo plates with ranch-style beans, potato salad, coleslaw and barbecue sauce. Maui Cones will do laulau, mochiko chicken and ahi poke and Maui Kazowie Kettlecorn will pop fresh kernels and deep-fry hot malasadas, too.

After Santa rides from Kalama Park in Kihei in a 1968 Chevy convertible Camaro on Black Friday, he’ll set up at The Shops at Wailea Fountain Courtyard from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Keiki who visit him will get a Honolulu Cookie Co. peppermint dessert (while supplies last). The Shops at Wailea will also present Paws and Claus from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday with treats for pets after Santa photos.

Hula Grill Ka’anapali bartenders will donate their tips on Friday to beloved Hula Grill chef, Junya Nakoa, to help cover his medical expenses. Come raise a glass and assist this valued community member.

Ran into Marty Dread, Maui’s “reggae ambassador,” at the Hukilau party at Humble Market Kitchin last week. The famously often-barefoot musician sported shoes and a new CD called “Footprints.” Dread’s back by popular demand aboard Pacific Whale Foundation’s Island Rhythms Sunset Cocktail Cruises on Fridays out of Maalaea. The “dance party at sea” features tasty appetizers, drinks and sightings of humpback whales in season.

Looking for a last-minute place to go for a Thanksgiving Day buffet? Check out the new Tante’s Fish Market Maui in Maalaea. Call 868-2148.

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