Side Orders • January 3, 2019

Suzanna Navarro is the new lead mixologist at LUANA, Fairmont Kea Lani’s bar and lounge on the lobby level in Wailea. Fairmont Kea Lani photo

RINGING IN THE NEW. . . When comedian and HBO “Real Time” Host Bill Maher entered the stage at Maui Arts & Cultural Center on Sunday, he told the crowd that he only really knows two Hawaiian words: “Aloha” and “Pakalolo.”

Both of these words will be an integral part of the Maui Cannabis Conference on Saturday and Sunday at Royal Lahaina Resort in Kaanapali. You do not require a 329 Medical Card to attend the lectures and elevated after-party with fashion show and concert.

“The planners are bringing in a bunch of food trucks for the event,” says Royal Lahaina Resort Director of Food & Beverage Braulio Andaluz. “We’re partnering for culinary options, featuring our Royal Ocean Terrace for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We’re creating a vibrant, fun conference environment to match the beautiful surroundings of our Kaanapali property.”

Those with the munchies will find that newish Executive Chef Dylan Montano is already debuting some smokin’ hot things after only four months.

By the way, surprise guests at Maher’s comedy show were actor Woody Harrelson and legendary singer Paul Simon, who both performed “Smile” by late, great comedic film star Charlie Chaplin with the others.

Speaking of shows at the MACC, Willie K & Friends BluesFest is coming up Saturday. Bringing crowd-pleasing fare such as Caesar salads, ahi poke bowls and baby back ribs with whiskey barbecue sauce and fries will be Mulligans on the Blue in Wailea, where Willie oftentimes performs on Wednesdays. Those who love Canadian poutine will find classic and specialty versions along with vegan and veggie poutines by the Just Put In food truck that is normally based in Kihei. The classic version is a hangover helper originating in Quebec with French fries and cheese curds topped in brown gravy.

Still looking for that hair of the dog after New Year’s Eve? Suzanne Navarro has been named the lead mixologist at Fairmont Kea Lani’s LUANA bar and lounge in Wailea, and she’s shaking things up nightly as well as at the Project Cocktail event Jan. 11.

“Growing up as a first-generation Cuban-American in Miami has instilled in me a great love and connection to the tropics,” she says.

“Suzanne’s passion for creating delicious and beautiful cocktails and educating her team about spirits and the craft of cocktail making will continue to push LUANA to new heights,” says Fairmont GM Michael Pye.

Sugar Beach Events in Kihei will present the Songs of the Pacific benefit for Whale Trust Maui from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, featuring canoe trips lead by researchers, music by John Cruz, dinner and more.

Owner-chef Lee Anderson also has some cooking classes coming up, including Breakfast for Dinner Jan. 17 and 18; Boozy Desserts Feb. 13 and 14; and Happy Hour drink creating class March 21 and 22.

The Sentry Tournament of Champions PGA opener is in full swing now through Sunday at the Plantation Course in Kapalua. Three food trucks featured this year are Hooked (seafood), Mr. Taco (Mexican) and Paniolo (barbecue) at the Entry Experience. On the 19th hole is the Grey Goose Bar with cocktails. Big Wave Shave Ice will also be cooling off spectators in the Fan Village.

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