Side Orders • February 21, 2019

Executive Chef Taylor Ponte of The Mill House in Waikapu will host Taste of School Gardens on March 9. The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo

TICKET SALES GALORE . . . Who remembers the former gourmet Chinese restaurant Ming Court that was housed at Whalers Village in Kaanapali? Back in the day, the owner, Alan Ong, invited Beach Boy Mike Love to dine, and I was lucky to be in the party. Love was the guest of honor and he graciously accepted the fish eyeballs and ate them with much finesse.

He didn’t even brag, “I Get Around,” or plea, “Help Me Rhonda.” He liked it! Now Love and the Beach Boys are booked to perform at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului on April 12 and tickets will go on sale to MACC members Saturday and to the general public March 2. Call 242-7469, visit or head to the box office.

Chefs have been announced and tickets are now on sale for the Taste of School Gardens coming up March 9 at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu, put on annually by the Grow Some Good nonprofit.

Host Executive Chef Taylor Ponte of The Mill House will present a stellar lineup of island colleagues, such as Four Seasons Resort Maui’s Craig Dryhurst, Fork & Salad’s trio of owners Jaron Blosser, Cody Christopher and Travis Morrin, Tri-Star group’s Geno Sarmiento representing Nick’s Fishmarket, Na Hoaloha Ekolu’s Ivan Pahk with foods of Aloha Mixed Plate, Maui Breadfruit Co.’s John Cadman, Fleetwood on Front St.’s Eric Morrissette and Outrigger Pizza Co.’s Kevin Laut.

“Many of our chefs are long-time supporters and actively participate with Grow Some Good throughout the year with in-house fundraisers, team-building work days in the garden, and cooking demonstrations for students utilizing the food they’ve grown,” says Malia Bohlin, development director of the noble nonprofit for keiki.

Tickets to the walkabout are $150. VIP reserved seats at tables for four are $200 each.

“Each VIP table will have a specially selected wine from the Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchant’s portfolio,” continues Bohlin. “Its Certified Sommelier James Maher will be at each VIP table sharing a story behind the winery and its unique wine.” For tickets or to volunteer, visit www

Speaking of vino, tickets for the uber-elite Maui Food & Wine Classic that will be uncorked March 1 to 3 at the Four Seasons Resort Maui are flying out the door. The Harlan wine dinner, the Glassology class and the Brunch & Bubbles events are sold out.

But tickets to MFWC dinners, master classes, gala and its after-party are still available. Kamaaina get 20 percent off events as well as room rates starting at $349 per night. For reservations, call 874-8000 or visit /mauiclassic.

The 38th annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival returns June 6 to 9 in West Maui. Tickets for that event have also just opened up for sale.

I’ve attended at least 35 of the KWFF events (of course, I started when I was age 3 . . . NOT!) and the “granddaddy” of ’em all never disappoints. This year, celeb Arizona superstar Mark Tarbell of the Food Network and “Iron Chef” fame will return and Slade Rushing of Brennan’s in New Orleans will also dazzle diners. Dozens of winemakers will fly in for the beloved festival. For tickets and complete schedule, visit Wine lovers note that there will be a feature story in this Sunday’s Pau Hana section about these two wine festivals.

Last but not least, tickets are moving fast for the Rotary Club of Lahaina Sunset’s fifth annual Go For The Green St. Patrick’s Day party on March 16 at the Royal Lahaina Resort in Kaanapali. Call 206-5062.

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