Side Orders • April 11, 2019

Ruth’s Chris Steak House Wailea’s Bruce Fleming serves as an assistant manager. He and the expert staff will help with reserving tables for the grads-eat-free promo. CARLA TRACY photo

A+ FINDS . . . Calling all high school grads: Wanna dine out to celebrate your upcoming diploma? Simply ask your parents to gather an ohana of four adults to take you to Ruth’s Chris Steak House at either the Outlets of Maui in Lahaina or The Shops of Wailea — and your entree will be free. The promo kicks off Monday and runs through June 30, excluding busy holidays such as Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

“Limit one graduate per table,” says Emi Chang Espinda, regional director of sales and marketing for Hawaii. “Dine in only. Proof of graduation required.”

Speaking of students, Kamehameha Schools Maui in Pukalani will present its 15th annual Ho’olaule’a from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Students and parents will make all of the Hawaiian plates, poke bowls, chow fun and mud pies. Food vendors are Big Al’s Barbecue Pit, Fatt Chicks Burgers and Z Man’s Kitchen.

You may also bid at silent auction at the Ho’olaule’a on meals at Mama’s Fish House along with Pacific Whale Foundation’s sunset dinner cruise and a Hawaiian feast and entertainment at Old Lahaina Lu’au, among many other top island establishments, according to Lokelani Patrick, parent-community coordinator.

Lahainaluna High School is the oldest secondary school west of the Rockies. It will honor David Malo, a Hawaiian historian who graduated in the first class, with the annual David Malo Day Celebration featuring an elegant “pa’ina,” or “feast,” and pageant at 5 p.m. Saturday. The Hawaiian poi supper includes poi, of course, along with laulau, lomilomi salmon, tropical fruit and dessert.


PLANT-BASED FOODS . . . Maui adults who have recently graduated from Maui Food Innovation Center at University of Hawaii Maui College pitched their products recently to a group of enthusiastic eaters at Ka’aike Building atrium and TV studio on campus.

“What’s really interesting in this current generation of food producers is that they are very creative and they’re thinking outside of the box,” say MFIC’s Chris Speere. “They are making plant-based food products, emerging at a high level across the manufacturing marketplace.”

Winner of the Pitch Presentation was Jayne Illovsky, who does New Instinct vegan jerkies in flavors of Hawaiian barbecue and chile mango. Second place went to Brittney and Eric Cruz for their Salsa Cruz dips. Third-place winner was Ginny Demaio of Dream Eats, maker of vegan Instella Jella, a Maui Jell-O substitute.

“Real Jell-O is made out of cow hooves and collagen,” says Speere. “Instella Jella is a clean product with pineapple and carrot juice. Fourth-place winner was Charles Seipel of THNC, with mamaki teas and tinctures. All in the cohort did extremely well. Most of these Maui-made products are still in development, except for Salsa Cruz. Stay tuned for more details on upcoming availability.”

“Top Vegan Myths Debunked” will be featured in a talk at 7 this evening in Wailuku at J. Walter Cameron Center. Mic the Vegan is the speaker. The talk is free. Reservations are not necessary. Down to Earth will provide plant-based food for attendees.

The second Veg Out on Maui is drawing in hungry diners to its spot outdoors at the Maui Mall between Long’s and TJ Maxx stores. Owner Cindy Stevens also runs a Veg Out in Haiku. Popular items include muffaletta sandwiches, soup of the day, Pad Thai noodles and falafel wraps, according to worker Reeve Van Laanen-Smit.

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


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