Side Orders • April 18, 2019

The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa will be the host property for this evening’s ‘Aipono Restaurant Awards ceremony. MIEKO HORIKOSHI photo

LOVE BEADS AND MORE . . . Bust out your best Nehru jackets, Go-Go boots, mini skirts, baby-doll dresses and tye-dye T-shirts for the ‘Aipono Restaurant Awards kicking off at 5:30 p.m. today outdoors at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa’s Halona Kai Lawn and moving into the Monarchy Ballroom for a sit-down banquet and stage presentations.

“Calling all foxy ladies and macho men,” says Diane Haynes Woodburn, publisher of Maui No Ka Oi magazine and awards maven.

“Watch your favorites hustle on up to get their award or just come for the dynamite party when we honor Maui’s culinary stars as voted by our readers. Proceeds benefit the University of Hawaii Maui College Culinary Arts Program in Kahului.”

Of course, The Maui News boasts the original version of awards for the island’s resort and retail industry. This year’s Best of Maui will be published Sept. 1. Look for ballots starting in June to cast your votes.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Maui Humane Society in Puunene will celebrate Freddie the tortoise’s sweet 16th birthday. Kids ages 5 and younger may join the Easter Egg Hunt starting at 11 a.m. with keiki ages 6 and older joining in afterwards. Attendees may enjoy complimentary slices of birthday cake, keiki craft zone and find forever friends on the Name Your Price adoptions sign-up sheet. Kid-friendly foods by Outrigger Pizza and Ululani’s Shave Ice will be available for purchase to fill little bellies as well.

In honor of Earth Month, Trilogy Excursions will lead a Blue Aina Reef Cleanup of Lahaina Harbor from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Cost of $30 per person includes breakfast, a catamaran ride out to a nearby reef and lunch. Proceeds benefit Maui nonprofits.

Want to slake your thirst with beer? The Maui Brewers Festival will be sudsing up a storm May 18 at Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului.

“The popular ‘Brews & Food’ event, taking place in the MACC’s A&B Amphitheater and Yokouchi Pavilion, will showcase nearly 100 craft brews from Hawaii and on the Mainland, including many rare beers, as well as a wide range of delicious food offerings from many of Maui’s finest chefs, caterers and other food purveyors,” says Marketing Director Bob Burrichter.

Sip Anderson Valley Briney Melon Gose and pair it with chicken samosas with tamarind vinaigrette by Pascual’s Cafe & Catering. Quaff Lost Coast Great White Indica IPA and slam a Shanghai lumpia from A.K’s Cafe. The list seems endless. Then dance all the calories away to hillbilly rock band Yum Yum Beast along with reggae-funk band Riddum Station and headliners Flat Jackson featuring bluegrass, reggae, folk, rock and more.

From 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, the highly anticipated wine event, The Grape Escape: “Magical Crus of Burgundy,” will flow at Fairmont Kea Lani’s Luana Lounge in Wailea. Sip from Louis Latour La Grande Roche to Marcel Lapierre Raisins Galouis.

“Enjoy a fun-filled evening sipping wines from the region of Burgundy brilliantly paired with small bites from our Executive Sous Chef Richard Ramirez,” enthuses Alexis Eaton, director of Public Relations and Communications for the all-suite resort.

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