Side Orders • May 30, 2019

James Beard Award-winning Chef Stephen Stryjewski of New Orleans will appear at the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival on June 8 cooking the Night in NOLA dinner in honor of Shep Gordon. KWFF photo

ISLAND HAPPENINGS . . . One of the island’s best family-friendly events is the Maui AgFest & 4-H Livestock Fair. On Saturday, it will saddle up to its new Wailuku venue at the War Memorial Complex.

One highlight is the Maui Legacy Farmers Pancake Breakfast that lets you wake up to tributes to three amazing farmer/rancher honorees and savor a big morning meal, too. Meet retired cattleman Arthur DePonte, a 90-year-old, jack of all trades; and George Keoki Freeland, who grew up in Lahaina during the plantation era, and hear all about the late Masaru Uradomo of Kula.

One of two ticketed events at AgFest, the breakfast runs from 8 to 10 a.m. Cost is $10 for adults and $8 for keiki. Fairmont Kea Lani will provide bacon, sausage, eggs, juice, pancakes and syrup, and Maui Oma Coffee Roasting Co. will pour the morning joe, says AgFest Organizer Charlene Ka’uhane.

The other ticketed AgFest event is the Grand Taste from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday featuring 13 top Maui chefs cooking farm-fresh fare. Attendees get a complimentary recipe book. “It’s a steal,” says Ka’uhane, about the faboo price of $30 in advance and $40 at the door.

Female chefs are in full force this year. Isabelle “Bella” Toland of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua’s soon-to-reopen The Banyan Tree will debut dishes. Abby Ferrer of Star Noodle will make mushroom cups with tofu ssamjang sauce. Fairmont Pastry Chef Amber Ching will delight with Otani Farms rainbow-carrot macaroons; Westin Maui Resort & Spa Executive Chef Jennifer Evetushick will make ube, or purple sweet-potato, mochi and “Oreos.” And new Bistro Molokini Chef de Cuisine Jo Soeung will fry tostones, or plantain slices, and top with tropical salsa. Bring your appetites, as the male chefs will amaze, too. Adam Rzeckowski of Merriman’s Kapalua, will do ulu, or breadfruit,tamales; Gevin Utrillo of Japengo will julienne green papaya for Vietnamese salad; Jacob Arakawa of Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas will create luau tamales; and Alvin Savella of Humuhumunukunukuapua’a will deep fry banana bread “Twinkies.” Other participants are Marc McDowell of the new Maca Dang Dang Bar & Grill; Kris Kersmarki of Hula Grill Ka’anapali; and Matt Dela Cruz of Humble Market Kitchin. For tickets, visit eventbrite or www.mauiagfest.org.

A Saigon Cafe of Wailuku moved its May wine tasting to this evening. Southern Wine & Spirits will pour rose wines and some reds with light pupu starting at 6 p.m., says owner Jennifer Nguyen.

New Orleans meets Kapalua Wine & Food Festival on June 8, when James Beard Award-winning Chef Stephen Stryjewski of Cochon, Peche Seafood Grill and more in that great food city will cook at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua for A Night in NOLA. Courses include caviar and champagne, warm crawfish served with crab and tomato tarts, capon and dumplings, roasted pork neck with dirty rice, roasted beef rib, cheeses and desserts. The evening honors isle celeb Shep Gordon and proceeds benefit Maui Food Bank. Seating is limited. For tickets, call 243-9500.

The entire Kapalua Wine & Food Festival runs June 6 to 9 at Ritz and Montage Kapalua Bay and more resort venues. Another New Orleans-style component is the Champagne Sunday Brunch at Brennan’s presented at the Ritz June 9, featuring Brennan’s foods by Chef Slade Rushing and GM Christian Pendelton. For KWFF schedule and tickets, visit www.kapaluawineandfoodfestival.com.

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