Maui competes

Side Orders

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua Bartender Daryl Smith won the Master of the Craft contest last week with his stellar mango cocktail. Carla Tracy photo

It felt like walking onto the set of a famous Food Network show last week in Salons 1 and 2 at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. Sound and light mixers put on a show of upbeat music and iridescent colors. A video screen that rivaled the massive size of Celestial Cinema set a backdrop for the tables, and lavish food displays were like the garden of eatin’ times 10.

The event was the Marriott 2019 Master of the Craft competition — as the Ritz is under Marriott management along with other top Maui properties.

“Four Maui chefs and three bartenders from the Marriott Maui hotels are competing,” Ritz Food & Beverage Director Daniel Schmidt explained. “Winners will then move on to the regional competition.”

Bartenders incorporated mango into their cocktails, and Daryl Smith of the Ritz’s The Banyan Tree won top honors with his cool and sweet concoction. Second-place winner was Jason Franco of Wailea Beach Resort — Marriott, Maui and third place went to Junior Bumanglag of Westin Maui Resort & Spa.

For the cooking part of the Master of the Craft, chefs used Kauai prawns as the main ingredient. The first-place winner was Marion Sidon of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, who wowed with a shrimp mousse that I hope will be put on his resort menu soon. Ritz banquet chef Matthew Gillis won second place, followed by Erica Anderson of the Westin Maui and Robby Iniba of Wailea Beach Marriott.

*****

WORD HAS IT . . . Rumors are circulating on island that the iconic Kahili Restaurant will close its doors in Waikapu at the end of June– but it’s just morphing with a new name and new, limited hours.

“We’re not completely closing. We’re just focusing on what we do best,” says Anela Gutierrez, director of food and beverage for the King Kamehameha Golf Club and Kahili Golf Course, where it’s located.

“Please continue to enjoy our Friday Night Prime Rib and Seafood Buffet and Sunday Brunch Buffet at (the newly named) Kahili Terrace.”

Kahili’s Friday buffet features salad bar, seafood on ice, soup, hot entrees from seafood linguine to barbecue steamed snow crab legs, and desserts. Ron Kuala’au plays soulful Hawaiian tunes. Kahili’s Sunday brunch features live music by Kaniela Masoe.

“Looking for a private location for your wedding, bridal shower and meetings?” Gutierrez continues. “We’ve got affordable prices, amazing views, great food and exceptional service. Chef Eddie Munoz is still part of the culinary team.” For reservations, call 243-1025.

As summer continues to heat up, so does the Back Door Bake Shop at the University of Hawaii Maui College Paina Building in Kahului.

“It’s a small class of four women,” says Teresa Shurilla, program coordinator and pastry chef. “But they’re mighty!”

Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Friday along with July 12 and July 19. This Friday is Laminated Dough Day. Just follow the aroma to buy brioche, croissants, sweet rolls, sticky buns and more. Prices range from $3.50 to $12.50. July 12 is French Day with Parisian delicacies. The final Back Door day July 19 is Petit Fours and Macarons Day.

Maui boy Yeshua Goodman is an advanced sommelier, chef and co-owner of an under-the-stars company called Kiawe Outdoor. His next chef collaboration, Pulehu, will be a dinner at 5 p.m. Sunday at Makena featuring Sheldon Simeon making venison musubi, aku poke, tomahawk axis deer, dutch-oven cake and more. Tickets are available at www.kiaweoutdoor.com.