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Resort, celeb chefs ‘Fire It Up!’

Famous French Chef Hubert Keller returns to Grand Wailea on July 19 for the Sea to Fire extravaganza. Carla Tracy photos

Tickets to the smokin’ hot Fire It Up! BBQ of the Pacific are going faster than famed pit master Chris Lilly can grill chicken with Alabama white sauce and serve it with hominy and cheese. Attend one or two days of the outdoor affair July 19 and/or 20 at Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.

“We’re so proud to be hosting our third annual live-fire culinary extravaganza . . . better known as ‘Fire It Up!’ says Grand Wailea Executive Chef Ryan Urig, who is bringing in acclaimed chefs such as Hubert Keller of Fleur and the Burger Bars in Las Vegas and Jonathan Waxman from Barbuto in the Big Apple (among other greats) to cook at the Sea to Fire event July 19.

The above-mentioned Lilly and other pitmasters from Texas, North Carolina, Colorado and Georgia will ignite interests July 20 for the BBQ of the Pacific portion of the hugely popular event.

“Not only is this a weekend of incredible food, Fire It Up! is the perfect opportunity to support our local community,” says Urig, who bought all the meat from Maui 4-H clubs and the seafood and produce from local fishers and farmers.

Grand Wailea has partnered with Maui Huliau Foundation to make this a green and zero-waste event. For tickets, jump online to www.eventbrite.com.fireitup tickets.

Two events can be better than one. The Keokea Ho’olaule’a with its daylong entertainment will merge with Da Taste of Keokea from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Keokea Marketplace at mile marker 17 on Kula Highway.

“We have some signature things at our Keokea events. One of our homesteaders makes an incredible pastele stew,” says spokesperson Tina Kekoolani. “And it’s where I created my Haleakala Supah Shots. I first debuted it several years ago, and since then it’s been going up and up. The original is the lilikoi, then Kula strawberry and the third is pineapple and Thai basil. All have a base of Hawaiian chili-pepper water, organic agave, hand-picked sea salt and vinegar. Norman Adihai makes banana lumpia with ice cream, and he is the organizer of our poi-pounding stations, where you can learn how to do it. Auntie Gwen Derego is bringing her famous scones and pickled green mangos. And there will be smoked meat bowls and jams for purchase.”

Bastille Day is coming right up Sunday, and there’s no place better on the island to celebrate France’s national holiday than Gerard’s at the Plantation Inn in Lahaina. A host says that they will prepare the regular menu, but nothing is just regular at Gerard’s, from shiitake mushrooms in puff pastry to duck confit to locally caught Hawaiian snapper and the piece de resistance — creme caramel Opera. The host also enthuses that, “Of course, our Chef-owner Gerard Reversade will be there.”

Java fun will be brewing from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 4, when Maui Coffee Association percolates with the Seed to Cup Festival indoors and outside at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu. Coffee lovers may meet the Maui farmers growing the beans and watch events such as the Coffee Sensory Evaluation, Taste the Roast and Barista Throwdown, the latter sponsored by Old Lahaina Coffee. Seed to Cup also features food and coffee booths, taiko drummers, baking demo by The Mill House Restaurant and music by Barry Flanagan of HAPA performing with Eric Gilliom.

As a friendly reminder, French Day will pop up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday as this week’s feature of the Back Door Bake Shop that is located at University of Hawaii Maui College’s Paina Building in Kahului only on rare occasions. Go oh-la-la over fresh napoleons, pithiviers, tarte tatins and other Parisian delicacies that all support the college.