I used to sit in front of my computer and point the browser to the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival website, where I’d drool over all the great events they were holding. All of them took place on Oahu, just out of my reach. But this year, they’re celebrating five years of exemplary food festivals by bringing Maui and Hawaii into the fold of their 15-day festival that celebrates sustainable cuisine with interactive dining parties, farmers markets, cooking demos and industry panels.
“The expansion of the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival on Maui gives visitors the opportunity to participate in an entire weekend of new and immersive culinary activities, including a golf tournament hosted by celebrity chefs and winemakers,” says the festival’s Executive Director Denise Yamaguchi. “Our goal is to have an extensive roster of culinary events in every location so that travelers can plan their vacations to different islands and still have access to a full range of festival experiences.”
Maui’s three days of Hawaii Food and Wine Festival Ka`anapali envelops a few of the old Ka`anapali Fresh events and adds new verve to signature events like Maui on My Mind. It makes sense that Hawaii Food and Wine Festival was co-founded by two of Hawaii’s big players, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, both celebrity chefs and restaurateurs. The Maui addition puts the bounty of our island’s vibrant farmers and fisherman right into the hands of visiting chefs like Nick Anderer of Maialino in New York or Art Smith of Chicago’s Table Fifty Two.
These events are a great way to be inspired by food and drink. In fact, the Saturday Mixology event–called Moscow Mule Maui Style–shows attendees how to make a Moscow Mule like a boss. The intricate make-your-own mule lesson starts with Jason Vendrell, the beverage director and sommelier at Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea, sharing his popular ginger beer recipe and skills. Chandra Lucariello returns to Ka`anapali as the cocktail ambassador and Bill Scott–Master Distiller–will come down from Ocean Vodka’s Kula headquarters to detail the distilling process.
Chef Milliet, Executive Chef at Ka`anapali Ocean Resort Villas, will pair a divine menu for the mule. It starts with smoked Kona kampachi, deconstructed gazpacho, garlic and black soy. The main course will be Maui Cattle Co. beef tenderloin, Kula corn, mushrooms, pork belly croutons and pho chimichurri.
“The Moscow Mule is characterized by distinct ingredients including ginger and lime,” says Chef Milliet. “I wanted to design a menu that truly complements these signature tastes so we went with an Asian flavor profile, which pairs nicely with the ginger and lime, and then threw in some local flavor twists. As our tastes evolve, we are coming full circle and realizing that not only what we eat is important, but so is how it was produced and processed. More and more, people are realizing that where food comes from matters.”
To find out more about where Maui’s food comes from, head to the Grown on Maui Farmers Market on Saturday morning at Whaler’s Village. The visiting celebrity chefs will be there along with Otani Farms, Maui Coffee Association, Kumu Farms, Moku Pua, Traje Farm, NapiliFlo Farm, J. Shishido Farm, Lilikoi Bliss, Kula Fields, Maui Gold Pineapple, Kula Country Farms, Hana Herbs and Flowers, Maui Preserved, Haliimaile Distillery and Ocean Vodka. Morning grinds will be provided at the farmers market by Hula Grill and Leilani’s.
Hawaii Food and Wine Festival Ka`anapali also gives our local top chefs an opportunity to work with visiting celebrity chefs and winemakers. The end result is something attendees can really sink their teeth into. From Friday’s kick off golf event–the Roy’s Annual Golf Classic, which that ends with a dinner on the 19th hole–to the Legend of Shep Gordon that celebrates the supermensch with a six-course dinner created by six of his chef buddies, the Pacific’s premier culinary festival Maui edition is an epicurean dream.
Festival proceeds will benefit the Hawaii Agriculture Foundation, Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Hawaii Community College Culinary Arts Program, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Hawaii Seafood Council, Honolulu Zoo Society, Leeward Community College Culinary Program, Maui County Farm Bureau, Maui Culinary Academy, Paepae o He‘eia and Papahana Kuaola.
Tickets are available for purchase now. For more information, visit HFWF.me. Connect with the fest on Twitter or Instagram @HIFoodWineFest.
Images at top of Chef Bev Gannon and Isaac Bancaco, and evening entertainment taken by Dane Nakama, courtesy of Hawaii Food and Wine Festival
Friday, Sept. 4, 2015
Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival Roy’s Annual Golf Classic
Noon, Ka`anapali Golf Course; starting at $600
The 18th annual Roy’s classic with celebrity chefs, gourmet food and wine on the green, and dinner on the 19th hole.
Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015
Grown on Maui Farmer’s Market
7:30 to 11:30am, Whaler’s Village, Free
Find Maui’s bounty at the source! Breakfast provided by pop ups from Leilani’s and Hula Grill on the ocean front Ka`anapali beach walk.
Moscow Mule Maui Style
11am to 1pm, Ka`anapali Ocean Resort Villas, $65
Make a Mule with the experts, take home a copper mug, plus an epicurean spread by Chef Milliet.
Maui on my Mind
5-9pm, Sheraton Maui $200/VIP $300
An unforgettable evening with Maui Grown ingredients, nine celebrity chefs, ocean view sunset and eating under the stars by Pu’u Keka’a.
Sunday, Sept. 6, 2015
Hawaiian Airlines Presents Legend of Shep Gordon
5-9pm, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, $250/VIP $500
Shep Gordon is celebrated with 6 courses by six chef besties:Robert Del Grande (RDG + Bar Annie, Houston); Celestino Drago (Drago Restaurant Group, Los Angeles); Dean Fearing (Fearing’s, Dallas);Greg Grohowski (Hyatt Maui, Lahaina); Nancy Silverton (Mozza, Los Angeles); Mark Tarbell (Tarbell’s, Phoenix).