The Diva Club
David Paul’s Island Grill
900 Front St., Lahaina, 662-3000
Last month, I gathered a group of close friends to attend David Paul’s Island Grill’s Diva Club. I had no idea I was heading to one of the best themed parties I’ve attended on Maui. We took the Hollywood glam theme to the next level, with mandatory wigs and pearls (for the girls), and as we arrived and paparazzi followed us down the red carpet while handsome men in suits escorted us in, we knew we were in the right place at the right time.
The Diva Club was created by Chef David Paul as a place for women in business to mingle, self-promote and get pampered while raising funds for charity. A year long membership costs $15 and earns you entrance to a members-only party every third Saturday of the month. But the real clincher is that the money goes directly to Women Helping Women.
Once inside, there are lots of other perks—participating vendors offering goods and services (up-dos and makeup by Hina Mana Salon were featured at the March party). There’s live entertainment that changes with the theme. For Hollywood glam it was Pio Marasco spinning backup to the sweet vocals of Gretchen Rhodes, who just released a new EP called Paia. (For those who want to keep it going after 8pm when the party is over, Quinn Ross, director of operations at Timba, offers all Diva Club members no cover and no wait at the 505 Front Street club.)
Chef David Paul always goes all out on the food, switching it up to suit the theme. For Hollywood glam it was a sushi bar. David Paul himself was behind the works, creating hand-rolled sensations on demand, with spicy tuna, fresh unagi and truffled salmon. There were exotic shoyu mixes, from spicy to sweet, for seasoning our sushi—all top notch. Our be-wigged foodie divas were in heaven.
Cupcake Love was also on hand, offering an assortment of cupcakes that looked so pretty we (almost) didn’t want to eat them. Chocolate-dipped strawberries, baked Brie, bruschetta, mini cheese breads and summer rolls were just a few of the delicacies that rounded out the hors d’oeuvres that evening.
The drink menu featured Kai Vodka-sponsored cocktails, wine and a fabulous champagne Bellini bar with fresh fruit purees. Libations were $5.
“Giving back to the community is always at the forefront of our mission statement,” said Chef David Paul of his benefit party. “Women helping Women is a charity close to my heart. As a child, I witnessed abuse and vowed to do something about it when I could.” His vision is coming to fruition; Diva Club membership has grown to over 300 since its inception in December 2009. The goal is to have 800 by their one-year anniversary, said David Paul, and to raise more than $12,000 for Women Helping Women.
The April Diva Club, set for this Saturday, will feature a spring fashion show with Pakaloha bikinis as well as Maggie Coulombe’s and Tamara Catz’s spring lines. The menu will bloom with lavender cookies and lemon bars, strawberries Romanoff, Brie with walnuts and port reduction, antipasti platters, Thai summer rolls and much more. Add fresh produce from Oluwalu Farms, Wines by Clos du Val and vodka cocktails by Kai and how can you not indulge
Diva Club will also be launching its own line of Diva wear, another way to raise funds for Women Helping Women. Trunk shows will be all the rage at this fashion party, and, of course, special discounts will be offered for the Divas. This is one exclusive club that’s easy to get into—and well worth it. Jen Russo, MauiTime
Got a hot food scoop? Contact Jen Russo at 808-280-3386 or fax to 808-244-0446.