The inaugural Kāʻanapali Fresh Food & Wine Festival, located on the third green of the Royal Kāʻanapali Golf Course, will be remembered as an evening adorned by the astounding tastes and presentations displayed by each of the Kāʻanapali chefs.
The layout of the evening created a living circle of culinary talent surrounding an eloquently placed seating and dining area embellished with large bamboo stalks and Chinese lanterns. Center stage a Hawaiian canoe making the perfect focal point, a finishing piece to an ambiance that was idyllic for the occasion. Special musical performances by Makana and Spyra Gyra rounded out the incredible night of festivities.
Westin Kāʻanapali Ocean Resort Villas Chef Francois Milliet partnered with Chef Wesley Holder and L&R Ranch, took home the first Ka’anapali Fresh Gold Award with a Sweet Molokai Potato Gnocchi, Wild Boar Bacon, Kula onion, Currants, Pine Nuts, and Micro Basi. Chef Francois also created a Sweet Molokai Potato formato, Butter Poached Prawns, herb Short Bread, and Merlot Grape Salad. When asked how he felt about winning this award, Chef Francois stated “I am very excited and humbled. I am very fortunate to work alongside Wesley. We are great partners.” Chef Wesley beamed of excitement stating “I’m stoked, super stoked and humbled there are so many great chefs here and to win this is an honor. I hadn’t really thought about this being the first Kāʻanapali Fresh Food & Wine Gold Award.”
Leilani’s on the Beach Chef James Domingo, partnered with Watanabe Produce, took home the Silver Award with the Pork Belly Appetizer which was a Sous Vide Pork Belly tossed in truffle Unagi Sauce and Pickled Vegetables. A Maui Fresh Salad with Local Baby Mizuna, Mixed Cherry Tomatoes, Surfing Goat Dairy Goat Cheese, and White Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette. When accepting the award Chef James recognized the team at Leilani’s that made this happen stating “It was not one person’s idea but a collaboration.”
Guests enjoyed a Mexican inspired entrée from Royal Lahaina Resort’s Chef Bernardo Salazar, paired with Otani Farm and offered a fresh take on a traditional Mexican classic with his Sea Food Enchilada, a culinary creation stuffed and rolled with lobster meat, shrimp, fresh Mahi Mahi, salsa fresca; wrapped in a 6’inch tortilla and topped with a fresh tomatillo sauce made of cilantro crème, Riesling and fresh papaya compote. Also served by Chef Bernardo, was a fresh ceviche marinated with lime and coconut milk and hints of Hawaiian Chili. “Hawaiian Chilies are sharp in taste and when it’s added it is going to go straight to your mouth” explains Chef Bernardo as he talks about the ceviche.
The Hyatt Maui Regency Resort & Spa’s, Chef Gevin Utrillo and Sushi Chef David “Jay” Ledee partnered with Pacific Produce, presented Poached BabyAbalone, local from Kona, finishing off with a Watercress Sunomono. For the second feature from the Hyatt, a Korean Style Wagyu Flat Iron Steak on a bed of Waipoli Greens and topped of with a Yuzu Vinaigrette.
The Westin Maui’s Garret Fujieda and Ikaika Manaku presented dishes. The first, a Five Spice Brazed Veal Cheek with Roasted Kula Country Farm Cabbage medley in a steamed Bao Bun, served with Green Papaya Kim Chee. The second, a Kula Country Farm Strawberry & Sunflower Sprout Salad, with Vanilla Roasted Corn, Calamansi-thiso Vinaigrette, Heart of Palm Fritters, and Smoked Alae Salt Labneh (an Indian style cheese made from Greek yogurt.)
Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel featured Chef Tom Muromoto offered a Kona Cold Water Main Lobster Won Ton Min with Syl’s Produce Sweet Corn & Tomato Lemongrass Jus. Also served was an Asian Roasted Pork & Eggplant Taco filled with Daikon Kim Chee Slaw in a Crispy Wonton.
Hula Grill’s Chef Chris Schobel gave the festival a Taro crusted Goat Cheese Medallion topped with house made pork belly cured for eight days and smoked with Kiawe wood for six hours starting at 160 degrees and increasing temperature in increments, Hoʻopono Farm Rocket Pesto, Salmon Creek Farms Lardon, and compressed Peppered Watermelon.