The “Progressive” dinner was another sellout event at the second annual Kaanapali Fresh (#KFresh13) culinary weekend opening day and proved to be the icing on the “coffee” cake.
Starting at The West Maui Resort & Spa in partnership with sister property The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, the resorts’ chefs created eight MauiGrown Coffee-infused savory dishes for Progressive party guests.
Westin’s Executive Sous Chef Ikaika Manaku debuted many culinary dishes including the iron imu steamed snapper with French pressed coffee truffle nage and miso Israeli cous cous; 10-hour brisket with Maple Coffee BBQ sauce, Kula Farms sweet corn polenta, pickled radishes and braised greens; and a crispy pork belly with Kaanapali Estate Red-Eye coffee gravy and Hawaiian chili pepper biscuit.
Chef James Domingo of Leilani’s on the Beach shared one of their most popular menu items, spicy ahi. The non-coffee spicy ahi poke wrap with furikaki and wasabi marinade set mouths afire and buzzing. The dish rivaled Westin’s pork belly as “most talked about” item.
Amid a brilliant Maui sunset, guests progressed along the Kaanapali Beach path to their final destination, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa’s oceanfront lawn, for desserts. Lavish buffets of non-stop sweets, coffees and cocktails greeted everyone. The understated MauiGrown Coffee tiramisu received rave reviews and the Ono Organic Farms fruit tart stole hearts.
The evening was punctuated with a concert performance by Hawaii’s own rock star Jake Shimabukuro. The local boy and ukulele virtuoso turned international phenomenon was treated like one of the Beatles as fans were mesmerized by his original instrumentals “Ukulele 5-0” and “Gentle Mandoline.”
That was some icing. Thanks Jake!
(September 3: This post was updated to include The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas.)