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Side Orders column appears as a blog this week due to lengthy Mother's Day story

May 7, 2014 - Carla Tracy

BITS AND PIECES. . . . This week, my Mother’s Day dining feature in Maui Scene was so big and beefy, I didn’t have enough room to fit all of the information. So I bumped my Side Orders column to make room. I usually get so much flack from people when it doesn’t run, that I thought I’d go the extra mile, so to speak, and run it online. Plus, you are getting it a day early!

First off, I hear Maui Brewing Company chefs are rolling up their sleeves and flexing their gasto-tastic skills for a beer dinner at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 15.

The dinner precedes Maui Brewers Festival at the MACC by a couple of days, and a lot of heavy-hitting brewers will be in attendence. “It’s part of or tribute to American Craft Beer Week,” says owner Garrett Morrero.

Highlights include gazpacho blanco and dayboat sashimi, bacon popcorn with shaved parmesan; Cajun-fried Kauai shrimp with Kula corn and Maui Cattle Co. tenderloin with miso-bleu cheese sauce. Do save room for flourless chocolate torte. Beers will be Maui brewed and fun to sip. Call 669-3474. Maui Brewing Co.

But if you really want to go with the flow, Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s 6th annual Maui Brewers Festival will dish up liquid fun from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, May 17 in the A & B Amphitheater and Yokouchi Pavilion. Presented by the MACC, Maui Brewers Festival is a jam-packed value for beer lovers as well as foodies … and it’s a fundraiser for The MACC’s arts and community programs… and a fun afternoon for everyone involved! Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

Plantation House restaurant in Kapalua just launched its new monthly winemaker dinner series. May features Grgich Hills Estate in celebration of the 91st birthday of Miljenko “Mike” Grigch, a Napa Valley legend.

He first earned worldwide recognition for the Chardonnay he crafted for Chateau Montelena, which won the 1976 Paris Blind Tasting, the first American-made wine to beat the best of France, revolutionizing the wine world. Mike then partnered with Austin Hills to open their family owned and operated winery in 1977. Committed to natural winegrowing and sustainability, Grgich Hills farms five estate vineyards without artificial pesticides or herbicides, rely on wild yeast fermentation and use their passion and art to handcraft food-friendly, balanced and elegant wines.

He’s been a repeat visitor to Maui over the decades and a beloved participant at many of the Kapalua Wine & Food Festivals, always sporting a French beret. For more Grgich wine pairing menu or more details, visit The Plantation House.

Sister restaurants Plantation House and Pineapple Grill announce two new hires. PH just named Chad Hubbard as assistant general manager. He’s got a wealth of food and wine experience at several Spagos, Five Sixty in Dallas and the source in Washington D.C.

At PG, known as the “Cheers” of Kapalua, Michael Cook joins the team as manager. He most recently worked for John Ash & Co. in Santa Rosa, Calif., under the Ferrari Carano Winery family.

The owners of the new Tortugas Restaurant at Maui Mall in Kahului are excited to host to their grand opening celebration from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday.

Enjoy live entertainment an enter the raffles for movie passes, gift cards and much more throughout the day. A Catholic blessing will take place at 11 a.m. and the Hawaiian blessing will commence at 5 p.m.

Tortugas is gaining a reputation for its extensive selection of tortas, hot Mexican bread rolls stuffed with meat, veggies and/or cheese. Tortugas also offers different kinds of aguas frescas, or Mexican drinks created from fruits, grains and seeds, water, sugar and sometimes herbs or spices.

Chef James McDonald of ‘Aina Gourmet and Feast at Lele won the Maui Recipe Contest Saturday at the Maui Onion Festival. Ryan Luckey of Leilani’s on the Beach won the Maui Onion Challenge; and Dennis Day also of Leilani’s on the Beach won the Mixed Drink Contest.

Speaking of events, the Maui Taro Festival was a big success, although nature tried its best to thwart the attendance. There was a 100-foot-long and 20-foot-high mudslide near Keanae side that closed Hana Highway for hours leading up to it, and then a massive tree fell down in front of Hasegawa Store, closing the road in the other direction during the actual festival.

Founder and director Maria Orr reports that the weather was perfect with light tradewinds and cloud cover. She has also set the date for next year at April 25. Do mark your calendars. Hopefully, Kahanu Garden will once again set the stage for a dinner preceding the festival. Honua Kai Resort & Spa’s Marketing and Revenue Manager Darren McDaniel was there and said it was an incredible experience. One long table was set up alongside a stream with mountain views. A feast with taro in every dish was served. Ongoing until further notice, Travaasa Hana and Mokulele Airlines are teaming up for kamaaina room and fly packages. Rates start at $295 per night, and include round trip air for two from Kahului to Hana on Mokulele Airlines with a minimum two-night stay. To book call 248-8211, or visit Travaasa Hana and enter rate code: KAMAAINA.

Bill Burton of Sir Wilfred’s in Lahaina, who is also the founder and president of Maui Jazz Society, says his Maui Jazz & Blues Walk went really well last weekend. Lounges and restaurants were jumping with music, and people enjoyed the pub crawl feel, in which they sipped a little here, and ate a bite there, all the while listening to music. The date has not yet been set for next year, but it will be sometime in April.


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Kahanu Garden set a magnificent stage for a pre-Taro Fest dinner