How do you transform an old prison into a site for a gala dinner party?
Just ask Theo Morrison, executive director at Lahaina Restoration Foundation. With paint, murals, lanterns, tables and linens, Morrison and her team are busily readying the Old Lahaina Prison as the site of the main course of LRF's third annual Progressive Dinner Party, beginning at 5:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Attendees will travel or "progress" from one historical site to the next for each course via trolley and shuttle, with engaging narration along the way. Wine, beer, artists, musicians and dancing will add to the fun.
Chef Sheldon Simeon of Star Noodle showcases his Asian appetizers with Busaba Yip-Douglas, a docent at Wo Hing Museum where the event’s first course will be served.
Lahaina Restoration Foundation photo
"The evening starts with appetizers at Wo Hing Museum on Front Street, moves to Old Lahaina Prison for salad and the main course, and then it ends up at Pioneer Inn for dessert," says Morrison.
You may savor gourmet food by five noted Maui chefs: Mark Ellman of Mala Ocean Tavern, Ryan Luckey of Pineapple Grill, Gerard Reversade of Gerard's French restaurant, and Sheldon Simeon as well as Jay Kulukulalani of Star Noodle.
"You could call this a fusion of a 'foodie' and 'historical' event," says Morrison, adding that the chefs will be using the freshest of local ingredients.
"The settings are as memorable as any you'll ever find, and you'll learn a bit about Lahaina's rich history throughout the evening."
Chef Simeon, a semifinalist in the James Beard Award "Rising Star Chef of the Year" category, will kick things off with Chinese fare befitting the Wo Hing Museum at 858 Front St. Appetizers include look funn with chili oil and scallions, pork-hash-stuffed mushrooms with Chinese hot mustard beurre blanc and dark soy sauce, and wok-fried baby bok choy with fried garlic.
The salads and entrees will be offered at the Old Lahaina Prison, known as Hale Pa'ahao, which loosely translated means "stuck in irons." WeFarm in Kapalua will provide the organic greens and vegetables and the Bakery in Lahaina will provide crispy bread.
On Friday night, Chef Ellman will prepart the entree of Black River Farms Gold Label Kobe tenderloin and local ahi with organic shoyu and sake sauce with ginger-scented quinoa in pumpkin and black-bean garlic sauce.
On Saturday night, Chef Luckey will temp you with his gochujang grilled short ribs and Molokai prawns with local baby carrot slaw and spring-corn risotto.
Sip beer island beer by Maui Brewing Co. and wines by Chambers and Chambers Wine Merchants and Southern Wines and Spirits.
A troupe of local actors, and hula and obon dancers will be part of a dinner theater production created by Kristi Scott of Great Scott Productions. The show is based on an old song, "Saturday Night in Lahaina."
After dessert by Chef Reversade at the Pioneer Inn, dance to music by the Haiku Hillbillies on Friday night and Rock 'n' Rogues Saturday night.
Cost of $135 includes dinner, beverages, entertainment and tax and tip. There are also VIP tables for eight for $1,000, which includes complimentary parking for four cars and "Exploring Historic Lahaina" for each guest. Proceeds will benefit Lahaina Restoration Foundation and $60 per person is tax deductible. You must be 21 and older to attend. Call 661-3262 for reservations.