Your secret coconut-cream pie recipe could just be your ticket to a relaxing weekend getaway for two at Grand Wailea. Amateur chefs are now being invited to enter the Coconut Cook-off, for judging at the Waldorf Astoria brand property at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 21as part of its first Niu Festival.
For the uninitiated, "niu" means "coconut" in Hawaiian. Eligible contestants are asked to prepare an original recipe that uses coconut (or a byproduct such as coconut oil, milk, syrup, etc,) as a key ingredient in either the entree or dessert category. Entries will be tasted and judged by a prestigious panel that includes KITV's Emmy Award-winning news anchor Pamela Young; celebrity Chef Alan Wong, who just opened Alan Wong's Amasia in the resort; and Grand Wailea's Executive Chef Eric Faivre.
Three prizes will be awarded in each category. The first prize includes Royal Niu Treatment for Two at Spa Grande, weekend accommodations for two at Grand Wailea, and dinner for two at Humuhumunukunukuapua'a restaurant. The second prize is overnight accommodations at Grand Wailea plus dinner for two at Humuhumu. Third prize also gets dinner for two at the popular restaurant.
The coconut wireless says to put on your thinking cap and come up with a great recipe as something “niu” is brewing in Wailea.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
The Coconut Cook-off is open to amateur chefs (ages 18 and older) who are Hawaii residents.
Besides hosting the Coconut Cook-off, the inaugural Niu Festival will celebrate the world's most useful plant from a Hawaiian cultural perspective, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the resort's Molokini Lawn.
"Admission is free," says event coordinator Kainoa Horcajo. "Festival proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Hui O Wa'a Kaulua, Maui's only organization with a traditional double hull voyaging canoe."
The festival launches the preceding evening with the documentary,"Papa Mau: The Wayfinder" about legendary navigator Mau Piailug. The day of the cook-off there will also be non-stop entertainment, coconut marketplace, canoe rides, educational workshops and coconut-themed food booths galore.
E Ola Pono, LLC is the event producer. Deadline to enter is July 17. For more details or to download one of the Cook-off applications, visit www.niufestival.com or call Horcajo at 283-9419.