AN ISLAND ICON . . . With his bushy eyebrows a la Andy Rooney and his trademark Panama hat, Bob Longhi was a colorful figure in Maui's restaurant world.
His Longhi's in Lahaina marks 36 years in business, and few others can claim such longevity as well as success. His outlets in Wailea and Oahu may be younger, but are bastions of dining fine, nonetheless.
Longhi passed away Monday at age 79. His family will carry on his legacy. Renowned as "the man who loves to eat," and "the most opinionated restaurateur on Maui," he will be missed.
Realtors Steve Parker of Island Sothebys and Nancy Callahan of the Wailea Group flank Chef Beverly Gannon at the Simon Estate in Haiku recently. Gannon was the caterer of a private affair at the $11.9 million mansion.
CARLA TRACY photo
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STIMULATING INTEREST . . . Hot on the heels of the statewide Cupping Competition will be another event for coffee lovers. The first Grown on Maui Coffee Festival will be percolating from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the Shops at Wailea.
The event is free and open to the public and offers plenty of room to chat with Maui coffee farmers and vendors, learn about our island's growing climates and sample a variety of coffee beverages.
Got restaurant / dining event scoop? Call Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342; or email email@example.com.
"Maui-grown coffee is in a class of its own," says Bob Dye, general manager of The Shops at Wailea. "We're proud to showcase our island's agricultural experts and their valuable crops."
"It's the full seed-to-cup experience," says Greg Stille, president of the Maui Coffee Association. "From educational displays, to on-site roasting, to samples of the freshest coffee on Maui, this is a tasty opportunity to discover the unique characteristics of our island's coffee."
Speaking of coffee, Jamba Juice stores in Hawaii will team with KonaRed starting today to offer the Kona Berry Blast smoothies and the Kona Berry Bowl meals at various locations in the state. The special offerings will be available through August.
BITS AND PIECES . . . From taro to dark chocolate, the frozen soft-serve yogurts at Tutti Frutti in Kahului are a draw in summer. Celebrating its third anniversary, the store will offer month-long specials.
Chef Beverly Gannon dazzled the high-end crowd last week in Haiku at the Simon Estate, where her Celebrations Catering provided the gourmet food and Cosmo martinis for the well-heeled guests.
"At Celebrations, we have new menu items and beautiful new beachfront locations for weddings and events," says Beverly. "Call us for details!"
The acclaimed chef will also do an exclusive dinner with wine pairings at the Kaluanui Estate in Makawao from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11.
The elegant four-course dinner will include duck confit, oxtail consomme with foie-gras dumpling, veal with morel mushroom sauce, grilled cheese sandwiches and chocolate salted caramel truffles. Wines will be poured by artist Jim Powlan of Chambers & Chambers wine merchants. Cost is $200 per person. "Proceeds will benefit the Hui Noeau's open studio program," says Powlan. For tickets, you may call 572-6560.
Greg Gaspar is back in the limelight again. He's just been named executive chef of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali.
"We are excited and pleased to have someone as talented as Chef Gaspar bring his skill and creativity to our team," said Tetsuji Yamazaki, GM of the oceanfront property on Black Rock.
Many of you may remember Gaspar from his decades as the executive chef of the former Maui Prince Hotel, now Makena Beach & Golf Resort.
Chef Tadashi Yoshino will be on a roll with delicacies at Kai Sushi lobby level of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua starting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. That's when the resort will host the Wonderful World of Sake dinner. Cost of $85 includes food and drink. Call 665-7089.
Hot Dog on a Stick has been an American tradition since 1946. The location at the Queen Ka'ahumanu Center's food court offers pick up or delivery service for its catering gigs and kids love it. Party packages start at $65 and can expand to accommodate parties up to 25 guests. Menu items include lemonade, and, well, hot dogs.
Applications are now being accepted for restaurant food booths at the 4th annual Lahaina Plantation Days to be held Oct. 19 and 20. Located at the Pioneer Mill Smokestack, this popular community celebration has attracted over 15,000 attendees over the past three years. A high-profile culinary contest will also be held. Call 661-3262.