ISLAND HAPPENINGS . . . A Taste of Lahaina is a thing of the past, but now the first Broke Da Mouth Food Festival will get jaws jumping from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday outdoors at the Lahaina Gateway shopping center.
The benefit for four different families with financial needs due to medical expenses costs $7 for adults, $5 for students, and $3 for keiki to get in.
Once inside the roped-off area, you'll find culinary fare from 22 Maui restaurants, including the new Paradise Grill at the entrance of Kaanapali along with Bubba Gump's, Cool Cat Cafe, Basil Tomatoes, Capt. Jack's, Pulehu Pizza and Three's Bar & Grill.
Chef-owners Michael and Dana Pastula prepare pupu last Wednesday at the grand reopening of their Makawao Steak House.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
"We had to deny 13 vendors because we only wanted it as big as we can safely control," says promotor and Island Catering chef Luis Fuentes, who is putting on the event with Chris Mahon.
Live entertainment will include Willie K, Ekolu, Jordan T, Nuff Sedd, Clay Mortensen and there will be a keiki fun corner and a cooking contest. Emcee will be Rohm Fama of Food Network's "Meat & Potatoes" and Mayor Arakawa is a food judge.
Saddle up to Makawao for its Third Friday Town Party this week and you may savor street fare from Market Fresh Bistro, Badua Catering, Star Anise Indian Food, Relish the Dog, Iron Imu BBQ, Organo Gold Coffee and Shaka Pops.
Got restaurant / dining event scoop? Call Dining Editor Carla Tracy at 242-6342; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Of course, the many excellent restaurants and cafes in town will be serving delicious food and drink, too!" says publicist LuAnne Yapp.
Do check out the "new" look and feel of Makawao Steak House, which was recently purchased and reopened by Maui's top husband-and-wife chef team, Michael and Dana Pastula of Cafe O'Lei fame.
The couple did it up right at the grand reopening party last Wednesday with a sea of happy residents such as glass artist Tom Trottier, realtor Fred Haywood and regulars Bill and Barb Wilmore.
Cary Button of Maui Prime Fine Foods was at a booth, shucking fresh Shigoku oysters and making Snake River Farms Kobe beef sliders.
Other booths at Makawao Steak House's grand opening tempted us with lamb shanks and polenta, prime rib, Maui Cattle Co. New York steaks and certified Angus steaks. Desserts were in the back room.
"Basically we're bringing in a variety of high-quality meats with different flavor profiles," says Michael. "We are primarily still a steak house. The salad bar is still with us, we added oyster po 'boys, Kobe beef sliders and prime rib dip in the bar."
BITS AND PIECES . . . Want to dine al fresco in West Maui? The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua's Beach House is offering outdoor kau-kau dinners starting at 5 p.m. the next two Tuesdays in August.
"Sip on our refreshing cocktails while enjoying the waves, the surfers and the sunshine," says Executive Chef John Zaner. "Enjoy our experience Tuesdays, featuring local cuisine and Hawaiian entertainment out by the ocean."
The sixth annual Crockpot Cookoff will be on a slow burn at high noon on Sunday, Aug. 26 at Lahaina Jodo Mission.
"Once again, it's time for summer's most anticipated food throwdown! All levels of cooks and food lovers are encouraged to come out and enjoy fantastic meat and vegetarian dishes," says promoter Aydin Say. "Bring the family! Bring a cooler! And don't forget to bring dat crockpot."
Well-known island manager Buff Weaver is now the director of operations for both Cilantro Mexican Grill and Pizza Paradiso in West Maui.
"We are thrilled to have Buff join the team and help take our operations to the next level," says owner-chef Paris Nabavi. "His depth of experience across all food and beverage arenas and his successful history in the Maui restaurant market make him the perfect person to direct our growth and development."
Wanna jump ship from Maui this weekend? Then head to the 2nd annual Slack Key Guitar Festival at Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay. Friday, there will be a concert at the resort's Luau Gardens with food stations packed with fresh poke, hot dogs, sliders and tacos. Reservations are not required.