ORGANICALLY SPEAKING . . . When First Lady Michelle Obama planted an organic garden at the White House, she made a statement as a role model about healthful choices.
Now, Oprah Winfrey, who owns a home and farmland on Maui, has registered trademarks for "Oprah's Farm" and "Oprah's Organics," among others, to sell items from her Maui acreage. The billionaire will put Maui in the organic spotlight in the April issue of O, The Oprah Magazine.
"Organic foods, produced without agrichemicals such as pesticides, fungicides and synthetic fertilizers are grown in a way that enhances soil fertility and protects both farmers and consumers," says writer Chris Kilham in his recent news blog, www.medicinehunter.com, about Oprah's latest ag and trademark venture.
Keith Ranney participated in a GMO-free rally Saturday from War Memorial Stadium to the Maui Mall with hundreds of others from across the islands.
The Maui News / CARLA TRACY photo
Apparently, hundreds of Mauians also want pesticide-free food, soil and water as evidenced at the March in March rally on Saturday against GMOs.
Many in the crowd bore signs and stated that they were upset that the GMO labeling bill was shelved, citing that this is a democracy, and we have a right to know what is in the food that we are buying. More than 60 countries around the world ban GMOs.
NORTH SHORE NEWS. . . Haiku is certainly on a roll with sushi these days. Last week, I mentioned Wayne's Sushi Bar was just written up in Sunset magazine as a rural hot spot.
Now, we hear Nuka Sushi Bar is open in Haiku under the direction of well-known and respected sushi chef Hiro Takanashi. Named after Nuka, the rice bran that is used to make pickled vegetables, Nuka will "go berserk," according to a sushi fan, who says it's like a classy oasis, one you'd find, say, in Honolulu.
Catering the Bill Cosby show at the MACC on Friday will be the new Nellie's Bistro 19 in Paia. It's owned by the daughter of famous retired NBA basketball coach and full-time Maui resident Don Nelson.
"Chef Lee McBride worked at Spago and was co-owner of Aloha Events Catering," says the MACC's Lisa Haole, codirector of food and beverage. "Coach Don's nickname in the NBA was 'Nellie,' so that's why she picked it for her bistro."
McBride will serve tapas platters, linguines and grilled chicken Caprese sandwiches starting at 5:30 p.m. in the MACC courtyard. Apparently, her dad is pals with Cosby, so she wanted to be at the show.
We hear Chef Wayne Turnipseed of Maui Country Club in Spreckelsville moved back to the Mainland. Now, a new chef will step in April 2.
"Sean Christensen most recently cooked at Pacific'o in Lahaina," says the club's membership marketing manager Luana Pa'ahana. "We are very excited and he came highly recommended.
Two-month trial memberships are still available at the club with no annual fee. It will also open its doors May 4 for the Star Light, Star Bright fundraiser that will be an enhanced add-on to the Haiku Ho'olaule'a and Flower Festival on April 20 in Haiku. Proceeds from Star Light will support Haiku Elementary and others.
A reader also called in and asked if Johnny B's in Paia has closed. The phone number has been disconnected. No more burgers in the north side of town.
ALL OVER THE MAP. . . Reading my Side Orders column online from the land Down Under, former Maui sommelier Alan Usler then emailed me to say, "I'm just continuing to learn how to speak 'fair dinkum' Australian, understand cricket, and work my way through tastings at as many of the 1,400 total wineries this country has on offer, a daunting but doable endeavor."
Restaurateur Paris Nabavi of Cilantro's Mexican Grill in Lahaina and Pizza Paradiso in Honokowai will present a Persian Cooking Class to benefit Maui Food Bank at 6 p.m. Saturday. Other classes are April 27, May 25 and June 29.
Heading to Hana with my husband for a little R&R, I spotted some well-known Mauians in the wilds of Kipahulu. Steven "Giovanni" Cappelli, Casanova restaurants owner, and Kaupo artist Piero Resta were dining with their ladies at Ae's Thai Food Truck that was parked next to a little shack with tables for their pleasure.
"I will give Ae's a 10 as far as atmosphere goes," says Cappelli, who is nailing it with happy hour at his Bistro Casanova in Kahului with $5 carafes of mojitos, margaritas, or pinot grigio or chianti wine. Appetizers include chicken kebabs with pesto and calamari.