Looking for something different, "fresh," so to speak, to do on the long Labor Day weekend? If you are 21 and older, there are three epic evenings planned for Aug. 29, 30 and 31 at various scenic venues in the Kaanapali Resort.
If you have children, then daytime events, such as Maui farm tours on Aug. 29, will be fun and educational.
But get online now, as tickets to the third annual Ka'anapali Fresh are starting to sell at a rapid clip, like a sailing canoe about to pass you by in the tradewinds.
A hula dancer performs on Kaanapali Beach to the tunes of Keli‘i Kaneali‘i and Barry Flanagan (right) of Hapa. The acclaimed, multi-Na Hoku Award-winning Hawaiian music duo will perform Aug. 30 at the Kaanapali Fresh: From Range to Sea, along with Kamakakehau Fernandez.
Kaanapali Fresh photo
The Grown on Maui farmers market.
Kaanapali Fresh photo
Southern Wine & Spirits mixologist Chandra Lucariello will be on hand, shaking up fun libations.
In fact, the opening event on Friday, Aug. 29, 'Aha Aina o Ka'anapali, is all about our canoe culture.
Witness Maui's new Mo'okiha O Piilani sailing canoe lead a flotilla of outriggers to the beach fronting the Westin Maui Resort & Spa and meet Capt. Timi Gilliom and his Hawaiian crew.
The Mo'okiha arrival ceremony serves as the graceful launch into a culinary journey through three distinctive and tasty ages of Hawaiian cuisine.
* 'Aha Aina O Ka'anapali: Staged from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29 outdoors at Westin Maui Resort & Spa, this culinary journey lets you taste ancient to modern Hawaiian cuisine. Enjoy live music and hula by Napua Greige and halau as Maui's Mo'okiha o Pi'ilani sailing canoe glides in. Wines and spirits included. Cost is $89, plus tax.
* Fresh Mixology 101: A marriage of libations spirited and brewed will be explored from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30 at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa's oceanfront lawn. Sip cocktails with a savory lunch. Cost is $42, plus tax.
* From Range to Sea: Listen to Hapa and Kamakakehau Fernandez perform. Bid at silent auction, sip fine wines and savor farm and chef pairings under the stars at Royal Ka'anapali Golf Course's scenic Hole No. 3 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 30. Cost is $185, plus tax.
* Other highlights: Maui Farm Tours on Aug. 29; Grown on Maui farmers market Aug. 30; and Under a Maui Moon Aug. 31. For tickets, visit the website at www.kaanapalifresh.com.
Cochairs and chefs Ikaika Manaku of the Westin and Tom Muromoto of Ka'anapali Beach Hotel will first serve guests a clean, natural taste of Old Hawaii with fish, limu, sweet potatoes and kalo.
Then, our palates will travel to the Golden Era with farm-raised beef and pork, sweet pineapple and more, prepared by Raymond Nicasio of the Sheraton.
The final phase is Modern Hawaii, and Chef Bernardo Salazar of Royal Lahaina will prepare his coconut-lobster sushi with mango and avocado and more contemporary cuisine. Wines and spirits will be poured throughout.
Napua Greig, named 2008 Hawaii's Best Female Vocalist of the Year, will perform with her hula halau, Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka, that evening.
" 'Aha'aina O Ka'anapali is exciting on a lot of different levels," says Shelley Kekuna, executive director of the Ka'anapali Beach Resort Association.
"Not only will the entertainment and the menu be amazing, but the evening really provides us with an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of Hawaiian culture and to be inspired by the creativity of the Kaanapali chefs as they tap into traditional foods and then present them to us in new and innovative ways."
On Saturday, Aug. 30, Ka'anapali Fresh's signature evening event, From Range to Sea, will be set up under the stars at the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course's scenic Hole No. 3. Farmers will be paired with resort chefs in symbiotic tasting booths.
The idea took fruition a few months ago, when the farmers met with the chefs in a speed-dating type of format to share what produce would be available and to discuss how it would be cooked.
"The menus will complement each other as surely as a crisp sauvignon blanc sets off a seared scallop," says Kekuna. "They will base menus on the ancient Hawaiian model of ahupua'a, showcasing sustainability from mountains to sea."
Music will add to festivities. Hapa, one of Hawaii's most popular contemporary duos, will perform. Also delighting the audience will be rising-star Kamakakehau Fernandez with his engaging show.
"Where else can you watch a Hawaiian sunset, mingle with the state's best chefs and farmers, enjoy a drink, and listen to Hapa jam their tunes? Only at KFresh!" exclaims Scott McGill, event chairman and executive chef for TS Restaurants.
On the last evening, KFresh will merge with Hawaii Food & Wine Festival for the Under a Maui Moon (see story on Page 14). Events may be purchased separately and will certainly be different, and "fresh."