Maui Food and Dining

Foodie Events Surround Toronto Chef’s Visit

April 11, 2013, 11:00 AM HST
* Updated April 12, 12:35 PM
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By Vanessa Wolf

Chef Jamie Kennedy. Courtesy image.

Chef Jamie Kennedy. Courtesy image.

Chef Jamie Kennedy, of Gilead Café and Jamie Kennedy Kitchens in Toronto, arrived on Maui Tuesday and will be here through April 16 on a cultural chef exchange.

Kennedy will visit several farms to learn more about Maui agriculture and the island’s local food movement. The farms include The Breadfruit Institute at Kahanu Gardens, Hana Fresh Market, Kupaʻa Farm and Yeeʻs Orchard, among others.

He will also be meeting with several Maui chefs including Peter Merriman, Neil Murphy and Ricky Sakoda of Merriman’s Kapalua; Perry Bateman of Mamaʻs Fish House; Jeff Scheer of Maui Executive Catering; Chris Speere of the Maui Culinary Academy; and Craig Erickson of Nāpili Kai Beach Resort.

For over three decades, Kennedy has been influential in shaping the culinary landscape in Canada. His commitment to sustainable agriculture and advocacy of local food has helped to strengthen Toronto’s community of artisans, farmers, wineries and fellow chefs.


Kennedy applies the slow-food philosophy in his restaurants and catering business, utilizing seasonal methods of cooking.


Slow Food is an international movement. The name was coined in opposition to “fast food,” and its effort is geared toward preserving traditional and regional cuisine and encouraging the farming of plants, seeds and livestock that are best suited to the local ecosystem.

As part of his visit, there will be three foodie events around the island open to the public.

Tomorrow, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., you can enjoy “Lunch at The Leis” at the Maui Culinary Academy’s fine-dining restaurant.


Part of the culinary program, at the center of the restaurant/living classroom, is the Exhibition Kitchen, where restaurant patrons can watch up-and-coming chefs as they deftly wield pots, pans, knives and spatulas while preparing your lunch. Appetizers, salads, soups, entrees and desserts will be available and will highlight Maui’s freshest locally-grown produce.

On Saturday, April 13, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., you can meet Kennedy at the Upcountry Farmers Market.

Kennedy will prepare his signature ‘frites’ (french fries) from locally-sourced breadfruit, taro, and potatoes provided by The Breadfruit Institute at Kahanu Gardens, Kupa’a Farm and Nohoʻana Farm. Kennedy has won “best French fries in Toronto” so expect some mad potato-frying skills.

The Frites Stand is a benefit for Slow Food Maui. Chef Jeff Scheer of Maui Executive Catering in Haiku will be on hand to help at the stand.

Finally, after you file those taxes you can go blow off some steam on Monday, April 15, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the “Grown on Maui” Dinner at Merriman’s Kapalua.

The four-course meal will be prepared by Kennedy with support from chefs Merriman and Sakoda, Maui Executive Catering’s Scheer, Lyndon Honda and  students from the Maui Culinary Academy.

This event is a benefit for the Maui County Farm Bureauʻs “Grown on Maui” program.

The dinner is $100 per person, with four courses and passed hors dʻoeuvres. Cocktails and wine will be available for an additional charge.

The dinner is limited to 70 guests. Call 808-669-6400 for reservations.

We welcome your feedback. Please let us know if you hear of any new restaurants opening or reopening, total menu overhauls, or simply know of a hidden treasure you want to share. Have a restaurant you want reviewed (or re-reviewed)? Drop us a line – Vanessa (

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