Maui Food and Dining

Noble Chef Event Takes You to 8 Countries

October 24, 2013, 11:38 AM HST
* Updated October 24, 2:17 PM
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By Vanessa Wolf

An appetizer from 2012's Noble Chef. Photo by Peter Liu.

An appetizer from 2012’s Noble Chef. Photo courtesy Peter Liu.

This Saturday, Oct. 26, is the 17th annual Noble Chef event, the largest annual fundraiser showcasing and supporting the Maui Culinary Academy at the University of Hawai‘i Maui College.

Whew! That’s a mouthful, but nearly so much as what you will find at the actual event.

This year’s Noble Chef takes place at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui and dishes center around the theme “The World on a Plate.”

A celebrity chef-designed reception menu spans the culinary “hot spots” of the world and includes Japan, Vietnam, Morocco, Great Britain, India, Greece, New Zealand, and Mexico.


Chefs Chris Kulis and Brian Etheredge of Capische? represent Japan.


They are preparing Kona Maine lobster tempura and Nero steam buns with pohole fern pickles and micro shiso accompanied by a Hakushiku Yamadanishik Jumai sake.

Brent Martin and Issac Bancaco of Andaz Maui at Wailea present the flavors of Vietnam with an abalone bao and black pepper kampachi with bacon paired with a Frisk Riesling 2012.

Tackling a notable culinary challenge, Lyndon Honda of Laulima Events and Catering represents Great Britain… or Great Britain in the New World, perhaps.


His “New England Boiled Dinner” contains corned beef tongue, coconut porter, poached baby carrots, crispy Brussels sprouts, parsnip puree, and a rutabaga chip. Maui Brewing Company’s LahainaTown Brown Ale accompanies it.

Executive Chef Marc McDowell of Makena Resort drew the straw for Italy.

He’s prepared a prosciutto seared scallop and crisp basil polenta with morel mushroom butter broth, which you can wash down with a “Makena to Milano” daiquiri.

According to the chef, “the cocktail contains Bacardi Superior, bound in fresh-pressed grapefruit and lime juice, balanced with white cane sugar reduction and a measure of Galliano L’Auntentico Liqueur.”

Now you know.

Another appetizer

Another appetizer from 2012’s Noble Chef. Photo courtesy Peter Liu.

Mexico will be brought to life by Chef Anton Haines of Pacific‘O.

His birria and sweet corn uchepos are comprised of slow braised beef with sweet corn tamales and accompanied by a chiso and hibiscus margarita.

The beverage is described as “Tequila Cazadores and craft hibiscus sweet n sour, flash infused with fresh Maui grown chiso, served on the rocks with a Tajin sprinkled fresh Maui grown star fruit.”

Chef Bret Pafford of Gannon’s represents Morocco.

His lamb tajine with Maui onion mezgaldi, batbout bread, and Hawaiian chili oil is paired with a Moroccan Clover.

The drink is made from Bombay Sapphire, “bruised to perfection with Bols yogurt liquor, fresh lemon juice and a dash of pomegranate reduction, served up with an aromatic star anise and fresh mint leaf accoutrement.”

Yogurt liquor? Wild.

Not to be outdone, Wes Holder of Pulehu, an Italian Grill will be taking a break from his usual with the flavors of Greece.

His lamb loukanika, couscous and pan-fried Surfing Goat feta come with a “Mighty Aphrodite.”

Woody Allen appears to be unharmed during the concoction of this cocktail.

Rather, it is billed as “an intensely exotic dirty martini with an Italian twist.” The libation includes Grey Goose vodka and Martini & Rossi Bianco with a dash of kalamata olive brine, strained up with two dashes of garlic olive oil and served with feta cheese stuffed kalamata olives.”

Rounding out the appetizer selections are Chef Bryan Beneke of Four Seasons Maui Resort and the bounty of New Zealand.

He’s keeping it simple with a lobster salad with a corn bread crisp and Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2012.

Oh no, no: it doesn’t end there.

After the reception, guests will sit down for a multi-course gourmet French dinner.

With Maui Culinary Academy faculty Chefs Craig Omori and Chef Jeff Scheer at the helm, the appetizer is chilled Kona kampachi tartare with local carrot and ginger coulis, creme fraiche, caviar and pickled Kula onion and fennel salad.

Gerard Bertrand Reserve Chardonnay 2010 accompanies their dish.

We hope you’re comfortably dressed in something roomy, as the entrée, prepared by MCA Faculty Chefs Tom Lelli and Chef Jake Belmonte arrives next.

Enjoy a filet mignon and jumbo sea scallop with roasted baby vegetables, truffle parsnip and potato puree and plan to wash it down with Fat Bastard Cabernet Sauvignon 2009.

You might be feeling like a fat bastard by the time you tuck into dessert.

MCA Faculty Pastry Chefs Teresa Shurilla and Chef Christine Pafford prepare an apple tarte tatin with Calvados ice cream and hand-crafted petits fours served alongside a Fonsecca Bin No. 27 Port.

Try not to sneeze, or risk losing a button.

Organizers explain that “in addition to preparing the evening’s meals together, the celebrity chefs and the students they mentor spend several days beforehand in an intimate learning exchange, providing invaluable hands-on experience for MCA students.”

All this decadence begins with the reception at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner, entertainment and an auction at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $250 for preferred seating and $185 for general seating.

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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