Master Chefs Collaborate at Kāʻanapali Kitchen Stadium
By Wendy Osher
A Maui twist on an Iron Chef favorite, brought the culinary creativity of six master chefs to a beach front arena in what has become a signature event of the annual Kāʻanapali Fresh festival.
The Kāʻanapali Kitchen Stadium Under a Maui Moon gala dinner featured chefs from Maui and the US Mainland, who presented a six course meal highlighting Maui-grown products.
The event on Sunday night at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa’s open-air Napili Gardens, served as a prelude to the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival on O‘ahu, co-chaired by chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong.
The dining experience began with kampachi with osetra caviar, uni, preserved lemon and blossoms prepared by Chef Mourad Lahlou of Aziza in San Francisco California. The appetizer was paired with a 2013 Weingut Rudolf Furst ‘Pur Mineral’ Silvaner white wine from Germany.
Maui’s own Chef Isaac Bancaco of the Kaʻana Kitchen at the Andaz Maui resort at Wailea prepared the second course featuring Kona cold abalone with kimchee shave ice for a fresh and sophisticated take on a seafood slider.
In house Chef Gregory Grohowski from the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa delivered the next creation, Black Eye Lobster Risotto, plated on a bed of roasted pork belly and dragon fruit, and topped with sea asparagus. The plate was paired with a 2011 chardonnay, Diatom Hamon from Santa Rita Hills, California.
Course IV featured a tender creation of banana leaf wrapped roast baby goat alongside hearts of palm, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers and mint, crafted by Chef Floyd Cardoz of White Street in New York. The course was paired with a wine from 2012 wine from France, Nicole Charion Domaine De La Voute Des Crozes cote De Brouilly.
In a playful presentation, Chef Ming Tsai of Blue Ginger in Massachusetts, served pig two ways Szechwan crusted loin with braised shoulder, ratatouille, sushi rice cake and Ma La mango puree. The course was paired with a 2012 Mollydooker Shiraz ‘Blue Eyed Boy’ from Australia.
For a sweet finish, Maui’s own Chef Bev Gannon delivered a Kula strawberry with white chocolate ginger Bavarian parfait, paired with a Moscato Spumante wine from Veneto, Italy.
In addition to the featured chefs, other familiar faces on stage included Chef Sheldon Simeon of Migrant Maui, Chef Roy Yamaguchi, and Chef Alan Wong who contributed to the night’s presentation of Hawaiʻi Regional Cuisine.
According to event material, the Hawaiʻi Food and Wine Festival has provided more than $700,000 in net proceeds to beneficiaries over four years including contributions to: the Hawaiʻi Agriculture Foundation, the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, Leeward Community College Culinary Progra, Paepae o Heʻeia, Papahana Kuaola, Hawaiʻi Seafood Council, the Maui Culinary Academy, and the Maui County Farm Bureau.
In an effort to expand the event reach, organizers visited Maui last year, and are venturing out to Hawaiʻi Island this year. The HFWF has grown to a week-long celebration with participation from some 80 chefs from around the world, according to event material.