James Beard Award-Winning Chefs at Grand Wailea
By Vanessa Wolf
This weekend, the Grand Wailea and Chef Mike Lofaro of the resort’s Humuhumunukunukuapua`a restaurant host Maui’s first ever Celebrity Chef Tour.
Benefiting the James Beard Foundation, renowned James Beard Award-wining chefs Jonathan Waxman (Barbuto NYC and Adele’s Nashville), Johnny Iuzzini (Sugar Fueled Inc.), Bruce Bromberg (Blue Ribbon Restaurants NYC and Las Vegas) and Nancy Silverton (Pizzeria Osteria Mozza Los Angeles) unite on the Valley Isle for the unprecedented weekend of events.
Beginning Friday, January 23 from 6 to 8 p.m., the kick-off cocktail party is held in the resort’s Grand Dining Room.
There, Grey Goose master mixologist Manny Hinojosa creates an array of handcrafted island-themed cocktails, accompanied by plates from some of Maui’s best chefs.
Local guest chefs Isaac Bancaco of Ka`ana Kitchen, Chris Kulis of Capische? and Justin Pardo of Market Fresh Bistro present dishes highlighting local produce.
The celebrity chefs will also be in attendance, mixing and mingling with guests as they enjoy fine wines and authentic Belgian beers including Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and Leffe. Tickets are $50 per person.
Then, on Saturday, January 24 from 6 to 9 p.m., the Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner is held outside, “under the stars along the lawns surrounding the fountains and Reflections Pool.”
The six course, farm-to-table dinner is inspired by the chefs’ meetings with local farmers earlier that week.
Chef Lofaro will take the visiting chefs on a tour of Maui farms where will they meet with the farmers to determine their choice of ingredients.
“It will be fun to watch these big chefs as they dream up their locally-inspired menus and two days later serve their dishes to a crowd of enthusiastic food lovers,” Lofaro said.
“I know that the word “sustainable” has become trendy,” he continued, “but we live on an island and nowhere else is it more important to work towards being self-sufficient. Buying local means we help the economy, we help local business and farmers.”
The courses themselves are a mystery, but note wines will be paired with each dish and specialty cocktails are again mixed by Manny Hinojosa.
The resort notes that the broader mission of the Celebrity Chef Tour is to give back to the James Beard Foundation who continues to celebrate, nurture and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire.
Many of the nation’s finest chefs credit the Foundation for helping them to launch their successful careers.