Maui Food and Dining

Kapalua Wine & Food Festival Hosts Grand Tasting

May 30, 2017, 1:15 PM HST
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The 36th annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival takes place June 8 to 11, 2017 at hotels and restaurants around Kapalua. Event organizers say the event promises to be another spectacular weekend with top winemakers, homegrown culinary chefs and superstars from the celebrity chef scene.

Jojo Vasquez of Plantation House and 2017 ‘Aipono Award-winning “Chef of the Year.” Courtesy photo.

The Grand Tasting gala kick-off will take place at the Montage Kapalua Bay’s oceanfront lawn on Friday, June 9, from 6 to 9 p.m., and will showcase the culinary creations of Kapalua Resort restaurants along with special guests and renowned wines from across the globe.

A few highlights of dishes to be served during the Grand Tasting include:

Seared Ahi on a crispy tortilla with lime crema, tomato, avocado and cilantro from Chef Jojo Vasquez of Plantation House, 2017 ‘Aipono Award winning “Chef of the Year.”

Oxtail tortellini with parmesean, brodo and parsley from Chef Robert Barrera of Pineapple Grill.


Kauaʻi shrimp and Taro pancake from Chef Neil Murphy of Merriman’s Restaurant.


More dishes will come from Cane & Canoe, Honolua Store, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Taverna and UH Maui Culinary Academy.

Also during the event, Petrossian Caviar, considered the world’s finest caviar, will host a tasting station of select caviar’s from their renowned portfolio and the “Maui Sugar Squad” will be on hand to provide sweets and treats from Maui’s own Donut Dynamite, Beach Bunny Bakery, Cupcake Lady and Maui Cookie Lady.

Attendees can also expect gourmet cheeses provided by Saputo and HFM Food Service, live music entertainment by the four piece string band Bravado, premium wines, Kona Brewing Company beer and a Bombay Sapphire specialty craft cocktail bar and the chance to preview the newest luxury vehicles by Lexus, the official vehicle of the festival.


Purchase tickets for the Grand Tasting online here.

The 36th Annual Wine & Food Festival Schedule

Thursday, June 8

A Master Class Introduction to Deductive Wine Tasting
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 10:30 a.m. – Noon
Invitation only; Industry
Hosted by: Master Sommelier’s Rob Bigelow and Michael Jordan

Local Industry Wine Trade Show & Gourmet Products Sampling
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – Noon – 3 p.m.
Invitation only; Industry

Welcome Reception
Plantation House Restaurant, Lower Lawn – 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Invitation Only and 4-day pass holders

Friday, June 9

Festival Golf Tournament
The Bay Course, Kapalua – 7 a.m.
Not included in 4-day pass; sold separately
Advance registration required

Regional Focus: New Oregon Wine Seminar & Tasting
Merriman’s Kapalua – 12:30 – 2 p.m.
The Willamette Valley is evolving and there is a great movement underway, an evolution of viticulture, wine making and flavor. Discover some of the top players on the scene and taste some amazing samples of their newest projects.
Confirmed winemakers/wineries to date:
Adam Lee – Siduri
Tony Rynders – Zena Crown Wines
Jay Somers – J Christopher Wines
Erik Kramer – Willakenzie Estate Winery

Regional Focus: “Cruising Highway 101” Paso Robles – Wine Seminar and Tasting
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 3 – 4:30 p.m.
Road-trippin’ through Paso Robles and their 11 new AVA’s diversity of grapes, styles and fun.
Confirmed winemakers/wineries to date:
Scott Shirley – Justin Vineyards
Matt Trevisan – Linne Calodo
Chloe Asseo – L’Aventure Winery
Karl Wicka – Turley

The Grand Tasting – Kapalua Style
Montage Kapalua Bay – 6-9 p.m.
Premium wines are showcased with gastronomic indulgences from Kapalua Resort restaurants and friends. A walk-around tasting and evening under the stars; all on the oceanfront grounds of Montage Kapalua Bay. Food provided by Kapalua restaurants including Cane & Canoe, Honolua Store, Maui Culinary Academy, Merriman’s Kapalua, Pineapple Grill, Plantation House, Taverna, and The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

Saturday, June 10

Varietal Focus: Rising Rockstars of Pinot Noir – Wine Seminar and Tasting
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 11 a.m – 12:30 p.m.
Amazing Pinot Noir Specialists, now building up and coming wineries in the heart of California’s Pinot Paradise. Discover these winemakers’ newest projects (confirmed winemakers/wineries to date):
Jeff Gaffner – Ram’s Gate
Tony Lombardi – Lombardi Wines
Bibiana Gonzalez Rave – Cattleya Wines
Bob Cabral – Three Sticks

Cooking Demonstration with Celebrity Chef Andrew Sutton
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 1-3 p.m.
Chef Andrew Sutton of Disney’s Napa Ross prepares cuisine celebrating the bounty and heritage of California, inspired by the seacost, farms and diverse flavors of the state. Hosted by Master Sommelier Michael Jordan and paired with exquisite wines. Featuring the wines of Williams Selyem.

Historic Focus: “Family Tree – Scions of the Vine”
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 3:30 – 5 p.m.
This seminar honors the great legacies of historic family wineries. The tasting brings together second and third generation winemakers and their winemaker parents to share their history, secrets, great stories and wines.
Confirmed winemakers/wineries to date:
Gary and Jeff Pisoni – Pisoni Vineyards
Lee and Regina Martinelli – Martinelli Winery
Herta and Lisa Peju – Peju Wines

Sunday, June 11

Regional Focus: “Baja Mexican Magic” An Emerging Region with Five Valleys – Wine Seminar and Tasting
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Valle de Guadalupe in Baja, California wine country has been growing grapes and producing wine for many years. There are over 130 different Italian grape varieties alone, along with grapes from Spain and France. Delicious wines made by artisan winemakers and an incredible emerging region, just waiting to be discovered.
Fernando Martain – Cavas Valmar
Tom Bracamontes – Corona del Valle
Alberto Rubio – Fluxus
Daniel Lonnberg – Emeve/Literal/Canada de los Encinos

Cooking Demonstration with Celebrity Chef Cat Cora
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 1-3 p.m.
American professional chef and restaurateur best known for her featured role as an “Iron Chef” on the Food Network television show “Iron Chef America” and co-host of “Around the World in 80 Plates” on Bravo. Hosted by Master Sommelier Michael Jordan and featuring a selection of Greek wines.

Varietal Focus: Classic California Cabernet Sauvignon – Wine Seminar and Tasting
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – 3:30-5 p.m.
A star studded tasting. Classic California wineries famous for producing stellar wines. A great study of sites and styles, texture and flavors from Napa Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley.
Confirmed winemakers/wineries to date:
Kristina Werner – Arrowood Winery
Rob Davis – Jordan Winery
Philippe Melka – Melka Wines
Sam Kaplan – Arkenstone
Marcus Notaro – Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars

Seafood Festival
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – Aloha Garden Pavilion – 6-9 p.m.
Maui’s Top restaurants showcase a seafood specialty and culinary creation in competition for Maui No Ka Oi Magazine’s “Best of the Fest” award. Premium wines, Kona Brewing Company beer and Bombay Sapphire specialty craft cocktail. Perennial favorite Nuff Sedd provides tunes to dance the night away. Participating Restaurants include Cane & Canoe, Fleetwoods on Front St., Gannon’s in Wailea, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, Japengo, Morimoto Maui, Pacific’O, The Banyan Tree, Tommy Bahama, Hula Grill Kā‘anapali, Maui Culinary Academy/Laulima Catering, Pūlehu, Roy’s Kā‘anapali and Sea House Restaurant

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