Maui Food and Dining

2018 Tastemaker Series Kicks Off with Sake Pairing ʻAipono Dinner

March 6, 2018, 10:43 AM HST
* Updated March 6, 10:45 AM
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Ume sake braised short rib. PC: Japengo Maui

The Maui Tastemakers Series returns to Japengo at Hyatt Regency Maui on March 24, and will feature a five-course sake pairing ʻAipono Dinner prepared by Japengo Chef de Cuisine Gevin Utrillo and Sushi Chef Jin Hosono with a selection of craft sake imported from various regions of Japan.

March’s ʻAipono Dinner will support the Maui Culinary Academy with a portion of ticket proceeds, as well as the opportunity for current students to shadow the chefs in the kitchen as they prep for the event. The March Tastemakers event is $125 a person.

“The last three years of the Tastemakers program has been an excellent opportunity to share local flavors with diners,” said Gevin Utrillo, Japengo Chef de Cuisine. “We’re excited to expand the program this year to highlight local culinary students, local ingredients and local beverages.”

The March 24 dinner will feature:

  • Sake soy marinated and seared big eye tuna with yuzu pepper cucumber wrapped salad and truffle shiso tosa vinaigrette served with Ohyama “Tomizu” Tokubetsu Junmai from the Yamagata prefecture.
  • Hamachi and uni yaki marinated in sake jalapeno miso served with Taiheizan “Grand Mountain” Junmai Kimoto from the Akita prefecture.
  • Ume-Sake braised short rib accompanied by savory bread pudding, Hamakua mushrooms, goat cheese tatsoi and smoked tomato jam served with Wakatake “Demon Slayer” Onikoroshi Junmai Diaginjo from the Shizuoka prefecture.
  • Omakase nigiri featuring seared otoro with foie gras, local sweet shrimp with ikura and kampachi with shiso and yuzu tobiko served with Narutotai “Red Snapper” Ginjo Namazake Genshu from the Tokushima prefecture.
  • Japengo cream puff filled with coconut mascarpone, lilikoʻi butter and dusted with kinako served with Ichinokura “Himezen” Junmai from the Miyagi Prefecture.

Upcoming 2018 Tastemakers dinners and partners are as follows:

  • Saturday, June 9 with Stag’s Leap Cellers, featuring wine maker Marcus D’Notaro
  • Saturday, Sept. 8 with Maui Brewing Company
  • Saturday, Dec. 8 with Hāliʻimaile Distillery

Japengo is open nightly featuring dinner and sushi bar service from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., lounge service from 5 to 10 p.m., and happy hour from 5 to 6 p.m.


For more information about Japengo or to make a reservation for an upcoming Tastemakers dinner, visit the Japengo website or call 808-667-4727.

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