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Just when you think you’ve mastered Maui’s culinary scene, something new comes along to tempt the taste buds. For visitors who are hungry for the latest dining experience, here are five food events that are generating buzz around the island.
In-Room Cooking ClassesMontage Kapalua Bay’s accommodations pamper visitors with gourmet kitchens featuring top-of-the-line appliances and amenities. Now, guests can learn how to use their personal kitchens to the fullest during private, in-room cooking classes. Instructors arrive with all the ingredients and know-how necessary for a hands-on demonstration, enriched by conversation about the significance of the dish they’re making.
One session focuses on three types of poke made with ultra-fresh local fish and seasonings. In another, participants create their own mai tais with rum, regional fruits, juices, herbs and other Maui products.
Clients come away with sated appetites, newfound skills and keepsake logo aprons. Call 808-662-6505 to book.
Lanai City Bar & GrilleDating back to 1923, Hotel Lanai is touting the results of a renovation that, among other things, upgraded its Lanai City Bar & Grille. Visitors who stop by the neighborhood hub can belly up to the beautiful new bar, pull up a chair in the refreshed dining room or gather in the reimagined outdoor seating area, serenaded by live music.
Manning the kitchen is Joel Harrington, who made a name for himself at acclaimed New York City restaurants such as Aquavit and Red Rooster. Describing his Lanai menu as “global cuisine with an island fork,” he blends a worldly vision with local sensibilities and ingredients. One bite of the Lanai venison loin rubbed with Vietnamese spices says it all.
Makana Market + CafeTropical flavors mingle in Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui’s new Makana Market + Cafe, on the resort’s terrace level. Showcasing island-inspired fare, it puts guests in a Maui mindset with its fruit smoothies and acai bowls with Hawaiian granola and apple bananas. Nitro cold-brew coffees and espresso drinks made from Hawaii-grown-and-roasted beans keep patrons perky.
All day, Makana Market + Café provides instant gratification in the form of sandwiches, wraps and pizzas (try yours with Surfing Goat Dairy feta and caramelized Kula onions). Sesame-seared ahi enhances one of the cafe’s many hearty salads, while dinner-to-go specials range from mango barbecue pork ribs to huli-huli-style chicken.
Maui Kuia Estate ChocolateAs the only U.S. state to grow cacao commercially, Hawaii is seeing an increase in farms that cultivate beans for making luscious bars. Joining that group is Maui Kuia, a west Maui enterprise that’s creating premium chocolate from locally grown cacao, along with imported beans from Ecuador, Brazil and Costa Rica.
Maui Kuia’s new visitor-friendly headquarters — the largest chocolate factory in Hawaii — is a 9,000-square-foot, 100 percent solar-powered beauty. Opening in spring 2019, the attraction will tantalize sweet teeth with tastings of chocolates, both pure and flavored with the likes of peppermint or lemongrass. Also on hand: homemade ice cream, pastries, chocolate drinks, desserts, a retail store, a chef’s table and an open-air pavilion.
Maui Wine & Food ClassicFour Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea promises three days of epicurean delights during its first annual Maui Wine & Food Classic, set for March 1-3, 2019. The sip-and-sup event calls to wine and food aficionados as well as folks who simply love a good party, all of whom can rub elbows with vintners and chefs from near and far.
Guests can indulge in a sunset wine tasting, dinner under the stars and after-hours desserts and cocktails by the pool. Additional activities include a lesson in glassology, an oceanfront gala and a Sunday brunch heightened by some of the world’s best champagne and prosecco. Clients can book a room-and-event package or buy a la carte tickets.