September 15, 2008

Garden Party on Maui

I do love food, so when there’s an opportunity to savor many different tastes I am there. I go to special events to observe, learn, taste the food and enjoy the experience. Yesterday for the first time I attended the annual Maui Academy of Performing Arts' fundraiser at the Yokouchi family estate in Wailuku. Over a dozen Maui restaurants and sponsors cooked their signature tastes as guests sipped wines from various wineries.

Waterfront Restaurant, Ma’alaea Grill, Café O Lei Restaurants, Jacques, Prince Court, Café Marc Aurel, Bentos & Banquets, Dad’s Doughnuts, Hula Grill, Maui Chocolate Fountain, Roy’s Restaurants Maui, Sir Wilfred’s, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Ali’I Kula Lavender Garden were represented. Guests tasted grilled lamb chops and tossed caesar salad with lettuce wraps with chicken, water chestnuts and shiitake mushrooms. Guests savored the osso bucco ravioli and sautéed spinach. There was also spicy friend shrimp, goat cheese martini salads and cheese plates with fruit and olives. There were fresh doughnuts and even lime sorbet with lavender cookies and a chocolate fountain for dipping fruit, cake and pretzels. Most of these participants have been involved in this event for over a decade.

The live auction was a main attraction, along with the silent auction. Some items went for over a $1,000.00 in the live auction. And artists painted on site and offered their piece of work for auction. Supporting the arts does make a difference in the lives of many people.

As a chef I know that it is a challenge to maintain quality control when producing food for a large event. I am definitely critical but take everything into consideration. I really enjoyed the variety and fresh mango that was served in a couple of dishes. I thought the food was ok but guests really enjoyed the afternoon. This is what matters. Here on Maui it is really nice to be able to participate in casual events that support the community.

Take time to savor the moment, support your community and appreciate all that you have. Eat well, live well.

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