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History-making Progressive Dinner to feature premier chefs and menu

By Staff | May 7, 2009

LAHAINA — Lahaina Restoration Foundation announced the lineup of chefs and some of the sumptuous dishes that will accompany the theatrical trip to the 1800s at their Progressive Dinner at four Lahaina historic locations on May 22 and 23.

“This event not only will educate and entertain those attending about Lahaina’s rich history, it also will provide an extensive menu from some of the best chefs on the island,” said Lahaina Restoration Foundation Executive Director Theo Morrison. “The spirit of giving in our culinary community is legendary, and those attending will enjoy some of the best food and preparations the island has to offer.”    

Chef Arnaldo Perez of Pioneer Inn will prepare appetizers and whalers’ grog, Executive Chef James McDonald of O’o Farm and Executive Chef Philip Wang of Merriman’s Kapalua will share the salad course with rolls from Harold Hardcastle of The Bakery at the Baldwin House on Front Street, Executive Chef Craig Masuda of Hoaloha Catering from Old Lahaina Luau will take charge of the main course to be served alfresco at Hale Aloha on Luakini Street, and eight top resorts and restaurants will create a memorable dessert buffet in the Old Lahaina Prison on Prison Street

Charles Fredy of Better Brands will provide the wine for the event.          

All of the food for the event and the services of these well-known chefs are being donated by the restaurants involved to support Lahaina Restoration Foundation’s 2010 Scholarship Fund.

Here are just a few of the dishes planned. 

Chef Perez’s pupu menu includes bruschetta topped with artichoke hearts, tomato and feta cheese; bacon wrapped scallops with lemon caper cream sauce; crab-stuffed mushrooms; and grog with and without alcohol. Perez has been with the Pioneer Inn for ten years, quickly moving from cook to sous chef to chef just nine years after joining this historic restaurant.    

Chef McDonald will create the salad course on May 22 from picked-that-day vegetables from O’o Farm. Chef Wang will create the salad from fresh picked vegetables on May 23. The salads will be served on the same Blue Willow China plates Mrs. Charlotte Baldwin brought to Lahaina in the 1800s via a six-month voyage around Cape Horn. Diners will enjoy this course at candlelit tables, just as the Baldwins and their guests did centuries ago.     

McDonald, best known as Chef James, has earned accolades for his work, including Best Chef on Maui by The Maui News readers, Best of Show at “A Taste of Lahaina,” the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and more. 

Chef Wang studied at the Connecticut Culinary School and the Culinary Institute of America in New York. He has worked in some of the best kitchens in the country, including Rubicon with Traci Des Jardines, Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago and the Ritz-Carlton in Boston.  

Chef Masuda is planning a culinary feast at Hale Aloha with ponzu grilled New York strip streak; Portuguese sausage and Maui Onion crusted mahi mahi with garlic soy cream; garden vegetable fried rice; and spicy tuna-style poke. He has a long and distinguished history on Maui, starting at The Westin Maui, where he served for 12 years and worked in every capacity from bakery chef to sous chef. After working as sous chef at the Maui Marriott, Masuda joined Old Lahaina Luau, well-known for its authentic Hawaiian cuisine.  

Desserts will be plentiful at the Old Lahaina Prison, where actors playing 1800s inmates are planning quite a party.  Restaurants providing the dessert buffet include Pineapple Grill, The Melting Pot, Lahaina Grill, Take Home Maui and CJ’s Deli.

Morrison reminds those planning to attend to register early, as seating is limited to 50 persons at each of the two seatings per night. Tickets are $135 all-inclusive, and $60 per ticket is tax-deductible. Attendance is limited to those ages 21 and older. 

To buy tickets, visit www.lahainarestoration.org or call 661-3262.