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Enjoy raw food dishes at Le Grinds benefit

By Staff | Apr 22, 2010

KAHULUI — Drawing from rising popularity in the raw and living foods diet, the University of Hawaii Maui College’s Maui Culinary Academy (MCA) has teamed up with renowned local raw food chef and author Jeremy Safron to create an all-raw, five-course gourmet dinner for its annual Le Grinds fund-raiser.

Set for Friday, April 30, at 6 p.m., the event will feature organic and biodynamic wines paired with dishes such as Haleakala Sunset Salsa with Crater Chips, Coconut Caravan Soup, and Cajun Nofu with Hemp Rice and Marinated Vegetables.

MCA Instructor Chef Jake Belmonte said, “Le Grinds is an event that focuses on introducing fresh ideas to food enthusiasts at a very reasonable price. It’s all about enjoying what the ‘aina has to offer and preparing it to its full potential. I am just ecstatic to be a part of this gig and able to showcase what’s hot in the culinary world.”

The event will also feature live music by singer, songwriter and violinist Maesyn. Classically trained on violin since the age of four, Maesyn composes all of her own orchestration and thrives on improvisation. She fronts her own band, and also has performed on stage for thousands with artists such as Matisyahu. She spent a year fronting the conscious hip-hop band, The Luminaries.

Student-produced culinary specialty products and Safron’s books will be available for sale at the event with proceeds benefiting the Maui Culinary Academy.

Tickets are available to the public for $40 a person or $20 for UHMC students, faculty and staff.

With a career spanning well over a decade, Safron is a renowned expert in the creation of raw foods and dietary health.

As the author of numerous books, including “The Raw Truth,” “The Fasting Handbook,” and “The Raw Foods Resource Guide,” he has been interviewed in numerous media outlets and is a highly sought-after workshop leader.

Safron is the former owner of The Raw Experience, Maui’s first raw food restaurant in Paia. He also developed some of the most successful raw food products on the market, including Powerwraps and Rawmesean.

Prior to the event, Safron will work with MCA students in Chef Belmonte’s class, teaching them not only how to prepare raw foods, but also about their nutrition and the importance of using local ingredients.

Many students in the class said they heard about raw cuisine, but none had any experience in its preparation.

MCA was able to partner with Whole Foods Market, which will provide many of the the local ingredients used in each dish.

MCA Director Chris Speere said, “Our mission as a culinary academy is to expose our students to food preparation styles that support America’s growing trend toward more conscious eating habits. Were finding that alternative dining — such as raw, vegan, vegetarian and organic — can be delicious and satisfying to the palette. We are extremely pleased to have Chef Jeremy Safron in our MCA kitchen to educate our students in the intricacies of raw cuisine and its benefits for better health and vibrant living.”

Seating is limited; make reservations early by contacting Tiffany at 984-3434. MCA is only able to accept cash or checks, and payment will be collected at the door.