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Top Maui Chefs issue invitation to dinner at Lahaina’s historic sites

By Staff | May 6, 2010

Chef David Paul Johnson (left), Charlotte Baldwin (played by docent Chi Guyer) and Chef Alex Stanislaw display replicas of family china they will fill with gourmet food at Lahaina Restoration Foundation’s Progressive Dinner later this month.

LAHAINA — Top Maui chefs are extending an invitation to residents and visitors to attend the second annual Progressive Dinner, with the main course served by candlelight at the historic Baldwin Home in Lahaina.

Sponsored by Lahaina Restoration Foundation, the all-evening dinner event on May 28 and 29 will be punctuated by skits reminiscent of life in historic LahainaTown in the 1800s and early 1900s.  

The dinner begins at the Wo Hing Museum on Front Street, where guests will feast on pupus created by Chef Sheldon Simeon of Star Noodle, Lahaina’s newest eatery.  

Guests will then travel by trolley to Hale Aloha near Prison Street, where they will enjoy a performance by a Tongan choir, meet “citizens” of the period and enjoy a special salad provided by the University of Hawaii Maui College Culinary Academy.

The celebration of Lahaina’s history and missionary and whaling days will then progress to the Baldwin Home, where they will be greeted by the costumed Baldwin family.  

Finally, it will be off to Pioneer Inn for desserts prepared by ten popular restaurants. Wine and beer will be served at the first three venues.

On the menu will be a feast missionaries of yesteryear could have only dreamed of: Lahaina Fried Soup and other Asian delicacies from Star Noodle; a salad of freshly picked local greens by the Culinary Academy; Pan Seared and Truffled Chicken with Early Harvest Spring Squash, Brussels Sprouts and Kennebec Potatoes in a Sherry Pan Sauce Finish prepared by nationally acclaimed Executive Chef David Paul Johnson of David Paul’s Island Grill at the Friday dinner, or Sustainable Catch of the Day complimented by fresh, local vegetables and Island Beef prepared by Executive Chef Alex Stanislaw of the Plantation House Restaurant on Saturday.

“Mrs. Baldwin told me she is hoping this year’s dinner will surpass last year’s, which was a spectacular success despite the presence of raucous whalers who disrupted the 2009 cocktail hour at Pioneer Inn,” reported Theo Morrison, executive director of the foundation.  

“We think the whalers will be returning to their ships before dessert is served about 9 p.m. at the inn, but there are no guarantees.”

The missionary wife, Mrs. Charlotte Baldwin, and her daughters wearing “Mother Hubbards,” and Rev. Dwight Baldwin, dressed in a traditional black suit, will again greet their guests on the Baldwin Home lawn before moving inside the candlelit home for the blessing and mingle with guests while the entree is served.

The dinner stop will recall the hospitality of the Baldwin family, who often hosted sea captains and other visitors at their table.

The finale of the evening will be held at historic Pioneer Inn in the mango and lauhala tree-shaded courtyard, where guests will find a sumptuous dessert bar buffet with tasty selections created by leading restaurants. Locally grown coffees and other beverages will be served.

Skits, singing, strumming and appearances by costumed townspeople of the historic period will be offered throughout the evening in vignettes created and directed by Kristi Scott and costume design by ShaRon Fredy. The entertainment will take their inspiration from the archives of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation.

Planning for the event, under way for months, continues. Seamstresses are putting the finishing touches on new costumes, and actors and actresses will begin rehearsals early in May.

All proceeds from the event will benefit Lahaina’s historic sites and structures. Tickets for 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. seatings on May 28 and 29 are $135, all inclusive. Attendance is limited to those ages 21 or older. Reservations can be made online at www.lahainarestoration.org.

For more information, call the Lahaina Restoration Foundation office at 661-3262.