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Schedule announced for 35th Kapalua Wine & Food Festival

By Staff | May 12, 2016

Signature evening galas — The Grand Tasting (pictured), sponsored by Hawaii.com, and Seafood Festival, sponsored by Alaska Airlines Visa Signature — will showcase the culinary delights of Maui’s top restaurants.

KAPALUA – The 35th Kapalua Wine & Food Festival returns June 9-12, 2016 for a magical weekend on the shores of the Kapalua Resort.

This annual “migration” brings together oenophiles, gourmands and enthusiasts of the good life to celebrate, learn and experience the finest culinary trends and viniculture.

Master Sommelier Michael Jordan, festival host, will lead the charge for the weekend festivities.

“The 35th annual festival is a tribute to international wines and foods and a celebration of this longest-running food and wine festival in the country. We have invited top winemakers and chefs from throughout the globe, and here on Maui, to feature their most revered vintages and dishes and share their love for food and wine,” he said.

For information on accommodations packages and travel, or to purchase your tickets online, visit www.kapaluawineandfoodfestival.com.

Events on Thursday, June 9, include the Welcome Reception at the Plantation House Restaurant’s Lower Lawn from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The invitation only reception is open to four-day pass holders.

On Friday, June 10, after the Festival Golf Tournament at The Bay Course at 7 a.m., the “Champagne and Scooby Snacks Wine Seminar & Tasting” will be held at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua from 12:30 to 2 p.m. This seminar brings together an impressive array of champagnes. Hosted by Master Sommelier Rob Bigelow, a noted authority on champagne, and paired with a sampling plate of Chef Mark Tarbell’s incredible take on “Scooby Snacks” – small portions of Mimolette Cheese, Frico, Tapenade, Paddlefish Caviar, and Eggplant Caponata – it is a not-to-be-missed start to the festival.

“Women in Wine, A Panel Honoring the Amazing Women,” a wine seminar and tasting, will be held at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua from 3 to 4:30 p.m. This girl-powered panel tasting will be an annual feature that celebrates the women that craft some of the finest wines in the world. Hosted by Meridith May, publisher and editorial director of THE TASTING PANEL, The SOMM Journal and The Clever Root, confirmed panelists include Merry Edwards of Merry Edwards Winery, Elizabeth Grant-Douglas of La Crema Winery, Heidi Peterson Barrett of La Sirena, and Anne Moller-Racke of Donum Estates.

“The Grand Tasting Kapalua Style,” sponsored by Hawaii.com, will be held at Montage Kapalua Bay from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday Premium wines are showcased with fabulous gastronomic indulgences from Kapalua Resort restaurants and friends. Enjoy a walk-around tasting and evening under the stars – all on the oceanfront grounds of Montage Kapalua Bay.

On Saturday, June 11, “Family Tree Scions of Family Wineries” is slated at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This seminar brings together second- and third-generation winemakers and their winemaker parents to share their secrets, stories and wines. Hosted by Master Sommelier Jordan, confirmed panelists at press time include Carlo Mondavi of RAEN Vineyards/Continuum, Tim Mondavi of Continuum, Christopher Hyde of Hyde and Sons, Larry Hyde of Hyde Vineyards, and Brandon De Luze and Robert De Luze of ZD.

“A Taste of il Mulino with Celebrity Chef Michele Mazza” will be held at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua from 1 to 3 p.m. Noted Italian Chef Mazza, owner and executive chef of Il Mulino and Trattoria Il Mulino, will wow attendees with traditional, authentic Italian dishes crafted from his roots in Naples. The event will be hosted by Master Sommelier Jordan and paired with exquisite Italian wines.

“RED RED Rhone” will be held at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua from 3:30 to 5 p.m. California and the West Coast have become the perfect home for Rhone-style grape varieties, and the wines have never been better! Taste iconic wines and visit with winemakers from four very different regions on the West Coast with Master Sommelier Jordan.

Events on Sunday, June 12, begin with “Regional Focus: New Zealand Pinot Noir. Ki Ora! New Zealand Pinot Noir Wine Seminar and Tasting. A New Frontier for the elusive and seductive little grape!” at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Join some of the true pioneers and new stars of New Zealand winemaking. This seminar will showcase both established headliners and the newest upcoming wineries. Hosted by Master Sommelier Bigelow, participants will include Brian Bicknell of Mahi Wines (Marlborough), Haysley MacDonald of te Pa Wines (Marlborough), Warren Gibson of Trinity Hill (Hawke’s Bay), and Craig Erasmus of Amisfield (Central Otago).

A cooking demonstration with Celebrity Chef Hugh Acheson is slated at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua from 1 to 3 p.m. Award-winning chef, restaurateur, TV personality and author Acheson will showcase his Southern Flavors reinvented for your kitchen Southern cooking, co-hosted by the always engaging Master Sommelier Bigelow and paired with Spanish wines. Food & Wine Magazine named him “Best New Chef” in 2002, and the James Beard Foundation awarded him “Best Chef Southeast” in 2012. Acheson competed in Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” Season 3, and starred as a judge on “Top Chef, ” Seasons 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. Acheson will prepare four recipes from The Broad Fork: grilled corn salad, chiles, basil and lime; crisp kampachi with field pea ragout and herb salad; seafood stew with fennel and farro; and peppered strawberries with mint and vanilla bean ice cream.

“Ten-Year Magic Retrospective,” a Cabernet Sauvignon wine seminar and tasting, will be held at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua from 3:30 to 5 p.m. This seminar highlights what ten years of aging can do – a comparison of a young vintage and a ten-year aged wine! Hosted by Master Sommelier Jordan, participants will include Bo Barrett of Chateau Montelena, Fred Scherrer of Scherrer Vineyards, Ted Edwards of Freemark Abbey, and Marcus Notaro of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.

The Seafood Festival, sponsored by Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card, at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua’s Beach House Lawn from 6 to 9 p.m. will conclude the 2016 festival. Maui’s top restaurants showcase a seafood specialty and culinary creation in competition for Maui No Ka Oi Magazine’s “Best of the Fest” award. Hawaiian entertainment will be provided by Nuff Sedd. Participating restaurants include the Banyan Tree, Kai Sushi, Gannon’s, Japengo, Oceanside Restaurant, Pacific’o Restaurant and O’o Farm, Pailolo Bar & Grill, Makena Beach & Golf Resort, Maui Culinary Academy, Hana Ranch Provisions, Honu/Mala/Frida’s, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, Hula Grill, Morimoto, Roy’s and Spago.