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Saribay finds fun ways to help Lahaina non-profits

By Staff | Oct 22, 2015

The first annual Maui Food Smackdown at Lahaina Civic Center raised $1,000 for the Kula Kaipuni O Maui organization at Princess Nahi‘ena‘ena Elementary School.

LAHAINA – One of the West Side’s most colorful personalities continues to enhance the vivid hues of Lahaina’s collective community improvement effort.

Shaun “Buge” Saribay, owner/operator of Mid Pacific Tattoo and, more recently, the special events promotion company Taste of Aloha, recently put on the first annual Maui Food Smackdown at Lahaina Civic Center.

The purpose of the event was to bring the community together for a night of fun, food and entertainment featuring a cook-off competition hosted by Food Network stars Makani, Lanai, and Adam Tabura, winners of the “Great Food Truck Race,” as well as celebrity chef Sheldon Simeon.

Funds generated by the event went to the charity, foundation or organization of the winner’s choice.

Coming out on top were Ivan Basques and Josh Saribay of team “Simmadown,” who used the limited supplies – a bucket full of designated spices, sauces and utensils – to create the winning pupu and main dish using the required secret ingredient: Maui hot dogs.

The winning recipes won the $1,000 top prize, and the “Simmadown” boys donated the money to the Kula Kaipuni O Maui organization at Princess Nahi’ena’ena Elementary School.

Back in March, Taste of Aloha held a similar event with games for keiki, local music performances and various food booths in a benefit for the Lahainaluna High School Boarding Department.

That event raised $8,500 for the department and another $2,500 that went to two graduating LHS seniors.

Coming up on Dec. 11, Taste of Aloha will present a night of entertainment featuring local comedy stars “Champ” Kaneshiro and Lanai Tabura, along with the fine musical sounds of Maui stars Ekolu.

Also on hand will be local retail vendors for holiday shopping, and the event will feature a “Toys for Tots” drive. For tickets or more information, go to Mid Pacific Tattoo in Lahaina or YNVU in Maui Mall.