november • 2019 keiki cover model

Our keiki cover photo shoots are a highlight for me as Publisher of The Maui Concierge. In the past 19 years we have shot over 250 covers and just about 400 Maui keiki.

Taking the time to stop everything and document a specific moment in a child’s life is a priceless gift for the parents and families years later when they look back. This really hits home for me when I look back to 2008. The top photo was taken by Randy Jay Braun when my daughter Maile Elizabeth Maka‘alohilohi Freeland was just 18 months old. Back then she was ripping off the haku lei and running around the park. This time (lower photo) she behaved just a little bit better as she approaches 13 years old. This is a wonderful reminder to cherish every day with all of our keiki!

 

 

 

maui sunday market in kahului: ‘ono grinds, low-key fun, and more

When Luana Mahi and Kau‘i Kahaiali‘i, co-originators of the Maui Sunday Market, were brainstorming the concept of a weekly family-friendly event in Kahului, their mission was to create an experience where locals and visitors alike could gather each week, engage with one another, share stories, and partake in the diversity of Hawai‘i and the aloha spirit.

In addition, Mahi, who is president of the Maui Food Technology Center, and Kahaiali‘i, who serves as the event’s MC/host, were looking to help stimulate and revitalize the community of Kahului.

They realized events take place all around the island, but in Kahului, weekly community gatherings are a rarity, especially in the evening. The Maui Sunday Market debuted in July of 2018, and has been gaining in popularity ever since. Held every Sunday from 4 to 8pm at the Kahului Shopping Center, the event features free parking and admission, local foods, live entertainment, and vendors displaying a wide variety of products ranging from Hawaiian mamaki tea, to plants and succulents, to jewelry.

Event organizers say the Market draws visitors from the NCL cruise ship that docks in Kahului Harbor earlier in the day, as well as from nearby hotels. Visitors crave an authentic island experience, and the Market’s offering of local foods, entertainment, and vendor products really resonates with this audience. Locals, too, are attracted to the weekly festivities, with many making Sunday their “Maui Sunday Market Night.” What better way to kick off your new week!

With this summer having been so beastly hot, the last thing Janet and I want to do is heat up the kitchen even more by cooking dinner. So we head to the Maui Sunday Market to check things out and indulge in the ‘ono grindz being offered up by a myriad of food vendors. When we step out of the car at approximately 5:30pm, joyful strains from the recorded song “Africa” by Toto fill the late-afternoon air, putting us in a festive mood.

Food trucks and vendor booths are set up in four rows, and there’s a covered community picnic table area for chowing down, along with a live-performance venue. The Market features a wide array of local talent—the uber-popular reggae singer Marty Dread entertained the crowd at the first anniversary celebration in July—including local favorite George Kahumoku, who is notorious for inviting friends and family to join him on an impromptu basis. Tonight’s live music is being provided by Leo Kane, whose musical talents transcend generations as he performs genre-crossing classics from Hawaiian to Oldies.

The first booth Janet and I encounter is offering lupulu and vaifala drink, neither of which we’re familiar with. We learn lupulu is a Tongan favorite made with coconut milk, corned beef, onions, and taro leaves served over rice; and that vaifala originates from Samoa, and is a blend of pineapple, mango, sweetened condensed milk, and water.

The Corn Project’s booth offers four different versions of corn on the cob: Local (Hawaiian lava salt and special spices), Mexican (crema, lime, and cotija cheese), American (mayo, cheddar cheese, and bacon), and Italian (pesto mayo, sundried tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan); JB’s Kitchen has cooked up BBQ specialties like pork, beef, and chicken wings; and 3 Angels Farm has shoyu chicken, chow fun, and lumpia.
The lumpia has attracted Janet’s attention, so we begin our culinary adventure at 3 Angels Farm’s booth by purchasing veggie lumpia ($4 for 3 pieces). Being a bona fide Francophile, the Crepes d’Amour food truck beckons to me. I happily hand over $13 for a savory crepe filled with spinach, chicken, and brie.

Janet and I share our culinary treasures and compare notes. The lumpia are crisp, tasty, and nicely enhanced by a sweet chili dipping sauce. The crepe itself has a lovely texture, and the filling is delightfully gooey and seductive. An accompanying pesto is deliciously herbaceous, and so addictive it should be bottled and sold on its own. Janet likes the pesto so much she goes back for seconds!

One lumpia and half a crepe has left me wanting more, so I sidle up to the very popular, bright blue Shorebreak Grindz truck and order their garlic noodles with teriyaki chicken ($7). It’s a generous portion of savory noodles nicely complemented by the lightly sweet teri chicken. Okay I’m full.

Janet finishes her Market meal with a half dozen mochi balls from Dee’s Poi Mochi ($5). She’s chosen three varieties: original poi, coconut, and chocolate brownie. She declares the mochi balls to have a nice texture, and the white chocolate dipping sauce highly recommended by Dee herself is the icing on the cake, so to speak. Although they’re all yummy, Janet declares the original poi to be her favorite.

Maui Sunday Market is presented by the Maui Food Technology Center, which encourages, trains, and incubates a wide range of local residents, students, entrepreneurs, and emerging agribusinesses seeking to earn a meaningful living from agriculture and value-added food production, including culinary arts, food science, and food technology. Located at UH Maui College, the MFTC provides both technical and business consultations for existing and emerging food-related businesses. Maui Sunday Market is also sponsored by the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development.

–heidi pool

AT A GLANCE…

WHAT •

Maui Sunday Market, a weekly event featuring ‘ono grindz, live entertainment, product booths, and a whole lot of community and aloha spirit.

WHERE •

Kahului Shopping Center on Ka‘ahumanu Ave.

WHEN •

Every Sunday from 4 to 8pm.

HOW •

Parking and admission are free. You just need to show up with an appetite, sense of community, and willingness to have some fun, local style!

hula o na keiki at ka‘anapali beach hotel november 7-9

Celebrating its 29th year, this amazing keiki hula competition brings hula students from across Hawai‘i and around the world together to compete through interview, dance, chant, and costume categories.

Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel hosts this cultural competition to continue to educate participants and attendees alike in Hawaiian values and culture so that the traditions of their ancestors can be carried forward. The three-day event, Maui’s only solo children’s hula competition, consists of children ages 5-17 showcasing their “aloha spirit” for the chance to be crowned “Miss/Mr. Hula O Na Keiki.” Continue reading ‘hula o na keiki at ka‘anapali beach hotel november 7-9’

october • 2019 keiki cover model

Sending out a big Aloha and Mahalo to the family of Hunter Ray Takeo Benson for sharing him with us for this keiki cover!

Mom is Christie Yamashiro, front desk agent at Four Seasons Resort Maui, and dad is Jay Benson, IT at Fairmont Kea Lani Maui.

Hunter is five years old, and recently started kindergarten where his favorite subject is science.

Mom shares, “Hunter is a very lovable, energetic little boy. He is always generous with sharing his hugs and kisses with us. His smile is a daily reminder that kindness is key in everything that we do!”

Hunter’s grandmother, Nancy Benson, also works in guest services–at Maui Hill in Kihei.

Mahalo to his ‘ohana for sharing Hunter with us for this issue!

hawai’i food & wine festival 2019: wicked cocktails, wicked plates, italian cuisine & gourmet cupcakes

A wickedly good time, Italian cuisine and more are coming our way as the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival (HFWF) touches down at Ka‘anapali from October 18 to 20—with something for the whole family!

Kicking off the HFWF events in Ka‘anapali is the Roy’s 22nd Annual Golf Classic, Friday, October 18, 11:30am at the Ka‘anapali Golf Course.  Golfers will play-and eat for Maui’s beloved non-profit, IMUA Family Services. It’s 18 holes with celebrity chefs including Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, community leaders, and Maui pros. In between putts, players stop at tents featuring above par chefs from Maui and beyond, along with beer and cocktail stations. The tournament ends with dinner and an awards ceremony at Roy’s Ka‘anapali. Continue reading ‘hawai’i food & wine festival 2019: wicked cocktails, wicked plates, italian cuisine & gourmet cupcakes’

6th annual hawaiian airlines made in maui county festival November 1 & 2: maui county’s biggest shopping event of the year!

Maui County’s largest products show, the 6th Annual Hawaiian Airlines Made In Maui County Festival features over 140 vendors offering a wide variety of locally made products, including food, produce, art, crafts, jewelry, fashions, furniture, gifts, collectibles and more. Held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului, you’ll enjoy a full day of shopping along with live entertainment, fashion shows, food trucks, prize drawings, just to name a few. Come down and see why Maui County is No Ka ‘Oi! Continue reading ‘6th annual hawaiian airlines made in maui county festival November 1 & 2: maui county’s biggest shopping event of the year!’

september • 2019 keiki cover model

Aloha and Mahalo to the family of Tytan Kamahele O‘Kala‘akea Castillo for sharing our keiki cover model this month.

Mom is Nisha Santana, supervisor at Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, and dad is Curtis Castillo.

Tytan just started Kindergarten in Kahului and loves music. He enjoys swim class, and plans to play rugby next season. He also loves hanging out with his cousins.

Mom shares, “Tytan has such a great sense of humor. His facial expressions and ‘words of wisdom’ will catch you off guard, and you can’t help but laugh! He is our baby of six children, and is the only boy. He definitely inspires me to share the Aloha spirit with our guests and to be humble with any challenges we may encounter.”