a breath of ‘ka‘anapali fresh’ air august 29, 30 & 31

K Fresh-HeroShotBring together the fresh abundance offered by Maui’s farmers, ranchers and fishermen, and drop a dozen of Maui’s finest resort chefs into the bounty—and you’ve got a party going on! Ka‘anapali Fresh is the signature event of the Ka‘anapali Beach Resort Association, a celebration spanning three golden days of fun, food and wine on the famed crescent beach against the backdrop of Pu‘u Keka‘a (Black Rock).

Already the most blogged-about culinary destination event on the island, this third annual KFresh—August 29, 30 and 31, 2014—features a vibrant new lineup with some “super-fresh” twists.

New this year, the ‘Aha‘aina O Ka‘anapali on Friday welcomes guests with a deeply meaningful Hawaiian ceremony on the beach at sunset. Lahaina’s newly launched double-hulled voyaging vessel, the Mo‘okiha o Pi‘ilani, will lead a flotilla of canoes to the shores of Ka‘anapali Beach, to be greeted by traditional Hawaiian chants and an exchange of gifts from sea and land. The ceremony is the graceful beginning of a culinary journey through three distinctive ages of Hawaiian cuisine. First is Old Hawai‘i, featuring the clean, natural flavors of fish, seaweed, sweet potatoes and taro; then the Golden Era, with the savory taste of farm-raised beef and pork, and sweet golden pineapple; and lastly Modern Hawai‘i, offering the innovative blend of exotic seasonings and cultures of today’s Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine. Along the journey, guests will be entertained with Hawaiian music, hula and chant from Maui’s award-winning entertainer Napua Greig and Halau Na Lei Kaumaka O Uka. ‘Aha‘aina O Ka‘anapali is from 5:30 to 8:30pm at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa. Tickets are $89.

Mix it up on Saturday afternoon with the popular Fresh Mixology 101: Ka‘anapali Craft.

This “marriage of libations spirited and brewed” is just as fun as it sounds: a chance to watch master mixologists talk about and shake up the colorful cocktails that have won them awards statewide. Chandra Lucariello, Director of Mixology for Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawai‘i and Vice President for the United States Bartender Guild Hawai‘i, will share her story of how craft beers are integrating with classic cocktails. Freddie Sconfienza of The Westin Maui Resort & Spa will whip up the Hokulani/Heavenly Star and Dragonberry Bomb—concoctions that have twice won him the title of Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ Star Mixologist. Creatively infused cocktails in hand, guests will enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by the talented chefs of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, served on the resort’s Ocean Lawn. Fresh Mixology 101 is from 11:30am to 1:30pm. Tickets are $42.

Saturday evening brings the signature culinary event: Ka‘anapali Fresh Food & Wine Festival from Range to Sea. Within the ancient Hawaiian ahupua‘a (land to sea) system, Hawaiians followed a model of truly “green” living. For this memorable dining extravaganza, chefs and restaurants will follow that ancient model, collaborating in a showcase of culinary sustainability that uses the island’s harvest from the range, farms and sea. Grass-fed beef, pork and lamb, island fish, ripe fruits and vegetables all combine to create an unforgettable taste experience. These mouth-watering treasures will be expertly paired with boutique wines from the world’s leading vintners.

To add extra sparkle to the evening, Kamakakehau Fernandez, celebrated Hawaiian trio, and HAPA, one of Hawai‘i’s most popular duos of contemporary times perform for diners’ pleasure. Ka‘anapali from Range to Sea is from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Royal Ka‘anapali Golf Course’s scenic hole 3. Tickets are $185.

The weekend wraps up with a big-time spectacle at the beachfront Kitchen Stadium Under the Maui Moon. Six renowned chefs will prepare a six-course menu highlighting Maui-grown products. This second annual dinner is a prelude to the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival on O‘ahu, co-chaired by venerable chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong. The gala dinner is from 6 to 10pm at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa’s open-air Napili Gardens. What’s the secret to all this incredible food? Incredible people. Guests can meet the folks behind the food at the Grown on Maui Farmers Market, on Saturday from 7:30 to 11:30am at Whalers Village. Local farmers and food producers will brighten the Ka‘anapali Beachwalk with displays of sweet ripe mangoes, rainbows of fresh farm vegetables, huge hands of apple bananas, Maui Gold Pineapple, crisp greens, free-range eggs and more. Sip a free sample of coffee from the MauiGrown Coffee and Maui Coffee Growers Association members, and enjoy chef-prepared edibles while you shop. Parking is free with validation from the market. For a chance to see first-hand how all that good stuff is grown, guests are invited to take a Maui farm tour, many of which will be offered throughout the weekend.

Awash in culinary excellence, Ka‘anapali just might need to change its slogan from “Where the World Comes to Play” to—“Where the World Comes to Play…and Eat!” Shelley Kekuna, Executive Director of the Ka‘anapali Beach Resort Association, thinks of Ka‘anapali as more of a “lifestyle” than a geographic location. “Within our diverse community of visitors, owners and residents, we all share and appreciate our Hawaiian cultural roots, our multi-cultural influences, and bounty of Maui’s farmers and the magic of Ka‘anapali’s resort chefs,” Kekuna says. “This weekend is a celebration of what they create every day—unbelievably good food!”

For more information guests can visit the Ka‘anapali Fresh Ho‘ike (information booth) in Whalers Village, open daily from Monday, August 25, through Friday, August 29. For a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, visit kaanapalifresh.com.

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