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Kapalua Carnival

June 4, 2009
Paul Janes-Brown

Wine and dine at the 28th Annual Kapalua Wine and Food Festival at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua from June 11 to 14. “For close to three decades, we have had the privilege of hosting a one-of-a-kind celebration that allows island visitors and residents to experience exciting new trends in wine and food,” said Nancy Cross, vice president of Events Management for Kapalua Land Company.

This year, the festival’s theme is “Carnival,” but, Cross said, “It’s more a Mardi Gras-type carnival. Ritz-Carlton Executive Chef John Zaner will be presenting creole-inspired cuisine prepared by his culinary team at the Grand Tasting on Friday night from 6 to 9.”

Fred Dame, a Master Sommelier for 25 years, returns for his sixth year to ensure that the finest wines and wine makers are highlighted. He is one of just 73 Americans to have passed the Master Exam, and because he is the first to successfully pass all three parts of the test in a single year, he was awarded the coveted Krug Cup of the British Guild of Sommeliers in 1984.

Seminars include old favorites such as “Walla Walla and Cheese” with Kent Torrey of The Cheese Shop Inc. in Carmel and Santa Barbara, who will present samplings of exotic cheeses. “Raising Riesling from the Dead” promises an opportunity to revisit this German grape and gain some tasting insights. “Psycho Pinots,” will feature exclusive wines from the Russian River Valley, such as those from Williams Selyem and wines from the Willamette Valley’s Lachini Vineyards. “In the Kitchen” features Chef Robert McGrath, the winner of the James Beard Award as the Best Chef in America: Southwest.

A new event this year is called “Masters of the Feud Game Show,” in which wine enthusiasts will face off against one another on Saturday, June 13, at 10 a.m. in a Family Feud-style blind taste test contest.

After the “Masters of the Feud Game Show” another intriguing event will be hosted by Google’s Executive Chef Robert Giambastiani As might be expected from the cutting-edge tech company, local, organic and sustainable are the watchwords for the cuisine prepared for the Google people. Giambastiani will demonstrate his signature craft with pairings of prominent wines.

On Sunday, June 14, the Seafood Festival invites Maui’s best chefs to present their favorite preparations coupled with great wines.

In addition to this opportunity to savor these wonderful combinations, the festival will feature a silent auction to benefit Maui Community College’s world-class Culinary Arts Academy. Among items available for a lucky bidder is a weekend getaway at the Kapalua Resort, including meals, lodging, golf, tennis and a zip line valued at $2,100 and a spa experience at the new Kapalua Spa including massage, a wellness class and a milk bath valued at $645.

The four-day, not-to-be-missed celebration is packed with seminars, tastings and fun events celebrating wine and food. To make it easier for islanders to attend these events, the producers have made deep discounts available by telephone only. For example the Grand Tasting and the Seafood Festival will cost kama‘aina $99 and all seminars except McGrath’s are $75. Call 665-9160.

A package for all four days, including accommodations in the Kapalua Villas and all of the festival events is available at or by calling (888) 665-0237.



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