The Maui Culinary Academy presents two big events this month – The Noble Chef, November 13, 2009 at the Fairmont Kea Lani, and Le Fooding, November 19th, at the Paina Culinary Arts Center in Wailuku.
Locals have long known the best place on Maui for gourmet lunch is the Class Act Restaurant at the Maui Culinary Academy where students of the world-class Culinary Arts Program, the only Pacific- Asian program of its kind, prepare and present exemplary cuisine as part of their coursework. Because the servers and chefs are trainees, prices are low but food quality is off the charts! After all, students are being graded on their efforts.
It’s more than great food at great prices which has thrust MCA into the NY Times Reviewers and other spotlights since the 35,000 sq. ft facility opening in 2003. Having met many of the people involved in running the program, it’s ragingly obvious the people who teach, guide, direct and develop the Maui Culinary Academy have the biggest hand in the facility’s noteworthy development. Most of the staff have been awarded the UH Board of Regent’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Then there is Clyde Sakamoto, Chancellor of Maui Community College, a well-traveled foodie who obviously never stops thinking of ways to drive the program to the next level.
First there was the innovative partnership with Sodexo Inc., announced in September, which has enabled the program to expand hours, scope and development. Now there is Le Fooding. Maui’s nod to a movement founded in 2000 in France intended to demystify the French concept of gastronomy. The idea is to make formerly elite food fun rather than stuffy, local rather than exotic, widely accessible rather than elitist.
Chancellor Sakamoko was made aware of the Le Fooding concept while traveling and rightly figured it would fit in neatly with Maui’s overall attitude toward life and the Culinary Academy’s programming in particular. To present the idea to the rest of Maui, the Academy is hosting a Le Fooding Event Thursday, November 19th, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Paina Culinary Arts Center. Students will present displays and dishes representing the cuisine of France, Greece, Portugal and Italy but will accomplish the task using 90% locally grown and sourced ingredients.
In hosting the event, Program Coordinator, Chris Speere explains the intention is to bring a global perspective regarding trends in the culinary industry, expand public awareness of the wide array of quality local products available, as well as boast knowledge of healthy food choices and preparations. Sounds like a ton of Le Fooding fun for only $30/pp and wines presented by Better Brands for only $5/glass.
This weekend the Culinary Academy presents their annual scholarship fundraising event Noble Chef (formerly Noble Grape), renamed to put focus on the reason for the event – to raise money for aspiring chefs who need a little financial help for courses. The event is being held once again at the stunning Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, November 13, 2009, at 6 p.m.
The evening will begin at Fountain Court with sparkling wine, a martini bar and luscious pupus prepared by Chef instructors Kyle Kawakami and Tom Lelli. crostini of grilled Maui Cattle Co. Tenderloin with Chimichurri Sauce; Spanish Bacalao Fritters with Aioli, and Figs wrapped in Prosciutto de Parma with aged balsamic. After the reception, an elegant sit-down with five courses prepared by the academy’s distinguished alumni, chef instructors and culinary students will be presented in the ballroom. The menu includes:
Hamakua Mushroom and Asparagus with Pipikaula Tomato Puree of Carrot and Duck Foie Gras Crostini.
Seared Diver Scallops with Kabocha Pumpkin and Crispy Pancetta.
Honey-citrus Lacquered Duck Breast with Wilted Local Greens, Pine Nuts and Vanilla-scented Oil.
Maui Cattle Co. Short Ribs, Edamame and Kula Corn Risotto with White Truffle Essence and Maui Gold Pineapple Caviar
Selection of Plated Desserts and Sweets
Cost is $150/pp, and Noble Chef Sponsors of $2,000 receive a premium table for eight, a swag bag of all sort of foodie goodies including MCA chocolates and more surprises.
For reservations, call Marilyn Fornwall at 984-3261.