Ka’anapali Fresh Festival 2014

The languid life awaits you at the Hyatt Regency Maui at Ka'anapali Resort.

The languid life awaits you at the Hyatt Regency Maui at Ka’anapali Resort.

What a glorious celebration Ka’anapali Fresh Festival  is of  the relationship between Maui farmers, fishermen, ranchers and chefs.  For three days the agriculture, seafood and ranching community ( there are 800 farms on Maui) is brought to the forefront  as talented island chefs create an abundance of flavorful, fresh pupu, dishes, deserts and drinks at Ka’anapali Beach Resort.

The mission is simple; to ensure the viability and future of Maui’s farms and ranches. Preservation of the lifestyle is also key. Who in Hawaii and many parts of the world has not heard about the famous Hawaiian cowboys; the “Paniolo?” In Maui they are  usually based in the Paniolo town of Makawao on the slopes of Haleakala crater.

Kula strawberries are available year round  from " upcountry Maui" on slopes of Haleakala.

Kula strawberries are available year round from ” upcountry Maui” on slopes of Haleakala.

The rich volcanic soils of Haleakala are the perfect place to grow, nurture and bloom. The famous Kula strawberries grow year round preferring the cool evenings and dryer elevations. Surfing Goat Dairy is located at a lower, arid elevation and produces award winning goat cheeses, one of only two goat dairies in Hawaii.

Ocean Vodka grows organic sugarcane  and distills it with pure deep ocean water into vodka in its state-of-the-art facility. They have just released their new rum. I’d love to try a Ocean Rum Mai Tai garnished with a piece of Maui Gold Pineapple. Maui  Pineapple shut down after nearly 100 years operating with two thousand workers and producing on average two hundred fifty thousand tons of fruit per year. Some of the executives formed a new company changing the model to ” custom fruit” taking the land from seven thousand acres to  one thousand but producing a higher quality product for as few as five wholesale customers. Go on a tour with Maui Pineapple tours and you will taste the sweetest pineapple you have ever tasted.

A French Hawaiian twist. . . Poi Macaroons.

A French Hawaiian twist. . . Poi Macaroons.

One of the signature events at Ka’anapali Fresh 2014 was ” Ka’anapali From Range To Sea” which paired a farmer with a chef. Chefs created spectacular dishes to showcase the product and I was a judge of the 12 dishes created ( out of 24 presented to the public) . Winner of the Maui No Ka Oi Magazine gold first prize was Chef Raymond Nicasio of Sheraton  Maui Resort and his  farmer Sylvestre Tumbaga of Syl’s Produce growing the sweet corn and tomatoes used.

Ka'anapali  beach is consistently winning " Best Beach" awards so how can you resist?

Ka’anapali beach is consistently winning ” Best Beach” awards so how can you resist?

Why not plan on attending next year? The beautiful sands of the beach, glorious colors of the ocean and the welcoming resorts and hotels not to mention the incredible Maui bounty await you.

Note: Featured image shot from my room at the Hyatt Regency Maui


About the Author:

Michelle is a freelance journalist specializing in luxury and experiential travel. Her readers number in the millions through her various online outlets and print magazines. She loves to explore a culture through their culture and food. "Sometimes, " she says , "luxury can be a shack on the beach with a sand floor and a ceiling of stars."

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