The annual Maui County Agricultural Festival (MCAF) will celebrate agriculture's vital role in the economy, environment and lifestyle of Maui on Saturday, April 5, at "the field of dreams" of Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu.
Now in its seventh year, Maui's prime event to raise awareness about local agriculture invites residents and visitors alike to talk story with the people who grow our food and their industry allies, discover what agriculture means to our community and 'aina, taste fresh flavors and have fun.
The Maui County Ag Festival is happy to welcome star chefs from Charcut Roast House in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Chefs include John Jackson, Connie DeSousa and Jessica Pelland with Pierre Lamielle, who is currently on "Top Chef Canada." Lamielle and Pelland are scheduled to appear on "Chopped" in May and June. DeSousa is a top three finalist for "Top Chef Canada."
Meet the chefs who partner with Maui farmers to present the annual Grand Taste at Maui County Ag Festival: (left to right) Isaac Bancaco of Ka‘ana Kitchen at Andaz Maui at Wailea, Bobby Masters of Hula Grill, Chris Schobel of Fat Daddy’s BBQ, Marc McDowell of Makena Beach Resort, Jeff Scheer of Maui Executive Catering, Eric Faivre of Grand Wailea, Tylun Pang of Kō at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Perry Bateman of Mama’s Fish House, Sheldon Simeon of Migrant/Mala Wailea, Jojo Vasquez of The Plantation House and Lyndon Honda of Laulima Events and Catering. Not pictured are Gevin Utrillo of ‘Umalu at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa and Wesley Holder of Pulehu, an Italian Grill at The Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas.
The chefs are on Maui for a chef exchange. They will partner with Sheldon Simeon of Migrant/Mala Wailea, Eric Faivre of the Grand Wailea, Tylun Pang of The Fairmont Kea Lani and Ryan Luckey of Leilani's on the Beach for a chefs' collaboration dinner on Thursday, April 3.
The chefs will join a dozen other chefs and farmers for the Grand Taste on Saturday.
The team will also dine at restaurants across Maui, including Capische?, Ka'ana Kitchen, Ko, Humu, Hula Grill, Leilani's, Leoda's, Star Noodle and more.
The chefs will visit Maui agritourism attractions, farms and small towns in an effort to learn more about the island's dynamic culinary scene.
Traveling with them will be national and international food and travel writers, who are also on island to learn and write about their experiences.
Well over 8,000 people are expected to attend the event this year--the largest crowd ever.
"It is important to plan ahead," said Warren Watanabe, executive director of the Maui County Farm Bureau.
New this year will be shuttle service by Akina Aloha Tours, which will operate a complimentary shuttle between Baldwin High School and Maui Tropical Plantation from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Also new, is a $3 admission fee for adults. Ages 21 and under will be admitted at no charge.
For more information, go to www.mauicountyfarmbureau.org.