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The ‘Aipono Awards are the first high-profile restaurant awards devoted entirely to Maui. They are awards of honor and distinction determined by our readers, the residents and visitors of Maui. The prestigious Chef of the Year title is decided by peer review, voted on exclusively by Maui chefs and industry insiders.
The annual ‘Aipono Awards Gala is a benefit for the Maui Culinary Academy. Guests are regaled with wines and spirits by Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants, sumptuous pupu (appetizers) prepared and served by Academy students, and a fabulous gourmet dinner hosted by three ‘Aipono-winning restaurants. Students enjoy the invaluable experience of working alongside sponsor restaurant chefs on the day of the event, in preparing the gala’s dinner. Ticket sales generate valuable unencumbered funds for the school, as well as scholarship money for deserving students. At this event—everyone’s a winner!
Throughout the year, the ‘Aipono Winemaker’s Dinner Series brings the industry’s top winemakers to ‘Aipono Award-winning restaurants. Dinners are designed to be intimate and educational, with the direction of Advanced Sommelier Charles Fredy of Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants and personal appearances by winery owners and/or representatives. Proceeds benefit the Maui Culinary Academy.
Chef of the Year
Chef Sheldon Simeon | Star Noodle
Restaurant of the Year
Gold: Ko, Wailea
Silver: Capische?, Wailea
Maui County Farm Bureau’s Friend of Agriculture
Chef Scott McGill, Chef Chris Schobel | TS Restaurants, Lahaina
Excellence in Sustainability
The Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas
Lifetime Achievement Award
Chef Bev Gannon | Hali‘imaile General Store,
Joe's in Wailea, Gannon's
Maui has an exceptional culinary community which we at Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine are honored to support through our ‘Aipono Program consisting of 6 wine dinners throughout the year and culminating in the premiere restaurant awards celebration on Maui, the ‘Aipono Awards.
Around the World in 5 Courses
Hosted by Pacific‘O:
505 Front Street, Lahaina, HI 96761
Date: Friday, April 18
Reception: 6:30 p.m.
Dinner: 7 p.m.
Price: $115 plus tax and gratuity
learn more about wine
reserve your spot
The island’s future chefs displayed their prowess at December’s sold-out ‘Aipono Wine Dinner, held at Maui Culinary Academy’s Leis Family Class Act Restaurant. The student-run restaurant was recently named to OpenTable’s 2013 Diners’ Choice Top 100 Restaurants in America, based on more than five million reviews of nearly 19,000 venues across the country.
Sip, savor and support. That's exactly what diners were up to at the October 5 ‘Aipono Wine Dinner at Nicke's Fishmarket in the Fairmont Kea Lani. Hosted by Maui No Ka ‘Oi magazine, the year-round culinary series supports Maui Culinary Academy programs. The evening's courses, including potato-truffle ravioli and diver scallops with braised veal short rib, were paired with wines from France, then topped off with a decadent selection of chocolate truffles. Bon appetit, indeed!
On November 6, Pulehu, an Italian Grill set the stage for another memorable ‘Aipono Wine Dinner, treating guests to an evening of elegance beside the venue's koi-pond gardens. Located at the Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas, Pulehu lived up to its reputation as winner of Maui No Ka ‘Oi's 2013 ‘Aipono Gold Award for Best Italian Restaurant, and Wine Spectator's 2013 Award of Excellence. Resort Executive Chef Francois Milliet and Executive Sous Chef Wes Holder designed delectable bites, using fresh produce from local farmers. The grazing menu was paired with an international wine showcase from Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants.
What better way to celebrate spring than the April 4th Aipono Wine Dinner at Ko Restaurant in the Fairmont Kea Lani? Ten days later, Ko would be named Aipono Awards 2013 Restaurant of the Year, but this night, the focus was on the farm-to-table creations by Chef Tylun Pang, paired with Storybook Cellars' complex and elegant wines. Iconic Napa Valley wine producer Dr. Jerry Seps guided us through his legendary zinfandels and organic, handcrafted estate wines.
Every other month, an ‘Aipono Award-winning restaurant plays host to a wine dinner benefiting Maui Culinary Academy at UH Maui College. Held at the Terrace Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, this particular dinner also had the distinction of being part of the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival. Academy students were mentored not only by the expert staff at the Terrace, but by celebrity chef Mourad Lahlou of Aziza Restaurant in San Francisco. Chef Lahlou surprised guests with three additional courses, for a total of eleven innovative, Moroccan-inspired plates. Kistler Vineyards provided chardonnays and pinot noirs that paired perfectly with each dish. Applying Old World Burgundian* techniques to New World vineyards, Kistler is known for its mineral, soil-driven flavor profiles.
Join our ‘Aipono ‘ohana (family). Help us support the champions of our dynamic food and hospitality industries. Become a sponsor of the Awards Gala. Host a winemaker’s dinner at your restaurant. Donate auction items or money to fatten the student scholarship fund. Contact us today: (808) 242-8331: firstname.lastname@example.org