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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.
Hosted by Pulehu, an Italian Grill:
at the Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas
6 Kai Ala Dr., Ka‘anapali
Date: Wednesday, November 6
Dinner: 5 p.m.
Price: $85 plus tax and gratuity
Reserve Your Spot!
learn more about wine
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.
MNKO kicked off its 2012 ‘Aipono Wine Dinner Series in royal style: at the opening of Roy's Ka‘anapali, Chef Roy Yamaguchi's new restaurant at the Ka‘anapali Golf Clubhouse. Chef Joey Macadangdang's stellar cuisine paired beautifully with Spanish wines from Jorge Ordonez Selections, presented by Advanced Sommelier Charles Fredy of Chambers & Chambers. ‘Aipono Wine Dinners benefit Maui Culinary Academy.
Hosted on the spectacular grounds of the Hyatt Regency Maui, this year proved to be the most successful year yet of Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine's own ‘Aipono Awards. Marking its 10th year, the event boasted a record breaking 340+ attendees who gathered to celebrate culinary excellence. Thanks to our generous sponsors: Hyatt Regency Maui, Chambers & Chambers Wine Merchants, Japengo, Honu Seafood & Pizza, Pacific Biodiesel, Maui County Farm Bureau and Maui Culinary Academy, we were able to generate thousands of dollars in additional funds to support Maui culinary students. Whether you were one of the lucky winners, attendees, or following along from home as we announced this year's winners, you can now enjoy images from the the most successful year yet.
Images of attendees from the October 14, 2011 Aipono Wine Dinner at Longhi's in Wailea, Maui.
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: email@example.com