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Hawai‘i State Chili Championship Cookoff on Sunday, July 20 at Ulupalakua Ranch – Come for a Sunday Drive

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Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill, along with Shaka Pops Maui and Maui’s Winery, invites the public to come on up to beautiful Upcountry Maui for the 2nd Annual CASI Hawai‘i State Chili Championship Cookoff on Sunday, July 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The cookoff, which is sanctioned by the nonprofit Chili Appreciation Society International (CASI), debuted last year at the Ulupalakua Ranch Store and was so successful that the organizers decided to expand this year’s event and make it part of the Ulupalakua Sunday Drive series, with proceeds again benefiting the Maui 4-H Livestock Association.

Chili Cook Off

As anyone knows who’s “come on up” for a Sunday Drive, the day is all about fantastic live music! Maui’s own Country Knights will be performing on the beautiful grounds of Maui’s Winery. The Knights are good-time island favorites, featuring Herb Andrews on vocals and guitar, Rob Loney on bass, and Jon Melia on drums. They perform at many major resort conventions here in Hawai‘i, with music described as having a relaxing, island-style country feel, especially their most frequently requested original song “Maui, You’re On My Mind.” The Knights will perform from 11 to 3 p.m.

Maui News Maui Scene Pic

Over at the Ranch Store, Bradda Francis will entertain from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bradda Francis has been called “the Hawaiian Elvis” for good reason. A full Native Hawaiian, he has a deep, rich voice that can transition into many different styles (and he can also sing in seven different languages!). Maui audiences especially love his authentic Hawaiian melodies, and you’ll hear plenty of those at the Sunday Drive event.

BraddaFrancis

Just as hot as the music that’s playing on the Ranch is the lunch that’s cooking on the Grill. Executive Chef Will Munder has created a spicy new menu that’s all about chiles in all shapes and sizes. Try the Anaheim Chile Enchiladas with Queso Fresco, or Steak Tacos with Pasilla Pepper Salsa. From the Hawaiian Chile Pepper Croutons in the famous Caesar Salad, to the Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos you can order on the side, to the Red or Green Ranchero Sauce you can add to your Elk Burger, it’s a day full of flavor and spice. Yes, and that includes dessert: Ancho Chile Pepper & Double Chocolate Tarte with Cinnamon Whip Crème—¡ay, caramba!

The event also marks the debut of Ulupalakua Ranch Store’s own Pulehu BBQ Sauce and No Bull Hot Sauce, newly bottled, labeled and on sale. Like everything else at Ulupalakua, the sauces are all made from local ingredients and created fresh in-house. If you love what you taste, take some home with you!

Shaka Pops for Chili Cook Off

The chili cookoff was brought to Maui by husband and wife chili enthusiasts Larry Lutz and Christine Vestfals—the makers of Shaka Pops Maui. These handmade, natural Hawaiian ice pops are the perfect way to cool down after a bowl of hot chili. (Unless you’re trying the Spicy Mayan Chocolate pop, made with fiery chili spices just for the event!) How many pops can you eat? That will be the question during the Shaka Pop-Eating Competition at the Ranch Store. Keiki from Maui 4-H will be selling pops, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the 4-H program.

Popsicle eating contest Maui

Just across the road at the King’s Cottage Tasting Room, Maui’s Winery is offering new kama‘aina pricing all day for all visitors. The Winery recently brought home two prestigious medals from the 2014 Los Angeles International Wine Competition: a Gold for the lively and elegant Lokelani Sparkling Rosé, and a Silver for the layered and intriguing 2011 Plantation Red. In celebration of these triumphs, the Winery is offering low celebratory pricing on both wines just for the day.

Lokelani-Sparkling-Rose1

Tasting room staff will offer visitors advice on “Pairing with Heat,” with a display of the do’s and don’ts of pairing wine with various levels of spice. “It can be hard to find the perfect marriage between wine and spicy cuisine, where the classic rules of food and wine pairing just do not apply,” says Joseph Hegele, Director of Marketing for Maui’s Winery. “Pairing the wrong wine with spicy food can actually accentuate the heat and impair your palate.”

For the chili cookoff, visitors can purchase a $5 tasting kit to sample the competition from 12:15 to 2 p.m. and place their vote for theirfavorite chili in the People’s Choice category. “Anything goes” for that category, as well as for the Best Restaurant category, so cooks can get creative. Rules are a bit more stringent for the official CASI Rules chili. All three categories require that the chili be cooked onsite the day of the cookoff. A limited number of judging seats are also available to the public on a first-come, first-served basis.

Dan MIller

Maui’s own Don Miller of Makawao will be returning to defend his 2013 title, taking on chili aficionados from around the islands. The competition will be spicy, as 2008 Terlingua International Chili Championship (TICC) winner Susan Dean from Johnson City, Texas, and Texas Men’s State Champion Alan Dean will also be competing. Winners will be announced at 3 p.m.

The winning three Hawai‘i resident cooks will be invited to compete at the legendary TICC in Texas on November 1, 2014. Prizes include a hand-painted cookstove donated by Shaka Pops Maui for the first-place Hawai‘i cook, as well as gifts from Ulupalakua Ranch and Maui’s Winery. Last year’s event raised more than $1,600 for Maui 4-H. Ulupalakua Ranch has a long-standing commitment to Maui County’s agriculture community, as well as to the future farmers and ranchers in the Maui 4-H program.

CASI is a major nonprofit organization that raises over $1 million annually for local charities and its scholarship fund, all while promoting chili appreciation.

Poster Chili champsionship Maui

 “We are so proud to welcome the state chili championship here once again,” says Diana Azevedo, manager of Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill. “It’s a wonderful and fun way to bring the community together, and we’re excited to introduce our new line of Ulupalakua Ranch branded food products on this special day!”

For more information, visit www.shakapopsmaui.com/chili.

About Sunday Drive events at Ulupalakua

Ulupalakua hosts twice-yearly Sunday Drive events to share and honor different aspects of this unique historic area. Each event features live music on the beautiful grounds of Maui’s Winery, lunch specials at Ulupalakua Ranch Store, complimentary wine tasting, and opportunities to learn more about the area’s history and culture.

For more information about Sunday Drive events, call toll-free (877) 878-6058. To learn more about Ulupalakua, please visit www.mauiwine.com or www.ulupalakuaranch.com.

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PLEASE KOKUA and support Ulupalakua! Help us keep these events free and open to the public by patronizing the Tasting Room and Ranch Store and by respecting our rules: NO DOGS (for the safety and comfort of all), NO COOLERS (purchase your delicious meal and drinks here in Ulupalakua!) & NO OUTSIDE ALCOHOL (county liquor laws are very strict). Mahalo!

 

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Maui Sunset Afterglow in Keanae Peninsula

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Keanae Maui Sunset 1

We spent out Independence Day Holiday Weekend at Keanae, Maui. We are fortunate (blessed) to have great friends (our hanai family, our ohana)  who owns a property in Keanae.  I call Keanae Peninsula a mini paradise on earth.

Keanae Maui Sunset 2

On the afternoon / evening of July fourth, we were hanging out outside, chatting … and then we noticed how beautiful the sky is turning after the Maui Sun set. At first it was just pastel colors of pinkish, orange, yellowish, with a touch of greenish blueish splattered around …

Keanae Maui Sunset 3

And then it kept on transforming, creating a magnificent painting on the sky. The photos here will speak for itself. These were taken from my iPhone. No filters were used. No photoshop was done.  And yes some are a little blurry and out of focus. But these photos will give you an idea of the color transformation that happened.

Keanae Maui Sunset 4

At the end of this post, there is a embedded video that you can watch.   I still can’t get over how beautiful it was.   More photos below. Enjoy …

Keanae Maui Sunset 5

 

Keanae Maui Sunset 6

 

Keanae Maui Sunset 7

 

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The 2014 Maui Film Festival

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The Maui Film Festival in Wailea, Hawaii.Photo Credit: Maui Film Festival

Film is a beautiful opportunity to learn, to express, to empathize and to progress as a people, especially film done well. Back in my college days Film Studies was part of my degree and I absolutely loved every minute in class! What could be better than watching different movies from diverse genre, spanning across many decades? To top it off my professor was one of those people who could aptly tie history to film to science to politics to religion, effortlessly. While I’m no longer receiving a grade for my study of film, I do still enjoy a broad range of movies and feel blessed to live on Maui where other movie buffs can gather together each year to revel in cinema, food, music and community.

Greg-Poppy-Jennifer-Poppy-Maui

My hubby and I at the 2013 Maui Film Festival.

The 2014 Maui Film Festival is set to happen June 4-8, 2014. Below are the venues available for the festival, and if you’re on island, I highly recommend you check them out:

  • Celestial Cinema: Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf Course, Wailea, Hawaii.
  • Seaside Cinema, Music Cafe & Sunset Lounge: Grand Wailea, Wailea, Hawaii.
  • Maui Arts and Cultural Center: Castle Theater & McCoy Theater, Kahului, Hawaii.
  • Toes-in-the-Sand Cinema: Wailea Beach, Wailea, Hawaii.

Whether you’re a tourist visiting during the festival or a long-time resident, I encourage you to make attending a priority!

Why you need to go to the Maui Film Festival:

1. An awesome, diverse selection of films. My personal favorites are the surf movies at Celestial Cinema. There’s nothing more amazing than sitting under a blanket of stars on this beautiful Hawaiian island, gathered with other ocean lovers, enjoying surf cinema together.

The Maui Film Festival in Wailea, Hawaii.Photo Credit: Randy Jay Braun

2. Unique, elegant events. I remember my first summer on Maui and all of the ladies in my neighborhood excitedly talking about finally getting to dress up for an event…The Taste of Wailea! Of course, for chocolate lovers there’s The Taste of Chocolate, too!

Taste of Chocolate 1Photo Credit: Randy Jay Braun

3. Movie stars. Yup, our small island boasts our fair share of celebs, and the Maui Film Festival brings in a few more, as they honor several each year with various awards. This year’s award tributes go to the following people: Shep Gordon, Emma Roberts, Evan Rachel Wood, Joe Manganiello and Lupita Nyong’o. There are even various Filmmakers Panels, where you get to hear directly from the filmmakers, which is like a dream come true for a gal like me!

How to score a deal on Maui Film Festival tickets:

One word: Volunteer.
I absolutely love volunteering at the Maui Film Festival! Keith Ranney is the festival’s Volunteer Manager and does an excellent job of training, encouraging and bringing lots of aloha to the volunteers and community. If you can spare a few hours of your time, you will be rewarded greatly for your efforts. According to the festival website, “each four-hour volunteer shift entitles you to three movie vouchers good at this year’s festival. An evening at the Celestial Cinema in Wailea requires two vouchers per person, so if you work two shifts, you will have earned an evening at the Celestial Cinema for you and two friends (or 3 nights just for you).” You’ll also get a cool festival t-shirt!

The volunteers create a lei of aloha through their service, attitude & availability to patrons’ needs.
-Keith Ranney, Volunteer Manager

The festival still needs about 200 volunteer shifts to be filled.  The most needed area is 9pm to 1am at the Celestial Cinema. Visit the Maui Film Festival Volunteer page to sign up for your shift and score a deal, i.e. FREE FILM TICKETS!!!

Note: Keiki (12 and under) are admitted FREE to Celestial Cinema at the Wailea Gold & Emerald Golf Course on Wednesday, June 4 (Goddess) and Thursday, June 5 (Thundercloud and H2MexicO)!

How to glam it up at the Maui Film Festival:

Taste of Wailea-Randy-Jay-BraunPhoto Credit: Randy Jay Braun

As mentioned before, there are several specialty events in conjunction with the festival. There are also V.I.P. Passes available, so if that’s more of a fit for you, you are certain to enjoy the glamorous offerings the festival provides.

I want people to leave the cinema feeling that something’s been confirmed for them about life.

-Danny Boyle

 

Other cool deets about the Maui Film Festival:

There’s often hula, live music, and wonderful food vendors!

It’s an eco-friendly event!

I will be there!!!

For more information about the Maui Film Festival, including film passes, showings, times, locations and more, please visit Maui Film Festival. If you’re into the social media scene, be sure to use hashtag #MauiFilm for all of your tweets and instagram pics. I hope to see you there…if not this year, then save the date for next year! And hopefully, just as Danny Boyle said, you will leave the cinema feeling that something’s been confirmed for you about life.

Livin’ la vida aloha,
Jennifer Poppy

Jennifer-Poppy-Island-Gypsy-Hawaii

About Jennifer Poppy

Jennifer Poppy is livin’ la vida aloha on Maui, Hawaii. Have you ever held a dream in your heart? One of Jennifer’s came true when she and her family sold their home, their car & their stuff to move to Hawaii! She says this lifelong dream, turned ongoing adventure has been worth it all. She is a freelance writer, public speaker and creative soul. You’ll find her beautiful photography, upcycled furniture projects and stories of island adventures at Island Gypsy Hawaii

 

 

 

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Wailea Restaurant Week – May 25-31, 2014

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Photo from www.wailearesortassociation.com

Thinking of where to eat for a special dinner? Have you heard about the “Wailea Restaurant Week?”

This week  Wailea Restaurants are joining together to help end hunger on Maui by supporting the Maui Food Bank with an event called Wailea Restaurant Week. This community supported event showcases all the amazing cuisine that Wailea chefs have to offer at extremely reasonable prices. Prix fixe 3 or more course dinners are set at $29, $39 and $49 options. 

Some of the agents in our Wailea Realty office frequent Duo and Spago located at the Four Seasons and rave about the food so they are definitely on my list to experience. I know I better make early reservations for these heavy weights.

Recently I had the pleasurable opportunity to eat twice at the New Matteo’s located at the Wailea Town Center and was delighted with their Fish Sandwich,their tasteful and  inventively seasoned pasta dishes with a side of mixed green salad , we all know their pizza is undeniably delicious.

Matteo Front Pic

Longhi’s has been a long time favorite of mine with their amazing lobster salad priced at just $19 and they are on the list for this special event. 

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Also next door is Tommy Bahamas  which we all frequent, in our office, for their great value  happy hour that goes from 2-5pm. Not only convenient but great food and drink specials delivered with a smile from their friendly waitstaff. 
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This event started on Sunday May 25th at 5pm and continues until the May 31st.
Please support these wonderful restaurants to help Maui community efforts to end hunger and get yourself an incredible meal at the same time. 
 

23 Wailea Resort restaurants are participating:

Alan Wong’s Amasia (Grand Wailea) (808) 891-3954
Capische?* (Hotel Wailea)
(808) 879-2224
DUO Steak and Seafood* (Four Seasons)
(808) 874-8000
 Fabiani’s Wailea (Wailea Gateway Center)
(808) 874-1234
Gannon’s* (Wailea Gold & Emerald Course)
(808) 875-8080
Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Grand Wailea)
(800) 888-6100
Joe’s in Wailea* (Wailea Tennis Club)
(808) 875-7767
Ka’ana Kitchen (Andaz Maui at Wailea)
(808) 573-1234
KAI Wailea* (The Shops at Wailea)
(808) 875-1955
Kō* (Fairmont Kea Lani)
(808) 875-2210
Longhi’s* (The Shops at Wailea)
(808) 891-8883
Mala Wailea* (Wailea Marriott)
(808) 875-9394
Manoli’s Pizza Company (Wailea Blue Course) (808) 874-7499
Matteo’s Osteria (Wailea Town Center) (808) 891-8466
Migrant Maui (Wailea Marriott)
(808) 875-9394
Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman* (Wailea Gateway Center)
(808) 891-2322
Morimoto Maui (Andaz)
(808) 573-1234
Mulligan’s on the Blue* (Wailea Blue Course)
(808) 874-1131
Nick’s Fishmarket Maui* (Fairmont Kea Lani)
(808) 879-7224
Pita Paradise Bistro Wailea (Wailea Gateway Center)
(808) 879-7177
Ruth’s Chris Steak House* (The Shops at Wailea)
(808) 874-8880
Spago* (Four Seasons) (808) 879-2999
Tommy Bahamas* (The Shops at Wailea) (808) 875-9983
Menus are listed here:
Join the buzz of good food and good feelings as we will eat and feel merry together. Mahalo.
 
ABOUT THE GUEST BLOGGER:
Reggie
Reggie Audant is a Realtor Broker with Wailea Realty Corporation. With 26 years on Maui and 14 of these years as a successful Realtor, Reggie has helped hundreds of satisfied clients buy and sell their properties on Maui by using his intimate knowledge of the local Real Estate Market.    Visit his website at http://www.mauirealestate1.com
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