Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kupu Maui and Foodie Envy

I couldn't resist writing a few thoughts about the Kupu Maui feast at Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm this past Saturday.  The feast looked sumptuous and the location is exquisite.  I think I am suffering from foodie envy.

Foodie envy is when there are so many yummy foodie events on Maui that there's no way to possibly go to all of them, especially when they are scheduled at the same time. Foodie envy is when there are great new restaurants, events, festivals celebrating local produce, potlucks, and incredible farm and school garden tours.  Foodie envy has to do with living vicariously and wanting to experience all the flavors of Maui.  It's like stepping off the airplane for the first time to Maui and wanting to sample every activity from every colorful brochure dangling off the airplane rack. Trouble is, if you try to do everything, you wind up exhausted and needing a real vacation.

Kupu Maui is a new endeavor, launching a series of Third Saturday feasts at different farms and scenic venues around Maui. It sounds fantastic. Mahalo to Erik Blair for making a great video!  I love it when other people take videos.

In true foodie envy spirit,
1. I didn't even go to the inaugural feast at Ali'i Kula Lavender Farm, but know several people who attended and got to experience the event vicariously through their videos and pictures. Check out a great post on Kupu Maui by Maui Shop Girl. Her pictures make everything look so ONO (yummy).

2. The Kupu Maui feast was also the same day as the East Maui Taro Festival, another major foodie event.

How many potlucks and food events are there on Maui?

Can anyone count them?

Here's a short list of some monthly, or regularly scheduled, foodie events:

Maui Farmer's Union has an amazing potluck the 4th Tuesday night of each month in Pukalani. Remember, these are farmers and gardeners, so they are also very good cooks. The potluck itself often features more unusual Maui produce like jabocati fruits or different varieties of taro (most that you haven't seen before), chayote, or breadfruit. The potluck itself is free if you bring a dish to share - otherwise it's $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers. Also, bring your own dish and cutlery to help make it easier on the clean up crew.

Slow Food Maui has a foodie Taste Education event the 4th Wednesday of each month in Kahului at the Maui Culinary Academy. The event is $15 for members, and $20 for nonmembers.

Whole Foods Market frequently has food education events and tastings, like their current Celebrity Chef series running the last Monday of the month through June. (Ok, that's the 3rd food event at the end of the month - why is that?)

Down to Earth vegetarian health food store in Kahului is now offering free cooking classes every Tuesday night at 5:30 pm.

Anne Gachuhi's Home Gardening Support Network often includes garden or farm tours with a catered meal.

Grow Some Good is a school garden project based in South Kihei, and they are working with local chefs to create garden to table events.

Temple of Peace has a darshan (chanting) and vegetarian potluck Tuesday nights in Haiku. On Sundays, after their church service, they have another potluck. These are free to the public.

SacredEarth Assembly in Haiku also hosts various community events and festivals.  Some of them are free and some of them are by donation. Often a vegetarian potluck is part of the festivities.

Upcountry Farm Tours is all about food too - although it's a full day farm tour rather than an event you'd go to each month (although you'd certainly be welcome to go every month).

Surfing Goat Dairy also has dairy tours and tastings. 

Maui Happy Hour Club is a social group open to newcomers, and holds happy hours at different restaurants and bars around the island. While not truly a foodie event, sometimes there is really good food available - it just depends where the group is meeting.  Sometimes, it's just about the beer.

I think there should be a guide who organizes a monthly foodie calendar for the rest of us!

This list does not even include festivals or privately held potlucks, such as snorkeling groups or private film screenings... so the longer you are on Maui, the more food events there are. The last couple of years have seen an EXPLOSION of food related events... They just keep growing, kind of like a garden that gets plenty of rain and sunshine. If you are not the only one suffering from foodie envy, or wanting to taste everything wherever it is, well, you're in the right place.


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