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Bistro’s anniversary fundraiser will benefit Hospice Maui


    Seafood is on the menu as Bistro Casanova in Kahului celebrates its 10th anniversary Monday with an Italian feast that benefits Hospice Maui.

Action-packed island … Celebrating its 10th anniversary on Monday will be Bistro Casanova in Kahului, presenting a dinner fundraiser benefiting Hospice Maui that begins at 6:30 p.m.

“The meal is going to be family style with an amuse-bouche and a flute of Prosecco; two different salads, Caesar and kale; four pastas, two vegetarian and two with meat; and grigliata mista (mixed grill) of seafood and one with steak and lamb,” said owner Giovanni Steven Cappelli.

In addition, Cappelli is still waiting for approval from the county liquor board to turn over the license of his other hugely popular restaurant, Casanova Italian Restaurant & Deli in Makawao, to the owners of Flatbread Pizza.

“We are hoping for approval on Oct. 8 for official transfer of title,” said Cappelli, who has owned the Upcountry landmark for 33 years. “But I still have Bistro Casanova in Kahului. That’s my baby now.”

Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Kihei is jumping with karaoke every Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m. to closing. You must be 21 and older with valid ID to exercise your vocal cords.

“Our karaoke with Dean Sakurai of Star Tracks is free,” said general manager Randy Rinaldi. “He has thousands of songs to choose from. It is really a lot of fun to get up on stage and have the crowd cheering for you. Anybody can do it! We also have 50% off our appetizers and sushi. So come in to eat, drink and, of course, sing.”

What’s more, Sansei Kihei is tempting with a four-course tasting menu through Sept. 15. Chef Carl Yeh of Sansei’s sister restaurant, Vino in Honolulu, created the recipes for seared scallops, braised beef cheeks and Granny Smith apple tart, while Sansei’s executive chef Keith Endo whipped up the ginger-miso-glazed salmon with garlic fried rice, sauteed baby bok choy and shiitake mushrooms. Master sommelier Chuck Furuya added wine pairings.

Cost is $55 per person, plus $5.75 per 3-ounce wine pairing with each course. For reservations, call 879-0004.


You don’t have to be a brainiac to know that Maui chef and restaurateur Sheldon Simeon is a superstar. Yet many don’t know that the “Top Chef” fan favorite and owner of Lineage and Tin Roof restaurants graduated from the University of Hawaii-Maui College Culinary Arts Program.

Simeon will appear Sept. 19 at The Leis Family Class Act restaurant on campus to prepare a family-style dinner along with fellow grads Nolan Gonzales, who will serve as sous-chef, and Lineage mixologist Natalie Hansen, who will shake up the fun cocktail creations.

“It seems like yesterday that I was on this campus as a culinary student, and in the blink of an eye, here I am 17 years later standing as chef,” reminisced Simeon.

“We love having such a successful graduate of our program out there doing such great things for our island’s culinary community,” said UHMC Culinary Arts Program Coordinator chef Teresa Shurilla. Tickets are $165, which includes wine; proceeds benefit the Culinary Arts Program. Call 984-3280.

Of course, UHMC is in full swing for the fall semester, and the Pa‘ina Building where the culinary program exists is open for lunch. Prices are right, and everyone, not just students, may come and dine.

“We open up our two student-run venues, Paniolo Grill and World Plate, for lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays,” said Douglas Paul, general manager for Sodexo, overseer of operations. “Our other fast-serve outlets, from the Raw Fish Camp to Ramen X, are open the same hours weekdays.”

On Wednesday the Culinary Arts Program will present the Blue Zones Project Healthy Living Event at 10 a.m. in the Paina Building; it’s free and open to the public. Attendees can meet at the Paina Building before touring the Waipono Farm and Greenhouse on campus, said Krystine Nakano, Sodexo catering coordinator. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will follow celebrating the Pa‘ina Food Court’s designation as a Blue Zones- approved restaurant and work site.

New UHMC catering chef Ralph Giles (former owner of Soup to Nuts) will then do a food demo on center stage showcasing sweet potato cakes with lime and avocado foam.


The 18th annual Richard Ho‘opi‘i Falsetto Contest that highlights the Festivals of Aloha is Saturday in the ballrooms of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua.

“Although Uncle Richard is no longer here with us physically, we can feel him all around,” said Festivals of Aloha Maui County coordinator Daryl Fujiwara. “I love this event because it’s more like a Hawaiian music concert. The talent is far beyond ‘amateur.’ The judges get up on stage, there is hula and you may purchase a pork laulau plate ($17) with rice, haupia and sweet potato. The paina continues in the Alaloa Lobby Lounge where we continue to sing and enjoy kanikapila.

“Our committee is so thankful to the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua’s GM Andrew Rogers, who is graciously hosting us and invites you all to come and ‘stay his house,’ as he is offering an amazing room rate of $169.”

Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; the contest begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 at

The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui in Wailea celebrated Queen Lili‘uokalani’s 181st birthday on Tuesday with Hawaiian chant by its cultural adviser, kumu Kapono Kamaunu, and hula by Halau Manaiakalani. (By the way, they will be performing at the Ku Mai Ka Hula solo and group competition Saturday at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului.)

The Fairmont also honored the beloved Hawaiian monarch’s legacy of caring for Hawaii’s keiki by donating 800 desserts and snacks to Maui Food Bank’s Aloha Backpack Buddies program, dinner and dessert to Ka Hale a ke Ola Homeless Resource Center and even more to other nonprofits.

In addition, Fairmont’s new Makana Market + Cafe dazzles with its Pang’s Poke Bar, and it’s got a Bacon Bonanza on display.

“Our bakeshop has gotten really creative with chocolate-dipped bacon, maple-bacon muffins, bacon lattes and more,” said executive chef Tylun Pang. “We are also offering our house-made chocolate banana bread along with Banana Foster’s bread and we launched a new signature coffee blend.”

PR director Alexis Eaton reports the Kea Lani Restaurant will soon wrap up renovations, with an official grand reopening expected early next month.


Hawaii’s favorite entertainer, Henry Kapono, keeps on trucking with his Artist 2 Artist concert series. He’ll team with Blayne Asing at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the McCoy Studio Theater, followed by Jerry Santos on Oct. 11 and Alx Kawakami on Nov. 8. Tickets are $35, $45 and $65 at 242-SHOW (7469) or Want to get to know them better? A backstage “Hangin’ With Henry” package is available for an extra $45 and includes a talk-story session, music and photo and autograph opportunities.

Make sure to “stand in the light,” my friends.

Veteran journalist Carla Tracy pops the cork on Maui’s dining and entertainment scene in her weekly column. Email her at

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