Kaanapali Resort #KFresh13 Culinary Experience: I’ll Have Seconds, Please

Progressive Kaanapali Resort

Have you ever had one of those experiences that leaves such a lasting imprint that you can’t imagine not going back for more? That’s the best way I can describe Kaanapali Fresh held at Kaanapali Resort on Maui. Kaanapali Beach already had a piece of my heart since I spent many happy days skimboarding and teaching windsurfing there back in the day. Now I was headed home to Maui with Ann Tran to be part of the #KFresh13 event, thanks to Shelley Kekuna and her amazing team. Although our flight was met with some adversity, The Westin Maui Resort and Spa welcomed us with incredible accommodations and aloha. I wasn’t surprised though, because the aloha spirit flows freely from the people in Hawaii.

The Kaanapali Resort Left Me  Wanting More

The 3-day event began with Mixology at the Royal Lahaina Resort, overlooking the Pacific, clinking glasses and mixing spirits. Chandra Lucariello, Director of Mixology for Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii, with her gorgeous smile and positive energy, taught us all about the fine art of mixing ingredients to create something flavorful and special. Although I don’t imbibe often, the signature cocktail she created for the event, the Hana Hou!, was definitely my favorite with a refreshing combo of ginger, lime, and pineapple.

Mixology with Chandra Lucariello

Mixology with Chandra Lucariello

The Progressive dinner at the Westin Maui Resort was spectacular. The backdrop was the Maui sun setting between the islands of Lanai and Molokai framed by palm trees as we dined on creations using MauiGrown Coffee. We all then “progressed” down Kaanapali beachfront path to the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa, where delectable desserts awaited the guests. But the evening didn’t end there – master of the ukelele, Jake Shimabukuro, played flawlessly as we sat under the stars.

Progressive Ka'anapali

Progressive Ka'anapali

Progressive Ka'anapali

Progressive Ka'anapali

Jake Shimabukuro

The next morning started with the Maui’s Farmer’s Market at Whaler’s Village. I could have stayed there all day sampling and shopping for the fresh fruits and veggies, taking shots of wheatgrass, sampling mangos, and learning about agtourism on Maui. It was so much fun to see old friends and meet new ones.

Grown on Maui Market

We then headed up the slopes of Kaanapali for the coffee farm tour and an awesome lunch prepared by Master Chef Christian Jorgenson of CJ’s Deli & Diner. It was lovely to dine with a panoramic view of Kaanapali and the coastline. Kimo Falconer taught us all about the evolution of the coffee farm, then we made a stop by the fields themselves, and a final stop at the store where we were gifted bags of MauiGrown Coffee.

Ka'anapali Coffee Estate Tour Lunch

The final event was a celebration of  the beach resort’s 50th year anniversary, appropriately named “Kaanapali 5-0”. Held at the 3rd hole of the Kaanapali golf course, the event was nothing short of brilliant: the coming together of local farmers and chefs. As a healthy living advocate, homegrown and freshly made are at the center of what I believe.  As the sun set and the red lanterns glowed above us, 5-time Grammy nominee Amy Hanaialii Gilliom’s beautiful voice filled the air. To hear her sing in Hawaiian is enchanting. We then settled into some comfortable chairs with new friends and ended the night listening to slack key guitarist Makana. It was a night I’ll forever remember.

Ka'anapali 5-0

Ka'anapali 5-0

Makana The Kaanapali Fresh event is one I’ll always have etched in my memory. There are so many wonderful moments that I couldn’t possibly share them all in one blog post. Mahalo nui loa to Shelley Kekuna, Executive Director of the Kaanapali Beach Resort Association, Charlene Kauhane, Peter Liu, Yvonne Biegel, Toni RojasVisit Maui, and Maui County Farms for an incredible experience. A hui hou kakou  — #KFresh14

Awesome Photography by Peter Liu 

Full Kaanapali Fresh 13 Photo Gallery on Flickr

Read the official blogs about the event at the Ka’anapali Fresh Website

***My airfare, accommodations, and rental car were provided. The experience expressed and wonderful memories are my own.




  1. […] which is where the #KFresh13 event was held.  I’m happy to say that, from start to finish, #KFresh13 was amazing.  With each stage of the event it got better and better, which speaks volumes about the […]

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