Wine, food fest set for Kapalua

KAPALUA, Hawaii -- Tickets went on sale March 1 for the 24th Annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival to be held at the Kapalua Resort on Maui July 7 to 10.

Returning to host this year will be Fred Dame, master sommelier.

Dame will be joined by Richard Betts of the Little Nell, Aspen, Colo.; Jay Fletcher of Southern Wine & Spirits, Denver; Chuck Furuya of Sansei/ Vino restaurants in Hawaii; Virginia Philip of the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Fla.; William Sherer of the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park; Alpana Singh of Everest in Chicago; Larry Stone of Rubicon in San Francisco; and Madeline Triffon from the Unique Restaurant Corp. in Bingham Farms, Mich.

The event will feature daytime cooking demonstrations by local Hawaii chef Bev Gannon, Michael Mina of Nobhill restaurant in San Francisco and Jean Joho of Everest, Brasserie Jo and Eiffel Tower restaurants in Chicago.

A cheese tasting is scheduled for July 10. Hosted by R. Kent Torrey of the Cheese Shop in Carmel, Calif., the tasting was one of the highlights of last years festival, as participants tasted samples from around the world, paired with wines chosen by Dame.

The main evening events include the Winemakers dinners held at various restaurants throughout the Kapalua Resort, the Grand Tasting and the closing nights Seafood Festival.

Organizers plan a more interactive event this year, with a wine challenge on July 9.

The Americas Cup -- Down Under vs. America pits Australia and New Zealand wines against American vintners offerings in an audience vote-off that will decide whose grape reigns supreme.

Tickets for the festival itself are $895 for a four-day pass to all events; $125 for the cooking demonstrations; $140 for tickets to the Grand Tasting and the Seafood Festival; and $100 to $125 for the wine seminars.

Host hotels, the Kapalua Bay Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, are planning specials and packages, which will be announced at a later date.

To purchase tickets, call (800) KAPALUA or log on to www.kapaluawineandfood.com.

To contact reporter Brian Berusch, send e-mail to [email protected].

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