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Fire It Up – A New Maui Food Festival

  This past Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend a new Maui food festival, Fire It Up! This beachside barbecue bonanza showcased some of the premier pitmasters from around the country. Hailing from locales where cooking over wood and charcoal is just as big a way of life as here in the islands—like North Carolina, Denver and Dallas—these chefs were masters of the open flame. Mix in tremendous cocktails, wine, bourbon and beer; a local celebrity traditionally preparing food fit for ali’i; a dash of Hawaiian chants, live music and special DJ set; tied together with a gorgeous South Maui sunset/full moon rise—and you had the recipe for a perfect evening! Ho’olei and Grand Wailea, Best of Neighbors! After a full day of work at Ho’olei, the newest member of our team and long time friend, Carl Middleman, and I made the quick trip across the street to the Grand Wailea, and down to the ever-inviting Spa Grande. With its myriad salt baths, marvelous massaging waterfalls, cold plunges, bubbling hot baths, steams, Jacuzzi, detox teas and more, the facility is world-class. I am too lucky to have such a relaxing place nearby after a hard day’s work, and everytime I go, can’t help but feel the strong bond between the 2 communities. After the spa, we cruised down to the lawn towards the luau grounds where the festivities were taking place. This walk was a treat in itself, highlights being the backlit water feature and dolphin sculptures, always picturesque stained glass chapple, and adult pool with gorgeous orchid mosaic tiling. Grand Wailea truly is one of the most luxurious resorts on island, and I feel grateful to spend any amount of time there. Simply walking the grounds, admiring the artwork, architecture, and beautiful surroundings, solidify it as five stars in my mind. If you’re interested in staying here, be sure to check out this list of the 10 things you need to know before visiting the Grand Wailea. Chef Hubert Keller and his famous Burger Arriving at the luau lawn, the first station we visited starred Chef Hubert Keller, founder of Burger Bar and executive chef at Fleur, Las Vegas. I dined at Fleur last year before the Michael Jackson show at the Mandalay Bay and was blown away by the flavors. With high expectations, I bit into what was not quite a slider, not a full sized burger, but nevertheless, all perfection. The patty was super tasty, the truffle aioli hit all those

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