By Erica Garza
The 22nd Maui Onion Festival arrives at Whalers Village, Kaanapali on May 7. The celebration will include celebrity chef demonstrations from the likes of Roy Yamaguchi and James McDonald, local food displays, entertainment on two stages, a beer garden, and various contests.
One such contest is the Maui Onion Eating Contest, with one division for adults and another for kids. Watch as onion enthusiasts compete to eat a pound of Maui onion the fastest. Another contest is the Maui onion recipe contest among celebrity chefs. Last year’s festival declared Chef James McDonald of I’o and Pacific’O restaurants the victor.
The festival is also promoting the Maui Onion Challenge from now until May 6, offering participants the chance to win two roundtrip tickets from Maui to one of Alaska Airlines’ non-stop destinations. To enter, just try a Maui onion appetizer at participating Kaanapali restaurants and vote for your favorite. Participating restaurants and their respective appetizers include:
CJ’s Deli & Diner, Fairway Shops
Maui Onion & Prawn Quiche with Kula Greens by Chef Christian Jorgensen
Tropica Restaurant & Bar, The Westin Maui Resort & Spa
Kim Chee Kula Onion Chow Fun with tempura braised pork belly by Chef Ikaika Manaku
Black Rock Steak & Seafood, Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
Kula Onion Phyllo Wrap by Chef Bryan Ashlock
Pulehu, an Italian Grill
Kor Onion Strudel by Chef Francois Milliet
Tiki Terrace Restaurant, Kā’anapali Beach Hotel
Maui Onion Stuffed Pasta topped with Maderi demi sauce over Rainbow beets by Chef Chris Napolean
Umalu, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa
Caramelized Maui Onion flatbread with Surfing Goat chevre and pork belly lardon by Chef Kevin Boyle
Cane & Taro, Whalers Village
Maui Onion and Trufled Rock Shrimp Fritter with Waipoli Watercress by Chef Kaipo Nakata
Ocean Terrace, Royal Lāhaina Resort
Maui Onion Jalapeno Rings by Chef Bernardo Salazar
Grown on the Kula slopes of Haleakala, the sweet Maui onion is a precious delicacy that can be grilled, fried, used in soups and dips, sautéed, puréed into a variety of sauces or eaten raw. Celebrate the deliciousness at the Maui Onion Festival, free to the public. For more information, call 808-661-4567.
Maui Now covers the latest food news and events throughout the island and appreciates suggestions. Please send tips or feedback to [email protected].