Maui Chefs “Grow Some Good”
Vanessa Wolf is a former head chef, previously working in Portland, Oregon.
By Vanessa Wolf
Grow Some Good is a non-profit project dedicated to creating hands-on, outdoor learning experiences that cultivate curiosity about natural life cycles, connect students to their food sources, and inspire better nutrition choices.
The initial project started at Kihei Elementary School, where co-founder Kirk Surry explained, “we had three beds and one teacher and now we have a quarter acre and almost a thousand students involved.”
In just six years, Grow Some Good has flourished to reach nearly 2000 kids at five area schools.
In addition to helping establish food gardens and living science labs in local schools, Grow Some Good provides resources and curriculum support in agriculture, science, food education and nutrition.
This Saturday, March 2 at 5:30, six chefs from Capische?, Spago, Ferraro’s, Outrigger Pizza Company, and Private Maui Chef will be cooking as part of a school garden benefit.
“Maui Chefs Grow Some Good – A Sunset Taste of School Gardens” will be taking place at Hotel Wailea’s lawn and spotlights dishes inspired by the food grown at the schools.
Six chef stations will feature ingredients and recipes inspired by school gardens, including:
Chef Christopher Kulis of Capische? and Il Teatro
- Pumpkin gnocchi with garden veggies
- Sweet corn soup with cilantro pesto and toasted pumpkin seeds
- Green beans with garden basil and roasted cherry tomatoes
Chef Nicholas Porreca of Four Seasons Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante
- Kiawe smoked brisket with kabocha ravioli
- Roasted tomato & eggplant salsa
- School garden Basil Pesto
- Papaya & lemongrass agrodolce
- Cilantro salsa verde
Chef Cameron Lewark of Spago
- Thai red curry with farm vegetables and Green papaya salad and Thai basil
- Local Hawaiian mushrooms with Chinese garlic-pepper sauce fried garlic and brown rice
Chef Dan Fiske of PrivateMauiChef.com
- Local caught fish bone soup, served with super garden greens, tomato, cilantro and Meyer lemon
Chef Eric Mitchell of The Outrigger Pizza Company
- Mediterranean pizza made with eggplant, red onion, kalamata olives, sun dried tomatoes, feta and pesto. Served with or without chicken.
- Marinara pizza made with tomato, olive oil, mozzarella and basil
- Garden herb “Green Pizza” made with a variety of school garden herbs and olive oil
Chef Brian Etheredge of Capische? and Il Teatro
- Fresh tropical dessert prepared from school garden grown ingredients (apple bananas, papaya, lillikoi)
The March 2 event will also feature a special acoustic performance by Marty Dread and a silent auction.
The Grow Some Good program has had far-reaching effects on the students beyond the produce grown. “This actually improves the kids’ performance on curriculum because they learn why they’re learning math and science. For instance, right now we’re practicing volume and area,” Surry explained.
Halle Maxwell, Principal of Kihei Elementary School stated that, “Some of the children enjoy working in the garden so much that they give up their recess to help water or pull weeds. We have observed children who are shy or those who don’t do well in the classroom, blossom like the plants they are cultivating. They share information or techniques with other students and beam with pride with the positive response from classmates.”
The Saturday evening event benefits Grow Some Good projects including school garden installations and maintenance, coordinator/educator positions, school garden mini-grants, curriculum and materials for garden-based learning and nutrition classes.
Tickets are $89 in advance or $99 the day of the event.
There is no parking at Hotel Wailea and street parking isn’t allowed. Attendees should plan to use the Wailea Community Association lot at the corner of Wailea Ike Drive and Kalai Wa’a Street. Free shuttle service to Hotel Wailea will be provided.
Even those who can’t make it can get involved, as the program is always looking for volunteers.
We welcome your feedback. Please let us know if you hear of any new restaurants opening or reopening, total menu overhauls, or simply know of a hidden treasure you want to share. Have a restaurant you want reviewed (or re-reviewed)? Drop us a line – Vanessa(@mauinow.com)