Grand Wailea’s Signature Toast Series Returns!

February 26, 2011, 9:27 PM HST · Updated February 26, 11:50 PM
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By Erica Garza

Grand Wailea's signature toast series is a celebration of grand food, spirits and fine wine. Photo by Erica Garza.

On Friday, Grand Wailea’s Signature Toast Series returned to the open-air restaurant Humuhumunukuknukuapua’a, celebrating grand food, spirits, and fine wine. The 2011 series began with an appetizing five-course menu prepared by resident Chef Isaac Bancaco paired with exquisite Ferrari-Carano wines.

Founded in 1981 in Sonoma County, California, the Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery produces a collection of acclaimed, elegant wines, including Chardonnay, Fumé Blanc, Merlot, and Trésor to name just a few. The winery’s representative, Jim Selfridge, was also in attendance to introduce each wine and discuss its journey from grape to glass.

After being seated at a long dining table adorned with wine glasses under a Polynesian thatched roof, guests who reserved their places for $100 each were poured a glass of Fumé Blanc 2010. The crisp and citrusy wine was the perfect complement to the first course, Na Pua Basil Hamachi Sashimi with Hamakua tomato consomme, balsamic bubbles, fresh mozzarella and coconut-Hawaiian chili pepper salt, a clean and refreshing dish.

The Toast! dinner is held at Grand Wailea's distinguished restaurant, Humuhumunukunukuapua'a. Photo courtesy of Grand Wailea.

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The next glass up was a full-bodied Chardonnay Reserve 2007 paired with Kombu Cured Butterfish from Alaska and foie gras wontons, speckled with su-miso mustard and Yamagobo confetti, a tad spicy and teeming with complex flavors.

A Merlot 2008 was next, beautifully balanced, velvety and served at a cool temperature, an ideal companion to the tenderness of the Korean Style Kalbi Duck Breast, served with kimchee apples, duck confit fried rice and sesame pea shoots.

The next pairing consisted of the silky Trésor 2007, aged but smooth with gorgeous aromas of blueberry, blackberry and cassis, and the Opakapaka “Wellington” served with Hamakua mushroom duxelle and a twice-baked gruyere potato, imbued in Trésor 2007 jus.

A satisfying finish to the sensual feast, the Moloka’i blend of Ulu Niu Coffee paired with Tres Leche Cake a la pastry chef Natalie Wilkinson, rounded out the evening with layers of sweetness.

The mastermind behind the innovative food menu, Isaac Bancaco, was born and raised on Maui and trained under the world-renowned Chef Ming Tsai, even competing alongside him as his sous chef on the original “Iron Chef America” against famed Iron Chef, Bobby Flay. Bancaco assisted Tsai in winning this mighty challenge.

Chef Isaac Bancaco was born and raised in Maui and was the innovative mind behind the evening's menu. Photo by Erica Garza.

When asked how his inventive dishes came into being, Bancaco attributed much of his creativity to the influence of a variety of chefs and cooking styles. “When I first started cooking, you can say I had a somewhat square style,” Bancaco said. “But other ideas and influences rounded my techniques into what they are today.”

The Toast! series continues at Grand Wailea in the coming months and is one of many exciting ongoing events, such as the Spalicious Party at Spa Grande. Learn more about the next event and ticketing by calling (808) 875-1234.

Maui Now covers the latest food news and events throughout the island and appreciates suggestions. Please send tips or feedback to [email protected].

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