Celebrity Chef Vikram Vij to Host Three Maui Events

April 7, 2016, 8:15 AM HST · Updated April 6, 11:09 PM
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Celebrity Chef Vikram Vij will visit Kā‘anapali, hosting three events from April 12 to 14. Photo by Jordan Junck.

Celebrity Chef Vikram Vij will visit Kā‘anapali, hosting three events from April 12 to 14. Photo by Jordan Junck.

Celebrated chef, restaurateur, author and TV personality Vikram Vij will bring his high-energy Indian cooking prowess to Kā‘anapali Beach Resort for three special events, titled Cooking without Borders: The Ring of Fire. From April 12 to 14, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa and The Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas will host the functions, featuring a rare chance to get up close and personal with the popular Canadian chef.

“Local foodies and culinary travelers seeking an extraordinary experience can look no further than Kā‘anapali, especially when chef Vikram Vij comes to visit,” said Shelley Kekuna, executive director of the Kā‘anapali Beach Resort Association. “We are excited to savor his renowned Indian cuisine alongside the island-inspired cuisine of our own chefs Francois Milliet and Gevin Utrillo. We are also thrilled to welcome him to Maui, and show him firsthand why Canadians love to visit our special island home year after year.”

The events have been planned following two Maui Pop-Up Dinners held in Vancouver in May and December 2015, with chefs Milliet and Utrillo representing Kā‘anapali Beach Resort.

To purchase tickets to the following events, visit here. Prices listed below do not include ticketing fee.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cooking without Borders: The Ring of Fire  “Cooking Demo”  

11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Hālona Kai, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

Tickets: $25

In collaboration with Japengo chef de cuisine Gevin Utrillo, Vij will bring this two-hour cooking demo to life, highlighting his heritage and educating attendees on cooking with Indian spices. Interact with the recognized restaurateur and cookbook author, and taste his creations as he demonstrates his expertise in the kitchen.

“I had the privilege of dining at Vij’s last year in Canada and to no surprise, was impressed with the food he prepared. I am exceedingly excited for the opportunity to work side by side with him now in Kā‘anapali,” said Utrillo.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016 

Cooking without Borders: The Ring of Fire  “Talk Story”

9:30 to 11 a.m.

Hālona Kai, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

Tickets: $15

Join Hyatt Regency Maui and Kā‘anapali Beach Resort Association for a casual and intimate “talk story” session with Vij, a recognized restaurateur and cookbook author. Engage in the stories of Vij’s background and culinary training, from his passion for pairing wines with cuisine as a certified sommelier, to opening award-winning restaurants, writing two cookbooks, and more.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Cooking without Borders: The Ring of Fire – “Dinner Event

6 p.m.

Pūlehu, an Italian Grill, The Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas

Tickets: $90

The Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas’ award-winning restaurant, Pūlehu, an Italian Grill, in partnership with Kā‘anapali Beach Resort Association, will host this collaborative dining event with accredited Canadian restaurateur and author Vij and executive chef Francois Milliet of The Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas. This culinary and beverage experience will feature action stations offering dishes highlighting Vij’s Indian heritage, as well as the island-inspired fare of Milliet, paired with wine and beverages from around the world.

“We are honored to partner with chef Vikram on ‘Cooking without Borders,’” says Brandon Maeda, food & beverage director at The Westin Kā‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas. “His focus on using locally sourced meats, seafood and produce in surprising and unexpected ways is a significant part of our mission at all of our restaurants. This shared goal between chef Vikram and our own chef Francois makes for a meaningful collaboration and a dining experience not to be missed.” 

For Milliet, the dinner is especially meaningful as it follows up his own visit to renowned Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver, B.C. “I really enjoyed chef Vikram’s food, especially the jackfruit in black cardamom and cumin curry,” says Milliet. “I’m very excited to learn more about his unique style of Indian cuisine and also show him the nuances of our locally inspired island fare. We look forward to sharing our aloha and hope that Kā‘anapali feels like a second home to him.”

The New York Times pronounced Vij’s Restaurant in Vancouver “easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world.” Vij and his wife Meeru Dhalwala plan their seasonally changing menu as a showcase of pungent Indian spices combined with locally available ingredients. In 1998, four years after opening, Vij’s was one of the 20 featured restaurants at the James Beard Annual Gala Awards in New York City. Over the years since then, it has won countless awards and been featured in Food & Wine, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Travel + Leisure and many more magazines and television food networks.

With the restaurant’s meteoric success, they opened a sister restaurant, Rangoli, in 2004. This more casual venue also sells their popular line of packaged gourmet curries. In 2012, Vij launched Vij’s Railway Express gourmet food truck on the streets of Vancouver, garnering the People’s Choice Award from Air Canada’s enRoute Magazine in 2013. The following year, Vij opened his third restaurant, called My Shanti, to immediate acclaim.

With his lively personality, Vij has become a popular TV presence. He was a guest judge on Top Chef: Canada in 2011 and 2012 and the guest of honor in a 2013 episode dedicated to Indian cuisine. The following year, he made his debut on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, investing in a number of entrepreneurial ventures. In March 2013, Vij hosted the world’s first ever live-streamed cook-along, Cook Live with Vikram Vij. By inviting all 10,000 viewers to cook with him, tweeting their questions and photos, Vij furthered his goal of sharing the accessibility of Indian cuisine.

He is dedicated to increasing sustainability in the food industry. Over the years, he and Dhalwala have supported numerous causes for the health of our oceans and food supply. They recently funded the opening of Vij’s Kitchen, a state-of-the-art culinary education facility at the University of British Columbia.

Born and raised in India, Vij moved to Austria at age 20, earning his chef certificate from the Salzburg Hotel Management School. He later moved to Canada to work at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. Vij became a certified sommelier from the International Sommelier Guild in 2001, and is passionate about pairing wines with his cuisine. He is the co-author of two cookbooks: Vij’s: Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine and Vij’s At Home: Relax, Honey. He and Dhalwala live in Vancouver with their two daughters.

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