Oktoberfest at Montage Kapalua Bay
When you think of Oktoberfest, you might think of drinking beer out of steins, bratwursts, sauerkraut, soft pretzels, Fall weather, Germany, weiner schnitzel and more beer.
But palm trees and stunning ocean sunsets for Oktoberfest?
Montage Kapalua Bay made it all happen and brought Oktoberfest to Maui for the first-ever event of its kind with live music, German food, beer, dancing, a soft pretzel and mustard station and much more!
The first Historically, Oktoberfest began nearly 200 years ago as a wedding celebration for Crown Prince Luitpold I and Princess Theressa of Bavaria on Oct. 17, 1810.
A large area in Munich, Germany was the scene of the royal reception, which featured horse racing, music, dancing, singing and a lot of beer drinking.
In Munich, Oktoberfest is a 16 to 18 day festival held each year. It is the largest public festival in the world, attracting more than six million visitors a year.
The festival begins on the first Saturday after Sept. 15 and ends on the first Sunday in October.
Although Maui is 7,611 miles from Munich, Executive Chef David Viviano still had an idea to bring Oktoberfest to Maui.
“We just wanted to do something fun and different, and what’s better than beer and pretzels?” Viviano says.
Each guest at Oktoberfest at Montage Kapalua Bay was provided six beer tickets and were able to sample two different beers from Koholā Brewery, New Belgium Brewing and Iron Fist Brewing Co.
“We made a bunch of pretzels in-house and we went with all the other Montage properties and we each made our own mustards,” Viviano adds.
Executive Chefs from each of the five Montage properties across the US created a unique mustard recipe featuring their destinations’ local flavors. Viviano made a Moloka‘i papaya mustard.
What other German-inspired food did Chef Viviano and his team create?
“We’ll have some bratwurst, handmade sauerkraut, crusty rolls and to top it off we brought in Chef Lee Anne Wong from O’ahu to add a little extra and she’s doing some really unique dishes.”
Viviano says cooking something different is one of his favorite parts about Oktoberfest: “You do the same food over and over again and have this German element come in and you have fun with it.”
Chef Viviano created a schnitzel station with jagerschnitzel sliders and chicken schnitzel and waffles.
Chef Lee Anne Wong of Koko Head Cafe on O‘ahu, also a former Top Chef contestant and fan favorite, created two German-inspired dishes with unique local twists.
“I made two dishes, a sour poi spaetzle which is a traditional German dumpling, we’re serving it with bacon, carmalized onions, some emmentaler cheese and red wine braised red cabbage and the next dish is going to be hot smoked pickeled akule with hawaiian salt, boiled potato and some dill cream,” she says.
Koko Head Cafe is an island-style brunch restaurant in the Kaimuki neighborhood of O‘ahu.
Chef Wong says her restaurant focuses on local ingredients and that part of the idea at Oktoberfest was to take traditional German ideas and dishes and use some of her favorite Hawaiian ingredients for them.
So what is a Top Chef contestant’s favorite part about Oktoberfest?
“Beer, beer and bratwaurst. I’m from upstate New York and I lived in New York City for 20 years so Oktoberfest, when it’s Fall out and it starts to get super cold and you get to put a sweater on, I mean that’s like the best time to have bratwusts, pretzels and beer, schnitzel, and cabbage and potato pancakes and all that goodness.”
Even though it may not get cold enough in Kapalua to put a sweater on, having Oktoberfest on Maui does have its advantages.
“This is not a bad office to be in for two days, I’m like looking out and wow, it’s so beautiful here at the Montage,” smiles Wong.
The next event at Montage Kapalua Bay will be Pau for Pink on Thursday Oct. 13 at Cane & Canoe.
The restaurant will partner with PAU Vodka to host a cocktail event featuring unique cocktails, to spread awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Part of the proceeds from the event will go to the Cancer Research Foundation; tickets will be $30 per person. More details on the event will be posted soon.
Montage Kapalua Bay also has a weekly Sunset Grill Night at its Hāna Hou Bar every Friday from 5 p.m. to sunset.
Sunset Grill Night features live island music from a new entertainer each week. The signature pool bar menu is also available and valet parking is complimentary.
For more information about Montage Kapalua Bay, please visit the resort’s website.