Events & Activities

2013 Maui Onion Festival

Chris Kulis

Chef Chris Kulis brings a disciplined focus on technique and extraordinary standards of quality to the kitchens of both Capische and Il Teatro. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Kulis joined Capische after a successful tenure as sous chef at Thomas Keller€s Bouchon in Yountville, California. His culinary career has taken him across the United States and Europe. Giving back to the community is important to Chef Kulis, and he is a dedicated participant in the Grow Some Good program. By helping kids learn about the sources of their food and the value of good nutrition and healthful life habits, he is able to decompress from the tensions of a demanding profession while making a difference in the community.

Click here to download Chef Kulis' Kona maine lobster salad recipe.

James McDonald

Chef James McDonald is showcasing his cuisine at I€O, Aina Gourmet Market and The Feast at Lele. Voted €Best Chef € in The Maui News readers€ poll, and a James Beard nominee, he was recognized by Gourmet magazine in €Farm to Table.€ I€O is the only Maui restaurant to garner the prestigious Distinguished Restaurants of North America Award.

Click here to download Chef McDonald's Caramelized Maui onion fettuccini, roast lamb shoulder & braised Maui onion recipe.

Jojo Vasquez

Chef Jojo Vasquez spent his younger years assisting his father, who had catered for a living. Since then, he has worked with The Ritz-Carlton company, as Chef de Cuisine of Banyan Tree restaurant. Vasquez then took reigns as the Executive Chef for Masaharu Morimoto€s Waikiki restaurant while also assisting the culinary icon to battle for two seasons of Iron Chef America. Nationally acclaimed Star Chefs named Vasquez one of Hawaii€s Rising Star for 2012. He was also voted by his peers to be included in 2012 Best Chefs of America. Chef Jojo recently joined The Plantation House Restaurant where his passion and talent will further shine one plate at a time.

Click here to download Chef Vasquez's Kampachi sashimi, Maui onion dressing, Jalapeno, fried rice noodles recipe.

Kevin Hanney

Chef Kevin€s love for quality, local ingredients began in his native upstate New York at the single acre Wild Winds Farm & Restaurant, one of the original farm-to-table, organic farms and was galvanized by the culinary movements in California where he catered for Central Coast wineries like Ridge Vineyards and Bonny Doon Vineyard. As Chef Owner of 12th Ave Grill and SALT kitchen & tasting bar, Hanney€s commitment to sustainable practices and the contemporary expression of American cooking is a consistently bold articulation of the best of Hawaii€s farms and ranches.

Click here to download Chef Hanney's homemade Italian sausage with sweet & spicy Maui pale ale & onion mustard recipe.

Nick Mastrascusa

At the Four Seasons Resort Chef Nick oversees the culinary teams at two of the islands most popular restaurants Ulu Ocean Grill and Sushi Lounge formally Pahu'ia and the The Beach Tree Restaurant. Prior to his tenure at Four Seasons Hotel New York, he honed his culinary talents at the Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, and the Ritz-Carlton Palm Beach, both in Florida. He also opened Hoquart 2000 Restaurant in Montevideo, Uruguay. A graduate of the Culinary Arts program at Johnson & Wales College in Miami, Chef Mastrascusa credits his grandparents, who immigrated to Uruguay from Spain and Sicily, for inspiring his passion for cooking.

Click here to download Chef Mastrascusa's caramelized Maui onion, goat cheese and quail egg ravioli, mac nuts, brown butter & sage recipe.

Sheldon Simeon

Born and raised in Hilo, Chef Sheldon acquired his love for cooking from his father. After graduating from Hilo High School, he enrolled in the Culinary Institute of the Pacific, which led him to an internship at Walt Disney World. Moving back to the islands, he enrolled at the Maui Culinary Academy, paying his way as a dishwasher at Aloha Mixed Plate. His passion and hard work landed him the chef position and later went on to open sister restaurants Star Noodle and Leoda's Kitchen & Pie Shop. Chef Sheldon was a cheftestant in the 10th season of Bravo Network's Top Chef: Seattle and came out in 3rd place and was declared the season's Fan Favorite. Chef Sheldon is a two-time James Beard semifinalist -- for "Rising Star" and "Best New Restaurant," both in 2011.

Click here to download Chef Simeon's chicken liver mousse, pickled Maui onion, Maui onion jam, funyun furikaki recipe.