Category Archives: Kupu Maui

My Kaanapali Weekend

This weekend was the Ka’anapali Fresh “a culinary experience” an event featuring the Chefs, Farmers, creative Mixologists, with music performances Saturday by Makana and Spyro Gyro and Sunday by Third Eye Blind.


My weekend began at the Westin Villas where we checked in for two nights and prepared for our Ag-Tour of Kaanapali Coffee Estate in the morning.


Here’s my husband Ricky with Akina Tours Bus driver, Herman, who did a wonderful job transporting our group of nearly fifty passengers. Shelley Kekuna (above with me) is the executive director of Kaanapali Resorts. Shelley created this event along with her superb event planner Toni Rojas of Sterling Performance Company. That’s James “Kimo” Falconer on the right. It was great to meet Kimo and learn more about the coffee farm he revived and how we’re making history on Maui in Kaanapali with MauiGrown Coffee.


It’s an 80 billion dollar industry and the only commodity bigger than coffee is oil. Everyone loved the tour. Dania Katz of @KupuMaui served light wonderful refreshments (chai smoked pork, dragon fruit, pineapple with coconut sprinkles on skewers) as we sampled 100% MauiGrown Coffee. We provided gift bags filled with Kaanapali Estate Coffee, hand-made cards, coffee farm maps, Javalavalavas, and Hawaiian cards by @SoPupuka plus Edible Hawaiian Islands Magazines for each guest. I played ukulele on the drive from the farm to MauiGrown Coffee Company Store and they asked on the way back “Are you gonna pull out that ukulele again?” and I said “I sure am!” and played Island Style, and Paula Fuga’s song for the ride back to Whaler’s Village… It was so much fun.


It was wonderful to spend time near the water and the first thing I noticed about Kaanapali was the air. Breezy, beautiful afternoons, gorgeous sunsets, lovely mornings take me back to imagining Hawaiians in ancient times here on Maui. I can see why they chose Kaanapali for their Royal place. With plentiful water from four streams coming out of the West Maui Mountains, fertile valleys for taro patches, farmland to plant sweet potatoes (uala), and the most abundant fishing in the waters and streams, it was a perfect place to live.


Kaanapali is blessed with beauty.


Kaanapali Fresh weekend was all about the land, the chefs and farmers, the music and culture, and the coffee.


Call us anytime for a tour of the coffee farms or a personalized Up-Country Farm Tour.


~ Marilyn


808 283-9131
808 280-1621


Marilyn Jansen Lopes

Kupu Maui Pop-Up Brunch

Dania Katz

April 19, 2012 Dania Katz, Chef and farmer James Simpliciano and Chef Jenna Haugaard made their dream come true…

They created the first Kupu Maui Pop Up brunch event at Ali`i Kula Lavender FarmLocal Maui Fruit plattersInspired by other Pop Up restaurants in Honolulu like “The Pig and The Lady”, Dania was determined to pull it off on Maui. With her Twitter and facebook following as well as relationships within the community that she has built for years, Dania knew this would be a great success. It is so pertinent to the current food and farm movement nationally. We smile when we think of Farm-To-table and are so happy to get together with friends over beautiful tables of freshly prepared food grown on Maui. Dania said “We love to feed people” and they fed us in style.

The first course above were platters of beautifully cut local Maui papayas, strawberries, mulberries, Maui Gold pineapple and fresh limes of course, to squeeze over our papaya. Trays of miniature muffins were served as Chai smoked pork made it’s way to our tables. The turn out was overwhelming. Approximately forty guests arrived all by responding to the Tweet-Vite that Dania had posted. I heard there was a waiting list. It was so great to see familiar faces of friends we know in real life already and have shared so many memories together.

Here’s Chef James preparing gorgeous tomatoes for the salad and Chef Jenna in the background with the fruit platters.

It was all about the Food. There was an air of excitement and fun and happiness for the first Kupu Maui Brunch. We all love the Lavender Farm. Even Pomai Weigert and Koa Chang were there to share the experience. Joel Katz played jazzy music on his Gibson electric guitar to set the mood.

Princess Pomai                                                                           @PrincessPomai of Ali`i Kula Lavender

Anyone want pork? Yes!!! Chai Smoked Pork was so moist and delicious. I love how it was served in cast iron platters with handles at each table. We picked to our hearts content while juices of tangerine, strawberry and orange spritzers were poured for each of us. The whole show was orchestrated so smoothly with other family members and friends helping out.

Who wants porkI didn’t get photos of each dish, but next we dined on beautiful local Maui purple sweet potatoes, ulu and beets roasted and topped with a creamy wonderful sauce.

I heard Gunars and JoRene Valkirs mention these came from their Kapalua farm. I was sitting next to them at my table.

We loved the quinoa dish that followed and we wondered upon the first bite, “What is that flavor?”  There were so many textures and layers. I need  to ask Jenna about the dressing in that tabouli-like dish. It had sweetness, nuttiness, fluffy quinoa, kale chiffonade, cranberries and delicious pumpkin. Everything was perfect. Not too filling and very satisfying.

Friends were taking pictures like crazy as we always do at TweetUps. Sorry my camera was one F-stop off and I was too busy talking and eating to take the best pics this day. It was a fantastic morning all about the food and friendship.

                                                                          Liza Pierce of @MauiBlog and Sara Tekula

                                                                                          Kim Hauiesen and friends

                                                                                          Joyce Chin and Erik Blair

                                                                                     Jill Mayo of Living Maui Social

And then dessert!!! Did someone say strawberry PIE?

This delicious strawberry pie smothered in lime truffle was mouth watering delightful. I almost left early without having a bite but couldn’t resist such huge strawberries in a flaky crust topped with this lovely lime truffle.

Kula Strawberry Pie                                                                                         Everything was fabulous!

Congratulations, Dania, Jenna and James for a fantastic Farm-to-Table event and the first Pop-Up Brunch on Maui.

We look forward to sharing every month with you and the world. Everyone follow @KupuMaui on Twitter for updates.




Call me if you’d like a private farm tour designed just for you. 808 283-9131