Wailea Chefs Grow Some Good


capische il teatro chef christopher kulisWe are so fortunate to have our chefs on Maui! And we have some great news to share:  Four of Wailea’s premiere chefs are combining their talents, time and resources to support the school garden movement on Maui. Chefs Brian Etheredge and Christopher Kulis of Capische? and Il Teatro are teaming up with Four Season’s Maui at Wailea Chefs Cameron Lewark of Spago and Nicholas Porreca of Ferraro’s to host a series of four fundraisers, called ‘Grow Some Good: Wailea Chefs.’  Taking place May 2012 through early 2013, the series will showcase recipes co-created with students and ingredients grown at Kihei Elementary School and Lokelani Intermediate School gardens.

All net proceeds from thekihei elementary school garden harvest party 2012 fundraisers benefit Grow Some Good projects including school garden installations and maintenance, coordinator/educator positions, school garden mini-grants, curriculum and materials for garden-based learning and nutrition classes. The organization also has received funding support from the County of Maui, Private Maui Chef Owner/Chef Dan Fiske, Capische? Owner/Chef Brian Etheredge, and Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman.

Event series includes:

  • Grow Some Good: Ferraro’s – May 19, 2012 – Ferraro’s private, invitation-only dinner for 25 guests.
  • Grow Some Good: Capische? – July 20, 2012 – Capische? dinner for 40 guests.
  • Grow Some Good: Spago – Sept. 15, 2012 – Spago dinner for 60 guests.
  • Maui Chefs Grow Some Good – March 2, 2013 outdoor event at Hotel Wailea with students and chefs showcasing the best of school garden recipes. For tickets, visit https://growsomegood.org/events/.

To kick off the serieKihei Elementary School harvest party 2012 grow some goods, Wailea chefs shared the art and science of good food with more than 800 students and in nearly a quarter-acre of garden space in the heart of the Kihei Elementary School campus.  Students harvested and prepared ingredients from the Pizza Garden and Gardens of the World to make wood-fired pizza in a mobile pizza oven supplied by Outrigger Pizza, then stir-fry veggies for Asian vegggie wraps. Student grown ingredients included eggplant, okra, carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, red creole onions, green onions, basil, bok choy, oregano and thyme. Super delicious!  Then students finished their day sipping lilikoi lemonade with fresh berries. Special thanks to Akamai Pumping for donating foot pump hand washing stations — the most fun we’ve ever seen kids have washing their hands!

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Dear Governor Abercrombie…

South Maui School Gardens Project bag and letter to Gov. Neil Abercrombie

On May 15, South Maui School Gardens Project joined Kihei Elementary School students, volunteers and our chef sponsors from Capische? and PrivateMauiChef.com to cater lunch for Hawai’i State Governor Neil Abercrombie and his staff, following a talk story event at the MACC.  Lunches prepared with organic, school garden-grown produce also included the following letter encouraging statewide policy and funding support for school gardens – all received with great enthusiasm by The Gov! More about the lunch.

Aloha Gov. Abercrombie and Guests –

Your lunch today is made with produce grown by more than 650 students, teachers and community volunteers at Kihei Elementary School, and healthfully prepared by our chef sponsors from Capische? and PrivateMauiChef.com. Our gardens are thriving with strong support from the community. With your kokua, these living classrooms can inspire greater learning experiences and better nutrition for thousands of students in Hawai’i.

6 Things You Can Do to Help School Gardens Thrive in Hawai’i

1. A Garden in Every School: Create sustainable funding sources for school gardens and support development of “A Garden in Every School” program in Hawai’i.

2. Farm-to-School: Encourage the Departments of Education and Health to foster farm-to-school pilot programs.

3. Garden-to-School: Establish state guidelines that allow use of school garden produce in cafeterias and school nutrition programs.

4. Living Classrooms: Advocate for school gardens as integral outdoor learning environments to improve science, math, literacy, physical education and nutrition programs.

5. Curricula: Facilitate the creation of Hawai’i-based school garden curricula for K-12 students and professional development for teachers and garden educators.

6. Wellness & Organic Produce for All: Support programs which link school gardens with community wellness and local food system improvements.

About South Maui School Gardens Project

The South Maui School Gardens Project is dedicated to creating hands-on, learning experiences that cultivate curiosity about natural life cycles, connect students to their food sources, and inspire better nutrition choices. We help schools establish food gardens and living science labs in local schools and connect resources and curriculum support through community partnerships in agriculture, science, food education, and nutrition. The South Maui School Gardens Project is a nonprofit organization, sponsored by Tri-Isle RC&D. For more information, visit www.KiheiSchoolGarden.org.

Mahalo nui loa for helping to Grow Our Future!

Gov. Abercrombie Digs Into School Garden Lunch with Kihei El Students

Jade Coulter presents Kihei Elementary School garden lunch for Hawai'i Governor Neil Abercrombie
Jade Coulter reads the menu from Governor Neil Abercrombie's box lunch prepared with produce from Kihei Elementary School garden

One of the great things about this program is its focus on the good things growing in our schools, even when  news headlines seem riddled by the problems. Kihei Elementary students Jade and Maile Coulter were able to share their good news (and food!) when they presented box lunches for Hawai’i Gov. Neil Abercrombie and his staff after a talk story event on Sunday, May 15, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. The lunches also included a letter to the Governor from South Maui School Gardens Project, encouraging statewide policy and funding support for school gardens in Hawai’i.

All week, students and volunteers have harvested sweet potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, basil, arugula, eggplant, green onions, Maui onions and lemongrass from the Kihei Elementary School garden to supply organically-grown ingredients for this special event. Lunches were prepared and delivered by our awesome chefs in reusable containers and a South Maui School Gardens Project eco shopping bag, designed and printed by a Makebelieve Company.

Sweet Potato Harvest at Kihei Elementary School garden, Governor Neil Abercrombie
Kihei Elementary School students harvest sweet potatoes for lunch with The Gov!

Mahalo to Chef Dan Fiske (www.PrivateMauiChef.com), Chef Brian Etheredge and Chef Christopher Kulis (Capische? and Il Teatro) and all the teachers, students and volunteers who helped us deliver a delicious lunch and make a lasting impression with The Gov!

On the menu:

  • Grilled Whole Grain Bread Sandwich with Sweet Basil Pesto, Grilled Japanese Eggplant, Arugula, Fresh Mozzarella, Balsamic and Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Homemade Purple Sweet Potato Salad w/Green Onions
  • Pickled Green Beans and Maui Onions
  • Yee’s Famous Maui Mango
  • Homemade Candied Macadamia Nuts
  • Lemongrass Iced Tea


Pizza Day at the Kihei Elementary School Garden

Today was Pizza Day at the Kihei Elementary School Garden, where the kids participated in the making of their food from fresh produce picked right from their own garden. Chef Christopher Kulis was on hand to teach the kids how to make fresh pizzas from scratch, and Chef Dan Fiske showed them how to make a “Tomato and Cheese Explosion.

“You walk into the school and you see this garden… it’s like a heart in the middle of the school.” – Chef Dan Fiske