The 2015 ‘Aipono Restaurant Awards drew over 450 attendees to recognize Maui’s best restaurants and benefit students of the Maui Culinary Academy. This year was the largest gala to date, transforming the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa’s Ocean Lawn into a Casbah for a unique celebration with a Mediterranean/North African-theme.
The 13th Annual ‘Aipono Restaurant Awards recognize Maui’s best restaurants in three-dozen categories as voted by Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi Magazine readers. More than 2,000 readers voted this year. The prestigious “Chef of the Year” title is decided by peer review, voted on exclusively by Maui chefs and industry insiders.
Since its launch in 2003, ticket sales have generated more than $200,000 for the Maui Culinary Academy, and scholarships for deserving students. In addition, academy students gain the invaluable experience of working with sponsor restaurant chefs on the day of the event as they help to prepare the evening’s dinner. More than 52 students worked alongside the chefs and banquet/stewarding teams.
Throughout the year, ‘Aipono raises additional funds for MCA with wine dinners held at ‘Aipono-winning restaurants.