Updates on events, specials, and packages.

25th Annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival
"Silver Salute"
Celebrating 25 years of fine wine & food


July 6-9, 2006

Master Sommeliers

Rob Bigelow, MS
Director of Wine/Master Sommelier

Bellagio Resort

Raised only an hour away from Napa Valley wine country, Rob Bigelow grew up with wine running through his veins yet it was a 1961 Chateau Margaux served at a party in his parent’s home when he was 10 that confirmed his interest. From that point forward, Bigelow has dedicated himself to the study of wine.

After studying hotel and restaurant management in college, Bigelow became a wine broker in northern California, a Sommelier in Berkeley and a Winemaker in San Francisco. Several Sommelier positions followed before Bigelow became the Wine and Spirits Director at Canlis Restaurant in Seattle, WA. Here, under Bigelow’s direction, the wine program received the coveted Wine Spectator Grand Award in 1997 and was voted “ Seattle’s Best Wine List” by Gourmet, Food & Wine, and Seattle Magazine.

Bigelow then came to Bellagio to work as Sommelier at Le Cirque, Circo and Aqua restaurants while preparing for his Master Sommelier examination.

As Wine Director at Bellagio, Bigelow is in charge of the hotel’s wine program, one of the largest and most successful in the world, and oversees 18 sommeliers, and wine sales and service in 32 restaurants, bars, lounges, catering, banquets and room service. In addition to daily operations, Bigelow also conducts wine education for the Bellagio service staff of more than 3,500.

Shayn Bjornholm, MS
Master Sommelier

Canlis Restaurant

Shayn joins this world-class event from Canlis Restaurant in Seattle, Washington, where he has served as Beverage Director since 2000.

Under his guidance, Canlis Restaurant has cemented its reputation as a world-class wine destination. 2005 proved to be a particularly successful year. The program earned its 9th consecutive Wine Spectator Grand Award, standing as one of 84 current holders. Santé Magazine named Canlis its National Wine Hospitality Restaurant of the Year. The wine team also produced one Master Sommelier and two Master Sommelier candidates.

In February of 2005, Shayn became just the 9th winner of the Krug Cup in the history of the Court of Master Sommeliers. In March of 2004, he was named one of the Six Most Trustworthy Sommeliers in the United States by Gentleman’s Quarterly. In April of 2006, Seattle Magazine named him Best Sommelier in Washington State, duplicating the same honor awarded to him by The Seattle Times in 2004.

John E. Blazon, MS
Manager, Wine Sales and Standards/Master Sommelier
Walt Disney World

John Blazon oversees the development of standards for wine programs including product selection, service and training at all Walt Disney World locations including theme parks, resorts and Disney Cruise Line, as well as new locations and properties in the company.

In 2003, Blazon’s efforts were applauded by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), which awarded its “America’s Best Wine Lists Special Innovation” honor to Walt Disney World Resort at the Monterey Wine Festival. In addition, Santé magazine named Blazon its 2003 “Wine Professional of the Year.”

Blazon continues to develop educational courses for Disney’s food and beverage team. For example, he has developed a class in the fundamentals of putting together a wine list, including how a wine label should be described, how wines should be paired with food, and what merchandising techniques are effective. He continues to oversee the Disney sommelier certificate program. More than 525 cast members have passed the introductory certificate level since the training began in 1997.

Frederick L. Dame, MS
President, Court of Master Sommeliers Worldwide
Master Sommelier, Directorof Prestige Accounts for Beam Wine Estates

Frederick L. Dame, Master Sommelier, brings an impressive blend of experience, expertise and enthusiasm to the world of wine and cuisine. He is the first American to have served as President of the Court of Master Sommeliers Worldwide and assists restaurateurs and hoteliers in developing their wine programs in his role as Director of Prestige Accounts for Beam Wine Estates. He is currently the President of the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation.

One of just 73 Americans to have passed the Master Sommelier Examination, Dame was the first to successfully pass all three parts in a single year. This feat and his high score won him the coveted Krug Cup of the British Guild of Sommeliers in 1984.

As Cellarmaster of The Sardine Factory in Monterey, California for 12 years, Dame created a wine list which won the Wine Spectator Grand Award.

He is also active in the culinary arts serving as an Honorary Trustee of The American Academy of Chefs, the honor society of The American Culinary Federation. He was awarded the Antonin Careme Medal and was made a Supreme Knight of the Knights of the Vine in 2000. He has been elected to the prestigious National Restaurant Association College of Diplomates for 2004.

Chuck Furuya, MS
Master Sommelier
Sansei and VINO Restaurants

Currently a consultant to D.K. Kodama on his Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bars and Kodama’s newest restaurant, Vino, Furuya has a long list of credits. He’s worked at Hawai‘i’s best fine dining rooms, created the pairings and wrote the wine introduction for “The New Cuisine of Hawai‘i,” and worked at special events with virtually every celebrity chef in America. He selects the wines for Hawaiian Airlines First Class service. He judges national and international wine events, trains restaurant staff and presents public tastings statewide.

The “glamour” notwithstanding, Furuya says it is educating others that reaps the greatest reward. “I love finding new wines. I love pairing wines with foods. Most of all, I love teaching.”

His enthusiasm and passion are positively contagious. Those who have the opportunity of working with him, dining with him, learning from him can count themselves lucky, indeed.

Larry Stone, MS
Master Sommelier
Rubicon Estate & Sirita

Larry Stone may be the most highly honored sommelier in America. He became the first American to win the title of International Best Sommelier in French Wines and Spirits in Paris and remains the only American to have earned the title of French Maitre Sommelier from the Union de la Sommelerie Francaise.

Larry has been the only two-time recipient of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine Service, once for Charlie Trotter's and once for Rubicon, and was Santé magazine's Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year 2000.

Master Sommelier Larry Stone was named Gerant--General Manager of Rubicon Estate in January 2006 after several years on the Board of Directors of the Coppola Companies. In 2004, Larry was elected to the Board of Directors of the Court of Master Sommeliers as well. In March of 2005, Larry became a Trustee of the James Beard Foundation and is working to revitalize it with the new board.

Roberto Viernes, MS
Master Sommelier
Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii

Roberto Viernes was born in the Philippines and moved to Hawaii at the tender age of 15 months. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in French Language at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, he began his career in the Hospitality industry as an aspiring Chef. While apprenticing in classical French Cuisine under French Chef Yves Menoret at Clicquo Restaurant, Roberto took the Basic Certificate Course for the Court of Master Sommeliers in 1997 that launched him into the wine business and a new career path where he found his true passion. He has gone on to gain intimate knowledge in all aspects of the wine industry, and he has worked in retail, restaurant and distributor settings working for R. Field Wine Co., Neiman Marcus, Mariposa Restaurant and is currently Director of Education for Southern Wine & Spirits of Hawaii. In 2001, Roberto was the winner of the inaugural Young Sommelier’s Competition held by the Chaine des Rotisseurs Organization in Hawaii. Roberto is one of the youngest Master Sommeliers in the world achieving this coveted title in 2005. He is also a regular contributor to The Honolulu Star Bulletin and a columnist for Midweek The Weekend weekly magazine.

Photo courtesy: Natalie Walker-Midweek Photo

Wine Consultant/Sommelier

Geoff Kruth
Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant
Wine Consultant/Sommelier

Geoff Kruth brings vitality, passion and extensive knowledge to his roll as Sommelier and Wine Director of Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant. Having worked at some of America’s finest dining establishments, Kruth is on a short list of up and coming young wine professionals.

Prior to joining Farmhouse Inn and Restaurant, Kruth was Sommelier at Balthazar Restaurant and Assistant Wine Director for the Balthazar group in Manhattan where he oversaw more than $10 million in yearly wine sales and was responsible for wine list development, floor service, and staff training.

In addition to his FCI diploma in Classic Culinary Arts, Kruth holds a certificate in Restaurant Management from the Cornell School of Hotel Management, and has been awarded the advanced certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Celebrity Chefs

Chef Julian Serrano
Executive Chef
Picasso Restaurant at Bellagio

Award-winning Chef Julian Serrano brings his memorable Mediterranean cooking to Bellagio as Executive Chef of Picasso. Serrano’s earned the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award twice as “Best Chef in the Southwest 2002” and “Best Chef of California 1998,” and is regarded as one of the finest culinary talents in the nation.

Although Spanish, Julian Serrano has an affinity for French cuisine. Chef Serrano completed most of his training in the gourmet rooms of France and once a year finds himself there in search of new inspirations, much like the master from which his newest restaurant takes its name, Pablo Picasso. The restaurant boasts a wine cellar stocked with more than 1400 bottles from the finest European vineyards. Picasso is a five-time recipient of the AAA Five Diamond award.

Chef Andrew Sutton
Executive Chef
Napa Rose

Andrew Sutton - Executive Chef at Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel® in Anaheim, California.

When you’re the executive chef at one of the country’s finest restaurants, culinary passion seems to come natural, but for Andrew Sutton, a more humble beginning spawned his love affair with fine cuisine and success.

Napa Rose has already been awarded "2002's Best New Restaurant" by Zagat Survey as well as Food & Wine Magazine's June 2002 "Best New Wine List" in the country. Much like Napa Rose, Chef Sutton has been presented with numerous awards, including the “2004 Chef of the Year” by the Southern California Restaurant Writers (SCRW).

Talent and success did not find Sutton only in the culinary field. In October 2001, Sutton passed an arduous two-day exam to successfully complete the Level I Sommelier Course, making him one of only a handful of chefs in the country who have demonstrated this level of wine knowledge.

Chef Ming Tsai
Executive Chef
Blue Ginger

Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Ming Tsai grew up spending countless hours cooking alongside his mother and father at their family-owned restaurant, Mandarin Kitchen. While pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University, Ming spent a summer at Le Cordon Bleu in France. After graduating, Ming continued to study in kitchens around the globe, training in Paris under renowned Pastry Chef Pierre Herme and in Osaka, Japan with Sushi Master Kobayashi. A graduate of Cornell University's Master's program in Hotel Administration and Hospitality Marketing, Ming has held positions in both front and back of the house at restaurants in Chicago, Atlanta, California and Santa Fe, always learning and absorbing varied styles of cuisine.

In February of 1998, opened Blue Ginger, a bistro-style restaurant dedicated to East-West cuisine, in Wellesley, MA. In its first year, Blue Ginger received 3 stars from the Boston Globe, was named “Best New Restaurant” by Boston Magazine, and was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as “Best New Restaurant 1998.”

Ming is currently the host and executive producer of Public Television’s Simply Ming, now in its third season. He began cooking for television audiences on the Food Network, where he was the 1998 Emmy-Award Winning Host of East Meets West with Ming Tsai and Ming’s Quest. In addition to television, Ming has authored three cookbooks: Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai, Simply Ming and Ming’s Master Recipes.


Simon Graves
Camatta Hills Vineyard & Penfolds

Simon Graves is a Regional Viticulturist and Winemaker at Camatta Hills Vineyard for Fosters Wine Estates, The Americas. He earned a degree in Enology at California State University, Fresno in 1999 and began managing Camatta Hills Vineyard in 2001.

At Camatta Hills Vineyard, Simon is responsible for growing 400 acres of premium wine grapes, including heritage selections of Syrah from Penfolds’ famous Magill and Kalimna vineyards in the Barossa. He directs all viticulture practices at Camatta Hills, and oversees daily winemaking decisions from harvest and fermentation to barrel ageing and bottling of the Magill and Kalimna wines grown at Camatta Hills. Simon was thrilled to enhance his winemaking experiences by participating in red and white winemaking activities during the 2006 vintage at Penfolds in Australia. Simon is currently President of the board of the Central Coast Winegrowers Association.

Michael Martini
Louis M. Martini

Mike Martini grew up in his father and grandfather’s vineyards, learning first-hand what it takes to make world-class wines.

A graduate of the world-renowned winemaking program at U.C. Davis, Mike worked alongside his father before taking over the reins as winemaker in 1977.

Mike studied artisan winemaking techniques in Bordeaux and Burgundy before settling in at home. Much of what he learned there went into the micro-winery he recently built a hundred yards from his office. “This is the greatest tool kit a winemaker ever had,” Mike says. “We’re going to have some great wines coming out of what we learn with these small lots.”

The focus in the micro-winery is Cabernet Sauvignon. “Everyone talks about massive Cabernets,” Mike says, “but the great thing about Cabernet is that its structure can show power and also elegance, grace, and finesse.

Marc Mondavi
Charles Krug Winery

Marc Mondavi is a third generation member of one of Napa Valley's legendary winemaking families and as co-proprietor with his brother Peter, Jr. he works closely with his father, Peter, Sr. on issues of strategic importance to the Peter Mondavi Family, including stewardship of all the winery's brands.

Marc Mondavi holds a position on the Board of Trustees of the Winery Workers’ Pension Plan Trust and is a member of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture. He continues his involvement in the Wine and Food Society of San Francisco and is also a member of Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs - L'Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs. Marc served as the logistics chairman for the Napa Valley Wine Auction in 1988 and 1989, on the boards of the Wine Institute and the California Wine Commission and is past president of the Winery Employers Association.

Stephanie Putnam
Far Niente

A San Francisco native, Stephanie Putnam joined the cellar team at Napa’s Hess Collection winery in 1991. She worked her way through the production department, serving as enologist and assistant winemaker before being appointed winemaker in 1997.

As winemaker, Putnam managed the Hess Collection and Hess Select labels, producing estate Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Syrah for the winery. She helped produce a wine that was named number three in the world by some of the industry’s leading critics. She also served as consultant to the winery’s South American partners, guiding them to craft wines suitable for the United States market.

In the spring of 2001, Putnam was appointed winemaker at Far Niente and placed in charge of making the winery’s estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. She manages all aspects of winemaking, including harvest, tasting and blending decisions.

Ed Sbragia
Beringer Vineyards

When Ed Sbragia was growing up, wine meant both livelihood and quality of life to his family. Ed's grandfather, an immigrant from Tuscany, had naturally gravitated to the wineries flourishing in California at the turn of the century. According to family lore, he was standing at the top of a ladder topping off a tank of wine when the 1906 earthquake hit. "Stop shaking the ladder," he yelled to his coworker on the ground.

Ed was named Beringer's chief winemaker in 1984 and has been, along with vineyard manager Bob Steinhauer, the keystone of Beringer's Private Reserve program. He is proud of the partnership that he and Bob have formed—"Bob always says he gives me diamonds, and it's up to me to polish them," says Ed.


Cyril Chappellet
Chappellet Winery

With nearly 10 years of business experience under his belt, Cyril returned to the family wines at Pritchard Hill, excited by the challenges Chappellet faced in an ever-changing industry. Cyril says his goal was "to continue what my father started: making extraordinary wines that express the unique growing conditions of Pritchard Hill."

Responsible for the winery's national sales and marketing, Cyril spends the bulk of his time traveling around the country visiting key accounts and hosting wine events. Avoiding the use of an official title, Cyril observes, with typical candor, that his responsibilities are not clearly defined. When he is on Pritchard Hill, Cyril can be found driving a forklift, barbequing for winery guests or repairing a piece of vineyard equipment. "Doing whatever it takes is the nature of a family business," says Cyril.

In addition to his work at the winery, Cyril serves on the Boards of the Wine Service Co-Op and the Napa Valley Vintners Association. He is an exceptional chef and enjoys casual entertaining at home.

Donn Reisen
Ridge Vineyards

Donn Reisen is a third-generation Californian and has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area all his life. One of his fondest childhood memories is taking early morning rain rides to San Francisco, being met by his grandfather Julius Salvotti, and taken to the restaurant built by Julius's father in 1906. Donn inherited their winemaking equipment in the early 1960's and made wine while completing his undergraduate and graduate studies in clinical psychology and family counseling. In 1977 he joined Ridge part-time while finishing his thesis and, after four years supporting the day-to-day operation of a small vineyard and winery, he took on the marketing and sales responsibilities.

He is a founding board member of ZAP and President of the Board for 2003/2004. Donn became President of Ridge in 2001 and continues to oversee Ridge distribution throughout the world. While appreciating the many traditionally made varietals produced by Ridge, Donn's first love continues to be Zinfandel.

Patrick Will
E. Guigal

After completing his Masters in Musicology at Cornell University in 1982, Patrick Will lectured and taught Music and English there until 1986, when he entered the wine trade full time after moving to Boston. In 1987 he was named “Grand Wizard of California Wine” by a trade group He moved to Santa Barbara County, California, in 1987 to manage the sales at Firestone Vineyard, and became General Manager thereof in 1989. He was responsible for increasing Firestone’s production and sales from 50,000 cases in 1987 to over 175,000 cases by 1996. He served as President of the Board of Santa Barbara County Vintners’ Association from 1991 through 1994.

He left Firestone in 1996, remaining for a time as winemaking consultant there, and joined Frederick Ek to form Ex Cellars Wine Agencies, Inc., as Vice President and co-owner. Ex Cellars incorporated in 1998, becoming a fully licensed importer and California wholesale company that year. Specializing in Rhône, Bordeaux, and Burgundy, Ex Cellars Wine Agencies now imports and sells over 250,000 cases of wine annually, with sales in 49 states. As of 2003, they are the leading importer of Rhône wines in the USA.


Guy Buffet
"Ho'okele" Award Recipient

Guy Buffet was born in Paris on January 13,1943. His parents were involved the restaurant business and enjoyed art. Guy learned that his neighborhood had once been the home of such famous artists as Picasso, Matisse and Chagall. “At home there was always conversation about these artists”, he says, “and I used to listen to the conversations while doing my homework at the kitchen table. I remember drawing on napkins and the linen tablecloths while my brothers were busy with kitchen preparation”.

Guy has traveled the world over painting not only Hawaiian themes. He has derived from his French heritage, the whimsical sommeliers, chefs and waiters in hilarious character, consistently capturing the spirit of the French and their love of fine food and wine. The Italian countryside, Amsterdam, China, Tahiti and other exotic locations have found their way onto the canvasses of Guy Buffet. Guy has an extremely active imagination and exposes his humor and wit in his work.

Guy has been represented by Lahaina Galleries for over 20 years and he can often be found signing books and posing for snapshots with his thousands of fans at one of the gallery locations in Hawaii, California or Oregon.

Guy currently lives and paints at his studio in Kapalua Resort, Maui, always with a little glint in his eyes….

For more information call toll-free 1-866-669-2440