Mai Tai Festival and Battle of the BBQ Winners Are…

The 9th Annual Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai Festival happened this past Saturday at the Royal Kona Resort.  Over 20 of the top bartenders from around Hawaii and the mainland participated for a chance at $17,500 in prize money.

The day began with a “Battle of the BBQ” at the courtyard of the Royal Kona Resort where 13 restaurants competed for the coveted “People’s Choice Award” and the “Judges Choice Award”.

Broke Da Mouth Grindz took home the “People’s Choice Award” with a BBQ Beef dish topped w/ shrimp:

The Kona Butcher Shop took home the “Judges Choice Award” with a smoked brisket dish:

After the Battle of the BBQ was finished folks mingled throughout the courtyard as there were lots of craft vendors selling local Big Island Made products.

Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker’s booth was one of the more popular shops.

People then moved on over to the Resort’s pool area where Henry Kapono performed in concert while folks enjoyed a casual pool party for a few hours.

Then at 4:30 the Mai Tai Festival began inside Don the Beachcombers where hundreds of folks gathered to watch some of the best bartenders compete in ten minute mix-offs with the judges getting to sample each of the Mai Tai’s after the mix-off.

The winners of the Mai Tai Festival were:

  1. Kevin Beary – 3 dots and a dash Chicago with the “Tricky Tricky Wiki Wiki”
  2. Justin Kipapa – Myna Bird – Honolulu
  3. Paul Schreuder – Bar Leather Apron Honolulu

Mai Tai Festival Director Jeff Isbister said, “These are 3 great bartenders all carrying the torch of the classic Tiki Cocktail into the mainstream. Both Justin and Kevin are returnees and both have finished in the top 3 in past events. We couldn’t ask for better representation than that. Paul is a first time competitor but he represents bar Leather apron which is owned by a two time winner and two time judge, Justin Park. These top tier mixologists are testament to how big the Mai Tai Fest has become. Kevin has come all the way from Chicago twice to compete. We’ve had competitors from all over the country and beyond.”

Television personality DJ Maleko helped emcee the event and Celebrity Chef Sam Choy was one of the Judges.

Bacardi USA was on hand and was giving folks a chance to win bottles of Bacardi by posting pictures of the event on Instagram and Twitter under the hashtag #BacardiUSA.

Isbister continued, “Another great event, we went into the planning for the 9th annual Mai Tai Festival with our sights firmly set on our tenth anniversary next year. Everyone’s focus was of course this year but we kept in the back of our minds the idea of what can we do bigger better and bolder for next year. I know Gary Hogan, Tom and Liz Bell and the staff here at the hotel promise the best event yet.”

Tomorrow – Battle of the BBQ’s and Mai Tai Festival at the Royal Kona Resort

Tomorrow, August 19th 2017, the Royal Kona Resort celebrates the legendary Mai Tai cocktail at the ninth annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival.

Watch as over 20 of the world’s top bartenders converge on the Big Island of Hawaii to mix it up in a battle for the title of World’s Best Mai Tai and a $10,000 cash prize.

Festival Highlights include:

  • Mai Tai Marketplace: Shop for crafts and island treats from local artisans and merchants from 11am-4pm
  • Battle of the BBQ: Taste and vote for Hawaii’s best barbecue from 11am-2pm
  • Pool Party: Listen to live music from local Hawaiian artists by the pool from 2:30pm-4pm

Mai Tai Mix-off: From 4:30pm – 7:30pm watch bartenders from around the world vie for the title of World’s Best Mai Tai and cash prizes. First place winner receives $10,000, second place winner receives $5,000, and third place winner receives $2,500.

For the past eight years, the Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival has drawn bartenders from around the globe to compete for the title of World’s Best Mai Tai and cash prizes. This annual festival is a full-day, fun-filled event with live entertainment, a pool party, arts and crafts displays, a BBQ Cook-Off Contest, food booths, and lots more. The main event is the exciting action-packed Mai Tai Mix-Off contest. Watch and cheer for the competing bartenders as they create their own potent and signature spin on the historic Mai Tai, an island favorite.

Past participants

The 2016 Festival crowned Art Deakins of Bar Leather Apron in Honolulu, HI the winner of the $10,000 first prize and title of “World’s Best Mai Tai”. Second place was Tim Rita of the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, NV. The third best mai tai recipe was created by Kevin Beary of Three Dots and a Dash in Chicago, IL.Also part of the Festival’s activities was the battle of the barbeques. The Judge’s Award for “Best BBQ” was taken by Cool Runnings Catering of Kailua-Kona, HI. The People’s Choice award winner was Umeke Restaurant also in Kailua-Kona, HI.

Some of the Restaurants Announced for the BBQ Cook-Off

Some of the restaurants that will be participating in the BBQ Cook-Off being held at the Royal Kona Resort on August 13th are the following:

Royal Kona’s Don The Beachcomber

Don the Beachcombers Stand at last years BBQ Cook-Off

Big Jakes Island BBQ

Roy’s Waikoloa

Roy's Waikoloa at last years BBQ Cook-Off

Romano’s Macaroni Grill

Huggo’s

Fishhopper

Outrigger Keauhou

Banji’s Paradise Par and Grill in Waikoloa

Other restaurants are still submitting and getting their applications approved.

Also on hand that afternoon will be Henry Kapono, the Mai-Tai Festival and The Spin Doctors under the moon!

 

The Worlds Best Mai Tai Fest, BBQ Cook-Off and The Spin Doctors Under the Stars

The Royal Kona Resort is having it’s 3rd Annual Mai Tai Festival, BBQ Cook-Off and Concert Under the Stars featuring The Spin Doctors on Saturday, August 13th, 2011.

Last year Third Eye Blind was the band that came from the mainland and I actually got on stage with them!

Here is a schedule of this years “mixer” with pictures from last years event.

Friday, August 12, 2011
5:00PM-6:00PM:VIP Reception and Meet & Greet the Spin Doctors (Invite Only)

8:30PM-11:30PM: Mai Tai Madness Kick-off Event. Don’s Mai Tai Bar will offer drink specials with music, dancing & Mai Tais. Join us for prizes, giveaways and more. Plus you never know who will show up at this special event.

Amy Day of Lahaina Bar and Grill

Amy Day of Lahaina Bar and Grill was a popular bartender last year

Saturday, August 13, 2011
11:00AM-2:00PM:
Battle of the BBQ and Mai Tai Marketplace at the Luau Grounds (Free Entry)
Come browse as local vendors and artisans from across Hawaii will display and sell their handcrafted items and delicious food.

Local restaurants/chefs compete for title of the World’s Best BBQ. Taster plates are available for purchase and you get to vote for People’s Choice.

BBQ Ribs

Voting open from 11:00am-1:30pm – with winner announced at 1:45pm.

Judges

All food & beverage purchases will be made by script. Script sales booths will be located throughout the property.

Script Sales

2:30PM-4:00PM:
Henry Kapono Poolside CD Release Party (Free Entry)
Henry and his band will take the stage poolside for one and a half hours of Live Music. Kick back or boogie down with a Mai Tai as we enjoy the island rhythms of this world renowned performer.

Henry Kapono

4:30PM-7:30PM:
Mai Tai Mix-off (Free Entry)
25 Bartenders from across the globe compete for the coveted title of World’s Best Mai Tai and the $10,000 cash prize.

Christian Self (right) from the 39 Hotel on Oahu holds his check and tiki trophy

Last years winner Christian Self (right) from the 39 Hotel on Oahu holds his check and tiki trophy

You will be amazed at the creative and inspired Mai Tais while you are entertained by Beachbum Berry. Beachbum is a certified Rum expert who will give us the low down on all things rum. Joey Gottesman, our esteemed emcee will keep you laughing and engaged for this 3-hour spectacular.

Mai Tai Contest

8:00PM:
Spin Doctors – Live and Under the Stars
Listen to the classic hits of the Spin Doctors as they play their first Hawaii concert on our Luau grounds stage. Tickets are on sale now and will sell out so be sure to book early. Cost is $55 per person. Seating is limited and intimate. Visit www.groovetickets.com to purchase.

And one week later on August 20th at the Royal Lahaina Resort on Maui… the Spin Doctors will also play.

[youtube=http://youtu.be/zzC5pPFyrXY]

Top 10 Adventures in 2010… Numbers 6 and 5

Continuing on with my top 10 adventures in 2010 today brings us to adventures 6 and 5.

Coming in at #6 was having the chance to get up on stage with Third Eye Blind after the Don the Beach Comber’s Mai Tai Festival and Battle of the BBQ Contest at the Royal Kona Resort.

Not only did I get to watch them rehearse during their sound check I actually went on stage for about five minutes and caught some great pictures from that perspective.

The concert was actually after the Mai Tai Festival where Oahu bartender Christian Self walked away with a $10,000 check for the best Mai Tai.

It was a great day in that earlier folks had the chance to stuff themselves at the BBQ cook-off!

I’d like to thank the folks at The Royal Kona Resort for hooking me up with the above weekend!

Coming in at #5 was getting the opportunity to go up in a helicopter with Televisions own Howard Dicus and his wife and a Hawaii News Now cameraman.

Me, Howard Dicus and wife Bernadette and the Hawaii News Now Camerman

This was an awesome trip provided by Paradise Helicopters and the Big Island Visitors Bureau where we got a 3 hour customized tour of the Big Island! We started off down the Hamakua coast and made it almost as far as Waimea.

Just one of many waterfalls and valleys we got to see.

We then headed south and when we got to the active lava flows, we flew with the doors off of the helicopter so we could totally feel the heat of the lava flows.

Pu`u `O`o Crater

This was the first time that I had ever flew on a helicopter so it was quite an experience for me.

Howard on the other hand seemed like an old pro about it and even wrote on his blog posting “Up, up and away  over the Big Island“:

Many people say they won’t ride a helicopter because it scares them, but I have got to tell you that I find helicopter tours smoother and they provide better viewing of Hawaii’s beautiful scenery.

Bernadette and I took our first helicopter tour with Blue Hawaiian on Maui last year, and Thursday we toured part of the Big Island with Cal Dorn, owner of Paradise Helicopters. With us was Damon Tucker, who writes one of my favorite Hawaii-based blog…

$10,000 Awarded to Oahu Bartender at 2nd Annual Don the Beachcomber’s Mai Tai Festival

Christian Self (right) from the 39 Hotel on Oahu holds his check and tiki trophy

The 2nd annual Don the Beachcombers Mai Tai Festival was Saturday evening and 27 bartenders from around the world came to compete for $10,000 in prize money.

Amy Day of Lahaina Bar and Grill was my personal favorite... LOL

Each bartender was brought to this event from other contests that were held throughout the year, so this was truly the best of the best.

The Crowd looks on intensely

The one thing about an event like this… is the competitors only make enough Mai Tai’s for the judges themselves.

Hawaii Musician Chris Gilliom was one of the lucky judges

I had a few people ask me if I could get them a drink… lol.

"Please..."

The event was co-hosted by BACARDI and the Royal Kona Resort and one thing that I learned later on in the evening… is that in order to have a great Mai Tai… you have to have a great rum.

BACARDI was the rum of choice for all of these bartenders.

With all good drinks… you gotta have food!

From Left to Right - Maki Sushi, Crab Salad Sliders and my personal favorite... Lobster Mac & Cheese

And the winning Mai Tai being made by Christian Self of the 39 Hotel in Honolulu.

Christian Self starts the drink off

"I wear my sunglasses at night"...

Almost finished... time ticking

Tomorrow – Mai Tai Fest, Third Eye Blind and 2nd Annual Battle of the BBQ

REMINDER:

The Second Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival “BATTLE OF THE BBQ” is now accepting applications IS TOMORROW!

The festival will be held on the grounds of the Royal Kona Resort on August 14, 2010. It’s all about Mai Tai’s, Don the Beachcomber, Tiki culture and island fun! There is no fee to participate and you will be given $100 to offset your costs. What you create with it is your ticket to winning the PEOPLE’s CHOICE award(s)

The Two GRAND PRIZES:

5-night stay for two at Royal Lahaina Resort in deluxe ocean view room, 2 tickets to the Royal Lahaina luau, food and beverage credit of $500 and 2 RT Air Travel from Kona to Kahului plus a round of golf for two at Kaanapali Golf course!

Please provide at least 300 taster pieces; we are shooting for 500 attendees.

You have free creative expression for your dish and booth; however, we might recommend promoting Big Island spirit and lighthearted fun – as this event is about the fun that Mai Tai’s create! Keep in mind our theme when styling out your booth – again, HAVE FUN with this one!

Event electricity is limited; please do not plan on using high current appliances. Please contact us immediately if your entry requires significant electricity use on-site.

Your food booth:

1. Two (2) tables with cloths will be provided – PLEASE DECORATE….remember Mai Tai’s, Tikis, hula girls, palm trees, island icons….

2. Please bring all serving utensils, napkins, plates, lights, extension cords etc. necessary for your booth.

3. Food safety regulations require that you bring 10X10 Tent and lights; Please advise if you do not have a tent and we will work to provide one for you. Please advise if you do not have a charcoal grill and one will be provided for you.

4. Royal Kona will provide your booth with hand sanitation per regulations

SET UP/BREAK DOWN:

1. Set up can begin anytime after 7am with doors opening at 10 am; your taster should be ready by 11am

2. You will be assigned a booth number prior to your arrival and booths will be marked accordingly

3. The booths will shut down at 2pm

CONTEST RUN-DOWN:

1. Guests will purchase ticket to enter event and be given 2 Ballots:

a. People’s Choice Best Tasting

b. People’s Choice – Best all around Presentation – food and Booth

2. It’s BATTLE OF THE BBQ…A Charcoal BBQ must be used for some element of your taster.

3. Royal Kona Resort is happy to be hosting and participating in the event this year and as the Winner of People’s Choice last year will not be eligible to accept votes.

Battle of the BBQ

Mai Tai Festival at the Royal Kona Resort Just One Week Away

2nd Annual Battle of the BBQ Now Accepting Applications

Media Release:

The Second Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival “BATTLE OF THE BBQ” is now accepting applications:

The festival will be held on the grounds of the Royal Kona Resort on August 14, 2010. It’s all about Mai Tai’s, Don the Beachcomber, Tiki culture and island fun! There is no fee to participate and you will be given $100 to offset your costs. What you create with it is your ticket to winning the PEOPLE’s CHOICE award(s)

The Two GRAND PRIZES:

5-night stay for two at Royal Lahaina Resort in deluxe ocean view room, 2 tickets to the Royal Lahaina luau, food and beverage credit of $500 and 2 RT Air Travel from Kona to Kahului plus a round of golf for two at Kaanapali Golf course!

Please provide at least 300 taster pieces; we are shooting for 500 attendees.

You have free creative expression for your dish and booth; however, we might recommend promoting Big Island spirit and lighthearted fun – as this event is about the fun that Mai Tai’s create! Keep in mind our theme when styling out your booth – again, HAVE FUN with this one!

Event electricity is limited; please do not plan on using high current appliances. Please contact us immediately if your entry requires significant electricity use on-site.

Your food booth:

1. Two (2) tables with cloths will be provided – PLEASE DECORATE….remember Mai Tai’s, Tikis, hula girls, palm trees, island icons….

2. Please bring all serving utensils, napkins, plates, lights, extension cords etc. necessary for your booth.

3. Food safety regulations require that you bring 10X10 Tent and lights; Please advise if you do not have a tent and we will work to provide one for you. Please advise if you do not have a charcoal grill and one will be provided for you.

4. Royal Kona will provide your booth with hand sanitation per regulations

SET UP/BREAK DOWN:

1. Set up can begin anytime after 7am with doors opening at 10 am; your taster should be ready by 11am

2. You will be assigned a booth number prior to your arrival and booths will be marked accordingly

3. The booths will shut down at 2pm

CONTEST RUN-DOWN:

1. Guests will purchase ticket to enter event and be given 2 Ballots:

a. People’s Choice Best Tasting

b. People’s Choice – Best all around Presentation – food and Booth

2. It’s BATTLE OF THE BBQ…A Charcoal BBQ must be used for some element of your taster.

3. Royal Kona Resort is happy to be hosting and participating in the event this year and as the Winner of People’s Choice last year will not be eligible to accept votes.

PLEASE FAX THIS FORM TO CHEF MIKE LAMB at 808-329-7230 by July 15, 2010 or call Jeff Isbister at 808-329-3111 for more information.

Battle of the BBQ

Third Eye Blind Coming to the Big Island for 2nd Annual Don the Beachcomber Mai Tai Festival

I’m stoked that Third Eye Blind will be playing at the Royal Kona Resort during the 2nd Annual Mai Tai Festival that is coming up in August!

Click for tickets

This song was stuck in my head for a few months!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lh5_Wdd80lE&hl=en_US&fs=1&]