Categorized | Volunteering

Malaai School Garden ‘Art & Sol’ benefit auction (April 13)


When America’s culinary superstars from national television and the James Beard Foundation come to Waimea Middle School’s Malaai garden to teach cooking fundamentals to excite students about culinary careers, you can bet what students remember most is how delicious the class was.

One of the most memorable tastings during the recent visit to Malaai by James Beard’s celebrity chefs was provided by nationally famous mixologist Manny Hinojosa, who put students to work creating a “mocktail” – a non-alcoholic drink made from scratch with fresh ingredients, mostly from their school garden.

He then taught students how to serve their creative blend of fruits and herbs in beautiful stemmed glassware edged with sugar crystals.

Suffice it to say, the student “mocktails” were visually stunning and mouth watering, yet healthy, leaving students wanting more.

It’s not surprising that Manny’s famous for his exotically delicious from-scratch beverages and he has now agreed to share this tasting experience during a real cocktail party for the winning bidder and 15 guests at Malaai school garden’s 7th Annual Art & Sol benefit auction 12:30-3 p.m. Sunday, April 13 at Waimea’s Merriman’s Restaurant.

Manny is donating his time and Malaai will gather the ingredients for what will be a rare opportunity to have a celebrity mixologist crafting drinks for your own private party.

There are many other rare pleasures being offered during Malaai’s Art & Sol benefit including:

* Kapa by Waimea master Roen Hufford

* An exquisite Koa Rocking Chair by master furniture builder-wood worker Stan Gollaher of Raiatea Woodworks in Paauilo

* An 8’x3.5’ giclee of an extraordinary sunrise photograph capturing a sun-drenched puu atop Mauna Kea casting its “shadow” on the distant horizon as captured by Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope astronomers

* A Private Sunset Sail on a 55’ Ketch

* Gourmet Locavore Feasts by Private Chefs with Wine Pairings

* Farmer Charles Oldfather and three handsome savvy gardener friends building a raised garden bed for your home

* Fresh Fruit or Vegetable Baskets, certificates for restaurants, facials, massages

All proceeds go toward supporting healthy choices and making life-long learners out of our keiki and community.

Art & Sol tickets are $50 per person and may be purchased via PayPal at

For more information, contact Alethea Lai, (808-989-7861).

Malaai:The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School is Hawaii Island’s model school garden, which was first planted nine years ago as an outdoor living classroom to grow real change for Waimea’s children and community.

From the beginning, Malaai has been funded almost entirely by generous community friends and foundations as a private not-for-profit partnership with Waimea Middle School.

Malaai’s program integrates nutrition education and cultural and environmental stewardship with core curriculum and hands-on learning.

All auction items have been donated by a Hawaii Island artists or patrons to support Malaai.

Art & Sol will include delicious Merriman’s garden and farm fresh pupu paired with wine or a signature garden cocktail.

Auctioneer for the event will be Pat Batchelder of Waimea.

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