Huliau Food & Film Festival

A farm-to-table celebration of local agriculture featuring local chefs and student-produced films

Our Huliau Food & Film Festival is back!

After a two year pause, our annual benefit dinner is back on August 6th at Sugar Beach Event’s beautiful oceanfront venue in Kīhei. This year’s event will feature a multi-course farm-to-table meal, student films, live music and more! More event details will be added here in May. We look forward to celebrating with you all again!

Past year event photos above by Bryan Berkowitz

Our Chef Team

Our 2022 Huliau Food & Film Festival will feature a six course farm-to-table meal prepared by a team of talented chefs who have generously volunteered their services to raise funds for our programs. The list of chefs will be updated in May.

Chef Zach Sato

Chef Zach Sato


Read Zach's bio

Chef Zach Sato was born and raised on Maui and studied Culinary Arts in San Diego after high school. He worked as the Executive Chef for Merrimans Kapalua and Waimea for 6 years before opening up Havens in Kihei 2020 amidst a pandemic.
Chef Eric Morrissette

Chef Eric Morrissette

Executive Chef, Fleetwood's on Front St

Read Eric's bio

Chef Eric’s taste for culinary excellence stems from his upbringing in his parents bakery, which inspired him to further his education at the Lincoln Culinary Institute in Connecticut. Since then, he has worked alongside highly acclaimed chefs in establishments, including the Michelin-rated Eleven Madison Park, where the importance of ‘attention to detail’ became a lifestyle, and not just a job requirement. He credits his travel adventures for developing regional flavors and techniques, and has been utilizing his experience to develop and execute the award-winning cuisine at Fleetwood’s on Front St. since becoming the Executive Chef in 2012. “Sustainable Agriculture is my passion and I implement this practice in every dish that I create at Fleetwood’s. I believe in balanced, unprocessed whole foods. I believe in community involvement and take an active role in advocating for Sustainable Agriculture.”
Chef Maja Liotta

Chef Maja Liotta

Private Chef, Lilikoi Creations

Read Maja's Bio

Chef Maja Liotta is a self taught culinary professional, working in the trenches from an early age in her parent’s restaurant in coastal Maine. Hauling up lobster pots on her Dad’s lobster boat and foraging for mushrooms in the soggy Maine woods left a mark on Maja at an early age. Always at home in the forest and along the shores, she developed a keen eye for uncommon ingredients and honed a gift of creating meals with them.

Upon graduating from college in 1996, she ignored the nudge to pursue culinary. The Liotta ‘ohana made Maui home 7 years ago and their first home was on an organic farm in Keokea. It wasn’t long before Maja was offered the unique opportunity to work as a chef for a private concierge to discerning clientele and her business grew from there through word of mouth.

Maja’s passion is creating diverse and healthful meals for residents, friends, family and visitors to the islands. In 2017, she added her Culinary funshop, “Chiffonade and Sizzle” to her offerings as well as promotes clean eating and culinary instruction for local school aged children across the island for various organizations including Haiku School, Kihei Youth Center, The Blue Zones Project and Hawaii Tech Academy. She is also a regularly featured food writer and recipe contributor for Maui Family Magazine.

Chef Maja graciously embraces alternative diet requests, especially plant based/vegan and gluten free. When she isn’t cooking professionally, Maja enjoys Maui’s splendor and loves to surf and travel with her ‘ohana.

Chef Courtney Walter

Chef Courtney Walter

Sugar Beach Events

Read Courtney's bio

Courtney Walter has made Maui her home since childhood where she found her calling to cuisine at an early age. Throughout her career, Courtney has brought a special sophistication to each culinary task, bridging unique Pacific Rim flavors with international fare. Prior to joining Sugar Beach Events, Courtney held various culinary positions at well known local restaurants in order to prepare her for a lead chef position. She has a passion for food and thrives to create memorable cuisine.

Today, Chef Courtney spearheads the culinary mission at Sugar Beach Events, turning everyday ingredients into unforgettable bites.

Chef John Cadman

Chef John Cadman

Pono Pies

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Chef John Cadman is passionate about canoe plants, especially ʻulu (breadfruit) a main ingredient in his most locally-sourced Pono Pies, and its potential as a healthy and local food source for people throughout Polynesia. John is famous to many of our students from his days working as cafeteria manager in Haiku Elementary, King Kekaulike High School and Kamehameha Schools Maui.


Now as owner and operator of Pono Pies, John creates delicious sugar, gluten, dairy and GMO-free raw desserts out of as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. His pies are not only delicious but also represent his contribution to eating in a more pono (righteous) way that is both healthy and sustainable.

Chef Zach Laidlaw

Chef Zach Laidlaw

Hua Momona Farms

Read Zach's bio

Zach Laidlaw, an internationally accomplished culinary maven, was raised in the small town of Burlington, Illinois. He started in the industry as a dishwasher at the young age of 13. At age 16 he started cooking and quickly soon realized his passion and creativity would be endless in this profession. With a degree in both Culinary Arts & Hospitality Restaurant Management, Zach quickly stood out with his culinary talent taking him all around the world cooking and managing. From Chicago to South Beach Miami, followed by the British Virgin Islands, onto Australia and then here in Maui.

Maui is where he landed the Chef de Cuisine position at Fleetwood’s on Front St. for two years working next to Chef Eric Morrissette. He currently is the Executive Chef for Hua Momona Farms, West Maui. Chef Zach is known for developing unique flavors and his stunning presentation. He creates memorable dining experiences true to the farm to table movement. “It’s very fulfilling to create a modern dish with the vegetables you just grew/harvested yourself”. He loves to further educate himself with self-sustainability and creating exquisite desserts for fun. Food is Medicine.


Event entertainment this year will include live music, student films and a fun trivia competition that can be played from your seat! 

Live music by Joel Katz

Joel Katz is a Nā Hōkū Hanohano music award winner, and presents the beauty of the nostalgic sound of Hawaiian Lap Steel Guitar. Joel is also the father of Lily Katz, who was an early participants in the Huliau Filmmaking program.