Ko'olina Taste at Kapolei - Sept. 10, 2011

KAPOLEI (HawaiiNewsNow) - With the Ko Olina Taste at Kapolei now just weeks away, planning for the popular culinary event is taking shape.

The fundraising event – now in its 12th year – has secured more than 20 restaurants with chefs who are ready to dish up as much cooking wisdom as West Oahu food lovers can digest.

The event is scheduled for 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10, when Ruth's Chris Steak House and Romano's Macaroni Grill are expected to help generate buzz among the 19 tasting tents planned for the general seating area of the one-day extravaganza.

Chef Rob Denis is looking to add pop to the preferred seating area, where 300 guests will be able to sample the culinary creations behind his new business ties to Kuloko Kine LLC and Blazin Steaks Atkinson. A Marguerita bar from the restaurant Just Tacos will be another attraction for the event's preferred-seating guests.

Among the other restaurants are: Gordon Biersch; Formaggio's Wine Bar & Grill; Longboards at Ko Olina; Big City Diner; Soul (Sean Priester); Tanioka's Seafood & Catering; Auntie Pasto's; Thai Kitchen; Hapa Grill; Hana Sushi; Da Pokeman Fish Market; Da Spot; A Cup of Tea; Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville; Just Tacos Mexican Grill & Cantina; and Roy's at Ko Olina.

Live musical entertainment will be provided by the band, A Touch of Gold and Hawaiian vocalist Mailani Makainai. Also, Hawaiian-style entertainer Lopaka Brown will perform in the "tiki-themed" VIP tent. The night will conclude with a six-minute fireworks show that ends at 9 p.m.

Proceeds go to college scholarships for high-achieving students from West Oahu.  Since its inception in 2000, the event has raised more than $1 million to fund scholarships.

Tickets are $100 in advance. For more information, visit www.koolinatasteatkapolei.org or call Hawaii's Best Tickets at (808) 545-2772.

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