Friday night was the 16th Annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and this was the first time that I had been invited to this event.
I had no idea how huge this event was, until I walked into the Grand Ballroom earlier in the day and saw folks starting to set up for the event.
While folks lined up outside of the ballroom entrance near the grand staircase…
…At 5:00 they had a Pre-Taste for the VIP’s
…and a media blessing of the foods and chefs.
Wholesale buyers and media had a pre-taste opportunity to meet the people growing and producing Hawai‘i’s food.
Vendors represented a wide range of products….
Agricultural enterprise such as coffee, tea, honey, goat cheese, meat, produce, herbs and specialty items.
Also at the expo were representatives of various agriculture-related associations and projects.
At 6:00, Senator Hanohano, House Representative Mazie Hirono, Mayor Billy Kenoi opened the entrance…
While Dan Akaka Jr. blew the conch shell announcing the official opening of the Taste of the Range.
Hailing from Honolulu to Hilo and beyond to LA, nine new restaurants and their chefs participated joining together for a total of 35 culinary stations.
They offered lots of forage-fed meats prepared with fresh fruit and vegetables.
Meats on the menu included a variety of dry-aged, grass-fed beef cuts-everything from tongue to tail… and well in between… Mountain Oyster Pateles!
Of course there was a whole mixture of other types of meat such as lamb, mutton, goat, pork and a wild boar.
New restaurants participating in this years Big Isle’s dining scenei included. Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai of Keauhou-Kona, and Kohala Burger & Taco in Kawaihae.
The day before I got to eat at Eddie Aikau Restaurant & Museum in Waikoloa and they were also there at the taste the next day.
Red Water Café in Waimea was also a new restaurant participating this year and I really enjoyed their samples of the sandwiches they made.
The owner of Honolulu Burger Company on O’ahu was assigned grass-fed ground beef and he made Hamburger Lollipops.
Other O’ahu eating establishments making their debut include the Pagoda Restaurant in Honolulu and ‘Umeke Market in Kahala.
I really had a great time there and I thank the folks that sponsored me to be able to go there and fill my opu (stomach) up!
Mealani A Taste of the Hawaiian Range provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The premiere ag tourism event is a partnership between CTAHR,, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Research and Development, Big Island Resource Conservation & Development and KTA SuperStores.
Filed under: Agriculture, aloha, Big Island, Food & Drink, Hawaii, Hawaiian, Health, State Affairs Tagged: | Big Island Grass Fed Beef, Big Island Resource Conservation & Development, Hawaii County Research and Development, Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort, Jim Cain, Kulana Foods, Mealani Research Station, Pictures from the Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range, Where to Eat on the Big Island