Puna ‘Ulu Festival Attracts Over 1,000 People

The first Puna ‘Ulu Festival took place this past Saturday, March 3, 2012 at Ho‘oulu Lāhui, the site of  Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School at Pū‘āla‘a, adjacent to the ‘Āhalanui County Park warm ponds in Puna. Despite island-wide rain, the weather at Pū‘āla‘a was clear, and the event was attended by about 1,200 people.

Kua O Ka La students serve a sumptuous buffet lunch prepared by Team Pai‘ea of Kamehameha Schools and Kamehameha Schools Land Assets Division. (All photos by Craig Elevitch)

Over 800 people enjoyed a sumptuous buffet lunch donated and prepared by Team Pai‘ea of Kamehameha Schools and Kamehameha Schools Land Assets Division featured ‘Ulu Stew (Beef and Vegetarian), Warabi and ‘Ulu Salad and ‘Ulu Bread Rolls.

Micronesians United–Big Island and Mau Piailug Satawal ‘Ohana demonstrated traditional methods of preparing breadfruit from their native lands.

Fourteen people entered the cooking contest with a variety of unique recipes—from ‘Aina Lasagna to ’Ulu and Cod Fish Salad. Winners of the cooking contest are as Ulu Quiche; 3rd – Celeste Aleah, Pahoa – ‘Aina Lasagna

Desserts:1st – Raven Hannah & Jeremy Lutes, Pahoa – Pūnana Cookies; 2nd – Eno Gerard, Pana’ewa, Hilo – ‘Ulu Custard Pie; 3rd – Courtney Spalding-Mayer Nakada Farms, Kapoho – ‘Ulu Ice Cream.

Best of Show: Raven Hannah & Jeremy Lutes – Pūnana Cookies

Healthiest Choice: Ann Kobsa – ‘Ulu Puri’al

Winners took home prizes including Tahitian Style Quilts from Kao’o Designs in Waikoloa and an assortment of gifts from Abundant Life Natural Foods, Hawaiian Force, Café Pesto, Sig Zane and Hawaiian Images of Aloha giclée prints from Suzy Papanikolas.

Many people were seen walking around with breadfruit trees they purchased and children had their faces follows:

Appetizer: 1st – Genji Nakada, Hilo – Breadfruit Chips; 2nd – Honey Burns, Pahoa – ‘Ulu dip; 3rd – Pi’ilani Chavez, Hilo – ‘Ulu & Cod fish Salad.

Entrée: 1st – Ann Kobsa, Pahoa  – ‘Ulu Puri’al; 2nd – Kua O Ka La School, Pū‘āla‘a,  – ‘painted in fanciful ways.

The public enjoyed cultural activities throughout the day—including traditional ‘ulu poi pounding with ‘Anakala Isaiah Kealoha, making poi boards from ‘ulu wood with Keone Turalde and tapa pounding from ‘ulu bark with Ka‘uhane Ben Heloca.

Chef Casey Halpern from Café Pesto demonstrated the preparation of an ‘Ulu Fritter with ‘Ohelo Reduction Sauce and Shirley Kauhaihao, a Hawaiian cultural practitioner from Kona demonstrated how to make ‘Ulu Taro Salad.

Uncle Keikialoha Keikipi conducted a ceremonial ‘ulu tree planting which commemorated the 10-year anniversary of Kua O Ka Lā PCS.

Kauhi Maunakea-Forth pounds breadfruit poi using traditional methods.

The Puna ‘Ulu Festival was sponsored by Kamehameha Schools, Ho‘oulu Lāhui, Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School, Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network and the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. The Puna ‘Ulu Festival is a part of a larger statewide effort to revitalize breadfruit for food security called Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu. Lean more at:  www.breadfruit.info.

One Response

  1. A great event.
    The food was delicious and satisfying.
    The presentations were valuable for information on living on and with the land.
    The crowd was the rainbow of Hawaii Island.
    Puna at its best!

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