Entry Deadline March 9th for the Sam Choy Poke Contest

“Let’s bring on the competition!” challenges celebrity Chef Sam Choy. March 9 is the deadline to enter the first annual Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest on Sunday, March 18 at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa’s Convention Center.

Open to both amateurs and professional chefs, competition is in four poke categories: traditional, spicy, cooked and with soy sauce. Entry forms are at www.keauhouresort.com.

Doors open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. March 18 for culinary activities, Hawaiian entertainment, a Hawai‘i Island Marketplace and a presentation on sustainable aquaculture.

Poke critiquing begins 10 a.m. by a panel of judges including Carla Tracy, dining editor of the Maui News, and Fanny Au Hoy, retired Hulihe‘e Palace curator. Contest awards, followed by public tasting, are at 12:30 p.m. Event emcees are radio personalities Kimo Kahoano of Honolulu and Ke’ea Alapa‘i of KAPA.

Headlining the entertainment lineup is The ROOKI’s:  Don Kauli‘a on slack key, Russell Paio on guitar, Keola Grace on electric bass and Pomaika‘i Brown on a “frypan” steel guitar. The Hawaiian group’s name is an acronym for the Royal Order of Kamehameha I.

More culinary fun includes a Celebrity Poke Cook-off with surprise guests at 11:30 p.m. Don’t miss when celebrity chef Sam Choy shows “how it’s done” during the 1:30 p.m. demonstration, “How to Make Poke by Sam Choy.” A TV host, cookbook author and founder of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine, Choy put poke on the culinary map with his delicious recipes using cubed fish. Pronounced poh-KAY, poke is typically raw or cooked fish seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt, spices and sesame oil, and then accented with seaweed, nuts and other ingredients.

Event attendees can also browse for locally produced foods at the all-day Island Marketplace, which will feature produce and value-added products by local food purveyors and farmers. Guy Toyama, of Friends of the Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority, presents “NELHA: a Catalyst for Sustainable Seafood Production” at 10:30 a.m.

Public admission to all contest activities is $3 at the door (keiki 12-and-under are free) and proceeds benefit the future culinary facilities at Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui. Free shuttle will operate from Keauhou Shopping Center (pickup near Longs Drugs) to the contest from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is part of Keauhou Resort’s annual Kamehameha III celebration March 16-18 that commemorates the Keauhou-born king, Lani Kauikeaouli.

The contest is sponsored by Kamehameha Investment Corporation, Kamehameha Schools, the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort Spa, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Aloha Shoyu and Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company.

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