Taro Inspired Benefit Luncheon in Waipio Valley

Kalo (taro) is Hawaii’s most elemental food for body and soul. Inspired by kalo, The Feeding Leaf events and catering company (TFL) will present a five-course benefit luncheon for the nonprofit Pōhāhā I ka Lani, on Sunday, July 26 at 12 p.m. at the secluded Waipi‘o Tea House.

Taro Picture

Waipi’o Valley Kalo. Photo by Anna Pacheco

Diners will take a culinary “huaka‘i,” a journey that begins with Moloka‘i venison, ‘uala (purple sweet potato) and pa‘akai (Hawaiian salt), and travels through Kona for Kamana‘o Farm pumpkin and Living Aquaponics lettuce. Mauka-to-makai entreés feature whole roasted pig and ‘ōpelu, followed by a trio of poni (purple) desserts: Punalu‘u Taro Sweet Bread Pudding with Kalo Vanilla Bean Sauce, ‘Uala Custard Flan Tart and Koele Pālau (sweet potato pudding).

Each course will be paired with a different type of kalo, selected by Pōhāhā I ka Lani founder Kūlia Kauhi Tolentino-Potter, to complement the specific foods being served. For example ‘ōpelu kalo will accompany the whole roasted ‘ōpelu entree to enhance both flavors.

“What makes this event so special is absolutely the Valley, Waipi‘o itself,” said TFL President Tracey Apoliona. “We are bringing the guests right there, right to the source. And we are making and serving the kinds of Hawaiian foods that have ancient roots, in modern, elegant preparations. That is how the menu is, and we as a business are, aligned with Pōhāhā—honoring the kalo, from those rich roots up to the green leaves that grow in abundance, reaching higher and higher.”

The Feeding Leaf partners Les and Tracey Apoliona, Paris DeCambra, Chef Scott Hiraishi.  Photo by Anna Pacheco

The Feeding Leaf partners Les and Tracey Apoliona, Paris DeCambra, Chef Scott Hiraishi. Photo by Anna Pacheco

Emceed by TFL’s new Director of Shared Services Paris DeCambra, lunch is accompanied by the Hawaiian music of Aliʻi Keanaʻaina, in the scenic setting of Waipiʻo Tea House, overlooking Hi‘ilawe falls. And, an exclusive silent auction will supplement fundraising efforts for future educational programs promoting stewardship, leadership and guidance.

Founded in 2009, Pōhāhā I ka Lani is a hands-on, place-based educational resource, dedicated to restoring and preserving indigenous Hawaiian culture. Numerous schools, clubs and community groups participate in their Kāhuli program, focused on traditional kalo farming and centuries-old food culture in the Napo‘opo‘o area of Waipi‘o Valley. http://www.pohahaikalani.com/

A limited number of tickets are available at $100 for this one-of-a-kind, alcohol-free food experience in Waipi‘o Valley. Price includes five course plated lunch, fresh brewed Māmaki and Ko‘oko‘olau teas, and shuttle transportation from Waipi‘o Shuttle Tour Company. To purchase tickets, please call 325-3803, or visit waipioteahouse.brownpapertickets.com.

The Feeding Leaf catering and event company specializes in Hawai‘i-raised food for quality private parties, wine events, weddings, birthdays and other happy occasions. For more information, contact Les Apoliona, (808) 325-3803, thefeedingleaf@gmail.com, visit www.thefeedingleaf.com, or Facebook.com/thefeedingleaf.

Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset Honors Three with “Service to Community Award”

The Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset honored three members of the community with their “Service to Community Award.” In addition to the awards, the recipients were presented certificates from Rep. Joy San Buenaventura (Puna) and the Hawaii House of Representatives for their hard work and dedication.

The awardees are:

  • Catherine Ford, who wakes up at 4:30 am to look for the Pahoa homeless and find out what their needs are. Catherine visits those who are hospitalized and for those that don’t have transportation, she drives them to acquire their checks, food and medication.  She has become an advocate for those who normally have none.
Lyndon Johnson was honored.

Lyndon Honda was honored.

  •  Chef Lyndon Honda, whose passion for cuisine, food culture and compassion for others inspired him to organize various food events to benefit victims of Hurricane Iselle and the June 27 lava flow.  Chef Lyndon rallied various chefs from Maui and the Big Island to donate their skill, time and money so that 100% of the monies raised went to Puna Farmers and those affected by Iselle and the lava flow.  This unheard of percentage going to victims shows Chef Honda’s ability to organize and rally those whose compassion are like his on short notice.
  • Kalani Honua, which organization spent approximately eighty-nine thousand dollars of their own money to provide food, ice, and water to the people of Puna who were affected by Hurricane Iselle and who were without power and refrigeration.  Kalani Honua showcases lower Puna to the rest of the world as a sustainable healthy agricultural Hawaiian community and has been featured multiple times in Yoga Journal and is a vital and important contributor to the community of the lower Puna region.

The Rotary Club of Pahoa Sunset, chartered on April 1, 2009, meets Tuesday nights at 6:30 p.m. at The Historic Akebono Theatre in Pahoa, Puna Hawaii.

At an earlier town hall meeting, Representative San Buenaventura also honored Rene Siracusa, who has dedicated a life of volunteer service to Puna and its residents.

Ms. Siracusa is involved in a number of community organizations including the Puna Outdoor Circle, Big Island Rainforest Action Group, Puna Friends of the Parks, Puna Malama Pono, and Malama O Puna, which have all made positive environmental impacts to Puna.  Ms. Siracusa helped with the grant writing to secure funding for the Puna Community Medical Center’s Urgent Care Clinic and currently sits as the Chair of the Board of Directors.

Her participation as part of the Coqui Frog Working Group initially controlled the coqui frog at Lava Tree State Park in Nanawale and continues to educate the residents of Puna on the importance of bringing the invasive species under control.  She has served on various boards and committees such as the “Ka’ohe Homesteads Community & Farm Watch”, Hawai’i County Planning Commission, Healing Our Island Grant Review Committee, and was Chair of the Hawai‘i County Redistricting Commission (2011).