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Taste of the Hawaiian Range Set for Sept. 9

It’s where you can sample the rich flavor of numerous cuts of pasture-raised meat and talk story with the people who are producing our food.

Taste Shank

The 21st Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is Friday, Sept. 9 at Hilton Waikoloa Village. Attendees will enjoy delectable dishes using pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb, goat, mutton and wild boar—plus a cornucopia of fresh island fruit, veggies, honey, spices and beverages.

Time is 6-8 p.m. and the annual agricultural showcase will again sprawl both inside and outside at Hilton Waikoloa Village’s conference center. Culinary adventure seekers can taste and enjoy cuts of pasture-raised beef—everything from tongue to tail—expertly prepared by Hawai‘i chefs.  Enjoy familiar cuts like chuck and ground beef, plus the infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles.

Local food producers will offer samples and displays at friendly booths. While “grazing,” attendees can enjoy exhibits presenting topics related to local agriculture and food sustainability, including the University of Hawai’i at Manoa’s Mealani Research Station—where Taste began!

O‘ahu chefs Kevin Hanney and Jason “J” Schoonover are teaming up to instruct the 2016 edition of Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 at 3 p.m. Chef Hanney is the chef/owner of 12th Ave Grill and Kokohead Café. Chef Schoonover is the executive chef of 12th Ave Grill, the 2015 Hale Aina Award-winning Best Restaurant of the Year. Both chefs regularly include pasture-raised beef on their menus.

Pre-sale tickets for Taste are $45 and $60 at the door. Entry to Cooking 101 with sampling is $10 while a 1 p.m. class geared for culinary students and food service professionals is free.

Tickets go on sale online June 1 at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.  Purchase them at island-wide locations starting July 1: Kuhio Grille in Hilo, Kamuela Liquors and Parker Ranch Store in Waimea, Kona Wine Market in Kailua-Kona and Kohala Essence Shop at Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI.

For general event information, phone (808) 322-4892.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should contact Gina at 808-322-4892 no later than August 9, 2016.

Hawai‘i residents eager to savor the flavors of the Taste can take advantage of Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package with rates starting at $239 + tax per room on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. This Kama‘aina Special also includes two tickets to the Taste of the Hawaiian Range. Guests must show valid Hawai‘i state ID at checkin and must have Hawai‘i address in reservation. Pre- and post-event hotel room prices start at $149 plus tax per room, per night, based on availability. To book an overnight stay at Hilton Waikoloa Village under an exclusive Taste of the Hawaiian Range room package (code TSH), visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/kamaaina, or https://secure3.hilton.com/en_US/hi/reservation/book.htm?hotel=KOAHWHH&spec_plan=TSH&arrivaldate=20151009 or call 1-800-HILTONS.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, plus 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, Hawaii Beef Producers, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes Hawaii County Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program, Kamehameha Schools, KTA SuperStores, West Hawaii Today and Pacific Radio Group. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

North Hawaii Community Hospital Scholarship Opportunities

North Hawaii Community Hospital has several scholarship opportunities available for students in the field of nursing.

North Hawaii Community HospitalThe Peggy Dineen-Orsini Scholarship offers a $2,000 award to a resident of Hawaii County who is enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in a National League of Nursing accredited program in Hawai‘i or on the mainland. Private donors along with the Medical Staff at North Hawaii Community Hospital fund this scholarship in memory of Peggy Dineen-Orsini, who was a Registered Nurse at North Hawaii Community Hospital from 1996 to 2004, remembered for her compassion for her patients, colleagues and friends.

The second scholarship is funded by the North Hawaii Community Hospital Medical Staff and offers two $1,000 scholarships to residents of Hawaii County who are enrolled in or accepted for enrollment in a National League of Nursing accredited program in Hawai‘i or on the mainland.

Applications are available online by visiting www.nhch.com (see Community/Education Scholarships). Completed applications and required documents must be received or postmarked by May 6, 2016. Please mail completed applications and required documents to North Hawaii Community Hospital, Attention: Development Department, 67-1125 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kamuela, HI 96743.

For more information, contact the Development Department at North Hawaii Community Hospital at 881-4420.

“Day of Mindfulness” at Kohala Hongwanji

Mindfulness, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” In Buddhist practice, mindfulness is also a type of meditation, focused on the breath. It can be done in the familiar posture—seated, cross-legged, eyes closed—or while walking, working or eating.

A special opportunity to learn more about mindfulness will be presented on Saturday, April 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kohala Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in Kapaau. The Day of Mindfulness will be led by monastics from Plum Village, a secluded Buddhist monastery in France. Established by global spiritual leader and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, Plum Village is home to the monastic Order of Interbeing.

Phap Nguyen

Phap Nguyen

Two members of the Order, Phap Nguyen and Phap Khoi, visiting Hawaii Island on family leave, will offer the local community a chance to experience mindfulness, including guided sitting and walking meditations, mindful (silent) eating, Dharma discussion, and a time for questions and answers.

Phap Khoi

Phap Khoi

“Phap Nguyen is Thich Nhat Hanh’s personal assistant,” said Michael Donenfeld, a member of the Order who lives in Hilo. “He will be able to answer a lot of questions about his health, his calligraphy, his 100+ books. And Phap Khoi is acting Abbott of Blue Cliff Monastery in New York.”

Donenfeld and other organizers emphasize that the opportunity to learn with the monastics is open to everyone, regardless of faith or meditation experience. “With this type of meditation you can learn to quiet the mind, to find inner peace and harmony, and live a happier life,” said Donenfeld. “A lot of transformation can occur, as far as releasing stress, living in the moment… When you are not worried about the future, or ruminating about the past.”

Participants are asked to bring their own lunch, and invited to join the monastics in their vegan diet for that meal, i.e. no meat or dairy products. Water will be provided. There is no charge to attend, and donations are requested. The Day of Mindfulness is a collaborative project of Kohala Hongwanji and the Peace Committee of Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple.

RSVP to misterokumura@yahoo.com , or call / text  808-640-4602.

Friends of NELHA Debuts New Tours

The non-profit Friends of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (FON) offers a new lineup of tours open to the public that can be conveniently booked online.

View the world’s largest operational Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) power plant and find out how it works.

NEHLA MakaiDiscover how many aquaculture operations are utilizing deep, cold, nutrient-rich water and warm, surface water to farm our food at the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park (HOST)—and taste samples.

Learn about what HOST facilities are working to protect and restore our unique ocean inhabitants and why it’s important.

Morning tours are Mondays through Fridays. All tours start at the LEED-certified Gateway Visitor Center. The schedule includes:

FON Ocean Matters Tour: Offering an introduction to cutting edge green energy, aquaculture, desalination and research efforts underway at HOST the activity is 10-11:15 am Monday with options to also visit the OTEC tower at Keahole Point, Big Island Abalone and the Kanaloa Octopus Farm.

NEHLA Octopus

FON Ocean Conservation Tour: Fun starts with an overview presentation and continues with a visit to Ke Kai Ola, the monk seal rehabilitation center. Learn about the efforts to revive Hawai‘i’s declining seal population. Next stop is at the world’s first octopus farm to get up-close-and-personal with cephalopods before seeing the nearby OTEC Tower. Time is 10 a.m.-12:30p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

NEHLA Tour

FON Sustainable Aquaculture Tour: Attendees hear about the challenges and successes of producing sustainable food in the ocean during a tour at Kampachi Farms. Next, see how Big Island Abalone produces feed, brood stock and market product before enjoying a delicious, grilled sample of the company’s premium ezo abalone. Stop at the OTEC Tower and overview presentation. Time is 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays.

Book tours and find more details at www.friendsofnelha.org or phone 808-329-8073.

Friends of NELHA (FON) is a nonprofit, conservation education organization offering public tours with a focus on renewable energy, sustainability, sustainable aquaculture and the uniqueness of the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology Park at Keahole Point . Presentations begin 10 a.m. weekdays at the Gateway Visitor Center, a mesmerizing location where visitors are inspired by the technologies being developed on the Big Island. Tours are offered Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). www.friendsofnelha.org.

ChefConnect: Hawaii – American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) Central and Western Region Awards

Chefs, students and food service professionals from the American Culinary Federation’s (ACF) Central and Western regions gathered for professional development and culinary trend seminars at ChefConnect: Hawaii. The conference took place at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Waikoloa Beach, Hawaii, April 3-5.

Chef Connect HawaiiConference topics included honey varietals and beekeeping, Hawaiian poke, food pairings, beef trends and the processes behind growing vanilla. Attendees enjoyed hands-on workshops, culinary demonstrations and networking opportunities.

Presenters included Alan Wong, HHOF, renowned master of Hawaii Regional Cuisine and owner, Honolulu-based Alan Wong’s Restaurants; chef Lee Anne Wong, owner, Koko Head Café, Honolulu;and Bryan Fujikawa, owner/chef, Sun Dried Specialties, Kealakekua, Hawaii. For a full list of presenters, visit www.acfchefs.org/EventSeries.

Regional awards were presented to Central and Western region chefs and students during the conference. The following ACF award winners have the opportunity to earn their respective national titles at Cook. Craft. Create., Phoenix, July 15-19.

ACF Central Region Chef Educator of the Year – Christopher Misiak, CEC, CCE, program coordinator/instructor, Schoolcraft College, Livonia, Michigan; ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association

ACF Western Region Chef Educator of the Year – Cheryl Lewis, CCC, CCE, chef instructor, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas, Las Vegas; ACF Chefs Las Vegas

ACF Central Region Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award – Thomas Elkin, CEC, AAC, culinary instructor, St. Louis Community College, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc

ACF Western Region Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award – Bobby Moghaddam, CEC, CCE, AAC, director, hospitality and culinary arts, Riverside City College Culinary Academy, Riverside, California; ACF Southern CA Inland Empire Chefs & Cooks Association

ACF Central Region Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award, sponsored by Minor’s® – Kenneth Thompson, CEC, CCA, chef/instructor, Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Illinois; ACF Louis Joliet Chapter

ACF Western Region Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism Award, sponsored by Minor’s® – Anthony Danna, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Astor House at Springbrook Oaks, Newberg, Oregon; ACF Pro Chefs Oregon

ACF Central Region Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, sponsored by American Technical Publishers and Vitamix – Students representing Kendall College, Chicago

ACF Western Region Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl, sponsored by American Technical Publishers and Vitamix – Students representing Utah Valley University Culinary Arts Institute, Orem, Utah

ACF Central Region Chef of the Year, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions – Patrick Mitchell, CEC, AAC, executive chef/culinary adviser, Ben E. Keith Foods, Fort Worth, Texas; Texas Chefs Association

ACF Western Region Chef of the Year, sponsored by Unilever Food Solutions – Lenard Rubin, CEC, executive chef, The Country Club at DC Ranch, Scottsdale, Arizona; ACF Chef’s Association of Arizona, Inc.

ACF Central Region Pastry Chef of the Year, sponsored by Plugrá® European-Style Butter – Jan Lewandowski, CEPC, lead baking instructor, Pulaski Technical College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institute, Little Rock, Arkansas; ACF Central Arkansas Cooks Association

ACF Western Region Pastry Chef of the Year, sponsored by Plugrá® European-Style Butter – Andrew Corrao, CCC, CEPC, banquet/pastry chef, Bambara Restaurant, Salt Lake City; ACF Beehive Chefs Chapter Inc.

ACF Central Region Student Chef of the Year, sponsored by Custom Culinary® – Shayne McCrady, sauté cook/line cook, The Gatesworth at One McKnight Place, St. Louis; Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc

ACF Western Region Student Chef of the Year, sponsored by Custom Culinary® – Michelle Stephenson, student, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah; ACF Beehive Chefs Chapter Inc.

ACF Central Region Student Team Regional Championship, sponsored by Vitamix – Students representing ACF Greater Kansas City Chefs Association that attend Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas

ACF Western Region Student Team Regional Championship, sponsored by Vitamix – Students representing ACF Bay Area Chefs Association of Oregon that attend Oregon Coast Culinary Institute, Coos Bay, Oregon

ChefConnect: Hawaii award recipients in ACF’s Central and Western regions listed below were recognized for their outstanding contributions to ACF, goodwill in their communities and/or culinary excellence.

ACF Central Region Chapter of the Year – ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association; Bolingbrook, Illinois

ACF Western Region Chapter of the Year – ACF Pro Chefs Oregon; McMinnville, Oregon

ACF Central Region Chapter Achievement Awards –

  • ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana; Schererville, Indiana
  • ACF Michigan Chefs de Cuisine Association; Bolingbrook, Illinois
  • Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis Inc; St. Louis

ACF Western Region Chapter Achievement Awards:

  • ACF Pro Chefs Oregon; McMinnville, Oregon
  • ACF World of Thanks
  • ACF Kona-Kohala Chefs Association; Kailua Kona, Hawaii
  • ACF Central Region Cutting Edge Awards, sponsored by Friedr. Dick Corp.
  • Michael Vlasich, CEC, AAC, executive chef, Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, Indianapolis; ACF Greater Indianapolis Chapter
  • Jack Mix, owner/chef, Comfort’s Catering, St. John, Indiana; ACF Chefs of Northwest Indiana

ACF Central Region Achievement of Excellence Awards:

  • Alpine Inn; Hill City, South Dakota
  • Redstone American Grill; Minnetonka, Minnesota

More than 350 chefs, students and foodservice professionals attended ChefConnect: Hawaii. The conference was part of ACF’s Signature Series, which provides educational and networking opportunities for culinary industry professionals and students. Learn more about the conference atwww.acfchefs.org/EventSeries, on Twitter @ACFChefs, #ChefConnect or on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ACFChefs.

Sponsors of ChefConnect: Hawaii were: Custom Culinary®; Minor’s®; Unilever Food Solutions; NEWCHEF Fashion Inc; Plugrá® European-Style Butter; Vitamix; Ecolab; Allen Brothers; Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board; American Technical Publishers; Don Miller & Associates, Inc. (DM&A); Par-Way Tryson Company; The Beef Checkoff; Jones Dairy Farm; and Valrhona.

About the American Culinary Federation

The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF), established in 1929, is the standard of excellence for chefs in North America. With more than 17,500 members spanning nearly 200 chapters nationwide, ACF is the leading culinary association offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and programmatic accreditation. In addition, ACF operates the most comprehensive certification program for chefs in the United States, with the Certified Executive Chef®, Certified Sous Chef®, Certified Executive Pastry Chef® and Certified Culinary Educator® designations accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. ACF is home to ACF Culinary Team USA, the official representative for the United States in major international culinary competitions, and to the Chef & Child Foundation, founded in 1989 to promote proper nutrition in children and to combat childhood obesity. For more information, visit www.acfchefs.org. Find ACF on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ACFChefs and on Twitter @ACFChefs.

Big Island Film Festival Announces 2016 Official Selections

Now in its eleventh year, Big Island Film Festival (BIFF) has announced its 58 Official Selections, to be screened May 26-30, 2016. BIFF, the “talk story” film festival is a celebration of narrative filmmaking in the luxury resort setting of the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii and The Shops at Mauna Lani.

Photo by Kirk Aeder

Photo by Kirk Aeder

The new, independent shorts and feature-length films are widely diverse, with something for every movie fan genre from sci fi to all kinds of romance, belly-laugh comedy, zombie suspense, martial arts action, captivating mysteries, family stories, and a short, “Cosmopenguin,” by a 7-year old Austrian filmmaker.

Michael Gross

Michael Gross

Michael Gross, best known as Steven Keaton, Michael J. Fox’s TV dad in “Family Ties,” stars in the new feature “Last Call at Murray’s,” showing Sunday night. Gross will attend in person, following a salute and reception in his honor. Bellamy Young, who plays ambitious First Lady on “Scandal,” will also be honored at BIFF, with a salute and reception on Saturday. Tickets for both events are available online.

Bellamy Young

Bellamy Young

Of note are feature films to be screened at the Fairmont Orchid’s Plantation Estate, where no-host bar and snacks make movie-watching even more fun, and beach chairs are welcome. On Saturday, “Winter’s Dream,” a futuristic sci fi drama pairs with “Plan Z,” a gripping trip through the zombie apocalypse, with soundtrack by artists like Rhianna, the Black Eyed Peas and more. Friday’s lineup includes a hilarious defense of family leave, “The Bad Mother,” and a multi-level love story filmed on our island, “Throuple.” On Sunday, “The Closer” is an intense drama about super high stakes real estate during the boom and bust of Brooklyn’s subprime meltdown.

A scene from "Throuple"

A scene from “Throuple”

“I am so impressed with the quality of films this year,” said Executive Director Leo Sears. “Picking the Official Selections was very difficult. The features are excellent, and the shorts are so good that we added an extra film block so we could show six more. Many of the daytime movies are good enough to be shown in the prime Festival Venue, but we only have so much space. This is a great selection that any movie-lover will enjoy and we hope everybody will come and support indie films with us.”

The Official Selections for BIFF 2016 are:

A Mighty Nice Man
As You Like It
Bernie and Rebecca
Between The Miles
Beyond Shattered Lenses
Blue borsalino
Boomerang
Breathe
Catfish Blues
Cosmopenguin
Cuddle Party
Danny Boy
Diablo (Devil)
Dream Land
Ellis
Fade
Frankie – Italian roulette
God Is A Dog
Green Lake
Hook Man
Indigo
Instance
Jack’s Apocalypse
Jagon
Last Call At Murray’s
Market St.
Monty and the Runaway Furnace
New Generation
OUT OF THE VILLAGE
Plan Z
Popolo
Prick
Psychoanalysis
Rated
Regression
Reservations For Three?
Ribbons
Romantic Rouse
Speaking of Fairies
Spunkle
Stoked Steves
Superior The Movie
The Bad Mother
The Bench
The Boy
The Closer Movie
The End aka John Doe
The End of Blessings
Kidnapping of a Fish
The Light Thief
The Schoolboy
The Surrender Call
THROUPLE The Movie
Water Girl
West of Her
White Lies, Blue Dream
Wifey Redux – A Short Film Based on the Story by Kevin Barry
Winter’s Dream

The five-day schedule includes free Opening Night and family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and screenings under the stars at Plantation Estate, special events, screenwriting workshops, Awards Brunch and more.

A limited number of ballots will be given to audience members during each screening. Votes are tallied at the end of the festival, to determine the Audience-choice Feature and Short to be screened at Best of the Fest on Monday, May 30. An exciting closing night event, Best of the Fest will kick off with a Hawaiian music concert, and two ways to give back: a silent auction for Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, and a portion of each ticket sold donated to Hawai‘i Island Food Basket.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 26-30. Major sponsors include the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP. For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.

Bob May Golf Academy Returns to Waikoloa Beach Resort

For the third year in a row, noted golf instructor Bob May will bring his Golf Academy to Waikoloa Beach Resort. From June 6-July 5, 2016, island golfers and visitors will have a chance to learn from the man who “schooled” Tiger Woods in the 2000 PGA Championship in Valhalla.

Bob May

Bob May

Bob May pushed Tiger Woods to the limit in a three-hole playoff that ultimately went to Woods, but the golf world never forgot.  Today, with over twenty years on the PGA Tour, extensive teaching experience and a solid focus under pressure, May’s approach includes both the physical and mental game, for high-handicap players as well as juniors. From fundamentals to finesse, his instruction is inspired by and emphasizes the importance of what he calls “a passion for the game.”

Growing up in California, May’s passion for golf started when he was a boy, and he played his first tournament at age 8. He attended Oklahoma State University, and as an Amateur, chalked up an impressive list of tourney wins and golf awards, including Sports Illustrated Player of the Year, three times NCAA All American, and a #5 U.S. ranking by Titleist and Golf Week Publications.

In 1991, he was a finalist in the British Amateur, and—with Walker Cup teammates Phil Mickelson and David Duval—defeated the European team. That same year, May turned pro, playing competitively on the PGA Tour and Nationwide Tour (now the Web.com Tour) for over 20 years, winning the British Masters in 1999, achieving four second-place titles on the Web.com Tour and three on the PGA Tour, including the unforgettable match with Tiger Woods.

The Bob May Golf Academy at Waikoloa Beach Resort will offer private lessons for adults, juniors and couples, as well as “Trackman” performance analysis. For more information and to book teaching time, visit www.BobMayGolfAcademy.com.

Waikoloa Beach Resort Golf inspires the spirit of adventure in every golfer, with two epic golf courses along Hawai‘i Island’s rugged lava coast: the dramatic, tropical Beach Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., and the Kings’ Course, designed in a classic Scottish links style by the winning team of Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish. Spectacular, historic and compelling, the Beach Course and Kings’ Course challenge the champion and inspire new players every day.

For more information, contact the Kings’ Course at (808) 886-5375

Student Photography Competitions at The Shops at Mauna Lani

The Shops at Mauna Lani invites Big Island students, grade 6-12 to take their best shot at cash scholarships in The Shops’ first-ever Photography Competition. Cash scholarships will be awarded to the top three finishers, in the amounts of $500, $300 and $200, for photos that best express an inspiring image on location at The Shops—including architecture, nature, food, onstage performances, and whatever captures the student photographer’s imagination.

From performers to nature, still life to food and fashion, student photographer are invited to capture inspiring moments at The Shops for a chance to win cash scholarships.

From performers to nature, still life to food and fashion, student photographer are invited to capture inspiring moments at The Shops for a chance to win cash scholarships.

Deadline to enter is April 15, and all photo entries will be on exhibit at The Shops’ Suite 306, April 22-30, generally 3-8 p.m. (April 25 and 28, 3-5 p.m. April 27, 5:45-8 p.m.) Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on April 30 at 11 a.m.

“We love seeing photos from people who visit The Shops, especially young people, and that inspired us to create a photography competition with scholarship prizes,” said General Manager Michael Oh. “Our hope is that lots of students take the challenge, come down and take pictures of whatever catches your eye—whether it’s our jumping fountains or a pair of shoes, an ice cream cone, a fire dancer, lei-maker or a special event. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.”

PHOTOS courtesy The Shops at Mauna Lani.

PHOTOS courtesy The Shops at Mauna Lani.

There are no entry fees, and multiple submissions will be accepted. Entry forms and information is available at www.shopsatmaunalani.com/SPC or by phone 885-9501.

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Presents 2016 Luncheon with Mayor Kenoi

Mayor Billy Kenoi and select cabinet members discuss opportunities and challenges to West Hawaii’s economy at the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) 2016 Luncheon 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 5 at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

Mayor Kenoi testifying at the state capital.

Mayor Kenoi testifying at the state capital.

Sponsored by the Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union and Mokulele Airlines, the annual luncheon offers a unique opportunity for the local community to meet with county department representatives in a casual setting.

Attendees will have the opportunity to have lunch with a specific department as well as pose questions to the mayor and cabinet heads. Issues discussed may include update on the Honokohau Harbor, housing and homelessness, healthcare and opportunities for economic development in West Hawaii.

In addition, attendees can also learn about new and existing KKCC businesses at the Chamber’s annual Business Expo, which precedes and follows the banquet. Times are 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. and 1:30-2 p.m.

General admission is $65; Chamber and Rotary members $55. No walk-ins allowed. For more information and/or to register, visit www.kona-kohala.com or call the Chamber office at 808-329-1758.

Kona Kohala Chefs Offer Culinary Scholarships

The ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association is offering Discovery Culinary Scholarships to prospective culinary students hoping to attend Hawai‘i Community College (HCC)—Palamanui.

Palamanui

Hawai‘i Community College (HCC)—Palamanui

Geared to students who have never enrolled in the HCC culinary program, the scholarships are for $1,000 each.  Eligibility criteria include a transcript showing the candidate has maintained a 2.5 or better GPA, a list of community culinary related involvement, a 500-word essay, two letters of recommendation and a completed scholarship application form.

Forms can be downloaded at www.konakohalachefs.org. Anyone needing help to apply for the scholarship can contact Chef Patti, 895-1967.

Email completed eligibility criteria to Dr. Carol Whitaker at Whitaker@rocketmail.com or mail to Kona Kohala Chefs Assn. at P.O. Box 1268, Kailua-Kona, HI 96745.  Submissions must be postmarked by April 1, 2016 to be considered.

West Hawaii Blood Drives Cancelled Due to Dengue Fever Risk

Blood Bank of Hawaii Press Release:

blood bank of Hawaii

As of the latest posting from the State of Hawaii Department of Health, the Captain Cook and Honaunau areas on the Big Island are no longer in the high-risk area for Dengue virus.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

However, the highly populated area of Kailua-Kona, 96740 and 96745 zip codes, are now considered high-risk areas. Due to a high percentage of blood donors in that area we have proactively cancelled the following West Hawaii drives:

  • March 9th – LDS Kona from 11:15am-5:15pm (80 pint goal)
  • March 10th – Mauna Kea Beach from 10-4:15pm (80 pint goal)
  • March 11th – Konawaena High School from 7am-1pm (78 pint goal)

To ensure we meet the patients’ needs and make up the 238-pint deficit, we have increased capacity to existing drives on Oahu and added double-bus drives in the Blood Bank of Hawaii’s headquarters parking lot on Dillingham Boulevard on March 9 and 10 from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and March 11 from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause your readers and appreciate your support and effort in keeping the community informed.

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy to Participate in the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii’s 3rd Annual “Hawaii on the Hill” Initiative in Washington D.C.

More Than 50 Hawaii Organizations to Participate in the Two-Day Agenda, June 7-8, 2016

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy will be entertaining, with his Poke recipes, culinary skills and joyful manner, some 1000+ distinguished guests that are anticipated to attend the 3rd Annual Taste of Hawaii event as part of the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii’s “Hawaii on the Hill” initiative in partnership with Senator Mazie Hirono.

Sam Choy will be featured in Washington DC. Photo by Douglas Peebles Photography

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy will be entertaining guests in Washington D.C. at the “Hawaii on the Hill” event. Photo by Douglas Peebles Photography

“Sam Choy is a pioneer of Pacific Rim cuisine, and I’m excited to have him as part of our 3rd annual Hawaii on the Hill hosted in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii. For decades, Chef Choy has been committed to sharing the culture of our state through its food, and is the latest local celebrity to participate in Hawaii on the Hill, joining Willie K, Amy Hanaialii, and Aidan James. Hawaii on the Hill has grown to be one of the most anticipated state showcase events because of participants like Chef Choy and Tiki Shark Art, who truly bring a slice of the Aloha State to Washington, D.C.,” commented Senator Mazie K. Hirono.

Mazie Hirono with Abbas Hassan and Brad "Tiki Shark" Parker

Sen. Mazie Hirono with Abbas Hassan and Brad “Tiki Shark” Parker

“It was an honor for me to get a direct invite from the Senator to attend this event. My cell phone rang and it was Mazie Hirono on the other line…wow!” he exclaimed. “I am so pleased to see that Poke, a true Hawaiian food, is making its way to the mainland in a big way,” he added.

“The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii is very excited and pleased to welcome Chef Sam Choy to this year’s Hawaii on the Hill initiative and, particularly, our Taste of Hawaii on the Hill event, which has grown to over 1,000 attendees,” said Chamber President & CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara. “Having Chef Choy represent the Aloha State with Tiki Shark Art will add even more stature and a colorful dimension to our line-up of participants. This will be our third year in a row to lead this effort, in partnership with Senator Mazie Hirono and her team, and we’re looking forward to sharing Hawaii’s food, culture, and industries with our nation’s leaders, and other officials and representatives, again.”

More than 50 organizations from Hawaii are participating in the Taste of Hawaii representing made-in-Hawaii products and the tourism, agriculture, innovation and technology, manufacturing and military industries. The Taste of Hawaii is one of several events slated for the two-day Hawaii on the Hill agenda, which also includes a “Talk Story” hosted by Senator Hirono and a Policy Summit with Congressional committee members and other officials.

This year’s Hawaii on the Hill will take place June 7-8. For additional information, please contact Lori Abe with the Chamber at email: labe@cochawaii.org or by calling (808) 380-2605.

Coast Guard and Hawaii Fire Department Searching for Missing Diver Off Puako Beach

The Coast Guard and Hawaii County Fire Department are searching for a missing diver off Puako Beach, Big Island, Wednesday.

Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter

Missing is 69-year-old Diana Wolking.

Wolking was last seen wearing a black rash guard, black and white bikini bottom with a scuba tank and black fins.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Air Station Barbers Point is currently searching along with the crew of USCGC Kittiwake. Hawaii County Fire Department is  searching with helicopter and rescue boat crews.

An Urgent Marine Information Broadcast has been issued alerting mariners in the area to keep a sharp lookout and report any sightings to the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center.

Watchstanders at Sector Honolulu received notification at 7:20 p.m. from good Samaritans on the beach who witnessed Wolking enter the water just before sunset. After more than an hour, they noticed her truck still parked at the beach and could not locate any sign of her in the water or near the beach.

Anyone with information that may help locate Wolking is asked to contact the Coast Guard Sector Honolulu Command Center at 808-842-2600.

Weather conditions are currently reported as 70 mph winds with waves up to 3 feet and good visibility.

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy Cooks Things Up at the Hawaii Building and Design Expo

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy put on a special Valentine’s Day cooking demo to a packed house with standing room only this afternoon at the Building and Design Expo held at the Sheraton in Kailua-Kona today.
Sam Choy at the Building Expo
The chef’s recipe which still remains a secret, was simply called “Love potion number 9” appropriately fitting the day of love. His masterpiece was then given away to a couple in the audience that were married for over 58 years! “I love putting a smile on people faces with my art of cooking” commented Chef Choy. “It was a pleasure being involved and giving back to the local Chamber who do so much for our business community” he added.

Sam Choy at the Building Expo

Not only did the chef just make a celebrity appearance at the expo, but was also present at his very own Sam Choy’s Hawaiian Kitchen line booth, getting feedback from the crowd on his brand new kitchen accessory line and autographing his brand new Poke Book. The booth shared by Tiki Shark Art Inc was also voted #1 best in show and given the “People’s Choice Award”.

sam choy at the building expo

“It was such a honor to have Chef Sam Choy at this year’s expo, having a live cooking demo was a treat for our vendors and attendees” commented Kirstin Kahaloa – Executive Director of the Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce. “It’s is so important to have fun activities such as the cooking demo to pull the business communities together” quoted Kahaloa.

sam choy at building expo

For more information and availability about Sam Choy Hawaiian Kitchen Line please contact: chefsamchoy.com

New Gallery Offers Nightscape, Astrophotography and Space Art at Queens’ MarketPlace

Adding to its stellar collection of shops, restaurants and services, Queens’ MarketPlace announces an exciting new art experience, Starscape Gallery, scheduled to open in February 2016. Specializing in fine art, nightscape photography, astrophotography, and space art Starscape will offer an out-of-this world selection of museum-quality prints, original paintings, and more.
CullensOwner and photographer Steve Cullen sees an interesting trend in what he calls “astro-tourism” on the island—those visitors excited about the mountain summits, stargazing and the night skies. To capture their imagination, he brings together a unique group of fine artists and art photographers with a shared passion.

“The gallery features nightscape photography, beautiful landscape compositions taken under the evening sky. These could be of places you’ve visited before in daylight, like Pololū Valley but with the Milky Way, a constellation, or perhaps a moonbow delivering a perspective that can only be captured with a camera at night,” said Cullen. “We also have some amazing astrophotography of deep space objects like galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters as well as stunning space art which is a more traditional artist’s interpretation of space phenomena.”
Cullens Milky Way

Cullen says that astrophotography is a more challenging, more technical process, to produce a different kind of art photos. “We might take 200 pounds of equipment out, set it up and leave the shutter open anywhere from eight hours to hundreds of hours,” said Cullen. “The telescope, and thus the camera, precisely tracks the sky as Earth rotates to capture the imagery in fantastic colors and clarity.”

A retired technology executive from Silicon Valley whose first love was astronomy, he moved to New Mexico in 2006, built three observatories and started doing his own research and astrophotography. He soon realized there was a business opportunity and created LightBuckets, the first “online telescope service”, a subscription-based business catering to citizen scientists, astrophotographers, and researchers around the world.

When that operation was sold to a French company, Cullen and wife Cindy (Starscape Gallery’s Gallery Director) moved permanently to Hawai’i Island, one of his favorite places on the planet. Since then, they have been working enthusiastically to open the new gallery.

“Visitors will be treated to a magical visual experience that inspires one to dream of distant worlds, ponder the enormity of the cosmos, and embark on a journey back to the beginning of time,” said Cullen. “Everywhere you look there’s a captivating view of distant galaxies, nebulae, stars, and planets or incredible horizon-to-horizon vistas of the night sky from amazing locations around the globe. The familiar takes on an air of other worlds under the infinite light of the universe.”

Starscape Gallery at Queens’ MarketPlace will be open 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. For more information, call (808) 430-5864, visit our website at www.starscapegallery.com, or follow Starscape Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/starscapegallery.

Since it opened in 2007, Queens’ MarketPlace in Waikoloa Beach Resort has earned a reputation among visitors and kama‘āina as “the gathering place of the Kohala Coast,” full of shopping opportunities, services and great food, along with entertainment and arts programs, movies under the stars and large-scale concerts in Waikoloa Bowl at Queens’ Gardens. For more information, visit www.QueensMarketPlace.net or call 886-8822.

Free Chinese New Year Event at The Shops at Mauna Lani

The Shops at Mauna Lani invites the community to its third annual Fortune Festival on Friday, February 19, 5-8 p.m. To ring in the Year of the Monkey, the colorful Lion Dancers of Big Island Shaolin Arts will perform, and participants can “feed” the lions with  red lai envelopes for new year’s blessings.

Lion Dance

Other highlights include martial arts performances, fire blowing, I Ching fortune telling, relaxing Chinese acupressure, and a Chinese Dragon display where visitors can pose for photos. In addition, the shopping center will offer a good luck “Hang Sau Zung Grab Bag” and various Chinese New Year sales at participating locations.

A variety of foods will be available for purchase during the festival including Chinese chicken salad, Dragon Bowls and Chinese snacks to support Hālau Manaola, plus favorite local flavors from Miranda’s Malasadas, Kona Ice Truck, specialty hot dogs from Kona Dogs, and more.

The Fortune Festival at The Shops at Mauna Lani is free, and all are welcome. Additional event parking will be available with continuous shuttle service during the event. For more information, visit www.shopsatmaunalani.com, or call (808) 885-9501.

Building and Design Expo Feb. 12-14 – Live Cooking Demo and Book Signing with Sam Choy

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce presents the 11th annual Building & Design Expo February 12 – 14 at the Sheraton Kona Resort at Keauhou Bay‘s Kaleiopapa Convention Center.

Celebrity Chef Sam Choy, known for his Hawaiian cuisine, will feature his newest kitchen accessories line, Sam Choy’s Hawaiian Kitchen. He will also do a live cooking demo and book-signing.

Abbas Hassan of Tiki Shark Art, Sam Choy and Kirstin Kahaloa, Executive Director of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce

Abbas Hassan of Tiki Shark Art, Sam Choy and Kirstin Kahaloa, Executive Director of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce

Touted as “Hawai‘i Island’s largest home show,” more than 40 vendor booths will exhibit their goods and services in the three-day event. From general contracting and materials to home design and décor including fine art, the expo often features furnishings, blinds and shutters, window-tinting, kitchen countertops, cabinets and flooring, pest control PC solar and financing.

Event sponsors include Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Hawaii Gas, P.A. Harris Electric, Renewable Energy Services, Sam Choy & Tiki Shark Art and West Hawaii Today. Contact the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce office at marketing@kona-kohala.com or 808.329.1758.

Big Island Chocolate Fest Seeks Culinary Participants

The fifth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is looking for culinary participants to share sweet and savory tastes to attendees at the event’s gala on Saturday, May 14 at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel.

chocolate fountainTo honor the centennial anniversary of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, the festival’s theme this year is “Lavalicious-A Chocolate Salute to the 100th Birthday of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park.”

Participating chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners can enter the free culinary competition, vying in a variety of “best” judged categories: bonbon, savory, bean-to-bar, plated dessert, Hawaiian cacao, sweet people’s choice, savory people’s choice and best decorated booth.

Folks enjoying the Big Island Chocolate Festival

Folks enjoying the Big Island Chocolate Festival

Culinary participants are encouraged to decorate their booth for the centennial theme to be judged by Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park Superintendant Cindy Orlando. Booth elements could include Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes, Hawaiian culture and the park’s native plants and animals.

Members of the winning culinary station will receive four tri-park passes good for free entrance to all three, fee-charging national parks in Hawai‘i for an entire year: Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park and Pu‘uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park.

Big Island Chocolate Festival 095Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), the event benefits the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Assn./University of Hawai‘i Foundation endowment fund for the culinary program at Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and programs at Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Culinarians interested in participating can signup for free now by filling out the Culinary Participant form at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com/chef-guidelines. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Big Island Chocolate Festival 089

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

 

Meet Celebrity Chef Sam Choy at the 11th Annual Building & Design Expo

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce will hold its 11th annual Building & Design Expo February 12 – 14 at the Keauhou Convention Center at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay. Celebrity Chef Sam Choy will make a special appearance and demonstrate his cooking skills all three days of the Expo.

Building and Design Expo 2016

Friday evening the expo is open to the public from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday expo hours are from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Visit numerous exhibits featuring home design, construction and remodel ideas including home decorating; fine art; windows and doors; flooring and window treatments; kitchen and baths, home energy products and more. The booths will present products, services and information relating to the building and improvement of homes, apartments and condos. Enter to win giveaways and drawings at vendor booths.

Attendees can also enter to win a grand prize: a 2-night stay at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa.

For additional information regarding the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Building & Design Expo, go to www.kona-kohala.com or call the Chamber office at 329-1758.

Deadline for Films and Screenplays – Big Island Film Festival at The Farimont Orchid, Hawai’i

Now in its eleventth year, the Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) invites filmmakers and screenwriters to enter their project before the final deadline, Feb. 1, 2016. Complete rules and submission guidelines are available at www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com, for entering by mail or online via www.FilmFreeway.com.

Arielle Kebbel at the 2015 Big Island Film Festival.

Arielle Kebbel at the 2015 Big Island Film Festival.

BIFF takes place May 26-30, 2016 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani, giving residents a unique chance to meet and talk story with the people behind the movies they see. Attended by hundreds of filmmakers and their families from Hawai’i and around the world, BIFF has become known for its unique film festival culture that is relaxed, uncrowded, and engaging, where everyone interacts like family.

In addition, BIFF’s script contest can open the door for one winning screenplay to be considered for representation by the Paradigm Agency, one of the industry’s best, with divisions in Beverly Hills, Monterey, Nashville and New York. The contest is open to all completed narrative film scripts that meet submission guidelines.

Will Estes, Tiki Torch Guy and Arielle Kebbel at the 2015 Big Island Film Festival

Will Estes, Tiki Torch Guy and Arielle Kebbel at the 2015 Big Island Film Festival

BIFF also hosts notable workshop leaders, such as NBC story consultant Jen Grisanti and screenwriter Ron Osborn of “Moonlighting” fame, among others. Last year’s celebrity honorees were Arielle Kebbel of “The Vampire Diaries” and HBO’s “Ballers” with Dwayne The Rock Johnson, and Will Estes of “Blue Bloods,” who enjoyed interacting with island audiences during in-depth interviews and informal garden receptions.

The complete BIFF experience includes not only film screenings for grown ups at The Fairmont Orchid Hawai‘i’s beautiful outdoor Plantation Estate, but free family films under the stars at The Shops at Mauna Lani, numerous networking and celebrity social events, screenwriting workshops and a closing night “Best of the Fest” with a top-rated Hawaiian music concert and movies chosen by the audience from Festival entries. “Golden Honu” Awards will be presented to the Best Feature and Best Short in Family, Student, Animated, Foreign, Hawai‘i and Audience Choice categories at a special Awards Brunch to honor the filmmakers and their works on Monday, May 30.

BIFF would like to thank sponsors The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, The Shops at Mauna Lani, County of Hawai‘i, Dept. of R&D: CPEP Grant/Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and others.

2015 BIFF Folks

For detailed information visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.