Coffee Experts Appearing at Ka’u Coffee Festival

Leaders of the specialty coffee industry are traveling to the state’s largest agricultural district in early May to taste and see all the effort that goes into award-winning Ka‘u coffee.

They include a leading voice for seed-to-cup sustainability, Mark Inman of California, and Blake Hanacek of Canada, a proponent of sustainable rural development and agribusiness management.  The men headline the Kaʻu Coffee Festival’s annual reverse trade mission.

Kau Coffee FestivalThe reverse trade mission is part of the sixth Ka‘u Coffee Festival May 10-11 at the Pahala Community Center. The coffee experts learn first-hand about Ka‘u coffee during Saturday festival activities, including guided tastings, farm tours and the opportunity to “talk story” with growers at their booths during the day-long ho‘olauea. On Sunday, the men give guest lectures to local coffee farmers at the annual Ka‘u Coffee College.

“This strategic business initiative creates collaborative relationships for our Ka‘u growers while promoting Ka‘u as a premium coffee-growing origin,” says Chris Manfredi, lead festival organizer and president of the statewide Hawai‘i Farm Bureau. “We’re pleased and proud that notable industry leaders come to Ka‘u to share in our community.”

Inman has been a major voice in the specialty coffee industry for sustainable agriculture, environmental stewardship and social justice and served as president of the Specialty Coffee Association of America in 2008. His campaign to improve conditions in the coffee industry has taken him to local U.S. classrooms, the remote hills of Nicaragua and the floor of the United Nations. Since 2010, Inman served as president of World Coffee Events, which manages seven international coffee competitions, including the World Barista Championship. He is a trader at OLAM Specialty Coffee.

Hanacek is the founder and CEO of A.G.R.O. Roasters and AGRO Café and has extensively researched the current methods of production and consumption of specialty coffee. He has worked and studied in multiple countries and has met with international growers to discuss his Crop-to-Cup method. An accredited roaster, Hanacek has 5,000 hours behind a variety of coffee roasters.

In addition, Robert Curtiss, acting plant pest control manager with the Division of Plant Industry at the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, will give a presentation Sunday at the Ka‘u Coffee College. Serving as the entomologist for West Hawai‘i, Curtiss has experience working with insect taxonomy, semiochemicals and insect biological control.

In its fourth year, the reverse trade mission has hosted numerous other specialty coffee gurus including George Howell of Terroir Coffee, Skip Fay of Dunn Bros Coffee, James Freeman of Blue Bottle Coffee, Anthony Carroll of Starbucks, Jeff Taylor of PT’s Coffee Roasting Company, Po-Jung Hsieh of Soaring Phoenix Trading Company and Jim Munson of Brooklyn Roasting Company.

All coffee-industry related activities at the Ka‘u Coffee Festival are open to the general public; some require a fee. The festival is May 2-11 at a variety of location and details on all activities can be found at www.KauCoffeeFest.com. Call 808-929-9550 or visit www.KauCoffeeFest.com.

Restricted Access to Electronic Welfare Benefits

Effective February 2014, Temporary Assistance for Need Family (TANF) recipients are restricted from withdrawing their cash benefits at certain types of businesses.

Strip Clubs are no longer allowed to accept

LOL… Folks can’t take out their welfare benefits at strip clubs!

Restricted points of access include automated teller machines (ATM) or point of sale (POS) terminals at liquor stores, casinos, and gaming establishments.  Retail establishments that provide adult-oriented entertainment (performers disrobe or perform in an unclothed state for entertainment) also are restricted locations.

Click to view Statewide locations

Click to view Statewide locations

The policy is an outcome of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Public Law 112-96).   The law was enacted in 2012, but States were given time to determine how to best impose the restriction.  Hawaii came into compliance this year.

The TANF program provides monthly cash benefits to families for food, clothing, shelter, and other essentials. The federally funded program is designed to help families achieve financial self -sufficiency.  Grocery stores and retailers that primarily sell products other than liquor, and restaurants, bars or clubs that serve liquor are exempt from the restriction.

For the purposes of accessing TANF cash benefits, liquor stores are defined as retailers that exclusively or primarily sell liquor.  Gaming establishments mean establishments with a primary purpose of accommodating the wagering of money.  These restrictions have been imposed nationwide.

To qualify for TANF benefits, a family must include children under the age of 19 and earn a total gross income under 185% of the 2006 Federal Poverty Level (FPL). For a household of three persons, that’s a monthly gross income less than $2,941; if the household includes an employable adult net income must be under $610. In households where all adults are disabled, care is required for a disabled household member, or there is a child younger than six months of age, the net income must be under $763 per month.  Effective April 18, 2013, assets were disregarded from the eligibility determination.

Restricted Hawaii Points of Sale

Active Licenses with Nudity (4-14)

Statewide Active Licenses with Liquor (4-14)

Governor Abercrombie Declares May 3rd as “Big Island Chocolate Festival Day”

Hawai‘i Governor Neil Abercrombie has declared Saturday, May 3 as Big Island Chocolate Festival Day! The proclamation not only heralds Hawai’i’s growing cacao industry, but also the culinarians who masterfully create foods featuring chocolate.

Chocolate Festival

The three-day festival offers a full lineup of chocolate decadence from planting to plating: a Kona cacao farm tour, plus seminars, how-to culinary demonstrations, guided chocolate tastings—yum!— and an indulging festival gala at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i. All activities are open to the public.

Star power celebrity chocolatiers include “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of New York City, Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard chocolate, Chef Vincent Bourdin of Valrhona Chocolate and cacao consultant Ed Seguine.

Chef Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres

The 6-10 p.m. Saturday gala features the Big Isle’s own celebrated contingent of culinarians for a chocolate-inspired feast of savory and sweet treats. Returning favorites include the savory mole bar staffed by West Hawai‘i culinary students, a towering chocolate fountain complete with fresh fruits and macaroons, plus an array of gaily decorated bonbons.

Gala fun showcases a chocolate sculpture using 40 pounds of chocolate, chocolate body painting, fine wines, chocolate-infused beer and the debut of a tasty new Bacardi Mango Fusion cocktail. Attendees can vote for the People’s Choice Award, dance the night away with Girls Nite Out! band and bid for activities and merchandise at a silent auction.

Hands-on Culinary seminar at last year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival

Hands-on Culinary seminar at last year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival

Festival beneficiaries are the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchen” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School. The third annual event is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc.

For tickets, visit www.BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. For accommodations, book with the hotel at 808-885-2000 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

Slew of Celebrities Headline Big Island Chocolate Festival

“Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of New York City headlines a slew of chocolate and cacao celebrities appearing at this year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival gala. Time is 6-10 p.m., Saturday, May 3 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Adding to the star power is Yisa Var and the Girls Nite Out! band.

Chef Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres

Also in the limelight are a host of chocolate savory and sweet culinary treats prepared by top Hawai’i chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners. Think Pork Mole with Tomatillo Salsa or Orange Ginger Chocolate Mac Nut Crunch Torte.

The 6-10 p.m. gala features the creation of a chocolate sculpture using 40 pounds of chocolate—bring your camera—chocolate body painting, fine wines, chocolate-infused beer and the debut of a tasty new Bacardi Mango Fusion cocktail.

Chocolate Festival

Back by popular demand, Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard chocolates returns to the festival to create a decadent, multi-colored sculpture. He recently made the news when he fashioned a massive chocolate cake to serve 15,000 revelers at the centennial celebration of Rodeo Drive. A Washington resident, Wressell was named Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2005 National Pastry Team Championships.

Food Network star Torres leads a stable of off-island chefs who will judge the evening’s culinary creations and also give pre-gala seminars May 2-3. Attendees can also vote for the People’s Choice Award from a host of categories including mouth-watering bonbons.

Torres, who became the youngest pastry chef to earn the prestigious Best Craftsman in France medal for pastry, is the first artisan chocolatier to make his own chocolate starting from cocoa beans. Joining him is celebrity judge Vincent Bourdin of Singapore, a regional chef at Valrhona Chocolate and president of the Asia Pacific Pastry Cup Board.  He is co-author of “Cooking with Chocolate,” which has been translated into five languages. Judging bean to bar “tastes” is cacao and chocolate tasting advisor Ed Seguine of Pennsylvania who has 30 years experience working with farmers and companies in developing cacaos.

Also serving as culinary station judges are Chef Heather Campbell of Kauai‘s St. Regis Resort Princeville and Chef Rhonda Ashton-Chavez of the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.

Girl's Night Out

Girls Night Out!

Girls Nite Out! is a diverse dance band hailing from East Hawai‘i that performs rock, blues, disco, pop, R&B, Hawaiian and country music. Drummer Will Divine founded the group in 2000 with guitarist Wesley Matsuda and offers a variety of guitar, synth and keyboard sounds. The lead vocalist is local performer, actor and morning radio show personality Yisa Var. Adding to the vocal section is Sherry Fox, best known for her appearance on TV’s “Your Big Break,” and Jeff Enriques, who also plays bass.

Volcano Choy

Volcano Choy

Joining Girls Nite Out! is a talented horn section with Moon Brown on saxophone and Jr. Volcano Choy on trumpet. Choy has performed with the likes of Al Jarreau, George Benson and Nancy Wilson.

In addition, a silent auction benefits the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchen” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua. The third annual festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc.

Pre-sale gala tickets are $75 and $100 at the door. New this year is the VIP Fast Wine Pass with early event admission and personalized wine service. Seminar details and tickets for all activities are available online at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Chocolate Fest

Also available is an inclusive Chocolate Lovers package that features a two-night’s stay at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, plus all festival activities at the ocean-side Four Diamond resort; contact info@BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Attendees who want to stay at the resort during the festival can get a discounted room rate of $269 per night including daily breakfast for two and can book direct with the hotel at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. Mahalo to sponsors and community supporters: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Guittard, DeZaan, Valrohna, PreGel, The Wave-92.1, Big Island Honda and Tire Center, Bacardi, Dolphin Journeys, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Cocoa Outlet, Callebaut Chocolate, Cacao Cusina, DHX, Gourmet Foods Hawaii, Johnson Brothers of Hawaii, Ke Ola magazine, Kona Brewing Company, Kona Natural Soap Company, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory and West Hawaii Today.

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.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range Adds Extra Hour to Pig Out

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is Friday, Sept. 26 and expanding to offer three hours of tasting from 5-8 p.m. The 19th annual agricultural festival that showcases the use of pasture-raised, local beef sprawls both inside and out of the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Doesn't this look good?

Doesn’t this look good?

“We want our guests to be able to enjoy a more leisurely experience and so added an extra hour,” says Jeri Moniz, event chairperson.  “The additional time will also give attendees more time to talk story with our local food producers and enjoy the exhibits.”

Tickets for Taste are $45 through Thursday, Sept. 25 and $60 on event day. They will be sold online and at a dozen islandwide locations starting July 1. They will also be available at the door.

Thirty of the state’s top chefs have already confirmed their participation to prepare 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.

Culinary adventure seekers can taste and enjoy all the cuts of pasture-raised beef—everything from tongue to tail—prepared expertly by Hawai‘i chefs.  Enjoy familiar cuts like sirloin tip and ribs, plus beef cheek and the infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles.

While “tasting,” attendees can meet Hawai‘i’s food producers at booths and talk story with the ranchers and farmers who make a living growing our food. They can also enjoy exhibits presenting topics related to local agriculture and healthy foods, including the University of Hawai’i’s Mealani Research Station.

Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI. For general event information, phone (808) 969-8228.

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 Jeri Moniz at 808-960-8411 no later than August 26.

Hawai’i residents can take advantage of Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package—details are being finalized. Phone 808-886-1234 or visit Hilton.com.

Puna Picks Breadfruit for Community Based Economic Development

On Saturday, May 10, 2014 from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm the Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will be held 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. The workshop is $12 per person and advance registration online is required. The workshop will be followed by a luncheon featuring breadfruit prepared by Chef Casey Halpern from Café Pesto.

Auntie Shirley Kauhaihao of Ke‘ei, South Kona, will be demonstrating how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

Auntie Shirley Kauhaihao of Ke‘ei, South Kona, will be demonstrating how to select and prepare ‘ulu fruit. (Photo by Craig Elevitch)

The half-day Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will assist Hawai‘i’s breadfruit growers in supplying grocery stores, restaurants and farmers markets with high quality breadfruit, and help chefs become more familiar with breadfruit handling and preparation in the kitchen.

Backyard growers and home users of breadfruit will also find the workshop pertinent to home and community use of breadfruit.

Topics and speakers include:  “Tree to Table”—harvesting techniques, tricks and tools, and postharvest handling, presented by Ian Cole, Collection Manager, Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. “Beyond Sticky”—preparing breadfruit for use in a variety of dishes or for storage, presented by Shirley Kauhaihao, Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu.  “Cultural Perspective” —Breadfruit and the cultural importance in Hawai‘i, presented by mahi‘ai and educator Nick Kala Francisco. “Some Like It Sweet”—making dishes from ripe breadfruit, presented by John Cadman, Pono Pies. “Going To Market”—marketing and value added products, presented by Craig Elevitch, Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network and Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu project. Gourmet to Home Cooking—exploring favorite local recipes and new ways to cook with breadfruit, presented by Mariposa Blanco of Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School.

Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School is a Hawaiian values-based charter school that believes in creating economic opportunities for the community through the production of value-added products from breadfruit and other crops. ‘Ike ‘Āina—From the Seed to the Table is an agriculture and culinary arts program at the school that connects culture, agriculture and healthy eating. The Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop expands this mission further into the community, exposing the community to possible economic opportunities derived from the cultivation and preparation of breadfruit. During lunch, there will be a demonstration of how to make ‘ulu flour from breadfruit dried in the solar dehydrator. Breadfruit

Breadfruit—From Tree to Table is presented by Ho‘oulu Lāhui, Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School, and the Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu—Revitalizing Breadfruit project. The workshop is funded through a grant from the County of Hawai‘i, Department of Research and Development and with luncheon support from Café Pesto.

Advance registration is required. The workshop is $12 per person, and includes lunch.  To register please visit www.breadfruit.info or call 990-4243.

New Bakery Opening in Hilo

A new bakery in downtown Hilo announces its grand opening celebration the week of April 14 to 20.  Located at 187 Kilauea Avenue, Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery is quite distinctive with its bright blue storefront, hanging flower baskets, and enticing aromas.

Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery announces its grand opening celebration the week of April 14 to 20.  The bakery is located at 187 Kilauea Avenue in downtown Hilo.

Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery announces its grand opening celebration the week of April 14 to 20. The bakery is located at 187 Kilauea Avenue in downtown Hilo.

“People tell us every day, ‘Oh, it smells so good,’” said bakery owner Eric Cox, whose bestsellers are the roasted three seed bread and chocolate chip walnut cookies.

Launching his storefront with a soft opening on March 1, Cox stated, “Hilo was ready for a new bread bakery.  Tons of people have walked in to say how great it is to get fresh bread downtown and to tell us, ‘We’re so glad you’re here.’”

Papa‘a Palaoa’s breads include cranberry mac nut whole wheat, oatmeal, multi-grain, olive, spicy corn, sourdough rye, sourdough whole wheat, and cinnamon raisin mac nut swirl.  Specialty items include pan forte, cinnamon rolls, and brioche with chocolate chips and vanilla cream.

With the store’s opening, Cox has added to the menu scones, muffins, cookies, and quiche, plus coffee and chai.

“We’re thrilled to be downtown,” said Cox. “The kitchen is fantastic.  It’s big, roomy, and well appointed.  By the grand opening celebration, we’ll have tables and chairs so people can hang out.  I love that people can watch us bake since it’s an open kitchen.”

Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery owner Eric Cox (front) celebrates his store’s grand opening celebration in Hilo from April 14 to 20.  Joining him are partner and baker Paul Lackner (right) plus bakers Rachel Van Etten and Nick Mount.

Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery owner Eric Cox (front) celebrates his store’s grand opening celebration in Hilo from April 14 to 20. Joining him are partner and baker Paul Lackner (right) plus bakers Rachel Van Etten and Nick Mount.

Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery was founded in December 2006, starting small and eventually expanding to include sales at farmers markets in Hilo (Wednesday and Saturday), Na‘alehu (Wednesday), Mountain View (Saturday), Pahoa (Sunday), and Volcano (Sunday).

Cox then started looking for a place to make bread available to a broader market.  He needed a bigger kitchen, because the quantity of bread he’d been making for farmers markets and various wholesale accounts was exceeding his capacity.

“Before, we were hand kneading all our bread.  Now we have a commercial mixer.  We can make so much more bread so much more quickly,” noted Cox.  “The storefront is our next step up.  Not only does it increase our business presence, it has improved our ability to make good bread.”

Cox, who joined the Hilo Downtown Improvement Association, is assisted by partner and baker Paul Lackner, plus bakers Rachel Van Etten and Nick Mount.

“We invite you to come down, check us out, and see what we have to offer, what tickles your taste buds.  Stop in and give us a try,” Cox said.  “Smells are free.”

So are samples, which rotate on a daily basis.  Papa‘a Palaoa Bakery is open from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.  For more information, call (808) 935-5700.

2014 Ka’u Coffee Festival Offering New Activities to its Lineup

The Ka‘u Coffee Festival offers new fun activities to its lineup of May 2-11. Now in its sixth year, the festival showcases its award-winning coffees and everything that makes the sprawling K‘au District so special—the rural area covers 922 square miles and encompasses the entire southern end of the Big Island.

2014 Kau CoffeefestKicking off the festival is the inaugural Pa‘ina & OpenHouse at historic Pahala Plantation House with the Ka‘u Chamber of Commerce and Ka‘u Calendar newspaper. Pa‘ina means party in Hawaiian and fun includes guided house tours, music, hula by Halau Hula O Leionalani and refreshments—including Ka‘u coffee. Bolo will also release his new CD that contains the song “Kaiholena,” that tells about the people and places of K‘au.

During the heyday of Big Isle sugar production, Pahala Plantation House served as the manager’s home of the former Ka‘u Sugar Plantation. Now an inn and community gathering place, the House has been painstakingly restored to maintain the integrity and history of Hawai‘i’s sugar era. Enjoy guided tours of the spacious interior that boasts high ceilings, a large dining hall, antiques, artwork and a baby grand piano in the foyer. Time is 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, May 2 at the corner of Maile and Pikake Streets in Pahala. Admission is free and donations are appreciated for the Miss Ka‘u Coffee Scholarship Fund, 808-928-9811.

The annual Miss K‘au Coffee Pageant is part of a festival doubleheader with the Triple C Recipe Contest on Sunday, May 2 at the Ka‘u Coffee Mill. Starting at noon, the Triple C Recipe Contest offers a new cake competition category, along with cookies and candy—all must contain K‘au coffee. Contestants vie for free in either adult amateur or student (middle or high school) divisions to win cash prizes. Contest entry deadline is April 25.  Public admission is free with complimentary coffee and recipe sampling. Find contest details at www.kaucoffeemill.com.

On Sunday evening, the 2014-15 Miss Ka‘u Coffee and junior Miss Ka‘u Peaberry Pageant is open to contestants who were either born, grew up or now live in Ka‘u. Girls are judged for talent, public speaking, gown and Miss Popularity. Winners are awarded scholarships. A mahalo party for the reigning queens is 6 p.m., followed by the pageant at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 with additional donations appreciated.

The annual Coffee & Cattle Day 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, May 9 showcases Ka‘u agriculture at the 150-acre Aikane Plantation with a tour of a working ranch/farm, followed by a luncheon buffet.  Co-owner Merle Becker says her great-grandfather, “Papa” J. C. Searle, planted coffee there in 1894 and keiki from Searle’s trees are grown today by numerous Ka‘u farmers. The Beckers oversee eight acres of coffee, a Black Angus cattle operation, plus plantings of exotic protea, sugar cane, macadamia nuts, citrus, avocado, taro, pineapple and papaya. The buffet will offer grass-fed beef, pork and chicken; a variety of side dishes and desserts made with Ka‘u coffee.  Price is $25, make reservations at 808-927-2252.

The all-day Ka‘u Coffee Festival Ho‘olaule‘a on Saturday, May 10 is free and features day-long entertainment. It hosts a variety of art, craft, information and food booths; and some of the finest coffees grown anywhere.

The Ka‘u Coffee Experience has a new twist with free coffee tastings guided by professional baristas at the Pahala Community Center. Coffee enthusiasts can sample Ka‘u coffees prepared in a variety of ways—like a pour-over or a French press, cold brew and espresso drinks.

The festival is supported by the County of Hawai‘i Department of Research & Development, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority and Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture. A full schedule of events and Ka‘u activity recommendations follows. Visit www.kaucoffeefest.com to learn more.

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Fun Seminars Announced for the Big Island Chocolate Festival

Taste the nuances of a variety of gourmet chocolates with one of the foremost chocolate experts in the world: Ed Seguine, a 45-year cacao veteran and consultant. Talk story with Food Network Star and New York City celeb Jacques Torres while savoring his delectable bonbons. Learn how to make a chocolate dessert sensation by Valrhona Pastry Chef Vincent Bourdin. Get the insider scoop on growing cacao—the bean needed to make chocolate.

Chef Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres

All this and more— plus a festive evening gala are on tap May 1-3 for the Big Island Chocolate Festival. Tickets and details for all are available at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheatre at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Here’s a quick rundown of activities:

Thursday, May 1

• 9-11 a.m.: On-site cacao farm and soap factory tour by Gary Colden to see how cacao is grown and used for chocolate. Kona Natural Soap Company uses the by-products of cacao to make soaps, $25.

All other activities at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i:

Friday, May 2

• 2:30-3:15 p.m. Ed Seguine of Seguine Cacao, Cocoa & Chocolate Advisors presents “Selecting Cacao Cultivar for Flavor.” Learn the segregation of agronomic and flavor traits in seed-grown cacao. Examples of breeding for flavor will be shown and tasting evaluated, plus techniques for small-scale micro-fermentation, $50.

• 3:30-4:30 p.m. “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres offers an intimate talk story about the chocolate industry while sharing his award-winning chocolate bonbons brought in from New York City, $50.

Saturday, May 3

• 10-11 a.m. Ed Seguine of Seguine Cacao, Cocoa & Chocolate Advisors presents “How to Taste Chocolate” with a guided tasting of chocolate from Guittard, Valrhona and Waialua Estates, $30.

•11:15-12:15 p.m. Greg Colden of Kona Natural Soap Factory presents “Cacao as a Value Added Product for Business,” sharing non-chocolate uses for cacao, $30.

*12:30-1:30 p.m. President of the Asia Pacific Pastry Cup Board and Valrhona Chef Vincent Bourdin from Singapore shows how to make a standout chocolate dessert, $30.

Hands-on Culinary seminar at last year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival

Hands-on Culinary seminar at last year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival

Chocolate decadence culminates 6-10 p.m. May 3 with the festival gala in the Fairmont’s Grand Ballroom. Taste sweet and savory creations by chefs, chocolatiers, confectioners and beverage purveyors, plus vote for the People’s Choice Award. Also on tap will be fine wines and handcrafted ales, chocolate sculptures, chocolate body painting, music by Yisa Var and the Girls Nite Out band and friends, dancing and a silent auction.

Culinarians interested in participating can signup at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Pre-sale gala tickets are $75 and will be $100 at the door. New this year is the VIP Fast Wine Pass with early event admission and personalized wine service. Buy tickets and find event details online at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Also available is an inclusive Chocolate Lovers package that includes a two-night’s stay at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, plus all festival activities at the ocean-side Four Diamond resort; contact info@BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Attendees who want to stay at the resort during the festival can get a discounted room rate of $269 per night including daily breakfast for two and can book direct with the hotel at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. Mahalo to sponsors and community supporters: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Guittard, DeZaan, Valrohna, PreGel, The Wave-92.1, Big Island Honda and Tire Center, Bacardi, Dolphin Journeys, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Cocoa Outlet, Callebaut Chocolate, Cacao Cusina, DHX, Gourmet Foods Hawaii, Johnson Brothers of Hawaii, Ke Ola magazine, Kona Brewing Company, Kona Natural Soap Company, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory and West Hawaii Today.

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.

Got Guac?

The free, eighth annual Hawai‘i Avocado Festival is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 5 on the Bayfront lawn of the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa.

Got Guac?

Got Guac? Photo by Sonia Martinez

Catering to families, the event has something for everyone: non-stop entertainment, culinary and agricultural activities, plus keiki fun.

Enjoy a farmer’s market; arts and crafts booths and tasty-avocado themed cuisine prepared by food vendors and Sheraton’s culinary team. This year’s festival art is by Kona artist Jan Salerno and available on posters and organic cotton t-shirts.

An updated lineup for the entertainment stage is opening pule by Kumu Danny Akaka and hula at 10 a.m., Aunt Irma’s Kahikina Nahe Nahe at 11 a.m., Bolo at noon, Manuel and Bernice at 1 p.m. and eco-chic vegan fashion show by Gentle Aloha Feast at 2 p.m. Students of the youth mentoring group Incense will model designs by Huluwuwu, Lulie’s and Nohea Hawaii to the music of hip hop artist Pana. Live entertainment continues until 5 p.m.

Learn how to graft avocados at 11 a.m. and hear a panel discussion on “Keeping the Culture in Agriculture” at noon. Get the scoop all day on different avocado varieties at an informative display by the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers.

A 2-4 p.m. composting workshop focuses on basic backyard techniques and working with worms. Those who finish the workshop will get a free composting bin.

The avocado recipe contest offers competition in appetizers, entrees, desserts and vegan. Judging is 10 a.m. with public tasting at noon and announcement of winners at 1 p.m. First place winners will receive prizes from Island Naturals and Kealakekua Ranch Center. Entry form, rules and instructions can be found at www.avocadofestival.org or phone 963-6860.

Hands-on fun for families includes games for keiki, free avocado and vegan products sampling and visits with Recycle Hawai’i’s live mascot, Recycle Dog. In addition, 200 healthy, raw treats will be served to attending keiki as part of the local Feed the Children project. Keiki and adults can also paint silk banners “to banish childhood hunger.”

For festival updates, visit Big Island Avocado Festivals on Facebook, contact Randyl Rupar at 936-5233 or visit www.avocadofestival.org.

Hawaii Avocado and Mango Festivals are sponsored by Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens, Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers-West Hawaii and Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

Avocado Festival Coming Up – New Vegan Category Added to Cooking Contest

Celebrating the versatile fruit that’s high in healthy, monounsaturated fat, the eighth annual Hawai‘i Avocado Festival is Saturday, April 5 at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa. The Zero-Waste event is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on the Bayfront Lawn.

Avocado recipe at the Avocado Festival. Photo by Randy Magnus

Avocado recipe at the Avocado Festival. Photo by Randy Magnus

The free fun offers two stages headlining entertainment, culinary and agricultural activities. The festival opens with a Hawaiian pule and hula at 10 a.m.

Enjoy a farmer’s market, arts and crafts booths and a University of Hawai‘i (UH) nutrition display. Food vendors and the Sheraton’s culinary team will offer tasty, avocado-themed cuisine.

Hands-on fun for families includes games for keiki, free avocado and vegan products sampling and visits with Recycle Hawai’i’s live mascot, Recycle Dog. In addition, 200 healthy, raw treats will be served to attending keiki as part of the local Feed the Children project. Keiki and adults can also participate in painting silk banners “to banish childhood hunger” as a prelude to the Project Hawai‘i Summer Edu-Camp that will be offered free to children in need.

The lineup for the entertainment stage is Aunt Irma’s Kahikina Nahe Nahe at 11 a.m., Bolo at noon, Manuel and Bernice at 1 p.m. and eco-fashion show at 2 p.m. Live entertainment continues until 5 p.m.

A native of Central America, the avocado is classified in the same plant family as cinnamon, Lauraceae. Ty McDonald, of the Kona Extension Office of the UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, will lead a session on grafting avocados at 11 a.m. The panel discussion, “Keeping the Culture in Agriculture” returns at noon featuring local leaders concerned with agriculture and nutrition.

A 2-4 p.m. composting workshop focuses on basic backyard techniques and working with worms. Those who finish the workshop will get a free composting bin. Get the scoop on different avocado varieties at an informative display by the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers.

Cookbook author and freelance food writer Sonia R. Martinez heads the avocado recipe contest with judging at 10 a.m., public tasting at noon and announcement of winners at 1 p.m. First place winners will receive prizes from Island Naturals and Kealakekua Ranch Center.

The cooking contest is free and debuts a new vegan category that includes vegan appetizers, entrees and desserts. In addition, competition is in three other categories: appetizers, including guacamole; entréesmain dish, soups and salads—and desserts.

“Recipes will be judged on taste, appearance/presentation of dish, originality of recipe and best use of avocado,” shared Martinez. Entry form, rules and instructions can be found at www.avocadofestival.org. Contact Martinez at 963-6860 with contest questions.

For festival updates, visit Big Island Avocado Festivals on Facebook, contact Randyl Rupar at 936-5233 or visit www.avocadofestival.org.

Hawaii Avocado and Mango Festivals are sponsored by Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens, Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers-West Hawai’i and Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

Kona Residents Win American Culinary Federation Western Regional Awards

Kona residents Jean Hull and Ken Love were recently recognized by The American Culinary Federation (ACF) Western Region at the ACF conference in Oakland, Calif. Both are members of the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association.

Ken Love and Jean Hull

Ken Love and Jean Hull

Jean Hull, CCE, AAC of Hospitality Consulting by Jean received the President’s Medallion, which is awarded to members who exemplify culinary excellence and leadership and have contributed their expertise to the advancement of the culinary profession. The Kailua-Kona resident is a long-time champion of culinary arts on the Big Island, serving as Associate Professor of Culinary Arts at HawCC-West Hawaii for over 14 years.

Hull spearheads annual Kona Kohala Chefs fundraisers and programs, including the award-winning Chef and Child initiative that teaches West Hawaii second graders how to make nutritious food choices. She has been the driving force behind the continuing Equip the Kitchens campaign for the future Hawaii Community College (HawCC)-Palamanui campus.

Ken Love, executive director of Master Food Preservers and the statewide Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers, received the Cutting Edge Award, which taps members who provide exemplarily leadership and service to the culinary profession.

The Captain Cook resident is a long-time, outspoken advocate for the use of locally grown food. He serves as an ongoing educational resource for farmers to create value added products and in 2012-13 spearheaded a statewide exotic fruit series in 16 locations to teach grocers, chefs and consumers the benefits of 11 little-used fruits. His educational outreach went global after appearing in the 2012 feature documentary film, “The Fruit Hunters.”

In addition to Hawaii, regional winners hailed from the West Coast, Arizona, Nevada and the Philippines. The ACF Western Region has 29 chapters and named five Cutting Edge and six President’s Medallions recipients this year. The ACF is the industry leader in offering educational resources, training, apprenticeship and accreditation to enhance the professional growth of all chefs.

American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association

ACF is the largest, professional, non-profit organization for chefs and cooks in the nation. Founded in 1980, the Kona Kohala chapter is comprised of food service professionals, vendors, growers and culinary enthusiasts. Membership is open and the group meets the first week of the month during lunch at changing restaurants.  www.konakohalachefs.org.

 

Montessori Country School’s 30th Anniversary Ho’olaule’a

Montessori Country School in Pahoa is celebrating its 30th Anniversary at their Ho’olaule’a Spring Fundraiser on Saturday, March 29th from 9am to 2pm. Lots of food, entertainment and activities for everyone to enjoy!2014 HoolauleaIf you (or your keiki) are one of our MCS alumni, there will be a special “alumni only” drawing and all photo albums and class pics will be on display. Come join the fun!

Paniolo Cattle Company Formed by Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative

Following a successful grass-fed beef trial on Hawaii Island, Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative announced the launch of the Paniolo Cattle Company, a joint venture aimed at statewide local beef production. The pasture-to-table enterprise taps into a growing demand for high-quality, affordable, locally raised beef.

Parker Cows

Paniolo Cattle Company will begin with 1,400 head of cattle to be raised at Parker Ranch on Hawaii Island.  This represents the largest commitment of grass-fed beef by a single ranch in the state and will increase the supply of grass-fed steers to the market by nearly 35 percent.

Parker Ranch provides calves and cattle management expertise for the joint venture and Ulupono Initiative contributes the intellectual capital to develop best practices for profitability and sustainable agricultural methods.  Both entities have financial interest and will handle the commercial aspects of the business.  Parker Ranch, headquartered in Waimea on Hawaii Island, is Hawaii’s largest cattle operation, and the state’s second largest landowner.

Ranching profitability has long been impacted by fluctuating costs of oil and corn.  The price of cattle over the last decade has increased about 57 percent, while the price of feed has increased 129 percent, causing conventional ranching returns to suffer.  Paniolo Cattle Company seeks to reduce costs substantially by animal husbandry based on sound pasture management.

“This joint venture is about trying to level the cost of beef, creating an at-home thriving cattle industry that is energy-efficient and protects us against volatility in fuel and feed costs,” said Dutch Kuyper, CEO of Parker Ranch. “Restaurants, food markets and consumers want quality and consistency in beef, at reasonable prices.”

The goal is to create a more robust local beef supply chain and ensure that a quality, consistent product is available to all Hawaii consumers, not just the high-end market.  In the pre-commercial trial on Hawaii Island, conducted from September 2012 to May 2013, 80 percent of the beef was graded “choice.”

Market research conducted by Ulupono indicated that Oahu consumers would make the shift to local beef if the quality was consistent and prices were reasonable.  Ulupono has been exploring the grass-fed beef model for nearly four years.
“We view this as an equal partnership of capital and capabilities based on shared values, mutual respect, and a commitment to the future of ranching in Hawaii,” said Kyle Datta, general partner of Ulupono Initiative.  Ulupono Initiative is an impact investment firm focused on Hawaii operations that promote a self-reliant community.
Paniolo Cattle Company plans to expand statewide and has begun talks with ranchers on Oahu, Maui and Kauai to broaden the program’s reach and benefit Hawaii ranchers, processors, and consumers in every county.  The pace of expansion will be based on the market demand.

Kuyper and Datta said meetings with Gov. Neil Abercrombie and cattle ranchers were the catalyst behind pursuing a value-based brand that increases the sustainability of Hawaii’s food supply and reduces the headwinds facing the local ranching industry.  “The State understands the food security issues. We’ve gotten a lot of support and guidance from Scott Enright, State Department of Agriculture board chair,” said Datta.

Paniolo Cattle Company will be involved in the full cycle of beef production, from grazing and finishing to working with processors and distribution.

In the initial grass-fed stage, cattle are free to roam and graze pasture until they reach about 800 pounds. The finishing stage requires active management to assure consistent nutrition to grow to 1,150 pounds, which produces high-quality meat that has the tenderness consumers seek.  Paniolo Cattle Company will operate irrigated finishing forage pastures and employ rotational pasture techniques to achieve consistency and quality, an approach not widely practiced in Hawaii.

“Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative both share the core value of caring about our aina and we’re committed to finding solutions that allow us to be here for the long-term providing affordable, high quality food for our community,” said Datta.  “The rotational grazing approach is a regenerative agricultural method that will improve soil health and increase pasture fertility.  Converting pasture to higher yield grasses, and reinvesting in our natural capital will pay dividends for years to come.”

Third Annual Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest Names Winners

Over 40 professional, amateur and high school contestants vied in the third annual Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest March 16 at the Sheraton Keauhou Convention Center. Proceeds benefit the $150,000 Equip the Kitchens Campaign for the future Hawai’i Community College-Palamanui campus and the Kealii Pauahi Foundation.

Poke in Cup

New to this year’s contest was a category for using Hamakua Mushrooms and a fun Poke Throw Down. The Throw Down pitted winner Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s preparing a quick poke in competition with Bryan Fujikawa of Sun Dried Specialties.

Poke Wontons

Florist Barbara Meheula won the Celebrity Poke Contest, besting pro football player Max Unger, Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi, West Hawaii Today Publisher Tracey Fosso, Miss Kona Coffee 2014 Jeanne Kapela and Facebook Chef Billy Desmond.

Kila Pablo Tripe Poke

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

The contest is sponsored by presenting sponsor Kamehameha Schools, plus Aloha Shoyu Company, Suisan Company Ltd., Hawaiian Springs, Hamakua Mushrooms, West Hawaii Today, the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay, Fresh Island Fish, Coca Cola, BMW of Hawaii, Tanioka’s Seafood & Catering, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Roberts Hawaii, Bacardi, Sun Dried Specialties, Kapa Radio and Young’s Market Co.

2014 Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest Winners

Professional Division

Category: Traditional Poke:

  • 1st Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s
  • 2nd Wade Tamura of Facebook
  • 3rd Robin Ganir of Broke Da Mouth

Category: Cooked

  • 1st Peter Kaluna of UH Dining Services
  • 2nd George Gomes of King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel

Category: Poke with Aloha Shoyu

  • 1st Robin Ganir of Broke Da Mouth
  • 2nd Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s

Category: Non-Seafood

  • 1st Paul Muranaka of King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel
  • 2nd Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s

New Category: Poke with Hamakua Mushrooms

  • 1st George Gomes of King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel
  • 2nd Troy Cataraha of Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai
  • 3rd Robin Ganir of Broke Da Mouth

Non-Professional Division

Category: Traditional Poke

  • 1st Ryan Koyanagi
  • 2nd Chuck Okazaki
  • 3rd Pono Bintliff

Category: Poke with Aloha Shoyu

  • 1st Keauhou Canoe Club Boys #1
  • 2nd Shane Lee
  • 3rd Cal Haena

Category: Non-Seafood

  • 1st Punana Leo Team #2

New Category: Poke with Hamakua Mushrooms

  • 1st Tori Koyanagi

Division: High School

Category-Traditional: 1st Konawaena #304

Category-Cooked: 1st Kealakehe #302

Category-Poke with Aloha Shoyu

  • 1st: Kealakehe #301
  • 1st Runner Up: Konawaena #305
  • 2nd Runner Up: Konawaena #303

Poke Throw Down

  • 1st Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s
  • 2nd Bryan Fujikawa of Sundried Specialties

Celebrity Poke Contest

  • Winner: Barbara Meheula, florist

Contestants: Pro football player Max Unger, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi, West Hawaii Today Publisher Tracey Fosso, Miss Kona Coffee 2014 Jeanne Kapela and Facebook Chef Billy Desmond

UH Hilo Students Awarded Adopt-A-Beehive with Alan Wong Scholarship

Three students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo were awarded the Adopt-A-Beehive with Alan Wong Scholarship at the third annual Bee-coming Sustainable event sponsored by the Adopt-A-Beehive with Alan Wong program held on March 8 at the UH Hilo Farm Laboratory in Panaewa.

Māpuhonehone, the bee friendly garden, is at the UH Hilo farm in Panaʻewa, Hawaiʻi.

Māpuhonehone, the bee friendly garden, is at the UH Hilo farm in Panaʻewa, Hawaiʻi.

The program is a collaborative partnership with Chef Wong and UH Hilo to bring greater awareness to the importance of honey bees and support the educational beekeeping activities at UH Hilo.

This year’s scholarship recipients are Stephen Zilch, Kawehi Lopez and Kirsti Vedenoja. Chancellor Don Straney and Marketing Director for Alan Wongs, Nicole Ng, presented the recipients with a check for $1,000 each.

The event also showcased the advanced beekeeping students who presented walking tours through Mapuhonehone, the bee garden, van tours to the apiaries, educational demonstrations and displays of honey extraction, honey sampling, frames, and a live observation hive. In addition, Chef Wong’s staff treated adopters to food samplings made with honey, such as pizza, pulled pork sliders, ice cream and salad dressing with Hawaiʻi Community College-grown greens.

To learn more about the program, visit: http://hilo.hawaii.edu/adoptabeehive/.

Healthy Schools Day at Capital Engages Policymakers in Hands-On Student Wellness Activities

As part of Education Week, the Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Education (DOE) will conduct interactive demonstrations for legislators at this year’s Healthy Schools Day on Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in the Capitol Rotunda from 9 to 11 a.m.

capitalPolicymakers will meet student gardeners, experience a fitness assessment that DOE students receive in PE class, and compete in a fitness relay race. Students in grades K-12 will assist and cheer on legislators. Demonstrations will showcase policies and programs in Hawaii schools that support healthy students, including school gardening and promising practices for health and physical education (PE).

“Our successful DOH-DOE partnership has led to exceptional policies and programs for Hawaii public schools,” said Health Director Dr. Linda Rosen. “We want our senators and representatives to know about these initiatives so that we can continue to provide a healthy environment for our keiki and expand offerings statewide.”

The event will also celebrate DOE schools receiving the 2014 Excellence in Wellness Awards.

The awards are presented annually to schools that have reached high levels of achievement on the DOE Wellness Guidelines, a set of standards for schools that includes benchmarks for foods and beverages offered to students, health education, physical education, and other activities that support a healthy school environment. The Excellence in Wellness Awards are given to schools that score 90 percent or above on the state’s annual Safety and Wellness Survey. A total of 55 schools are receiving awards in 2014, up from 50 schools last year.

“We recognize the accomplishments of our school administrators who emphasize health and wellness,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “We commend them for promoting student health as it contributes to enhanced academic achievement and better learning.”

Hawaii public schools have direct contact with more than 80 percent of the state’s children ages five to seventeen. School settings are an ideal location to nourish children’s minds and bodies when they align classroom instruction with foods and beverages sold and offered on campus and support regular physical activity.

For more information about wellness in schools, please visit: http://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/BeyondTheClassroom/HealthAndNutrition/WellnessGuidelines/Pages/home.aspx or http://health.hawaii.gov/school-health/

 

Kirkland Signature Sliced Fruit Recalled from Costco for Potential Salmonella

Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc. of Albany, OR has voluntarily recalled 59,780 cases of Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit, produced exclusively for Costco Wholesale Stores. In cooperation with Costco, the company issued the recall after determining the product has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

kirkland-sliced-fruit-406Precautionary recall measures began on Saturday, March 8, 2014. Consumers who may have purchased the product were contacted by phone and US. Mail, and a letter regarding the voluntary recall was posted on the Costco website. Furthermore, the affected product was removed from Costco floors.

The company says that any Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit that is currently available for purchase has been tested and is safe for consumption. No other products made by Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc. are affected.

Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit is sold in a red and white case containing 20 pouches of freeze-dried snacks. Consumers who have purchased Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit with the following “Best Before Dates,” listed on the upper left corner of the front panel of the case, are urged to return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Best Before Date: FEB 14 2015 – MAR 11 2015 (which reads FEB142015 – MAR112015)

No illnesses have been reported, but due to the time required to trace an illness back to a specific food product, it is impossible to say if any illnesses have occurred.

Cases of the potentially contaminated Kirkland Signature Real Sliced Fruit were distributed to Costco Wholesale stores in the following locations: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico.

Oregon Freeze Dry, Inc. is issuing the recall as a proactive safety precaution. Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain.

Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce Hosting Gov. Abercrombie at 2014 Focus Luncheon

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce (KKCC) will host Governor Neil Abercrombie at their 2014 Focus Luncheon 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 26 at the Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel.

King Kam Hotel

Sponsored by Parker Ranch Center and Bank of Hawaii, the annual two-hour luncheon offers a unique opportunity to hear directly from the Governor on issues important to the State as well as the West Hawai`i community.

Attendees can also visit the Business Expo before and after the luncheon, where KKCC members showcase their products and services to the community.

Cost for the luncheon is $45 for Chamber and Rotary members; $55 for non-members. No walk-ins allowed. Reservation deadline is Friday, March 21. Business Expo is free and open to the general public. For more information and/or to register, visit kona-kohala.com or call the Chamber office at 808-329-1758.

UH Hilo HOSA Students Headed to Nationals

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo students recently competed in the 9th annual Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) Statewide competition on O`ahu and received several honors that qualified them for the national competition in Orlando, Florida, June 25-28, 2014.

UH Hilo Moniker

The Public Service Announcement Team, categorized as a Teamwork Event, took first place with their 30-second PSA on “Educating the Community about Child Hunger.” The topic was to promote a healthcare service organization and bring awareness to a healthcare situation. Team members, all freshmen, include Lark Jason Canico (team captain), Ridge Cabacang, Sheldon Cabudol, and Guinevere Davenport. Each member gave an oral presentation in addition to displaying the PSA.

Kimberly Cabreros, a sophomore, took first place in Pharmacology. Categorized as a “Knowledge Test,” the test was related to a specific career or specialty area from within the healthcare community that measured proficiency at the recall, application, and analysis levels.

Junior Mandee Miyake took third overall in Prepared Speaking, which was categorized as a Leadership Event. She wrote a paper and presented a speech on “The Future Starts Now.”

The UH Hilo team also received an award for having the highest increase in membership in the Post Secondary Chapter for 2013-2014.

Dr. Cecilia Mukai, UH Hilo HOSA faculty adviser, shared, “By competing in these events detailing healthcare provider skills, students learn invaluable lessons to last them a lifetime. We are all very proud of these students’ efforts and accomplishments.”

Hawaiʻi HOSA provides opportunities for secondary and postsecondary students to develop character and apply leadership skills within the area of the healthcare industry. It is one of the five Career and Technical Student Organizations in Hawaiʻi. UH Hilo HOSA is a Registered Independent Student Organization (RISO).