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A Feast from Mauka to Makai – Waikoloa Beach Resort Food Events Feature the Best from Land and Sea

September 9-10, 2016 is the weekend foodies look forward to all year, when two of the island’s tastiest culinary events happen back-to-back in Waikoloa Beach Resort: Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range on Friday, September 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, and Hawai‘i Island Festival’s Poke Contest, Saturday, September 10 at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.

Poke Festival 2016

Celebrating its 20th year, Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range (TOTHR) is not just for carnivores anymore. Along with island-raised meats—skillfully prepared by 30 top chefs from around the state—TOTHR showcases a bounty of locally grown fruits, vegetables, dairy, nuts and other farm products. Additionally, a special culinary activity, “Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101,” presented by chefs Kevin Hanney and Jason Schoonover of the award-winning 12th Ave. Grill, takes place at 3 p.m. on Friday.

Tickets are $45 and $60 at the door for TOTHR, $10 for Cooking 101, available online at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com or at the Kohala Essence Shop at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. For general event information, phone 808-322-4892.

For kama‘āina, Hilton Waikoloa Village offers a Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package, starting at $239, which includes two tickets to the event. A valid Hawai‘i state ID and address are required. For hotel reservations, visit www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/kamaaina, (package code TSH), or call 1-800-HILTONS.

On Saturday, September 10, the culinary journey travels from the pastures to the ocean for Hawai‘i Island Festivals Poke Contest at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. A traditional Hawaiian food that has stood the test of time and continues to trend in popular cuisine, poke is a side dish made of bite-size pieces of fish, combined with a limitless range of creative additional ingredients.

Doors open for the Poke Contest at 11 a.m., where for both professional chefs and home cooks, will compete for cash prizes in numerous categories. And, after the judges announce the winners, the audience gets to taste too. For information and entry forms, visit www.hawaiiislandfestival.org.

Waikoloa Beach Resort is a complete destination resort that encompasses two championship golf courses and over 3,000 guest rooms in two upscale hotels, and seven luxury condominiums and vacation home properties.  The Resort also includes award-winning Queens’ MarketPlace and Kings’ Shops, offering a wide variety of shopping opportunities, services and dining experiences, plus free entertainment and cultural programs.  For more information visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call (808) 886-8822.

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.

New Activities Mark 20th Taste of the Hawaiian Range

While “grazing” at over 60 culinary stations and exhibit booths, attendees at the 20th Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range can get in on some new activities that all promote local and sustainable food production on Hawai‘i Island.

The Taste of the Hawaiian Range is one of my sons favorite events!

The Taste of the Hawaiian Range is one of my sons favorite events!

The anniversary event is 6-8 p.m. Friday, October 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village and boasts a stellar lineup of participating chefs from O’ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i Island—plus sampling by local food producers and compelling exhibits presenting topics related to our island agriculture.

Each attending family will receive a complimentary copy of the Taste of the Hawaiian Range 20th Anniversary Cookbooklet, filled with recipes by local chefs and members of the local beef industry. Find out how the Arakis of Kuhio Grille make Miso Pork Pot Roast and what’s the secret for Merriman’s Kahua Ranch Lamb Jook.

taste2015

Also new in 2015 is a digital scavenger hunt where up to 500 guests can answer questions, take photos and learn more about Big Isle agriculture—using their smart phones —for a chance to win prizes like restaurant gift certificates and local food products.

In addition, attendees will be able to connect with exhibit booths through a QR code image posted at each table. The code will connect smart phone users to online product discounts, coupons and links for educational resources.

“These digital activities will enable attendees to take advantage of discount offers from our participating local food producers for up to a year after the event,” explains Christine Osterwalder, Taste exhibit chair. “Guests will also be able to download digital handouts from our educational exhibitors. Info will be conveniently accessible at the click of a button and celebrates the amazing variety of agricultural products here on the Big Island.”

taste2015a

Anniversary festivities will include honoring the event’s 20-year participants and others who have been long-term Taste supporters.

Culinary headliners for this year’s event include Bravo’s “Top Chef” Fan Favorite Sheldon Simeona of Maui’s Migrant Restaurant; Kevin Hanney of Oahu’s 12th Avenue Grill, the 2015 Hale Aina Best Restaurant of the Year; and the host of TV’s “Family Ingredients,” Ed Kenny of Honolulu’s Town Restaurant.

These celebrity chefs, and 30-some others, will be preparing delectable dishes using pasture-raised beef, lamb, goat, mutton and pork. A variety of beef cuts—from tongue to tail— are utilized so chefs and attendees can get acquainted with not-so-familiar cuts while having fun. The pasture-raised beef is sourced from local, humanely raised cattle that are free of antibiotics and hormones. Enjoy familiar cuts like sirloin tip and ribs, plus tripe and the infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles.

The Rocky Mountain Oyster Display

The Rocky Mountain Oyster Display

Hawaii Regional Cuisine founders Roy Yamaguchi and Peter Merriman will lead the pre-gala’s educational offerings, which are open to the public. Using oxtail and beef tenderloin, Chef Yamaguchi of Roy’s instructs the 2015 edition of Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 at 3 p.m. Peter Merriman of Merriman’s Restaurants offers a presentation on purchasing local for the professional kitchen that is geared for college culinary students at 1:30 p.m.

Pre-sale tickets for Taste are $45 and $60 at the door. Entry to Cooking 101 is $10 while the 1:30 p.m. class is free. Tickets are on sale at island-wide locations and online. Tickets locations include Kuhio Grille in Hilo, JJ’s Country Market in Honoka‘a, Kamuela Liquors and Parker Ranch Store in Waimea, Kona Wine Market in Kailua-Kona and Kohala Essence Shop at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Purchase tickets online at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

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

A free parking and shuttle service to Taste is available from ‘Anaeho‘omalu Bay noon-10 p.m.; follow parking signs on Waikoloa Beach Drive. Guests are encouraged to come early to avoid shuttle lines. For general event information, phone (808) 969-8209.

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 Russell Nagata at 808-969-8209 no later than September 7.

taste2015bMealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, 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, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the 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 small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

 

Taste of the Hawaiian Range Turns 20

Marking 20 years of celebrating Hawai‘i’s local products and the people who produce them, Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is Friday, Oct. 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

The Taste of the Hawaiian Range is one of my sons favorite events!

The Taste of the Hawaiian Range is one of my sons favorite events!

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.

While confirmations are still coming in for the nearly 40 invited restaurants and their chefs, the culinary lineup already reads like a who’s who of good eats. Headliners for the Taste evening gala to date include Bravo’s “Top Chef” Fan Favorite Sheldon Simeona of Maui’s Migrant Restaurant; Kevin Hanney of Oahu’s 12th Avenue Grill, the 2015 Hale Aina Best Restaurant of the Year; and the host of TV’s “Family Ingredients,” Ed Kenny of Honolulu’s Town Restaurant.

Students at a workshop

Students at a workshop

Hawaii Regional Cuisine founders Roy Yamaguchi and Peter Merriman will lead the pre-gala’s educational offerings, which are open to the public. Chef Yamaguchi of Roy’s instructs the 2015 edition of Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 at 3 p.m. while Peter Merriman of Merriman’s Restaurants offers an informative presentation geared for college culinary students at 1:30 p.m.

The time for this year’s Taste gala is 6-8 p.m. and the annual agricultural showcase will again sprawl both inside and out of the Hilton Waikoloa Village. 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.

The line to get in

The line to get in

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 food sustainability, including the University of Hawai’i’s Mealani Research Station—where Taste began!

Anniversary festivities will include honoring the event’s 20-year participants and others who have been major Taste supporters.

Doesn't this look good?

Doesn’t this look good?

“We had 16 participating restaurants at the first Taste,” shares Dr. Russell Nagata, event chairperson and administrator of Hawai‘i County Extension Services for the University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR). “We invited all of them, who are still in operation, to participate in our anniversary event.”

Pre-sale tickets for Taste are $45 and $60 at the door. Entry to Cooking 101 is $10 while the 1:30 p.m. class is free. Tickets go on sale in July at island-wide locations and online. 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 Russell Nagata at 808-969-8228 no later than September 7.

 

I Don’t Have the Balls to Eat Rocky Mountain Oysters – 18th Annual Taste of the Hawaiian Range Another Success

On Friday I got to attend the 18th Annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range that was held at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Doesn't this look good?

Doesn’t this look good?

Many folks think that the “Taste” is all about eating food from 6-8 pm, however, before the taste even begins there is a lot of preparation done by many groups and folks to make this one of the most successful food events in the State of Hawaii.

The line to get in

The line to get in

The Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, encouragement and support of locally produced agriculture products.

It's not all about meat!

It’s not all about meat!

The premiere ag-tourism event is a partnership between CTAHR, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers.

Experience

Kamehameha Schools is a Sponsor of the Event

Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program and KTA SuperStores. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations.

Miss Kona Coffee was on hand.

Miss Kona Coffee was on hand.

At 1:30 there was a nutrition seminar geared for culinary students and food industry professionals that was presented by Justin Yu, most recently chef/owner of The Whole Ox. The Kaka‘ako restaurant creates its menu based on the availability of meat while using entire grass-feed beef and pig carcasses, one at a time.

Students learn from the best

Students learn from the best

Yu, a native of New York City where he did whole animal butchery, came to Hawai’i this spring, after working at well-known eateries like Hawker Fare in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Chef Yu shares his insights for using whole animals and locally sourced products to create food in a sustainable way.

Chef Yu shares his insights for using whole animals and locally sourced products to create food in a sustainable way.

At 3 there was a seminar on how to gook grass-fed beef which had a  staged cooking demonstration that featured Hubert Des Marais, executive chef of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i, who instructed students how to prepare two cuts of grass-fed beef: boneless brisket and tongue.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Chef Hubert brought more than 35 years of culinary experience in the hospitality industry spanning four continents. He has garnered numerous accolades, including being named one of “America’s 10 Best Chefs” by Food and Wine Magazine and has appeared on the Food Network and cooked at the James Beard House on numerous occasions. A proponent of food sustainability, chef utilizes food prepared by local ranchers, farmers and aquaculturists while purchasing beef by whole animal carcass. At the end of the seminar, samplings of the meats were available for the students.

This was my favorite!

This was my favorite from Hualalai Grille (Beef Skirt served w/ Lobster meat)

At 5 the pre-taste began where the media had a chance to talk to the farmers and the cooks about what they had prepared without the mad rush of having to deal with the general public that came in at 6.

Chefs putting the finishing touches on some plates

Chefs putting the finishing touches on some plates

I made it a point to eat as much as I could between 5 and about 5:40 hitting up about 15 booths of food that ranged from Beef Tri Tip served by Aloha Mondays to Kalua Pork served by Mahina Café.

Kalua in wonton shells, sweet potato on haupia.  Underneath the Kalua there was a little dash of poi.

Kalua pig in wonton shells, sweet potato on haupia. Underneath the Kalua there was a little dash of poi.

This year, I told myself I would try something different and I was going to try and eat the recipe that contained the Rocky Mountain Oysters that were served by the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel.

I met the chef and he assured me they were edible!

I met the chef and he assured me they were edible!

I actually had about 10 folks willing to pitch in to the Hawaii Island Food Basket if I were to complete the task of eating a cow ball and being able to suck it down.

This was a real cow ball... but it's now how they were served.

This was a real cow ball… but it’s now how they were served.

Chef Peter Pahk sliced up the oysters and then grilled them Korean style with organic lettuce, jasmine rice and Ko Choo Jung dipping sauce.

The Oyster Display

The Oyster Display

I was expecting them to taste a little bit like Korean Chicken but boy was I in for a major surprise.

Sliced and Diced Rocky Mountain Oysters!

Sliced and Diced Rocky Mountain Oysters!

I don’t know what happened and everyone says its mind over matter when eating things like this… but the second I took a big bite of the concoction and started to chew… the back of my tongue just closed up against my throat and I got this instant sick sensation and I felt the need to puke.  I tried my best to swallow it down… I just couldn’t do it.

Thankfully I didn’t swallow it because I probably would have heaved it up.  I did my best to discreetly cover my mouth with my hand and I spit it out into my hand and then dumped it into a recycled food bin that was set up for pig slop.

Thankfully these were nearby!

Thankfully these were nearby!

I quickly went to the drink station and drank about 4 cups of soda.  I couldn’t shake the taste from my mouth so I quickly went to the dessert station and had some sweets to try and take away the bitter taste that I had in mouth.

Opening Pule

Opening Pule

At 5:45 Kahu Danny Akaka offered a Pule Hoʻomaka (Opening Prayer) inside the ballroom and then at 6:00 he moved outside and blew the “Pu” (conch shell) and untied the Maile celebrating the beginning of the 18th Annual Taste of Hawaiian Range.

The official opening to the public

The official opening to the public

A little history about Friday’s agriculture showcase is that it started in 1996 as the Mealani Forage Field Day and A Taste of the Hawaiian Range. During the day, Mealani hosted an on-site Forage Field Day with tours of the forage gardens, educational seminars for ranchers and food producers, plus presentations by top, ag-related speakers, such as Jo Robinson, best-selling author of “Pasture Perfect” and eatwild.com. In the evening, Taste sampling was enjoyed by the public in the Kahilu Town Hall.  The event soon outgrew the location in Waimea and moved to it’s current location at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

My son caught this picture of my wife and I walking down the corridor.

My son caught this picture of my wife and I walking down the corridor.

I got a chance to talk to one of the organizers Fern Gavalek and she stated that she thought the crowd was a little larger then last year but they haven’t got the official numbers in just yet.  Last year there was over 2,000 people in attendance including folks that attended the event, student volunteers, student chefs and restaurant staff folks manning the booths.

Video Courtesy of Big Island Video News:
[youtube=http://youtu.be/k8-wIe3uNQ4]

You can click on the pictures below for a larger version of the pictures:

Federal Worker to Eat Cow Ball for Charity During Government Shutdown

The following post first appeared on the HuffPost Hawaii Site:

After moving to Hawaii in 1993, I’ve had chances to eat things many folks don’t get an opportunity to on the mainland.

Unfortunately, I have a very weak stomach and I don’t take advantage of all the great foods that Hawaii has to offer. Whether a common food, such as raw fish, or a staple such as poi, I just can’t seem to stomach them.

Cow balls getting ready to be cooked.

Cow balls getting ready to be cooked.

The last few years I’ve been invited to the Big Island of Hawaii’s premier food and agriculture event, the Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, where I’ve been able to sample and eat every part of a cow so far, except for, well… it’s BALLS, otherwise known as Rocky Mountain Oysters.

I don’t know why I’ve been so fearful of eating this part of a steer other then the thought of it pretty much disgusts me and churns my stomach. I’m sure I’ve probably had a few cow balls mixed in to my regular hamburger meat at times… it’s just I wouldn’t have known it.

I’ve always believed that if you have a fear of something, you should tackle that fear head-on. Why continue to live in fear of something when you can get over your fear and move past it?

I asked the following question to my friends on Facebook:

1. Have you ever eaten Rocky Mountain Oysters and what did they taste like to you?
2. If you had the chance to eat them in the past…. and didn’t eat them… why didn’t you?

Most of my friends said they tasted like chicken, but then I got this one comment from Leilehua Yuen: “I’ve eaten them prepared very well – tasted a bit like a cross between sweetbreads and brain. And I’ve eaten them prepared poorly – very salty and overcooked so they were too hard to chew. Both times, they had been breaded and deep-fried. Ono (good) with beer!”

Yes, Leilehua said, “BRAIN”!

As I said before, I have to move past my fears and I figured this year at the Taste of the Hawaiian Range I would volunteer to eat a Rocky Mountain Oyster if folks would pitch in for a non-profit charity. I will videotape my tasting and put it on my website.

"Snip"

“Snip”

I didn’t know what type of response I would get but then the offers to watch me choke down a cow ball started coming in. The local automobile magazine, Hawaii Motorhead was the first to pitch in so I offered them the opportunity to pick the non-profit and they have chosen The Food Basket, Inc. (a network that provides food for low income and homeless folks here on the Big Island of Hawaii).

After just a week of posting my offer to swallow down a cow ball and through generous contributions from Hawaii Motorhead, Craig Watanabe, Lucy Denise K. Mossman, Chris Henry, Dustin Acdal, Matt and Kehau Sproat (who don’t want to see the video as it’s too gross for them), Laura Kinoshita of Kinoshita Communications, Mahealani and Kevin Dayton as well as Mark Hinshaw I have now raised over $300 for the island’s food bank.

At the 18th Annual Taste of the Hawaiian Range, between 6-8 p.m. October 4, is where I will be filmed eating this cow ball… and yes, I will have a big glass of water next to me to wash it down. Wouldn’t it be funny if I actually ended up liking the “oyster”?

Thankfully Rocky Mountain Oysters are not the only thing on the menu as the “Taste” will offer 35 restaurants preparing numerous cuts of grass-fed beef–plus lamb, mutton, goat and feral and domestic pork.

And for all you vegetarians out there who I may have completely disgusted with this post, the Taste of the Hawaiian Range is not all about meat, although to this meat lover it seems like it at times but there will also be over 40 agriculture and educational booths for folks to peruse.

So I ask… how much money would it take for you to eat a Rocky Mountain Oyster?

Want to pitch in on this challenge?????

Get Your Feedbag on for Taste of the Hawaiian Range – Event Illustrates How To Use All the Cuts of Grass-Fed Beef

Come hungry to the island’s mega agriculture festival, Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range. Time is 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 and the 18th annual event sprawls inside and out of the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Tickets are $40 presale and $60 at the door.

Mealani Sign

The menu headlines dry-aged, grass-finished beef—sourced from local, humanely raised cattle that spend their entire life eating grass after being weaned. It is free of antibiotics and hormones. Animal science research shows grass-fed beef is low in fat and calories, contains beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and is one of the richest known sources of conjugated linoleic acid (CIA), which has anti-cancer properties.

Thirty-five Hawai’i chefs are assigned to prepare a whopping 100 pounds of a specific cut of beef—or locally sourced pork, lamb, mutton, goat or USDA-inspected wild boar—and the result is a festive adventure of tasting everything from tongue to tail. The chef station annually serving Kohala Mountain Oysters, a nickname for local bull’s testicles, is always a Taste curiosity and favorite.

“The primary reason to assign all the beef cuts is for chefs and attendees to get acquainted with them while having fun,” emphasizes Jeri Moniz, event chairperson and rancher. “By utilizing the whole animal, there’s no waste and the value of the animal goes up. This is important for our livestock industry.”

Taste also showcases the efforts of our hard-working farmers, using a bounty of local vegetables, fruits and fungi in the chef’s culinary offerings. Attendees can talk story with local growers, ranchers and producers of value-added food products at gaily decorated booths while enjoying samples. In addition, Taste offers sustainability and agriculture-themed educational displays.

Those wanting to learn first-hand how to use and prepare 100 percent pasture-raised beef can attend the event’s annual Grass-Fed Beef Cooking 101 culinary demonstration. This year’s guest presenter is Hubert Des Marais, executive chef of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. A strong supporter of sourcing “local first,” Chef Des Marais uses two-to-three whole beef carcasses per month at the AAA Four Diamond award-winning resort. The 3 p.m. presentation includes sampling and is $10.

Online ticket links for both Taste and Cooking 101, plus islandwide ticket locations, can be found at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com. Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI. For general event information, phone (808) 969-8228.

Mayor Kenoi and Senator Hanohano look on as Dan Akaka Jr. blows the conch opening the 2011 Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Mayor Kenoi and Senator Hanohano look on as Dan Akaka Jr. blows the conch opening the 2011 Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Hawai’i residents can take advantage of Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package with rates starting at $229 per room on Oct. 4 that includes two tickets for Taste. For details, and to book a stay under an exclusive Taste of the Hawaiian Range room package (code TSH), visit http://bit.ly/14wUunL or call 1-800-HILTONS.

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 Sept. 4.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, 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, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program and KTA SuperStores. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit http://www.TasteOfTheHawaiianRange.com.

 

Wordless Wednesday – Do You Know What These Are?

Well the 17th Annual Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range is coming up in a few weeks and this past weekend my wife and son took part in a “Round Up”.

You know what these are?

This may give you a hint:

Three-Dozen Hawai’i Restaurants to Participate in 17th Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival

Three-dozen Hawai‘i restaurants and their chefs are serving up a culinary adventure at the 17th Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival on Friday, Sept. 21 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Attendees will enjoy innovative cuisine using healthy, forage-fed meats and a cornucopia of locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, honeys and beverages. Meats on the menu include 22 cuts of dry-aged, grass-fed beef—everything from tongue to tail—plus lamb, mutton, goat, pork and wild and domestic boar. Each culinary station receives a whopping 100 pounds of meat to create the dish of their choice.

Seven of the culinary participants are first timers, including The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and new Executive Chef Hubert Des Marias, who recently came to the Kohala Coast from Kenya. Using grass-fed beef is nothing new for the award-winning chef as The Fairmont Orchid serves grass-fed beef throughout the resort.

Executive Chef Hubert Des Marias

“I like grass-fed beef for its flavor profile and healthful benefits,” says Des Marias, who was named one of “America’s Ten Best New Chefs” by Food and Wine Magazine. He prefers “simple preparation” to let grass-fed beef “speak for itself.”  For Taste, chef will prepare a tasty “Tongue and Cheek” dish: tamarind-glazed beef cheek and sweet potato laulau with pickled lomilomi beef tongue and mustard greens salad served with Waimea tomatoes and a golden pineapple turmeric salsa.

Another 2012 Taste newbie is the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa and Executive Chef Sven Ullrich. Assigned beef flap—a bottom sirloin cut also called beef loin tip—Chef Ullrich is serving extra virgin olive oil-poached beef with jackfruit slaw and micro chives.

Executive Chef Sven Ullrich

Commenting on grass-fed beef, the Hyatt chef shares, “Grass-fed beef has a distinctive flavor profile that is hard to find in today’s meat markets. It’s a natural product and the cattle are raised the old fashioned way, which makes it special for me and I just love working with it.”

Kelsi Ikeda of Sandy’s Drive In debuts at Taste to make kalbi-braised clod (cross-rib) quesadillas with a pineapple kim chee relish and kochujung sour cream. After jobs at Alan Wong’s, Nobu Waikiki and Trump’s Waikiki Beachwalk, Chef Ikeda is back on the Big Island working alongside her Grandma (Sandy) and dad (Aaron) as part of three generations at the Kainaliu restaurant. The mauka landmark specializes in “island favorites,” including loco mocos, which employ grass-fed beef.

“Food Network Star,” Chef Philip “Ippy” Aiona of Solimene’s Restaurant

Fresh from competition on cable TV’s “Food Network Star,” Chef Philip “Ippy” Aiona of Solimene’s Restaurant in Waimea makes his first Taste appearance using a favorite butcher’s cut known for its great flavor—hanger steak. As he is still securing his other ingredients, Chef Ippy says his culinary offering “will be a surprise.”

Other restaurants and their chefs debuting at Taste include the newly opened Lava Lava Beach Club in Waikoloa with Chef Colin Stevens preparing beef top round, Blue Dragon Restaurant in Kawaihae with Chef Noah Hester cooking beef bottom round and Sodexo/UH-Hilo Dining Services with Chef Timothy Choo using beef chuckroll.

Chef Noah Hester

Taste’s format of assigning chefs a variety of meat cuts fulfills its goal of educating both chefs and attendees that all the cuts of grass-finished beef can be enjoyed. In addition, with more of the animal being used, there is less waste and the value of the product goes up—a plus for the local livestock industry.

In addition to “grazing” at a host of culinary stations, festival goers can enjoy samples from a variety of Hawai‘i’s local food producers offering tastes of a bevy of products: savory red veal, tempting chocolate, vine-ripened tomatoes and more.  Also on display will be ag-related educational exhibits. It’s all part of the focus on food sustainability at the annual event that showcases the isle’s grass-fed beef industry while bringing together local ranchers, farmers, restaurateurs and eager eaters to celebrate a bounty of locally produced food.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is 6-8 p.m. and sprawls from the Hilton’s Grand Ballroom to the Lagoon Lanai. Pre-Taste activities include a culinary demo, with sampling, on how to use and prepare 100 percent pasture-raised beef. Time is 3 p.m. for the 2012 installment of Grass-Fed Beef Cooking 101. This year’s guest presenter is Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Executive Chef James Babian who will be preparing Grilled Tri-Tip with Kiawe-Smoked Kabocha Pumpkin and Braciole de Manzo or Italian beef roll.

Tickets for the evening Taste and Cooking 101 demo are conveniently sold online at http://www.TasteOfTheHawaiianRange.com. Taste tickets remain priced at $40 presale and $60 at the door, while the fee for the cooking demo is $10. Watch for ticket giveaways and event updates 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 Sept. 14.

The Hilton Waikoloa Village offers Taste of the Hawaiian Range Kama‘aina Room and Ticket Packages (code TSH) starting at $229 plus tax for one night stay on Sept. 21 and two event tickets. Room-only accommodations are available starting from $149 per night (code MTH). Visit http://bit.ly/GJsNyk or phone 808-886-1234 and ask for the “Taste of the Hawaiian Range Ticket Package.”

MENU AND RESTAURANTS PARTICIPATING:

2012 Participating Restaurants

Meat Cut Restaurant
Beef Tongue 12th Avenue Grill
Beef Heart Aloha Mondays
Beef Bottom Round Blue Dragon Restaurant
Commercial Pork Café Pesto – Hilo
Beef Skirt Café Pesto – Kawaihae
Beef Tripe Earl’s
Beef Cheek Meat Fairmont Orchid
Beef Tri-Tip Four Seasons-Hualalai
Beef Sirloin Tip Hawaii Community College – East Hawaii*
Feral Pork Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel
Mutton Hilo Bay Café
Beef Brisket Hilton Waikoloa
Beef Mt. Oysters Honolulu Burger Co.
Beef Flapmeat Hyatt Regency Waikiki
Steamship Round Kamehameha Schools – Hawaii
Kalua Pork Kuhio Grille
Beef Top Round Lava Lava Beach Club
Goat Mauna Lani Bay Hotel
Beef Skirt Mauna Kea Beach Hotel & Bungalows
Beef Top Sirloin Merriman’s Market Cafe
Lamb Merriman’s Waimea
Ground Beef North Hawaii Community Hospital
Beef Eye Of Round Pagoda Restaurant
Beef Top Round Red Water Cafe
Feral Portk Roy’s Waikoloa
Lamb Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai
Beef Clod/ Cross-Rib Sandi’s Drive In
Beef Chuckroll Sodexo/University Dining Services
Beef Hanging Tenders Solimine’s Restaurant
Beef Bottom Round Tommy Bahama
Mutton Town Restaurant
Beef Chuckroll Umeke Market
Beef Flank Village Burger
Beef Shank Waikoloa Beach Marriott Hotel
Beef Clod / Cross-Rib Hawaii Community College – West Hawaii*

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, 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, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program and KTA SuperStores. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit http://www.TasteOfTheHawaiianRange.com.

Local Food Buyers and Producers are Needed for the 16th Annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agricultural Festival

Media Release:

Local food buyers and producers are needed for the 16th annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agricultural Festival on Friday, Sept. 30 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

The state’s premiere ag showcase again offers a free trade show for Hawai‘i farmers, ranchers and food producers to hookup with food buyers. Called the Agriculture Festival, this year’s expo coincides with the 6-8 p.m. Taste of the Hawaiian Range.

The Agriculture Festival provides a venue for food producers to present their products to wholesale and retail buyers—including chefs. This year’s new time slot ensures tradeshow participants will gain increased awareness among the attending public. The expo is also open for agricultural and sustainability-themed organizations to present informational displays.

One of many pools at the Hilton Waikoloa

Food buyers and producers interested in participating may contact Ashley De Mattos at 808-981-5211 or ashleydemattos@gmail.comThe signup deadline for producers is August 3 and for buyers the deadline is August 16.

Those interested in having an educational display at the Taste may reach Glenn Sako at 808-969-8252 or gsako@hawaii.edu.

Taste will headline more than 30 statewide chefs who will dazzle diners using various cuts of forage-fed meats and a cornucopia of island fruits, vegetables and other farm products. Also on tap is a 3 p.m. culinary activity, “Grass Fed Beef Cooking 101,” presented by KTA’s Derek Kurisu of TV’s “Living in Paradise.” Taste tickets are on sale online, http://www.tasteofthehawaiianrange.com. Follow Taste of the Hawaiian Range on Facebook or on Twitter, #TasteHI.

Big Island Grass Fed Cows

Mealani A Taste of the Hawaiian Range provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, 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 and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Research and Development, Big Island Resource Conservation & Development, the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Association and KTA SuperStores.