2013 Sam Choy Keauhou Poke Contest – RESULTS

Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s was the top overall winner of today’s Sam Choy Keauhou Poke Contest. The owner of Umeke’s earned the most points with his professional entry in the Poke With Soy Sauce category.

Top Overall winner Nakoa Pabre of Umeke's with Sam Choy and local pageant queens.

Top Overall winner Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s with Sam Choy and local pageant queens. Photos by Fern Gavelek

A total of 29 professional, amateur and high school entrants “put their braggin’ in the bowl” to win cash and prizes at the second Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest today at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay.

The real winner at the event is the Equip the Kitchens campaign for the future Hawaii Community College-Palamanui campus. All public admission proceeds—$5,000—will be donated to the $1 million campaign.

In addition to the poke contest and tasting, fun included a celebrity cookoff, a poke-making demonstration by Sam Choy, entertainment, poi pounding and fish net making, and a Hawaii Island Marketplace. Each attendee received a reusable shopping bag.

Poke Sweet

Competition was in six categories: traditional, spicy, cooked, poke with soy sauce, non-seafood and sushi style. There were three divisions: professional, non-professional and high school. Student Cameron Linden of Konawaena High School took top place among the high school students, winning her school’s culinary department $300 donated by Sun Dried Specialties. Complete contest results are included below.

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is part of Keauhou Resort’s annual Kamehameha III celebration March 15-17 that commemorates the Keauhou-born king, Lani Kauikeaouli. The contest is sponsored by Kamehameha Investment Corporation, Kamehameha Schools Land Assets Division, the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Aloha Shoyu, Hawaiian Springs Water, Suisan Company, Ltd., BMW of Hawaii, Bacardi, Young’s Market, Roberts Hawaii, Sun Dried Specialties, Tanioka’s Seafood & Catering, Fresh Island Fish and KTA Superstores.

2013 Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest Results

Best Overall Poke

  • Nakoa Pabre-Umeke’s

Professional Division 

Poke Professional


  • 1ST Henry Mateo/Elmer Tabudlo-Hawaii Calls restaurant
  • 2ND Tim Wong-Facebook
  • 3RD Ezekiel Duru-Facebook


  • 1ST Viktor Schmidt-Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa
  • 2ND Henry Mateo/Elmer Tabudlo-Hawaii Calls restaurant
  • 3RD Ashley Danao-Rolls With It


  • 1ST Henry Mateo/Elmer Tabudlo-Hawaii Calls restaurant
  • 2ND Pedro Almazan-The Fish Hopper

Soy Sauce

  • 1ST Nakoa Pabre-Umeke’s
  • 2ND Carlos Nava-Huggo’s restaurant
  • 3RD Robin Ganir-Broke Da Mouth Grindz & Catering


  • 1ST Troy Cataraha

Sushi Professional & Non-Professional

  • 1ST Nakoa Pabre-Umeke’s

Non-Professional Division 


  • 1ST Garet Sekiya
  • 2ND Margie Hanselman


  • 1ST Alexis Fujikawa
  • 2ND Gwen Edwards


  • 1ST Christopher Todd
  • 2ND Keoki Rivera

Soy Sauce

  • 1ST Keoni Paoa
  • 2ND Sabine Andresen
  • 3RD Keoki Rivera


  • 1ST Ryan Koyanagi

High School Division 

  • 1ST Konawaena High School
  • 2ND Kealakehe High School
  • 3RD Konawaena High School

Celebrity Cookoff 

FIRST PLACE TIE: Tony Silva and Kumu Keala Ching

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