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The Hawaii Breadfruit Festival Coming Up Next Month

Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network, the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden are presenting the Breadfruit Festival

Breadfruit Festival

Dr. Diane Ragone of the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden will be one of the expert speakers at the Breadfruit Festival. Photo credit: Jim Wiseman

Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona on Saturday, September 24, 2011 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. The Breadfruit Festival celebrates the rich culture of breadfruit (‘ulu) in Hawai‘i and the Pacific, raises awareness about the importance of breadfruit for food security and gives the people an opportunity to taste many delicious ways that breadfruit can be prepared. On the day of the Festival, the Garden will also be dedicating its new visitor center at 12:00 noon. The Festival and dedication are free and open to the public.

Breadfruit-inspired food will highlight the festivities. Chefs Olelo pa‘a Faith Ogawa of Glow Hawaii and Scott Lutey, Executive Chef of the Eddie Aikau Restaurant and Museum will be demonstrating how to make various delicious breadfruit dishes and giving out samples to taste. A local food buffet featuring breadfruit will be presented by Chef Betty Saiki and the West Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program. Members of the public are invited to enter the Breadfruit Cooking Contest with their own favorite recipes. Open to all Hawai‘i Island residents, Cooking Contest prizes will be awarded in the categories of Appetizer, Soup/Salad/Side Dish, Main Dish/Entrée, Dessert, Best of Show and Healthiest Choice. Celebrity Chefs Mark Tsuchiyama of Hualalai Resort, Jacqueline Lau of Roy’s Restaurants, and Olelo pa‘a Faith Ogawa will be joined by food writer Sonia R. Martinez and KITV weekend anchor Pamela Young to judge the Cooking Contest.

Jerry Konanui pound breadfruit into "breadfruit poi"

Mahi‘ai and educator Jerry Konanui pounds ‘ulu poi at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden. ‘Ulumaika, woodworking, quilting, tapa making, 'ulu poi and talks by Hawaiian cultural experts will be some of the cultural activities at the Breadfruit Festival. Photo credit: Craig Elevitch

The Breadfruit Festival will feature many Hawaiian and Pacific Islander cultural activities, including: Mahi‘ai and educator Jerry Konanui will lead a hands-on workshop in the art of preparing ‘ulu poi. Hawaiian cultural expert Wesley Sen will be demonstrating how to make tapa from ‘ulu bark. ‘Ohana of the late Micronesian navigator Mau Piailug will share ‘ulu preparation techniques from their home island of Satawal. Master artisan Keoni Turalde will be carving a Hawaiian pahu (drum) from ‘ulu wood. Cultural experts Ryan McCormack of Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School and others will be giving talks on the culture, history and mythology of ‘ulu in Hawai‘i. Other cultural activities include ‘ulumaika, lei making, and quilting featuring ‘ulu motifs.

Workshops on breadfruit propagation, tree care and maintenance, economic opportunities and other topics will be given by experts Dr. Diane Ragone and Ian Cole of the Breadfruit Institute. An art exhibit will feature breadfruit-inspired works from the Festival fine art and youth art contests. ‘Ma‘afala’ (Samoan) and Hawaiian varieties of breadfruit trees will be available for sale.

Dr. Diane Ragone

Learning to cook breadfruit will be one of the Breadfruit Festival activities. Olelo Pa'a Faith Ogawa and other celebrity chefs will be demonstrating how to make gourmet dishes from breadfruit. The public can compete in the Breadfruit Cooking Contest to win prizes. Photo credit: Angela Tillson, Courtesy of the Breadfruit Institute

In the week leading up to the Breadfruit Festival, the Keauhou Resort will celebrate the “Taste of ‘Ulu” by featuring gourmet dishes in its resort restaurants and at the Keauhou Farmers Market.

The Breadfruit Festival is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Kūkulu Ola—Living Hawaiian Culture Program. Other sponsors include Kamehameha Schools, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Keauhou Resort, Ke Ola Magazine, Ho‘oulu Lāhui, Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School, West Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program, Big Island Resource Conservation and Development, Glow Hawai‘i, Kona ‘Ulu, Hawai‘i Tropical Fruit Growers, Sonia R. Martinez, ‘Āpono Hawai‘i and dozens of individual “Breadfruit—Traditional Roots and Modern Fruits” campaign supporters.

Learn more about the Breadfruit Festival by visiting www.breadfruit.info.

The Breadfruit Festival is a program of Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu—Revitalizing Breadfruit, a project of Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network and the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden to revitalize ‘ulu as an attractive, delicious, nutritious, abundant, affordable, and culturally appropriate food that addresses Hawai‘i’s food security issues.

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