Breadfruit Festival Goes Bananas – Looking for Artists

Artists are invited to submit original 2D media artwork to the Breadfruit Fine Art Contest, a part of Breadfruit Festival Goes Bananas being held at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona on Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.

The Gift of Kū by Caren Loebel-Fried, winner of the 2011 Breadfruit Fine Art Contest.

The Breadfruit Fine Art Contest is part of the educational outreach associated with the festival, celebrating the beauty of the tree and fruit as well as the rich cultural heritage and future role of ‘ulu in Hawai‘i. Recognizing ‘ulu’s traditional role in mixed agroforestry, this year’s festival will also highlight ‘ulu’s Pacific-wide companion, mai’a (banana). Artwork can incorporate ‘ulu and mai‘a, but ‘ulu must be dominant in the piece.

Artists must register for the Breadfruit Fine Art Contest at by September 14th in order to be able to submit work, which must be dropped off at the Donkey Mill Art Center September 18-21 from 10am to 4pm. Artwork that is not pre registered by September 14th will not be accepted. All artwork will be displayed at Breadfruit Festival Goes Bananas on September 29th. One winning piece will be selected and the winner will receive a gift certificate for a stay at a local luxury resort.

Young artists are invited to enter a Youth Art Contest, but they must submit through a school or community group. For the Youth Art Contest— 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each age category will win cash prizes ($75, $50 and $25, respectively) donated by Kamehameha Investment Corporation and a gift bag donated by Starbucks Hawai‘i.  The top winner overall will receive a Dolphin Quest Dolphin Encounter for two.

The Breadfruit Fine Art and Youth Art Contest guidelines and submission forms can be found at Questions can be directed to Andrea Dean at 960-3727 or

The Fine Art Contest is organized by: Donkey Mill Art Center, Hawaii Homegrown Food Network, the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden. Breadfruit Festival Goes Bananas is presented by Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network, the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden. The festival is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Kūkulu Ola—Living Hawaiian Culture Program administered by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Doc Buyers Fund at Hawaii Community Foundation, Kamehameha Schools, Kamehameha Investment Corporation, Ho‘oulu Lāhui, Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School, West Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program, Ke Ola Magazine, and Big Island Resource Conservation and Development.

Learn more about the Breadfruit Festival by visiting or calling (808) 756-9437.


Coming Up – 4th Annual Mango Festival

The fragrant, richly-hued summer orbs that seduce island fruit lovers with their juicy goodness are celebrated July 28-29 at the fourth annual Mango Festival. The full weekend of fun at the Keauhou Beach Resort is officially proclaimed as Hawai‘i Island Mango Festival Days by Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi.

The free family event offers entertainment, mango-themed displays, arts and crafts, mangolicious food and drinks, plus belly dancing workshops both days. Saturday’s fun also includes delicious culinary fun, horticulture activities and a panel discussion on “Putting the Culture Back into Agriculture” on the ocean lawn.

Foodie fun includes an amateur recipe contest. See what local residents are doing with mangos and cheer on your favorite entrants. After contest judging at 1 p.m. Saturday, attendees can sample entries—while they last. For recipe entry details, visit

Hubert des Marais, executive chef at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i will provide tips on how to use mangos during a staged culinary demonstration at 2 p.m. Saturday. Chef Hubert recently moved to the Big Island from Africa and boasts more than 35 years in the hospitality industry spanning four continents. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, des Marais is noted for his deliciously healthy food that is fresh, flavorful and truly inventive.  He has been named one of “America’s Ten Best New Chefs” by Food and Wine Magazine, has been featured on the Food Network and was among an elite group of chefs invited to cook for the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala. Don’t miss this stellar culinary event—cameras are welcome.

For green-thumb wannabes, a variety of horticulture activities are set for Saturday. The West Hawaii Master Gardeners offers free advice for home gardeners and will distribute free remedies to battle soft-bodied insect pests, ants and powdery mildew. The organization will also sell plants, plus insect traps targeting coffee berry borers and fruit flies.

The Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Association will provide info and samples of the varieties of mangos grown statewide. There will also be a grafting presentation.

Entertainment headliners on the Royal Gardens stage include world dance performer and instructor Willow Chang. With a degree in dance from the University of Hawaii, the award-winning Chang is proficient in a wide range of dance styles, including Middle Eastern belly dance, Argentine tango and Spanish flamenco. Chang performs 11 a.m. both days. Flo Chang offers afternoon belly dance workshops both days.

Taking the stage on either Saturday or Sunday (or both) is Latin funk band Leche de Tigre trio, reggae artist Sahra Indio, the Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko-Kohala performing Okinawan Eisa Taiko and Anela Strings. Local hula halau and keiki performers will light up the stage both days.

Mango Tango July 21

Preceding the Mango Festival is the Mango Tango Dance and Desserts FUNdraiser July 21 in Kealakekua at the New Thought Center in Pualani Terrace on Hwy. 11. The juicy jive includes a dramatic show of tango dancing, dessert bar, hand-crafted ales from Kona Brewing Company, silent auction and door prizes from 6-9 p.m. Get in on the salsa dance lessons from 6-6:30 p.m. with Carolyn Ching, followed by music by the Mango Tango band and a live Argentine tango performance. Tickets are $10 and extra donations are tax deductible. For tickets, phone 808-887-1292 or 808-756-4700 or get them online at

Mango Tango proceeds benefit the Mango Festival and New Thought Center, a sanctuary for the nourishment, development and evolution of each individual’s unique spiritual path.

Both the Mango Tango FUNdraiser and the free community festival are presented by the non-profit Sanctuary of Mana Ke‘a Gardens. The community is invited to collaborate, support and participate. Exhibitor booths for July 28-29 are available for businesses and non-profit organizations. Volunteers are encouraged to help with festival day activities, speaker support and workshops. Find vendor and volunteer signup forms at

Meet Food Network Star Contestant Philip “Ippy” Aiona From the Big Island

Philip “Ippy” Aiona, 23, from Kamuela, Hawaii, is one of the remaining contestants on Season 8 of Food Network’s wildly popular “Food Network Star,” airing Sundays 9E/8C, and locally on Oceanic Channel 321 at 6 p.m., with a repeat at 9 p.m. (Channel 60 on the East Side of the Big Island).  The winner of the show will have his/her own program on the Food Network.  The winner will be decided later this summer.

Known as “mellow” and “low-key,” Ippy doesn’t think he needs to compete in an aggressive or negative way, and feels his skills in the kitchen, as well as his own style make him a viable contestant.  Pretty mature attitude for the youngest contestant to ever be on the show.  As part of “Team Giada” (De Laurentiis), Ippy brings his culinary talents to the table with a definite sense of aloha.  The Hawaiian-Italian Aiona knows he is representing Hawaii, and tries to incorporate the Pacific into his dishes whenever possible.

Aiona’s “day job” is as Executive Chef for his parents’ Italian restaurant, Solimene, in Waimea. (

Ippy will be in Honolulu from Sunday, June 10th through Wednesday, June 13th, and will be at the following events.  He is also available for media interviews at the Dave & Buster’s event tonight, and by appointment via Mona Wood-Sword or Sam Aiona (Cell. 808-306-2444).

WHO:  Private Event (*Media who wish to cover this event should contact Shriners Hospital, directly, at (808) 941-4466.)
WHAT:  Ippy Aiona will be serving lunch to the patients at Shriner’s Hospital.
WHEN:  Sunday, June 10, 2012 • 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
WHERE: Shriners Hospital of the Pacific – Family Center, 1310 Punahou Street, Honolulu

WHO: Public welcome.
 WHAT:  “FOOD NETWORK STAR” Viewing Party with local contestant, Ippy Aiona.
WHEN:  Sunday, June 10, 2012 • 5:00-8:00 p.m. (show starts at 6:00 p.m.)
WHERE:  Dave and Buster’s Showroom, Ward Entertainment Center, 1030 Auahi Street, 2nd floor
 WHY:  Meet & greet with Ippy Aiona.
 HOW:  Free admission.  No-host bar and food.


Find out more about Ippy at <>.

Find out more about “Food Network Star” at

Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory Marks 10 Years… Nation’s Only “Tree to Bar” Operation

Media Release:

The slogan “made from scratch” rings true for The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, which is marking its 10th anniversary. The company produces Hawaii’s premier chocolate, a 100% locally grown and made product that has won numerous awards and accolades, including a recent top rating from UK chocolate reviewer, Lee McCoy.

Bob and Pam Cooper (front) and their team at Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory

Founded, owned and operated by Bob and Pam Cooper, The Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory creates three kinds of single-origin chocolate exclusively from 100 percent Hawaiian cacao. Their latest variety, criollo, is a rare chocolate, says owner/operator Bob Cooper. “Only 15 percent of the world’s chocolate is made from this type of bean. The criollo has a unique, earthy and complex flavor.”

Criollo candy bar

The Coopers grow their cacao on the leeward slope of Mt. Hualalai on the Big Island of Hawaii, as well as purchase cacao from local artisan cacao growers. Small tours and tastings are conducted at their chocolate factory and plantation…