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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.

 

Where’s the Beef… Ask Hawaii Hawaii Beef Producers, Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative

Hawaii Beef Producers Join Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative in Joint Development Agreement For Large-Scale Grass-Fed Beef Trials

Hawai‘i Beef Producers has joined Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative in an agreement to jointly fund pre-commercial trials for irrigated finish pasture beef production on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. The irrigated trials will be run on 70 acres of pasture next to the Hawai‘i Beef Producers processing facility on the Hamakua Coast and involve just under 100 head of cattle. The trials will be completed by May 2013.

“We’re pleased to be joining in these trials to help find the most cost-effective, timely method toward increasing our overall local grass-fed beef production,” said David De Luz, Jr., Hawai‘i Beef Producers. “Everyone’s collaboration on this study will help ranchers statewide determine the potential for developing commercially based grass-fed feedlots, or pasture finishing companies, to meet consumer demands for high-quality local beef that everyone can afford.”

In these pre-commercial trials, Hawai‘i Beef Producers is testing the impacts of fertilized, irrigated grass using the Hamakua Ditch Irrigation System, and Parker Ranch is studying the impact of using fertilized, non-irrigated grass. In addition, Kamehameha Schools is doing its own trial on unfertilized, irrigated pasture in Hamakua. The outcomes from all of the trials will be combined and shared with all partners as well as the Hawai‘i Cattlemen’s Association and the University of Hawai‘i’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) to help determine which combination of methods are best for lowering the production costs and improving the quality of locally produced grass-fed beef.

“These trials are integral to helping further Hawai‘i’s agricultural sector, so it’s great to have Hawai‘i Beef Producers join,” said Kyle Datta, general partner for Ulupono Initiative. “We’re so pleased to be able to help catalyze this partnership with our local ranching community to help inspire other Hawai‘i ranchers to consider grass-fed as an option. In addition, the combined trials using the Hamakua Ditch Irrigation System will help provide insights on commercially viable water rates for finish pasture operations, which will be key to the expansion of local beef production and could have statewide implications.”

Dutch Kuyper, CEO of Parker Ranch, said, “The interest and collaboration among our fellow ranchers for these trials is a sign of positive momentum. It gives us additional confidence that our research and investment in grass-fed beef is a good decision for our business model and for the scale of the Hawai‘i beef industry as a whole.”

About Hawai‘i Beef Producers

The De Luz family has been ranching for three generations on the 10,000 acre Kukai‘au Ranch located in Pa‘auilo on the Hamakua Coast of Hawai‘i Island. Hawai‘i Big Island Beef is its grass-fed beef product, which is processed at its adjoining Hawai‘i Beef Producers slaughterhouse. To learn more about Hawai‘i Big Island Beef, please visit www.hawaiibigislandbeef.com.

About Parker Ranch

Parker Ranch is one of the largest and oldest cattle ranches in the United States. Parker Ranch is beneficially owned by Parker Ranch Foundation Trust with four non-profits as beneficiaries including North Hawai‘i Community Hospital, Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy, Parker School and Hawai‘i Community Foundation. To learn more, please visit www.parkerranch.com.

About Ulupono Initiative

Ulupono Initiative is a Hawai‘i-focused impact investing firm that uses for-profit and non-profit investments to improve the quality of life for island residents in three areas – locally produced food; clean, renewable energy; and waste reduction. To learn more, please visit www.uluponoinitiative.com.

Meet the Chefs Who Support Our Beef Industry at Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Local grass-fed beef is annually the star of Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and this year’s event on Friday, Sept. 21 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village is no exception. The annual event puts 100 pounds of 100 percent grass-fed beef into the hands of each participating chef to dazzle diners. Each chef gets a different cut—everything from nose to tail—and combines it with a cornucopia of local ingredients.

Mealani's Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Many Taste chefs are fans of grass-fed beef and readily share why they like the island-raised product. Each has a different reason.

“We use it because of the taste at ‘Umeke Market,” says Michelle Yamaguchi of Honolulu. “When you start with a great product, it’s hard to go wrong. Also, avoiding the use of hormones and antibiotics as much as possible is important to our customers.”

Cary Peterson of Kohala Burger and Taco in Kawaihae appreciates the environmental benefits of using grass-fed beef.

“I strive to leave a small environmental footprint and local beef requires much less energy and resources to process and deliver,” Peterson details.  “I also think the flavor is great for the type of food I do, which is very simple and straightforward.  I prefer to use a sweet bun for my burgers and the earthy flavor of the beef goes perfect with it. From a health standpoint, grass-fed beef is a no brainer—it’s antibiotic- and hormone-free!”

Mealani's Taste Of The Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival

2011 Mealani’s Taste Of The Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival

Chef Joshua Ketner adds, “At Hilo Bay Café, we believe grass-fed beef is good for our community and our environment, plus the taste is wonderful.” Ketner’s favorite cut is 21-day, dry-aged rib eye as “the marbling, taste and tenderness all work together.

Hilo native Ken Takahashi of Honolulu Burger Company says his business plan revolves around the concept of eating Big Isle grass-fed beef.

“Our main goal is to use grass-fed beef as hamburger patties for our burgers first,” he explains.  “In addition, we use sliced, grass-fed sirloin for our teri and philly dip sandwiches, as well as boneless short ribs and brisket for our braised short rib sandwiches.”

James Babian, executive chef of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, adds, “We want to support our local beef industry while adhering to our culinary direction of seasonal, regional and artisanal.” The resort purchases a 21-day aged, whole beef carcass every week for use in its on-site restaurants and staff cafeteria.

This year’s Taste again features over 30 chefs preparing locally produced food to wow attendees from 6-8 p.m. In addition to grass-fed beef, some of the chefs will be concocting culinary creations using other forage-fed meats: lamb, mutton, goat and USDA-inspected wild boar.

The use of different meats—and meat cuts—is all part of the culinary adventure when local ranchers, farmers, restaurateurs and eager eaters celebrate a bounty of locally produced food. While “tasting,” festival goers can meet a wide range of Hawai‘i’s food producers at gaily decorated vendor booths and talk story with the people who make a living growing and producing our food.

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 Chef Babian and he 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 admission for the cooking demo is $10. 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 as soon as possible and no later than Sept. 14.

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.

*Editors Note*  I suggest folks get in line early… here is a picture as the line was building last year: