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Entry Deadline March 9th for the Sam Choy Poke Contest

“Let’s bring on the competition!” challenges celebrity Chef Sam Choy. March 9 is the deadline to enter the first annual Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest on Sunday, March 18 at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa’s Convention Center.

Open to both amateurs and professional chefs, competition is in four poke categories: traditional, spicy, cooked and with soy sauce. Entry forms are at www.keauhouresort.com.

Doors open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. March 18 for culinary activities, Hawaiian entertainment, a Hawai‘i Island Marketplace and a presentation on sustainable aquaculture.

Poke critiquing begins 10 a.m. by a panel of judges including Carla Tracy, dining editor of the Maui News, and Fanny Au Hoy, retired Hulihe‘e Palace curator. Contest awards, followed by public tasting, are at 12:30 p.m. Event emcees are radio personalities Kimo Kahoano of Honolulu and Ke’ea Alapa‘i of KAPA.

Headlining the entertainment lineup is The ROOKI’s:  Don Kauli‘a on slack key, Russell Paio on guitar, Keola Grace on electric bass and Pomaika‘i Brown on a “frypan” steel guitar. The Hawaiian group’s name is an acronym for the Royal Order of Kamehameha I.

More culinary fun includes a Celebrity Poke Cook-off with surprise guests at 11:30 p.m. Don’t miss when celebrity chef Sam Choy shows “how it’s done” during the 1:30 p.m. demonstration, “How to Make Poke by Sam Choy.” A TV host, cookbook author and founder of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine, Choy put poke on the culinary map with his delicious recipes using cubed fish. Pronounced poh-KAY, poke is typically raw or cooked fish seasoned with Hawaiian sea salt, spices and sesame oil, and then accented with seaweed, nuts and other ingredients.

Event attendees can also browse for locally produced foods at the all-day Island Marketplace, which will feature produce and value-added products by local food purveyors and farmers. Guy Toyama, of Friends of the Natural Energy Laboratory Hawaii Authority, presents “NELHA: a Catalyst for Sustainable Seafood Production” at 10:30 a.m.

Public admission to all contest activities is $3 at the door (keiki 12-and-under are free) and proceeds benefit the future culinary facilities at Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui. Free shuttle will operate from Keauhou Shopping Center (pickup near Longs Drugs) to the contest from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is part of Keauhou Resort’s annual Kamehameha III celebration March 16-18 that commemorates the Keauhou-born king, Lani Kauikeaouli.

The contest is sponsored by Kamehameha Investment Corporation, Kamehameha Schools, the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort Spa, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai, Aloha Shoyu and Hamakua Macadamia Nut Company.

Over $10,000 in Cash and Prizes at Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest

Hawai‘i’s favorite pupu gets its due at the first Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest Sunday, Mar. 18 at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa. The inaugural culinary competition offers over $10,000 in cash and prizes and is open to both amateur and professional chefs.Poke (po-KEH) is the Hawaiian word for “slice.” The local-style pupu (appetizer) consists of marinated, fresh local fish that’s raw, seared or cooked.

Spearheaded by celebrity chef Sam Choy, the contest celebrates locally sourced seafood with competition in four divisions. Culinary fun encourages the creative use of seaweed, seeds, herbs, spices, nuts, marinades, tofu, fruit, vegetables and seasoning.

Entry deadline is February 28 and contest details are conveniently posted online on Facebook at Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest.

Contest related activities start 10 a.m. and include a Hawai‘i Island Marketplace with fresh fish sales, guest cooking demo and a presentation on sustainable aquaculture by Guy Toyama of Friends of NELHA. Poke contest judging starts 10 a.m. with an awards ceremony and tasting open to the public at 11:30 a.m. Admission to all activities is $3 at the door (keiki 12-and-under are free) and proceeds benefit the future culinary instruction facilities at Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui.

A TV host, cookbook author and founder of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine, Choy put poke on the culinary map with his many tantalizing preparations. The award-winning restaurateur remembers the first poke contest in the early 1990s. “It was held under a tent up in Kamuela and there were only a handful of entrants,” he recalls. “Today there are two dozen contests across the country.”

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is part of Keauhou Resort’s annual Kamehameha III celebration March 16-18 that commemorates the Keauhou-born king, Lani Kauikeaouli.

Other weekend festivities include:

  • Free Daughters of Hawai‘i Tribute 10 a.m. March 16 at Keauhou Bay
  • Free Puana Ke Iki Lecture “1893 Executive Agreements & Impacts Today” by Dr. David Keanu Sai 5:30 p.m. March 16 at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa
  • Keauhou Canoe Club’s Ku’uipo Race HIPA Series Race March 17 at Keauhou Bay
  • Free 12th annual Kamehameha III “Lani Kauikeaouli”.Concert 5-10 p.m. March 17 on the lawn at Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort and Spa.

Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest is sponsored by the Keauhou Resort, Kamehameha Schools, the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort Spa, Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai and Aloha Shoyu.