Workshop Helps Increase the Appetite for Breadfruit

On Saturday, November 9, 2013 from 8:30 am – 1:30 pm the Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will be held at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona. 

Breadfruit Festival

Photo credit: Angela Tillson, Courtesy of the Breadfruit Institute

Sponsored by Kamehameha Schools and Hawai‘i State Department of Agriculture, the half-day Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will assist Hawai‘i’s breadfruit growers in supplying grocery stores, restaurants and farmers markets with high quality breadfruit, and help chefs become more familiar with breadfruit handling and preparation in the kitchen.

Backyard growers and home users of breadfruit will also find the workshop pertinent to home and community use of breadfruit.

Due to the sales and distribution of thousands of breadfruit trees in Hawai‘i, the production of breadfruit is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years—representing millions of dollars in potential retail sales of breadfruit in the next 5-8 years. Breadfruit can also play an increased key role in island food self-sufficiency, as it has been a primary staple food in the Pacific for thousands of years. The workshop teaches how to properly harvest, handle and utilize breadfruit to fully realize its commercial and community value.

Topics and speakers include: “Working with Variety”—an introduction to the three most common breadfruit varieties in Hawai‘i, presented by Dr. Diane Ragone, Director, Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. “Tree to Table”—harvesting techniques, tricks and tools, and postharvest handling, presented by Ian Cole, Collection Manager, Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. “Beyond Sticky”—preparing breadfruit for use in a variety of dishes or for storage, presented by Shirley Kauhaihao, Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu.  “Some Like It Sweet”—making gourmet dishes from ripe breadfruit, presented by John Cadman, Pono Pies. “Going To Market”—marketing and value added products, presented by Andrea Dean and Craig Elevitch, Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network and Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu project. “Food from the Gods” —Breadfruit and the cultural importance in the Pacific Islands, presented by Ku‘ulei Keakealani, Educational Coordinator, Ka‘ūpūlehu Interpretive Center at Kalaemanō.

The Breadfruit—From Tree to Table workshop will be followed by music and a locally grown lunch prepared by volunteers from the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, Hua o Ke Ao, and the West Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program.

Breadfruit—From Tree to Table is presented by Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden and the Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu—Revitalizing Breadfruit project and is cosponsored by Kamehameha Schools and the State of Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture.

Space is limited and advance registration is required. The workshop is $12 per person and lunch by donation.  To register please visit To volunteer at the workshop, to donate breadfruit or for general inquiries, please email or call Andrea Dean at 960-3727.

Breadfruit Festival Goes Bananas Seeking Original Recipes

The Breadfruit Cooking Contest at Breadfruit Festival Goes Bananas calls for original recipes that feature breadfruit as the main ingredient—a new twist this year also challenges cooks to combine breadfruit and banana into one unique dish.

The ‘Ulu Tart by Chef Ann Sutherland won Best of Show in the 2011 Breadfruit Cooking Contest. Photo Credit: Sonia R. Martinez

Breadfruit Festival Goes Bananas will take place on Saturday, September 29th, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona. The festival is free and open to the public. In addition to celebrating the cultural and culinary aspects of breadfruit (‘ulu), this year’s festival will also highlight breadfruit’s forest companion—banana (mai‘a).

The public is invited to compete for prizes by entering the Breadfruit Cooking Contest with their own original recipes. Prizes will be awarded in the categories of: Appetizer, Main Dish/Entrée (includes Soups or Salads served as a Main Dish), Dessert, Going Bananas (combining breadfruit & bananas in one dish), Youth (ages 12 to 18), Best of Show and Healthiest Choice. Each dish will be judged based on: best use of breadfruit, taste, appearance/presentation, originality and healthy ingredients. The Breadfruit Cooking Contest will be judged by a panel of local chefs and foodies—Edwin Goto owner of the “slow food” restaurant Village Burger; award winning private chef and “Conscious Hawaiian Cuisine” inventor Ōlelo pa‘a Ogawa; freelance food writer and former Honolulu Advertiser food editor Joan Namkoong; Chef Devin Lowder of Makali‘i Catering; food writer and cookbook author Sonia R. Martinez; and “Auntie Aloha”  Peneku Kihoi.

Winners of the two top prizes Best of Show and Healthiest Choice will each receive a $300 cash prize donated by Kamehameha Investment Corporation.  1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in the categories of Appetizer, Main Dish/Entrée, Dessert and Going Bananas will receive prizes donated by Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa, Kamehameha Beach Hotel, Fair Winds Cruises, Roy’s, Huggo’s, Kona Brewing Company, Hawai‘i Volcano Sea Salt, Volcano Island Honey Company, Sunshine Nursery, Big Island Brewhaus, Greenwell Farms, Mauna Kea Tea, Coffee Shack, Big Island Bees, Ocean Sports, Kona Coffeehouse & Café and the Keauhou Shopping Center. Winners in the newly added Youth category are competing for a Body Glove Cruise for two and $125 in movie tickets.

The winners of the Breadfruit Cooking Contest will be announced at the festival at 12:00 pm by celebrity chef Sam Choy, who will be demonstrating some of his favorite ways to cook with ‘ulu from 10 am – 12 pm.  Other experts will demonstrate how to cook with breadfruit and banana and Chef Betty Saiki and the West Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program will serve a locally sourced buffet luncheon featuring breadfruit.

Pre-registration for the Breadfruit Cooking Contest is encouraged, but not required. Rules, Instructions and Entry Forms can be found at

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.