There is so much to do and see at the Mealani's Taste of the Hawaiian Range that its hard to capture it all in one post.
Photo: Chef Scott Hiraishi of Sam Choy's newest restaurant Kai Lanai in Kona & Derek Kurisu of KTA Super Stores "face off' for an afternoon demonstration of "How To Cook Grass-Fed Beef 101". Their recipes are part of my column for The Hamakua Times of Honoka'a and will be available on-line after October 26th at http://hamakuatimes.com - check the Monthly Columns tab.
The "Taste" as it is usually called, is I believe, the longest running foodie event on the Island of Hawai'i. Chefs and their restaurants participate in challenging each other on using innovative and delicious ways to prepare the cuts of meat assigned to them for the event. The cuts can be prime or can be anything such as tongue, tail, Mountain Oysters (bull testicles), tripe or any unusual part of the animal. The challenge, as I see it, is to make you love their dish regardless of what the contents are... See my previous blog post for some of my favorites.
Photo: Colorful tomatoes and cukes from WOW Farm in Waimea
Besides the chefs and restaurants competing, there are also ranchers, farmer/growers; cacao, tea and coffee growers/producers; beekeepers with their honey and others such as cheesemakers; school gardens and Slow Food Hawai'i, just to name a few.
Photos: Chef 'Olelo pa'a Ogawa and Robby Mist of Glow Hawai'i
The students from both campuses of the Hawai'i Community College School of Culinary Arts participate by helping the restaurant chefs in their booths as well as in their own HCC booths.
Photo: students & instructors from HCC School of Culinary Arts Hilo Campus. Front from left; Nainoa Akiona, Roxane Daguio, Chef & Professor Allan Okuda, Vainiaku Polota, Krissel Lagua, Josh Pertubal, Darrel Constantino. In back, from left; Julius Nillo, Chef Instructor Shawn Sumiki, Chef Instructor Brian Hirata, Kawika Haili and Chris Guerrero serving delicious kalua pork sandwiches.
Photo: Dragon fruit and tangerines - display by Adaptations, Inc
There is always a huge display of locally grown fruits and veggies as a centerpiece - I always try to get a photo of it, because it is so overwhelmingly beautiful, but it is hard to capture the whole thing!
If you are in Hawai'i next September, check the dates for the next Mealani's Taste of the Hawaiian Range, a not to be missed food adventure!