Monday, December 10, 2012

December International Food Group Dinner

Its our last monthly get together for the Big Island international food group and tonight's cooking event is being held at a local carport in Hawaiian Beaches - the typical gatherings at most Hawaiian parties are usually held in carports.

Although this event, is quite festive and the pupus (Hawaiian for appetizers) are very well put together little bites in beautiful desplays to our discerning foodies.

What's a party without a little Xmas cheer and mistle toe greeting?

How would you like to try baby pears wrapped and baked in thick bacon and maple syrup, anyone takers?

The requisite party game involves teams competiting with each other and the losing team donning the typical L branding - meaning 'Loser'.
Another delicious bite of this zucchini and tuna pupu with fancy sprigs of mint and green onions.

A moment of surprise captured prior to opening the beautiful red wrapper!

I think our dining participant might be comtemplating the dreaded secret Santa exchange, not sure if she wants to open this for the moment.

Christmas parties are always fun and entertaining, even better when they involve amazing food created by food enthusiast from the Big Island.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sunset Views at Holualoa, Hawaii


Sunset views on the Kona side up at Holualoa are spectacular on clear days. Celebrating the annual Christmas night art stroll is always a fun and packed event in this artist community and everyone comes up from Kona to enjoy the views, art and spectacular sunsets.

Early evening before the crowds appear and parking is easier to find is the ideal timeframe to arrive and scout out the best dining venues for the evening.


The sunset views are quite nice and distant water views are still visible. I love framing tropical foliage into dark silhuoettes in the foreground to give more dimension to the imagery.

(Locally grown food served colorfully through a food truck offering wonderful local dishes)

©Noel Morata, All rights reserved

Come and visit my photography website at

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Black and White Night 2012

East Hawaii people really know how to party and have a great time, especially when it comes to the annual Black and White Night celebrations in Hilo town, and last night was no exception. Everyone on the island was out in force in beautiful Hilo to enjoy and be a part of the all the night time festivities. Being part of this small island community is such a wonderful experience and everyone here loves to be out on special evenings like this.

It was a beautiful, star lit night with soothing cool breezes mixed in with the sultry night air and revelers were in a seen and be seen mode decked in their eclectic black and white attire for the theme de la nui (of the night).

(Patterns, checks, stripes and geometrics all work in black and white)

It was a mixed bag of entertainment, crazy get-ups, impromptu performances and an all around fun time at all the venues in Hilo. A local circus group even added some juggling and fire spinning to wow the crowd last night.


 (fire spinning peformances were a fun show to see late at night)

  Live performances got the crowd up on their feet and shaking their groove thing on the streets. It looked like everyone was on the street dancing last night and just enjoying the moment.

( Boas with outfits fit right in with the black and white theme)

Created initially to support local business,  Hilo merchants galvanized and created an annual event for Hilo and open up their businesses to new and regular customers. Offering delicious snacks, promotions and entertainment to their venues and inviting all to enjoy a wonderful evening in town and revisiting some favorite and new places of interest.

(Even the dogs where out last night for a good time and some quality petting)

( The federal building lit up magically at night time, a beautiful colonial structure)

It seemed like everyone was in a very good mood and just enjoying all the venues and appreciating life in Hilo one of the best places to live in all of Hawaii nei!

Here are some more photos from last nigh's event from my flickr site, enjoy

Friday, November 2, 2012

On A Short Journey To Japan and a Change of Seasons


Shinkyo Bridge, Nikko


Its almost the change of seasons and colorful fall foliage happening in Japan, and I’ve booked a solo vacation trip to visit the whole country from top to bottom. Mostly traveling by Shinkasen, their superfast bullet trains that will take you away from the major metropolitan cities to the Japanese countryside, their alps or the coastal and inlet areas within a very short timeframe. I’ve always been attracted to riding by train and I know the Japanese have perfected their public transportation systems to be accurate and smooth.

I’m hoping that this will be an adventure filled with lots of activities, planned or spontaneous. Most of the journey will include touring some exciting cities and world heritage sites, and I have left time open for discovery and just enjoying the moment in areas I would like to spend more time in.

Visiting a new country gives many new impressions of their lifestyle and culture, their cuisine, history, art and religion. The diverse topography and living conditions, along the many different people that you meet always add to a unique and learned experience.

My eyes, ears and mouth are wide open for this journey like the famous three monkeys up in Nikko that ‘Hear no evil, speak no evil, and see no evil’. I’ll probably spot them somewhere on my journey visiting Nikko and the beautiful countryside up there just starting to turn their fall colors as we speak.

Stay tuned to my postings on my travels to exciting Japan, it will be an amazing adventure.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Hilo County Fair–Excitement of Twilight to Evening





There’s nothing like enjoying a few hours at our local county fair in Hilo to enjoy a few hours of pure pleasure. Its always fun to sample some food greasy fried food, play some of arcade games, view the cheesy displays and shows and of course go on the thrill rides. I love the fair in Hilo because our photo group puts on an amazing effort to showcase our members works, and it is a pretty talented group of artists with varied photo interests.






The best part of the fair for me is walking around the fair and taking photos of things that grab my attention like the rides, the people and quirky things that happen spontaneously. I especially love the timeframe from twilight to evening when the lights come up and everything becomes more alive and graphic, there’s a real sense of excitement in the air.




The magic twilight hour approaches, showing dramatic skies to this festive scene.


Even the food stands like this french fry booth becomes a visual delight with its colorful and graphic elements drawing you in, not to mention the smell of fried food.




At night all the colorful and flashing lights heighten the details and attracts your eye to see everything that pops up and draws your immediate attention.






The gaming arcade is brightly lit and filled with color and bold patterns with tacky stuffed animals, beckoning everyone to come and play for a few minutes or more.











I love the sweet smiles and squeals of laughter coming from the merry –go-round.  There’s always a photo opportunity with animated animals , kids and bright lights blurring details that give a sense of motion.




A little girl with a Hello Kitty fetish has acquired a whole collection of new dolls while dispensing all her save coins at this venue, I think she wants to win as many kitties as possible before she empties out her purse completely .





The games attendant sweetly smiles early in the evening before the crush of kids wipes out her energy and enthusiasm.




What is it about coming up to the the ferris wheel, I’m always attracted to come up closely and take a photo,  I guess this would be your standard photo that everyone associates with being at any fair.




It was a fun day at the fair in Hilo and I enjoyed myself and I think I got some decent pictures out of it also.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mealani's Taste of the Hawaiian Range - A foodie Festival


For food enthusiasts living or visiting Hawaii island, this last Friday’s Taste of the Hawaiian range at the Hilton Waikoloa Village was an amazing tasting event to experience.

(The audience awaits anxiously for the conch shell to announce the start of this tasting event)

With over 35 of Hawaii’s best restaurants participating, the entire event was a feast for the eyes and of course the tummy. Each restaurant was given a different portion of locally grown grass-fed beef and they delivered amazing tasty pupus (appetizers) to wow the audience.

(Town restaurant presents its Hawaiian version of shepherds pie with mutton)

The Taste of the Hawaiian Range is an event that focuses on promoting and educating audiences to support local production and visit markets, restaurants and providers of locally grown produce and sustainable grass-fed beef.


A few audience members were skittish about trying beef mountain oysters that were presented by the Honolulu Burger Company, but those that were brave enough to take a bite were pleasantly surprised by the onolicious and varied textures from this pupu (appetizer)

(Mountain oysters from Honolulu Burger company)

There were many produce providers and growers in attendance including local CSA’s that service the West Hawaii county markets. The variety of food grown in Hawaii is outstanding and quite amazing when purchased fresh from the market to prepare a meal.


The Mauna Kea Beach Resort Hotel presents their cut of beef, oxtail soup and just-poured broth that smelled and tasted amazing – its all about the broth in this soup!


(A detail shot of the oxtail soup below, what a taste!)


Even edible fuschia flowers were presented on this delicious manapua made with bottom round, a sweet guava sauce and baby bok choy kimchee from the Blue Dragon restaurant.


A fun and simple presentation of fruit and sweet desserts by a local purveyor who offered banana pops with shredded coconut and chocolate and sweet potato ball with macadamia nuts - a perfect dessert.

Lots of vendors were participating at this locally grown event including coffee and tea growers, candies, fruit and vegetable farmers, honey and even a saddle maker Ka Hana No’eau showing their hand made saddles below.


This popular event seems to be getting bigger every year and support for locally grown produce, providers, markets and restaurants is clearly becoming a norm on Hawaii island. When there are so many amazing restaurants supporting island growers, it’s a nice way of keeping the local economy thriving – one tasty bite at a time.
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