Monday, October 7, 2013

Mealani's Taste of the Hawaiian Range 2013

Considering that Hawaii typically imports over 80 percent of its produce and agricultural products to the islands, it's fantastic that various organizations along with the community and can join together and help to support and promote sustainability and locally sourced produce and products. It's also fantastic that there are many Hawaiian businesses that support and source local products for their customers and show they care about the Aina (land).

The annual Mealani's Taste of the Hawaiian Range celebrates local products and eating local. This event showcases locally grown Hawaiian grass-fed beef along along with fresh produce and finished food products - all grown or made in Hawaii. The Taste event at the Hilton Waikoloa is a 'Locavores' dream offering delicious food creations from some of the most celebrated chefs in Hawaii.

Prepping up for the feast

The highlight of the evening features grass-fed beef where every part of a cow from the tongue to the tail is portioned off to a chef, culinary school or local restaurant. It is up to their creative imagination and use of locally sourced materials to present tasters with some amazing and tasty bites from their creations. This year's event welcomed over 35 chefs from all over the Big Island and some neighboring islands to share their knowledge and creative talents.

Here are some beautiful and tasty samples that were being offered for the Taste.

Smoked lamb in ravioli with sage butter and kabocha puree flourish from Pueo's Osteria

Roasted top sirloin wrap and dressed with shiso and chimichurri sauce. It is topped with shaved and deep-fried Hamakua mushrooms. A delicious bite created by chef Dayne Tanabe at the Hilton Waikoloa.


Here's a refreshing Panzanella salad with fresh mozzarella, cucumber, bell pepper, red onions, crusty bread, lots of olive oil and basil.

Comfort food with Rocky Mountain Oysters and calamansi, Maui sweet onions, Ko Choo Jung, organic greens and jasmine rice. The chefs at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel offered us a fusion of Korean and Filipino inspired bites.

How about an ox tail beef gnocchi ragout served in the entire casing of a Parmigiano Reggiano wheel and brought to us by the Beach Tree at the Four Seasons Hualalai Resort. In one word its 'Magnifico!'

New products like these interesting and colorful squash are now being grown in Hawaii for various restaurants and maybe public markets in the near future.


Look even Cinderella made a guest appearance with her huge pumpkin. Created by Recycle Hawaii, the pumpkin used a bokashi bucket kitchen compost to start of the plant with great compost made with your kitchen scraps.




Merriman's offered a savory Pho soup with noodles and thinly shaved beef eye of round - a very flavorful and comforting dish that stood out with the sea of meat dishes.




A wonderful skirt steak dish with arugula and onions, very simple and ono (delicious) from Village Burger in Waimea.



Featuring kalua pork encased in a spring roll with poi and ohelo berry sauce. It includes a side of haupia and purple sweet potatoes which completes the meal from Mahina Cafe in Captain Cook.

Lines of culinary student volunteers help all the chefs with prepping their dishes for the public to taste.

Judging from the huge turnout of foodies, it was another very successful event the the Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range. A wonderful way to showcase local agriculture and locally sourced foods and support for the organizations that distribute and promote Hawaii food products and services.

To see even more amazing shots of the evenings event and some delicious food porn, visit my Flickr page here and enjoy.
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