Articles from September 2010

Taste Chef Offers Grass-Fed Beef Cooking Tips

Chef Kevin HanneyOwner/Chef Kevin Hanney of 12th Avenue Grill in Honolulu travels to the Big Island every year to participate in Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range. He debuted at the event in 2006 and was assigned the beef cut “top round” to prepare in 2010.

Located at 1145C on 12th Avenue in Kaimuki, the Ilima Award-winning dinner hot-spot has grass-fed beef on the menu. The restaurant is known for its “contemporary American” cuisine that uses fresh, island ingredients.

As grass-fed beef has lower fat content than its grain-fed counterpoint, Chef Hanney says he’s “always conscious of that” when cooking it.

“Conventional wisdom is, ‘fat is flavor’, but that’s not necessarily the case,” he details. “Grass fed-beef has a bolder, beefier flavor without the fat. I like to say, ‘it’s the way beef is SUPPOSED! to taste.’”

Advice for Cooking Beef Cuts
When preparing grass-fed cuts geared for grilling, broiling and searing—such as ribeye and New York strip steaks—Chef says to be careful not to overcook them.

“These cuts require less cooking time than conventional meat. Searing them first, over a very high heat, helps retain juices,” he suggests.

Chef adds, “If doing cuts that are typically sliced, such as skirt, London Broil, etc., make sure you are slicing across the grain.”

When braising grass-fed meat from the shoulder area, like chuck cuts, Chef advises braising for longer lengths of time on a lower heat. He shares his delicious Yankee Pot Roast recipe, which uses grass-fed chuck roast, a versatile, value cut. We prepared the recipe and it was fork-tender when cooking it as instructed for 1.5 hours.

Yankee Pot Roast recipe.


Big Island, Grass-Fed Yankee Pot Roast

Grass-Fed Yankee Pot RoastBy Chef Kevin Hanney, 12th Ave. Grill, Honolulu
808-732-9469 •

Serves 4 to 6

2 lbs. grass-fed Chuck Roast
2 medium Onions, coarsely chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
4 large Carrots, 1 in. cut
4 stalks Celery, 1 in. cut
6 small Molokai Sweet Potatoes, quartered
2 cups White Wine
1 Bay Leaf
1 teaspoon dried Rosemary or 2 tablespoons fresh
1 teaspoon dried Thyme or 2 tablespoons fresh
4 leaves fresh Sage (optional)
½ cup Olive Oil or vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a heavy bottom roasting pan or skillet to very hot, add oil. Salt & pepper Meat a little heavier than normal, some of the seasoning will go into the braising liquid and flavor the vegetables. Put Meat in hot pan and brown on both sides till very dark. Add ½ Onions & the Garlic & lightly brown. Remove Meat & deglaze with Wine. Add all the ingredients (except sweet potatoes) into the pan, add Water till just covered & bring to a boil, cover w/ a lid or foil & put in the oven for 1½ to 2 hrs. till meat is fork tender (if you have the time, braise at 300 degrees for about 3-4 hrs). Add Sweet Potatoes about 20 min. before finished. Pot roast is ready to serve immediately.

Taste chef offers grass-fed beef cooking tips.


Meet a Local Farmer: Apiary is Pure and Sweet

Island Fresh-Buy Local, It MattersA mission of Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is to encourage and support local ag products. To that end, we are featuring Big Isle food producers promoted in the local Hawai‘i Dept. of Agriculture (HDOA) campaign, “Island Fresh-Buy Local, It Matters.”

Every few weeks, we will showcase one of the 12 different food producers featured in the campaign, along with a handy recipe using their product. These farmers, ranchers and aquaculturists hail from Hawi to Ka‘u and from Kona to Hilo. One of them could be your friend…

By supporting our local food producers, we get fresh and better-tasting products. We also strengthen our economy and community, while helping preserve open space. Island Fresh-Buy Local, It Matters!

Big Island Bees
A Homegrown Treasure

Island Fresh honeyVeteran beekeeper Garnett Puett and wife, Whendi, began harvesting honey from a handful of hives and have grown their apiary today to 3,800 hives. A fourth-generation beekeeper, Garnett has developed instincts that have become second nature. These insights help Garnett keep his bees happy – all 190 million of them!

Their busy bees collect nectar in the lush ‘ohi‘a forests and macadamia nut groves, plus from seasonal flowers on the cliffs overlooking the Kohala Coast. In doing so, they also play nature’s important role in pollinating our Big Island plants and flowers.

Together, the Puetts and their bees produce three varieties of honey, each with a distinct appearance, flavor and texture. These characteristics make them unique to Hawai‘i and definitely nō ka ‘oi!

An Ono Recipe to Savor the Freshness

“Island Fresh-Buy Local, It Matters” is funded in part by the County of Hawaii Department of Research & Development. The campaign was produced by the Hawai‘i Dept. of Agriculture (HDOA) and the University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources (CTAHR) to help increase demand for, and familiarity with, locally grown commodities.

For info on more Hawai‘i food products, visit


Enjoy Local Flavors: An Ono Recipe to Savor the Freshness

A naturally thick, sweet, golden liquid, honey is a gift from bees. There are hundreds of types of honey, and their color ranges from light to dark. Considered a nectar of the Gods in some cultures, honey also varies in flavor from mild to strong— depending on the type of flower from which the bees collected the nectar. Honey is delightful drizzled on fresh fruit salads, spread over toast or added to hot tea. It is also used in baking, dressings, glazes and candies.

Honey-Ginger Citrus Dressing
Yields 1 3/4 cups
1/4 cup honey*
1/4 cup grated local, organic ginger root
2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
1 teaspoon zest from lemon or lime
1 cup rice vinegar

In a small bowl, mix ingredients well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy with slices of fresh, local produce. *Honey shouldn’t be consumed by people under the age of two.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per 2 Tablespoon Serving
Calories 35• Total Fat 0g • Carbohydrate 10g • Protein 0g

Meet a Local Farmer: Apiary is Pure and Sweet


15th Taste a Rousing Success, Boasts Zero Waste

Island Fresh

Grant Tomita serves Sera Carlson and Maya Pleiadian Island Fresh milk at the Hawaii Dept. of Ag Commodities Branch booth.

“It’s all so ono,” grinned a happy attendee at this year’s Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range.

Throngs of eager eaters enjoyed cuisine prepared by 30 top chefs at the 15th annual event Friday at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. The agriculture extravaganza sprawled both inside and out, occupying the Hilton’s Grand Ballroom and Lagoon Lanai. The weather and sunset were picture-perfect.

Over 1,400 people were on hand for celebrating Hawai‘i agriculture, including the massive team of volunteers and culinary students, plus participating farmers, ranchers and trade show vendors.

While “grazing” the culinary stations and educational displays, attendees also “talked story” with the people who produce our food. There were “broke ‘da mouth” free samples of fresh food and value-added products made-on-the-Big Isle—green tea, Hawaiian Red Veal, blueberries, taro chips, ice cream topped with simmering chocolate, honey, tomato salsa—the list goes on and on.

Keauhou Beach

The Sweet Soy Braised Beef Tongue prepared by Chef Cy Yamamoto of the Keauhou Beach Resort was a big hit among attendees, including Janice and Roddy Nagata. Each beef chef is assigned a different cut, from nose to tail, to illustrate the use the entire animal.

Participation Awards
Kuhio Grille of Hilo was recognized for being a 15-year Taste participant while Cafe Pesto of Hilo, Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and the Hilton Waikoloa Village marked 10 years with the event. Derek Kurisu, executive vice president of KTA’s Superstores and Brady Yagi and Tom Asano of Kulana Foods, were tapped with Community Service Awards for their long-term efforts toward the success of Taste. In addition, the Mealani Research Station received a Special Recognition Award.

Zero Waste Event
In its continuing effort to “go green” for it’s anniversary year, Taste boasted being a Zero Waste event. According to Angela Kang, resource specialist with the County’s Dept. of Environmental Management, the recycling effort kept hundreds of pounds of trash out of the landfill.

Zero Waste

From left: County resource specialist Angela Kang shows Aaron Dooley where to deposit his empty bottle at one of the many Zero Waste stations with the help of volunteers Aleshia Frost and Jeremiah White.

Zero Waste was achieved by an on-site, supervised refuse system and the use of compostable beverage cups, plates and utensils. Trash stations throughout the event were monitored by volunteers and students from Kanu O Ka ‘Aina School. Each trash station had separate bins for attendees to throw away discarded food; compostable serving ware; mixed plastics and paper for the county’s recycled program; and HI-5 recyclable bottles and cans.

The Hilton Waikoloa Village, which has its own diversion waste program, took the discarded food, for donation to a local piggery. The compostable serving ware was sourced from the Big Island’s Sustainable Island Products. Money made from Hi-5 recyclables will come back to Taste.

Food Basket

As part of Taste’s continuing green efforts, fresh produce from the massive Kamuela Grown display was donated and packed up by volunteers for distribution by The Food Basket.

UH Manoa Dietary

UH Manoa dietary student Lia White visits with Taste attendee Brandie Kealoha and son Tristan while they enjoy a grass-fed beef slider on homemade basil roll.

Fresh Produce Given to Food Bank
The massive Kamuela Grown display that filled the top center section of Taste was donated to The Food Basket Inc., Hawai‘i Island’s Food Bank. The array of fresh veggies is being distributed at local food banks and pantries throughout the island.