Posts belonging to Category Event News Hawaii

Video Demos How to Dress an Animal for Market, Discusses Product Valuation for Chefs

Educational Workshop with Drs. Dale Woerner and Keith Belk from Colorado State University.

The annual educational seminar for food service professionals and culinary students at the 2016 Taste of the Hawaiian Range featured “Beef Carcass Butchering and Product Valuation” by Drs. Dale Woerner and Keith Belk of Colorado State University. The 1.5-hour, free presentation is conveniently available for viewing in five video segments on this blog page.

The seminar illustrates and describes how a half-beef carcass—the chuck and round primals—are butchered into products while the characteristic of each product is shared. The presenters also detail how to best utilize the primals to get the most value from the animal carcass.

Chuck products covered include brisket; flank, skirt and flat iron steaks; short ribs and new, innovative cuts like the clod heart or ranch steak. Lean and similar in consistency to a sirloin, the clod heart steak is sourced from the front leg of the steer and is a flavorful, inexpensive cut.

In addition to sharing details about the round primal, the presentation delves into factors influencing the overall desirability of beef and tips to best achieve them: tenderness, specific meat color, flavor and juiciness.

Dr. Belk is the Monfort Endowed Chair in Meat Science at the Center for Meat Safety & Quality, and has been a buyer for Safeway and the Colorado State Meat Extension Specialist. An associate professor, Dr. Woerner is an expert in fresh meat quality, pre-harvest management of beef for quality meat production, meat cookery, instrument assessment of meat products, fresh meat shelf life and innovative carcass fabrication.

For more inspiring beef innovation ideas, visit

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, plus encouragement and support of locally produced ag products.

Parts 1-5.

Chuck Cuts: TOHR Butcher Segment 1 from Taste of the Hawaiian Range on Vimeo.

Chuck Cuts: TOHR Butcher Segment 2 from Taste of the Hawaiian Range on Vimeo.

Chuck Cuts: TOHR Butcher Segment 3 from Taste of the Hawaiian Range on Vimeo.

Chuck Cuts: TOHR Butcher Segment 4 from Taste of the Hawaiian Range on Vimeo.

Round Cuts: TOHR Butcher Segment 5 from Taste of the Hawaiian Range on Vimeo.


Taste 2016 Diverts 96% of Waste from Landfill, Cooking 101 Recipes Posted

Waste Diagram

Total wastes generated at 2016 Taste of the Hawaiian Range.
Credit: Courtesy Dr. Norman Arancon/UH-Hilo

Recycling efforts at the 2016 Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range diverted a whopping 1,456.3 pounds of waste from the landfill. A waste total of 1,513.79 pounds was generated with 96.2 percent of it diverted or “recovered” as compostables, mixed recyclables, HI-5 redemption and food waste that was distributed to local piggeries. The adjacent diagram shows the breakdown of total waste by pounds and percent.

Recycling Taste of the Hawaiian Range 2016

Kanu O Ka ‘Aina students staffed the many waste stations.
Credit: Fern Gavelek

The County of Hawai’i spearheaded the massive Zero Waste effort, which was assisted by students at Kanu o Ka ‘Aina School. Honoka‘a Intermediate/High School and UH-Hilo. Dr. Norman Arancon of the University of Hawai‘i compiled the waste report and supervised the weighing of the waste.

The 21st annual event at Hilton Waikoloa Village proved to hundreds of attendees and participating culinarians that pasture-raised beef tastes good and can be used to make satisfying dishes. A wide variety of beef cuts —everything from tongue to tail—were assigned and prepared at 29 culinary stations, plus pork, lamb, mutton and goat.

Food at Taste of the Hawaiian Range 2016

A wide variety of meat cuts were used to tantalize attendees.
Credit: Fern Gavelek

In addition, there were 40 product/educational displays. Some booths shared tastes of goodies, like honey and balsamic vinegar, while others offered compelling agricultural displays and informational handouts on topics like Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death.

Culinary student component

Sheraton Kona at Taste of the Hawaiian Range 2016

One of several culinary stations positioned outdoors on the Lagoon Lanai was the Sheraton Kona.
Credit: Fern Gavelek

Hawai‘i Community College (HCC) culinary students from both East and West Hawai‘i helped chefs and product booths dish out thousands of tasty samples. They included 21 students and three instructors from West Hawai‘i and 52 students, six graduates and four instructors from East Hawai‘i.

Students also were assigned meat cuts to prepare and serve at their own culinary stations. Hilo students were assigned tripe and served Munudo. “It’s a Mexican stew that’s known as a hangover remedy,” smiled Brian Hirata, chef instructor of culinary arts in Hilo.

Food producer Hawaii Lassi

Food producer Hawaii Lassi of Akaml Foods offered a fruity yogurt drink.
Credit: Fern Gavelek

Those studying Asian cookery at HCC in Kona prepared Indian Lamb Curry while those in the European class concocted Lamb Shish-Ka-Bobs. Both schools also offered a selection of desserts, including the popular chocolate-dipped cookies by Chef Fernand Guiot’s Kona students.

Educational activities open to all

Luisa Castro of the UH-Hilo College of Continuing Education and Community Service

Luisa Castro of the UH-Hilo College of Continuing Education and Community Service shared info on class offerings such as food preservation.
Credit: Fern Gavelek

Pre-gala activities were geared to students and home cooks. The first was a live demonstration, “Beef Carcass Butchering and Product Valuation.” Dr. Dale Woerner and Dr. Keith Belk of Colorado State University showed how a half-beef carcass is butchered into products while sharing the characteristics of each. The well-received demonstration instructed future chefs and food service personnel how to best utilize the whole carcass of pasture-raised cattle. In addition, the presentation was of value to the home cook wanting to learn where beef cuts come from.

Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 Recipes

Students at HCC-Hilo

Students at HCC-Hilo finish banana and chocolate chip cookies with a honey butter drizzle.

O’ahu chefs Kevin Hanney and J Schoonover of 12th Ave Grill and Kokohead Cafe demonstrated how to use beef tongue and beef short ribs during Pasture-Raised Beef Cooking 101. Attendees enjoyed samples. Click on these links for their recipes: Red Wine Braised Paniolo Beef Tongue with Sweet Pepper Soffrito and Coconut-Braised Big Island Beef Shortribs. NEED these recipe names LINKED TO WEBSITE PLZ.

HawCC culinary students

HawCC culinary students gather around the educational demo on beef butchering and product valuation.
Credit: Jeff Ikeda

Mahalo to the many others who helped make Taste a success! With a mission to provide a venue for sustainable agricultural education and support of locally produced ag products, Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. Find a list of the 2016 supporters and participants, details on the Mealani Research Station—where Taste began—plus where to get grass-fed beef on the Big Isle AND recipes, at


Ten new exhibitors meet attendees at Taste

Taste welcomes several new exhibitors—both educational and new food products— to the 2016 lineup of 30-some booths. They include Paradise Hawaii Balsamics, FarmWorks Hawaii, Orchid Isle Traders, Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death, Spicy Ninja Sauce, Beyond Organic Consulting, Hawaii Lassi-Akaml Foods, USDA Farm Service Agency, Waimea Butcher Shop and UH-CTAHR Veterinary Extension. We share what four of them are up to:

Orchid Isle Traders

Orchid Isle Traders

Products from Orchid Isle Traders
Credit: Orchid Isle Traders

Focusing on spices, flavors and value-added products by local food producers, veteran food journalist and cookbook author Sonia Martinez and retired engineer Kevan Kendrick have opened Orchid Isle Traders.

Focusing on spices, flavors and value-added products by local food producers, veteran food journalist and cookbook author Sonia Martinez and retired engineer Kevan Kendrick have opened Orchid Isle Traders.

The product list ranges from kahili ginger-infused green tea to whole cloves, vanilla extract, naturally dried tropical fruits and locally made fruit butters. Some items are sold under the new Orchid Isle Traders brand.

“We buy local vanilla beans and make our own extract or sell a trio of ready-to-use beans,” shared Martinez, a Cuba native and co-owned of the former Akaka Falls Inn. “We also import items we can’t yet source locally but are valuable to culinarians.

The company’s mission is to create new connections between small Hawai‘i Island growers, processors and artisans, while creating a new, web-based outlet for markets beyond our shores.

Martinez shares Orchid Isle is “looking for local growers of cardamom, cumin and other select spices. Website is in the works,

Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death


Cut trunk of an infected ‘oh‘ia showing the dark starburst-like staining pattern of the fungus around the outer ring of wood. The xylem or water-conducting cells are located in the outer ring.
Credit: J.B. Friday

ʻOhiʻa lehua is Hawaiʻi’s most abundant native tree and covers more than one million acres throughout the state. The tree is considered the backbone of our native forests, which are a source of fresh drinking and irrigation water. ʻOhiʻa forests are also highly important for forest cover, habitat for native animals and plants, aesthetic beauty, recreation and the perpetuation of Hawaiian cultural traditions.

Over the last half-decade, hundreds of thousands of ʻohiʻa trees across more than 34,000 acres on the Big Isle have been killed by a new disease, locally named Rapid ʻOhiʻa Death (ROD).

“Caused by a fungus called Ceratocystis fimbriata, the disease kills ʻohiʻa trees by destroying the water-conducting cells and preventing water from reaching the leaves,” says Corie Yanger, ROD Educational/Outreach Specialist at the University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. “Once infected, crowns of entire trees turn yellow to brown and then die within days to weeks. Rapid ʻOhiʻa Death is still isolated to Hawaiʻi Island and help is needed to ensure it doesn’t spread.”

Yanger will share info and brochures at the ʻŌhiʻa Death table. Learn more at and engage with UH experts on Facebook at

Paradise Hawaii Balsamics
Independent Distributor of Hawaii Balsamics

Paradise Hawaii Balsamics

25-star vinegar infused with flavors
Credit:Paradise Hawaii Balsamics

Using top grade, 25-star Italian balsamic vinegar, Hawaii Balsamics creates 29 flavors of vinegar. Selections showcase isle ingredients like mango, guava, lilikoi and pineapple while others vinegars are infused with fig, ginger, espresso, grapefruit, white garlic and blackberry.

With the slogan “Taste the Wow,” company favorites include Garlic Cilantro and the Coconut Lime. The vinegars are also available for traveling in TSA-approved 100ml sizes.

“We combine the flavors of Italy and the Big Island,” says co-distributor Eden Patino.

Concocting the flavors is Tamar Gilson, Hawaii Balsamics owner, who came up with the product “to make salads more appealing.”

The line of vinegars is sold at the Maku‘u Farmers Market in Kea‘au, Hilo Farmers Market, Kapohokine Adventures in Hilo and online. Find recipes for using the vinegars—like Candied Bacon and Avocado Balsamic Toast— at

FarmWorks Hawaii

Diana Duff founder, FarmWorks Hawaii

Diana Duff founded FarmWorks Hawaii
Credit: FarmWorks Hawaii

Have you just bought property and wonder what you can grow best at your new location? Need guidance choosing crop insurance or attaining organic certification? FarmWorks Hawaii can help.

Comprised of a team of four women, each with at least 10 years of agriculture experience, FarmWorks provides a range of consulting services covering a broad range of topics. Find out how to get a farm started or improve a working farm.

“After selling my farm, I decided I wanted to do some advising and so opened FarmWorks Hawaii,” shared Diana Duff, who writies a Sunday ag/gardening column in West Hawaii Today. She grew coffee, banana and salad greens on her farm. “I had so much experience, and enjoy helping others, so figured it would be a good fit.”

Others soon decided they had something to contribute and asked to join the mix. The team includes livestock and acquaculture expert Sara Moore; organic cacao farmer Melanie Bondera, who is experienced at grant writing, business plans, co-op forming and organic certification; and crop advisor Kathy Fleming, a landscape designer, coffee and tumeric farmer.

Launched nearly a year ago, FarmWorks can guide clients in securing USDA funding opportunities, working with other agricultural agencies and dealing with Kamehameha Schools. Get advice on including all kinds of livestock into your farm and how to find volunteer workers, interns or agricultural apprentices. For info, visit


Taste Welcomes Several New Culinary Participants

Several new restaurants are participating at the 2016 Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range: Waipi‘o Cookhouse, Waikoloa’s Daylight Mind Coffee CompanyMonstera, The Fish Hopper, Ippy’s Hawaiian Barbeque and Noodle Club. They join the 30-some culinarians who will be preparing pasture-raised meats a variety of different ways for attendees.

Waipi‘o Cookhouse

Wapio Cookhouse

From left: Wapi‘o Cookhouse owner Larry Vidlak with Krystle Cabrera, manager and Chef Charven Rodrigues.
Courtesy Wapio‘o Cookhouse

Located one mile before the famed Waipi‘o Valley Lookout, this restaurant has a unique distinction of being built right on a working farm. Owner Larry Vidlak says in order to build a restaurant on the 17 acre Kanahonua Farms, he had to agree to source all local available food from the state first—before importing anything.

With some background working with cattle, Vidlak bought the farm acreage in 2010 and put in some fencing. A barn came next and then he decided to build the restaurant. “I got into the food service business by accident,” he laughs. The farm produces grass-fed beef, lamb, bananas, avocados, mangos, coconut, cherries, papaya, lilikoi and herbs.

With a menu big on locally produced food, Waipi‘o Cookhouse serves fresh, smoked meats for breakfast, lunch and dinner. “The brisket and ribs are prepared here in a seven-food barbecue pit with two double doors and three racks. I get up at 3 a.m. to light the fire and oversee the barbecuing. We smoke the breakfast sausage, which is seasoned with our herbs.”

At the culinary helm is Chef Charven Rodrigues, who has acreage down in Waip‘o Valley that provides the hoio (edible fern), lu‘au leaf and watercress used in menu items. Vidlak adds, “We serve fresh Hawai‘i eggs and all our burgers, lamb and beef are from our ranch. We have a certified imu in the ground to prepare kalua pork.”

Waipi‘o Cookhouse is preparing beef brisket for Taste; follow the restaurant on facebook,

Daylight Mind Coffee Company Waikoloa

Ash Danao

Chef Ash Danao
Courtesy Daylight Mind Coffee Company

While Daylight Mind Chef Ash Danao has already participated in Taste three times with the former Keauhou Beach Hotel, the new Waikoloa location of Daylight Mind at Queens’ MarketPlace is making its debut.

A native of Honaunau in south Kona, Danao boasts culinary stints at Keauhou’s Akule Supply Company and his own former restaurant, Rolls With It. He is also a winner at a past Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest.

The menus are the same at both the Kona and Waikoloa Daylight Mind restaurants and chef describes them as having a “local, farm-to-table atmosphere.” Daylight Mind serves pasture-raised beef and chef says his favorite cut is the boneless short rib.

“Once you try our loco moco breakfast/lunch or braised short ribs with demi for dinner, you’ll understand why,” he confides. Chef is preparing beef cross rib for Taste.

For info on both locations, visit


The Fish Hopper

Pedro Almazan

Chef Pedro Almazan
Courtesy The Fish Hopper

Executive Chef Pedro Almazan of Mexico City brings his American-style cuisine to Taste for The Fish Hopper. A seafood and steakhouse restaurant located on Ali‘i Drive in Kailua-Kona, The Fish Hopper is popular for macadamia-crusted mahimahi, fresh ahi, bone-in ribeye and New York Steak. The restaurant is renown for award-winning, “Monterey Style” clam chowder. You can get it for takeout—up to 10 gallons at a time!

The restaurant uses local beef for its specials and chef says flavorful and tender rib steak is his favorite local beef cut. Chef is assigned ground beef for Taste.

Chef Almazan got into the food service business while living in Monterey, Calif., working as a line cook with the local Fish Hopper. Before coming to Kona, he also worked at Bubba Gump’s in Monterey and Honolulu.

Find menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner at


Located upstairs at The Shops at Mauna Lani, Monstera is popular for sushi and has menu items typical of noodle houses and izakayas (Japanese pubs). Open for dinner nightly, Monstera offers a wide selection of sushi, specialty rolls, sizzling platters, small plates and hot and chilled noodle selections prepared under the supervision of Chef Norio Yamamoto.

Trained in Tokyo, Chef Yamamoto is a master sushi chef who has more than two decades of experience working in the culinary industry. Debuting at this year’s Taste, Monstera is assigned beef chuckroll. For details,

Ippy’s Hawaiian Barbeque

Food Network star Ippy Aiona is not new to Taste, but his Hawaiian Barbeque restaurant is. Chef Aiona previously represented his Three Fat Pigs gastropub at Taste, but this year he’s preparing feral pork with his BBQ plate lunch restaurant in mind.

Offering counter service in the Queens’ MarketPlace food court, Ippy’s Hawaiian Barbeque serves BBQ ribs and more served with Ippy’s specialty sauces. Favorites include The Gravy Burger, Roasted Pork with Crispy Onions and the Grilled Mahi Burger with passionfruit tartar sauce. For info, visit

Noodle Club

Chef Edwin Goto, owner of long-time Taste participant Village Burger, is debuting his new eatery, Noodle Club, and assigned beef shank. Both restaurants are at Parker Ranch Center in Waimea.

With the same sustainability focus at Village Burger, Noodle Club “supports local farmers and ranchers…one bowl at a time.” Local pasture-raised beef is on the Noodle Club menu: rib-eye is marinated in teriyaki, skewered and grilled; the Bowl of Seoul soup features braised beef brisket and the Big Pho King Bone stars beef bone marrow. Find Noodle Club at


Culinary Students Reap Benefits While Providing Service

Cooking Pasture Raised Beef 101 demonstration

The isle’s future food service professionals prepare plates for attendees during the Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 demonstration.

They first work behind the scenes, preparing food for their school’s culinary stations before even coming to Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range. After arriving, they attend a pasture-raised, beef-related seminar and then observe and help serve guests at the Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 demo. After that, they assist chefs at culinary stations and serve Taste attendees from 6-8 p.m.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range couldn’t happen without the participation of the Hawaii Community College culinary students from both Hilo and Kona.

In fact, the event is staged, in part, for these future culinarians so they can learn the merits of pasture-raised beef…along with Taste attendees and participating chefs.

Student Benefits

Students work along side professionals to learn skills and make industry connections during the Taste gala.

Students work along side professionals to learn skills and make industry connections during the Taste gala.

In addition to learning about locally produced food at educational presentations, students experience first-hand how to work with different cuts of meat and industry professionals. They make connections with possible future employers and local food producers, sampling their produce and value-added products at the event.

For 2015, 63 collegiate culinary students participated, eight graduates and seven instructors. Kona students were assigned beef flank steak while Hilo was challenged with preparing beef tongue.

UH-Palamanui culinary professor Paul Heerlein

UH-Palamanui culinary professor Paul Heerlein

“We prepared two dishes with the flank steak,” shared Paul Heerlein, assistant professor/coordinator of culinary arts at Kona’s University of Hawaii-Palamanui. “The first-year group did a Spanish-style, grilled flank steak salad as they are studying European cuisine and my second-year group did a play on a Vietnamese beef sandwich as we’re studying Asian food preparation.”

West Hawai‘i Students Share Experiences

Jolynn Len, a student at UH-Palamanui, said her second-year class “tasted and experimented” with two different preparations before voting to use an Asian-style lemongrass marinade with picked vegetables and chili pepper aioli.

“I was in charge of adjusting the recipe to serve up to 800-bite-size servings and volunteered to decorate our event presentation table,” shared the West Hawai‘i student.

East Hawai‘i culinary students prepared 1000 servings each of three desserts—in addition to 1,000 bites of grilled beef tongue.

East Hawai‘i culinary students prepared 1000 servings each of three desserts—in addition to 1,000 bites of grilled beef tongue.

The day before the event, students gathered at the new Mai’s Grille in Waikoloa to help Chef Allen Hess with his Taste culinary offering. “I got to fabricate and grind beef shoulder,” recalls Len.

During Taste, Len was assigned to work with Chef Jay at 12th Avenue Grill, who offered boneless oxtail served with sautéed local ‘Ali‘i Mushrooms, hearts of palm and fennel. “It was topped off with a rich consommé,” Len elaborated. “It was delicious and fun to plate.”

Classmate Tomi Salinger helped staff UH-Palamanui’s culinary station and adds, “Before Taste we got to hear a lecture from Chef Peter Merriman and we also got to watch a cooking demo from Chef Roy Yamaguchi. After that I helped finish cooking off the steak in the Hilton’s kitchen before service. Once service started, there were swarms of people constantly coming, which made two hours go by in what felt like an hour…. All in all, it was a great experience for me and I always enjoy seeing the real world perspective of the restaurant industry.”

East Hawai’i Instructor Details Participation

HawCC East Hawai’i culinary professor Alan Okuda

HawCC East Hawai’i culinary professor Alan Okuda

Allan Okuda, culinary arts program professor and coordinator of Hawai‘i Community College in Hilo said he recruited HawCC graduates to staff the school’s culinary station so all current students could experience working with the industry chefs—“many of whom offer jobs to our students upon graduation.”

The Hilo contingent served grilled beef tongue on crisp, local watercress with an Asian vinaigrette sauce and a jaboticaba wine reduction. They prepared 1000 servings of the beef dish and a whopping 3000 desserts that included 1000 each of Okinawan sweet potato dumplings, apple banana Original Hawaiian Chocolate macadamia bites and rambutan/papaya sorbet.

The students also cooked and cubed 600 bites of four varieties of sweet potato for an educational booth presented by UH’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.

“Actually, the (food) preparation is not so much the challenge,” noted Okuda. “It’s really to cook, properly chill and transport the food and equipment safely to the Hilton for service, but we manage every year.”

Wrapping up the student experience, Sandy Barr-Rivera, retired assistant professor of culinary arts at the Hilo campus, said, “The following Monday morning after the Taste is always a high-energy day for the students…sharing their experiences with great enthusiasm and ready to get cooking!”

Assignment for Readers

To get an idea of what it’s like to prepare bite-size servings for hundreds of Taste attendees, UH-Palamanui shares its flank steak recipe below. As Len originally took a smaller recipe and adjusted it to feed 800, your assignment is to customize it to satisfy the size of your group. Enjoy!