Posts belonging to Category Grass-Fed Beef Hawaii

Zero Waste Effort Diverts All Discards from Landfill, Recipe Shared for Popular Honey Ginger Ale

Mahina Café offered a mini laulau complete with taro and haupia at Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Mahina Café offered a mini laulau complete with taro and haupia

The 18th annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range at Hilton Waikoloa Village proved to over 2100 attendees that grass fed beef tastes good and can be used to make a wide assortment of satisfying dishes. A wide variety of beef cuts—everything from tongue to tail—were featured at 35 culinary stations, plus pork, lamb, mutton and goat.

Kulana Foods offered Pipikaula Poke at Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Kulana Foods offered Pipikaula Poke

In addition, there were 36 product/educational displays. Some booths shared tastes of goodies, like pipikaula poke and PAVA smoothies, while others offered compelling displays ranging from heirloom squash to solar cooking.

A handy Graze Your Way at Taste map again guided attendees through the event. Info and recipes collected from booths could be conveniently stowed in canvas Taste bags that were given to each attendee.

Attendees raved about their fave “tastes” on Facebook, including the Honey Ginger Ale, a collaborative creation by HawCC Ag Program and the UHH Adopt a Beehive program. The recipe is here.

A 636-pound pumpkin with Cinderella at Recycle Hawaii’s booth

A 636-pound pumpkin with Cinderella at Recycle Hawaii’s booth

Another big hit at this year’s Taste was a 636-pound pumpkin that was grown using kitchen scraps composted by The Bokashi Bucket system. Complete with a costumed “Cinderella,” the display was part of Recycle Hawaii’s booth

Recycle Hawaii also helped with the event’s zero waste effort. Attendees discarded their compostable serving ware and leftovers at 15 waste stations, assisted by students at Kanu o Ka ‘Aina School.

“The kids were super great to work with and it was gratifying to see that they got what we were doing,” says Kristine Kubat, zero waste coordinator for Recycle Hawaii.

Kubat reports that “everything we recovered got recycled, redeemed or composted. Northing was taken to the landfill.”

Percentage breakdown of discards captured for zero waste effort at Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Percentage breakdown of discards captured for zero waste effort

According to Dr. Norman Arancon of the University of Hawai‘i, total waste (discards captured) was 2,852 pounds, of which 49.2% were compostables, 8.8% were HI-5, 6.1% were mixed recyclables and 35.9% were food wastes (see graph).

A slew of Hawai‘i Community College culinary students from both East and West Hawai‘i helped chefs and product booths dish out hundreds of tastes. They included 26 students and two instructors from West Hawai‘i and 61 students and five instructors from East Hawai‘i.

HawCC Culinary students at Taste of the Hawaiian Range

HawCC Culinary students helped chefs and also staffed stations presented by both the West and East Hawai‘i campuses.

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 2013 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

Click here for the Honey Ginger Ale recipe.


New Chefs, Product Booths Debut at 2013 Taste

There’s something for everyone at the 18th annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village:

  • Enjoy fresh food using local ingredients—starring forage-fed meats—by 35 chefs
  • Taste local ag and value-added products and meet the folks who produce them
  • Browse among ag-related educational displays

Culinary Newbies

Chef Ronnie Nasuti

Chef Ronnie Nasuti

Five of the 35 participating restaurants are Taste first timers. Like the rest of the Taste chefs, they are assigned to prepare 100 pounds of a certain cut of grass-fed beef—or lamb, mutton, goat or commercial and feral pork.

Pork is on the menu for two new participants. The Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa is partnering to use commercial pork with Kamehameha Schools. Chef Cory Nazara of Mahina Café in Captain Cook is serving her version of kalua pork.

Debuting from O’ahu is Chef Ronnie Nasuti of Tiki’s Grill & Bar in Waikiki, who is preparing mutton; and Chef Mark Noguchi of Pili Hawai’i and TASTE Table in Honolulu, who is assigned to prepare beef skirt.

Newly opened Pueo’s Osteria in Waikoloa Village is also making a first appearance at this year’s event and preparing lamb. Chef Jim Babian, a staunch supporter of local ranchers and farmers, owns the new Waikoloa Village Restaurant. Chef Babian, who recently served as executive chef at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, is no stranger to Taste and last year presented Grass-Fed Beef Cooking 101 to a sell-out crowd.

Booths and Displays

Hawaiian Granola Company

Hawaiian Granola Company debuts at Taste 2013

In addition to “grazing” at a host of culinary stations, festival goers can enjoy samples from a variety of Hawai‘i’s local food producers offering tastes of their products. Also on display are ag-related educational exhibits.

Barbara Andersen of Hawaiian Granola Company debuts tastes of her original recipe breakfast treat at this year’s Taste. The Hilo resident started making granola for guests at her Shipman House Bed and Breakfast in 1997, focusing on using local macadamia nuts, plus mac nut honey and oil.

Hawaiian Granola Company also concocts recipes using island-sourced ginger, coconut and coffee. Andersen says the granola is “pure, with few other ingredients,” including brown cane sugar, vanilla and oats. “I use nice, chewy oats that have a heft to them, which gives granola a nice body.”

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel serves Hawaiian Granola at its Sunday brunch and it’s sold at isle retailers.

Got Pork?

Pork Industry booth at the Hawaii State Farm Fair.

Pork Industry booth at the Hawaii State Farm Fair.

On the heels of a recent, new event that promotes heritage breed pigs, Cochon Island, the Hawaii Pork Industry Assoc. (HPIA) returns to Taste with an educational booth that offers tastes of char sui and smoked commercial pork.

Dr. Halina Zaleski, extension specialist with UH Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, says the booth provides info on pork’s nutritional value and how to best prepare it.

“People tend to overcook pork; there’s no need to make it into shoe leather,” she says. “It should be cooked to 145 degrees and can still have some pink to it; it should be juicy.”

The booth will also be staffed by Big Isle residents Ron and Daphne McKeehan of Ahualoa Hog Farm and Ryan Okimoto, livestock technician at UH-Hilo’s Panaewa Farm.

With a goal to educate and support all 200 of Hawai’i’s pork producers, the HIPA also promotes the use of pork.

Get Your Tickets!

Chef Hubert Des Marais

Chef Hubert Des Marais

Pre-Taste activities include a culinary demo, with sampling, on how to use and prepare 100 percent pasture-raised beef. Time is 3 p.m. for the 2013 installment of Grass-Fed Beef Cooking 101 and the fee is $10. This year’s guest presenter is Executive Chef Hubert Des Marais of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, who will be preparing boneless brisket and tongue.

For details on purchasing tickets online or islandwide for the evening Taste and Cooking 101 demo, visit Taste of the Hawaiian Range. Taste tickets remain priced at $40 presale and $60 at the door. Watch for ticket giveaways and event updates on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI. For general event information, phone (808) 969-8228.

Hawai’i residents can take advantage of Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package with rates starting at $229 per room on Oct. 4 that includes two tickets for Taste. For details, and to book a stay under an exclusive Taste of the Hawaiian Range room package (code TSH), visit or call 1-800-HILTONS.


Look Who’s Cookin’ at Taste of the Hawaiian Range: Mark “Gooch” Noguchi of Pili Hawai‘i and TASTE Table

Mark Noguchi

Mark Noguchi

A native of O’ahu who spent his early 20’s dancing with Halau o Kekuhi in Hilo, Mark “Gooch” Noguchi makes his debut at Taste in 2013. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of the Pacific and the Culinary Institute of America, Noguchi was tapped as having the “Most Innovative Restaurant” and the “Best Loco Moco” while at He‘eia Kea Pier General Store & Deli. Known as a culinary leader in Hawai’i’s sustainable food movement, Mark serves as a panelist and/or featured chef for statewide events, including the Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival, Taste of the Nation-Hawai‘i and Cochon Island Hawai’i. The modest, award-winning chef prefers to be known as a “cook,” so we are dropping “chef” before his name in this blog.

Culinary Background

After finishing culinary school in New York and working at Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, Noguchi returned to Hawai‘i to serve as lead cook at the former Kona Village Resort. He had other culinary stints at Chef Mavro, TOWN Restaurant and He‘eia Kea Pier Deli before serving as co-founder and chef of Pili Hawai’i and partner/chef at TASTE Table, a permanent pop-up venue that encourages new and experienced chefs to showcase their talents.

At Pili Hawai‘i (pili means interconnected), Noguchi offers catering and consulting based on the idea of providing “thoughtful” food…meaning Pili emphasizes place-based resourcing. Sourcing food within the ahupua’a (ancient Hawaiian division of land from the mountain-to-the sea) for an event is a core value of Pili, as well as resourcing from the best food producers Hawai’i has to offer.

Q: How would you describe your cooking style and please give some examples.

A: It draws upon a frame reference. I grew up with Japanese food and learned European techniques when travelling. I used to dance and that was a catalyst for learning about food. Our halau was fed by families wherever we went and our hosts utilized awesome ingredients and served real authentic food. I draw upon all these experiences. Today, I take ingredients we have and come up with a menu. The sense of frugality in real home cooking is you have this and that and you make a delicious meal to feed people. That’s the reality in preparing food at home or in a professional kitchen.

Q: Why do you use grass-fed beef (GFB)?

A: It tastes good; it’s our job to use as much as possible.  When you taste something good, all the other factors—having no antibiotics or hormones, that range-fed is better for the animal— factor into that result.

Q: What are your favorite GFB cuts and why?

A: I ask my rancher what’s not moving (selling) and then I use that. Chefs are selfish…we call our purveyors and ask for a specific thing, but as cooks we should be talking to farmers, creating a dialogue, and asking what they have available. So my faves are the less-utilized cuts…in five years I’ve never had a tenderloin on the menu; everyone wants it.

Q: Do you let patrons know on your menu they are eating GFB?

A: We try to push attributes of products subtly; we list ranches, farms…and if guests choose to inquire more, than we only share the details. Screaming sustainable is out-of-date, so we don’t do it as we should be doing it already.

Q: What other local food products are your favorite and why?

A: I really enjoy local brassica: cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Q: What are your favorite “fun” things to do here in Hawai‘i? 

A: I try to be outside, in the water or up in the mountains. I try to get away from four walls.

TASTE Table is open 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday at 667 Auahi St., Honolulu (Kaka‘ako), HI, 808-240-1096, Contact Pili Hawaii at 808-240-1096X1,


Grass-Fed Beef Recipe: Grilled Skirt Steak, Mizuna & Farro Salad

By Mark “Gooch” Noguchi

Serves 6-8

NOTE: This recipe looks hard because of all the components; however, it can be broken down into separate days. Beef and Farro can be made on day 1, Grilling & Finishing of the Salad on day 2.

Steak preparation:

2 lbs              Grass-fed skirt steak
3                    Clove garlic, minced
4-6 pc           Green onion bottoms, crushed (from salad prep)
1 Tbl              Shio Koji  (description:
1 pc                Hawaiian Chili pepper, minced
2 Tbl              Olive Oil

Combine all ingredients and marinate 4-6 hours.


1lb                  Farro or Barley
1 pc                Carrot, diced
1 stalk            Celery, diced
1/2                 Sm. onion, diced (reserve other 1/2 for finishing)
1/4 c              Sake
2 1/4 c           Vegetable stock, chicken stock or water
2 Tbsp           White miso
2 pc                Bay Leaf
3-4 pc            Parsley Stems (from salad prep)
2-4 Tbl          Olive Oil

In a heavy pot with a lid, saute onion, carrot, & celery until onions begin to turn translucent.

Add farro and toast, it should start to turn brown and begin to release a nutty aroma.

Add sake, deglaze until alcohol smell dissipates.

Add stock, miso, bay and parsley stems.

Turn down to a low simmer, cover and let it go for 18-20 minutes.

Farro should be al dente, if not, and the pot is almost dry, add a little more liquid and continue to simmer until done.

Pour into a cookie pan and let cool; farro can be made a day ahead.

To finish:

Light a grill; while it’s heating, prepare the following:

1/2                  Small onion, thinly sliced with the grain
3 Tbl               Flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
3 Tbl               Green onion, thinly sliced
3 Tbl               Rice wine vinegar
1 pt.                Cherry tomatoes, halved
TT                   Salt and pepper
1lb                  Mizuna, stem on (Can substitute kale, dandelion greens or chard)
2 Tbl               Olive oil
TT                   Salt and pepper

Drizzle olive oil on mizuna; season with salt and pepper.

On the grill, while it’s still ripping hot, char quickly mizuna on both sides, any flame-ups can be controlled with that beer in your other hand.

Remove from the fire, and rough chop, now combine all ingredients with the farro. Adjust to taste and reserve.

Now take your marinated skirt steak, season it with salt and pepper and grill to desired temperature. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing (IMPORTANT!)

Slice thinly and serve with the farro salad.

TASTE Table is open 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday at 667 Auahi St., Honolulu (Kaka‘ako), HI, 808-240-1096, Contact Pili Hawaii at 808-240-1096X1,



Justin Yu of The Whole Ox Shares Thoughts on Food Sustainability and Our Island Eating Culture

Chef Justin Yu of The Whole Ox

Chef Justin Yu of The Whole Ox. Photo courtesy Melissa Chang.

Believing in honoring the entire animal and the land it comes from, Chef Justin Yu practices “the whole envelope” of food sustainability at his O’ahu restaurant, The Whole Ox. The name of the popular lunch/dinner/late night eatery is a peek at what’s going on there.

Chef Yu uses the entire carcass of both local grass-fed steers and pigs to create his menu, offering a line of hearty signature sandwiches for lunch and entrees for dinner that ensure the use of all the animals cuts. However, he also believes in the importance of driving local produce at The Whole Ox and supporting island food sustainability not only by the ingredients he uses, but also by “sending out the message” on the importance of desiring and eating foods that are produced sustainably.

“There a huge disconnect between the farmer and the consumer,” shares Chef Yu. “People eating food here need to know about our island food situation, taking into account where food comes from and that we’re a tourism economy that has a lot of people to feed.”

Chef Yu’s philosophy of changing Hawai’i’s eating culture and the importance of using locally raised foods sustainably will be shared at Taste’s annual student seminar. The session is offered to culinary students and food industry professionals the afternoon before the Taste gala.

Drawing showing where menu items are sourced from the animal.

Color-coded blackboard drawings show customers where menu items are sourced from the animal. Photo courtesy The Whole Ox.

A native of New York City where he did whole animal butchery, Yu came to Hawai’i this spring, after working at well-known eateries like Quince and Hawker Fare in the San Francisco Bay Area. He says he got into the culinary arts as “there’s something about creating something using hands as well as stimulating all your senses at the same time.” Chef describes his cooking style as honest and simplistic. “I focus on one ingredient and find others to make that first ingredient’s natural flavors shine.”

Q: Please explain WHY you purchase grass-fed beef (GFB) as a whole carcass.

A: We purchase whole carcass because of the principle. We as a restaurant believe in being responsible in our usage of our land, especially with our limited lands here in Hawai‘i.

I believe that the nose-to tail idea is a very, very romantic ideal. Being a romantic I am behind it 100 percent. Only a few chefs or restaurant owners are able to execute these ideals and still be sustainable as a restaurant. Until we bridge the disconnect between the consumer as a whole and the rancher and raise demand for a different eating culture, we have a long road ahead.

Q: What are the challenges for purchasing GFB as a whole carcass?

A: Pricing for whole carcass is pretty high after bone weight and trimming.

Roast beef sandwich from The Whole Ox

Roast beef sandwich served on a potato bun with arugula, horseradish mayo and cheese sauce. Photo courtesy The Whole Ox.

Q: What are some of your favorite beef cuts?

A: I like the hanger steak, two small pieces off the carcass (under the ribs). Hanger is gamey, irony, one of those steaks people throw away because of different striations, but when marinated and cooked properly, it is tender with great flavor. I also like the short plate, the chest, because it’s the most versatile, tender and has good marbling.

Q: What do you like about GFB…do you prefer the flavor over feedlot beef?

A: The flavor with GFB is cleaner and definitely feels better in my stomach, lol.

Q: Please share your thoughts on Hawai’i's overall food sustainability and how The Whole Ox is involved.

A: The original concept of The Whole Ox was using the whole animal, one at a time, to provide foods we love here, responsibility. That attracted me. But when I got here, the steaks, braised cuts, etc. were not utilized correctly. The restaurant was going through 300-400 pounds a week to meet its burger demand…that isn’t utilizing one animal at a time, that’s fulfilling the need for burgers. The chef couldn’t fulfill the demand using on-island carcasses as they are smaller than feedlot beef and so the restaurant was forced to supplement its beef from elsewhere. I found everything was very upside down.

My restaurant background is farm-to-table; I’ve worked at places that are on the forefront of sustainability. I changed some things around at The Ox so the demand for burgers would go down while the demand for other cuts would go up. It’s all about pushing the whole envelope of using the whole animal correctly and in a sustainable way.

If we want to say we’re respecting the whole animal, then we should respect the land it lives on and the water it drinks. I fell in love with the land here and the farmers I have visited, so we source other local food products. We make an effort to source on-island veggies and greens, and 75% of our produce is from here. We use all local pork and beef.

Q: What is The Whole Ox doing to change Hawai’i’s eating culture?

A: We’re in a McDonald’s mentality. People want what they want to eat now and instead need to be aware of what is available and why. We get one animal at a time and we break it down and use it. That’s why I limit my burger count and why the price is what it is. If burgers sell, and not the roast beef, there’s a mismatch. We have a color-coded picture aid at The Whole Ox that shows customers how the menu is divvied up regarding where on the animal the burger, roast beef or sausage come from. It’s about using what’s available sustainably.

The Whole Ox is located at 327 Keawe St., Honolulu (Kaka‘ako), 808-699-6328. Open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, plus 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturdays.