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 www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com.

Click here for the Honey Ginger Ale recipe.

Share

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 http://bit.ly/14wUunL or call 1-800-HILTONS.

Share

Grazing Galore at Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Mealani Blueberries

Everyone loves Mealani's blueberries

Officially proclaimed by Hawai’i County as Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Day, Sept. 21st offered perfect “grazing” weather for hungry attendees at the 17th annual agriculture festival that sprawled both inside and out of the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Food was on everyone’s mind-and plenty of it.

Kamehameha Schools

Kamehameha Schools prepared a steamship round of beef huli-style (rotisserie) into tasty wraps and sliders

Event-goers shared their grazing experience on Taste’s facebook page, describing a host of favorite culinary offerings. There were many nods for the steamship round of beef prepared on the outdoor spit into tasty Paniolo Wraps and Pipi Huli on ‘Ulu Rolls by Kamehameha Schools, Another popular item was the savory Island-Braised Lamb Sliders (see recipe) by Sam Choy’s Kai Lanai.

Nancy Sweatt of Kona said she had several favorites: “Lava Lava (Beach Club’s) Top Round beef, Pu’uwai (Ranch) Lamb was the best! I loved the Tongue by 12th Ave Grill.”

Earls Tripe Sushi

The Tripe Tummy Rolls by Earl's were a big hit

“Best dish goes to Earl’s Tummy Rolls,” posted Angelia Elarco. “Who would (have) ever thought of tripe sushi? LOL. But I heard the dish that was wrapped like a laulau with the truffle sauce was amazing (beef cheek by The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i) … Best display goes to Kamuela Grown-all those farmers are amazing.”

Graze Your Way maps to guide their tasting str

Attendees used handy Graze Your Way maps to guide their tasting strategy

With over 75 booths to visit-a mix of culinary stations, island-made product sampling, fresh displays by farmers and educational exhibits-there was something for everyone to enjoy. A handy Graze Your Way at Taste map guided attendees through the event. Info collected from booths could be conveniently stowed in canvas Taste bags.

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. Also assigned grass-fed cuts of beef to prepare, the future chefs didn’t disappoint, offering Thai Beef Papaya Salad, Beef Stroganoff and Kona Coffee and Wine-Braised Beef. Facebook fans extolled the students’ Banana-Chocolate-Coconut Pops and Lilikoi-Papaya-Ginger Sorbet!

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 2012 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 www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com. Save the date for next year: Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. Come hungry!

Share

New Chefs, Products and Displays Debut at 2012 Taste

There’s something for everyone at the 17th annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival 6-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village:

• Enjoy fresh food using local ingredients-starring forage-fed meats-by 36 chefs

• Taste local ag and value-added products and meet the folks who produce them

• Enjoy ag-related educational displays

Culinary Newbies

Eight of the 36 culinary participants are first timers, including The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i and new Executive Chef Hubert Des Marias, who recently came to the Kohala Coast from Kenya.

“I like grass-fed beef for its flavor profile and healthful benefits,” says Des Marias, who was named one of “America’s Ten Best New Chefs” by Food and Wine Magazine. He prefers “simple preparation” to let grass-fed beef “speak for itself.”  For Taste, chef will prepare a tasty “Tongue and Cheek” dish: tamarind-glazed beef cheek and sweet potato laulau with pickled lomilomi beef tongue and mustard greens salad served with Waimea tomatoes and a golden pineapple turmeric salsa.

Another 2012 Taste newbie is the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa and Executive Chef Sven Ullrich. Assigned beef flap-a bottom sirloin cut also called beef loin tip-Chef Ullrich is serving extra virgin olive oil-poached beef with jackfruit slaw and micro chives.

Kelsi Ikeda of Sandy’s Drive In debuts at Taste to make kalbi-braised clod (cross-rib) quesadillas with a pineapple kim chee relish and kochujung sour cream. After jobs at Alan Wong’s, Nobu Waikiki and Trump’s Waikiki Beachwalk, Chef Ikeda is back on the Big Island working at her family’s Kainaliu restaurant.

Chef Ippy Solimenes

Fresh from the Food Network, Chef "Ippy" Aiona of Solimene's debuts at Taste

Fresh from competition on cable TV’s “Food Network Star,” Chef Philip “Ippy” Aiona of Solimene’s Restaurant in Waimea makes his first Taste appearance using a favorite butcher’s cut known for its great flavor-hanger steak.

Other restaurants and their chefs debuting at Taste include Lava Lava Beach Club in Waikoloa with Chef Colin Stevens preparing beef top round, Blue Dragon Restaurant in Kawaihae with Chef Noah Hester cooking beef bottom round, Sodexo/UH-Hilo Dining Services with Chef Timothy Choo using beef chuckroll and Hilo’s Banyan Drive Café and Chef Courtney Larson assigned beef bottom round.

New Ag and Value-Added Products

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. It’s all part of the focus on food sustainability at the annual event that showcases the isle’s grass-fed beef industry while bringing together local ranchers, farmers, restaurateurs and eager eaters to celebrate a bounty of locally produced food.

OnoPopsFresh from Honolulu’s Food & Wine Festival, OnoPops is among the new products at Taste. The refreshing popsicles are based on the gourmet Mexican paleta. Shaped like a shovel or paleta, these treats are made with almost 100 percent Hawai’i ingredients: raw cane sugar, milk, eggs, butter, fruit and spices. Josh Welch of Ono Pops says a variety of products from the Big Isle are employed to concoct some of its 70-plus flavors like Kona Latte, Pink Lemon Crème, Honey Apricot, Jaboticaba and Mango. “Nothing is artificial, including our li hing mui,” shares Welch.

Inaugural Educational Display

CAFNRM student

UH Hilo CAFNRM student gets hands-on experience

For the first time at Taste, attendees can find out all about UH Hilo’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM). The college offers a BS degree in six areas of specialization and certificates for specialized areas. Assistant Professor of Horticulture Norman Arancon says the display will not only have info and handouts on the full academic program, but also updates on the college’s popular Adopt a Beehive program and a display on verimicomposting.

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 2012 installment of Grass-Fed Beef Cooking 101. This year’s guest presenter is Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Executive Chef James Babian who will be preparing Grilled Tri-Tip with Kiawe-Smoked Kabocha Pumpkin and Braciole de Manzo or Italian beef roll.

Tickets for the evening Taste and 3 p.m. Cooking 101 demo with are conveniently sold online at http://www.TasteOfTheHawaiianRange.com. Taste tickets remain priced at $40 presale and $60 at the door, while the fee for the cooking demo is $10. 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.

The Hilton Waikoloa Village offers Taste of the Hawaiian Range Kama’aina Room and Ticket Packages (code TSH) starting at $229 plus tax for one night stay on Sept. 21 and two event tickets. Room-only accommodations are available starting from $149 per night (code MTH). Visit http://bit.ly/GJsNyk or phone 808-886-1234 and ask for the “Taste of the Hawaiian Range Ticket Package.”

Share

Look Who’s Cookin’ at Taste of the Hawaiian Range Hilton Waikoloa Village: Executive Chef Charles Charbonneau

Chef Charles Charbonneau oversees the cuisine of the sprawling, award-winning hotel that annually serves as host to Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range. Aligned with Taste’s mission of encouraging and supporting locally produced ag products, Chef is passionate about sharing local ingredients on every plate possible in the resort’s many restaurants.

Tropical Fruit

Exotic dragonfruit (center) with papaya, pineapple and strawberries

He explains, “When 12 chefs started using locally grown farm produce more than 20 years ago, they could hardly have imagined the longevity of their passion for Hawai’i Regional Cuisine. Today, we reap the bounty of that vision in a stunning array of local produce brought to us by dozens of small farmers who specialize in growing the best Hawai’i Island can offer.”

The son of a Japanese mother who immigrated to the U.S. after WWII and an American father, Charles says his parents inspired him to enter the restaurant industry at an early age.

Without their early tutelage, he would not have become a chef.  Charbonneau attended the Culinary Institute of America and spent more than 18 years at Interstate Hotels and Resorts.

C Charbonneau

Hilton Waikoloa Village Executive Chef Charles Charbonneau

His tenure included serving as food and beverage “task force commander” for the opening of two Marriotts in Moscow.

Charbonneau also had the honor of being selected as President Bill Clinton’s personal chef during a 1994 summer vacation and serving for many years as the Jacksonville Jaguars chef at the annual “Taste of the NFL” prior to the Super Bowl.

“A chef is only as good as the places he has been and the things he has accomplished,” notes Charbonneau. He said his love of travel and pristine ingredients, including the world’s freshest fish, are what brought him to Hawai’i. Charbonneau is married with three children, who are his pride and joy.

Q & A

Q. What local food products are your favorite and why?

A: Working with our local farmers is truly important. They bring us seasonal produce and because of our unique growing seasons, we’re able to offer fresh fish, fruits and vegetables all year long. There’s abundant mango, papayas are excellent and we’re working with excellent local farms producing greens, chards and spinach. A fantastic local company, Tropical Dreams, is taking our fresh fruits and turning them into incredible sorbets and ice creams. The exotic dragon fruit-with its vibrant, purple-pinkish hues-is a favorite.

As the seasons change, so do the Hilton’s fish choices. Look for ono and ahi dishes on our restaurant menus in a variety of special preparations-we love to use ono. Light, fresh and bursting with color, our menus reflect the bounty, and the beauty of island life.

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

A: World cuisine – a wide variety of preparations, dishes and influences affect my style.  My tendency is to prepare food with a light and fresh approach, not heavy butter sauces.

Q: What are your favorite fun things to do in Hawai’i?

A: Hiking, travel and sports

Hilton Waikoloa Village is located at 69-425 Waikoloa Beach Drive, Waikoloa Beach Resort, Waikoloa, HI, 808-886-1234, www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com.

Recipe: Slow-Braised Hawaiian Grass-Fed Beef Brisket Sliders

Share