Get out your calendar and put a big red circle around Friday, Sept. 21 for the 17th Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival. Come celebrate our locally produce food and meet Hawai’i Island’s hard-working, food producers—including ranchers who produce healthy and humanely raised, grass-fed beef.
Event organizers report 33 restaurants have already committed to participate and their chefs will be dazzling diners 6-8 p.m. with delectable dishes using pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb, goat, mutton and wild boar—plus a cornucopia of fresh island fruit, veggies, honey, spices and beverages.
Culinary adventure seekers can taste and enjoy all the cuts of grass-fed beef—everything from tongue to tail—prepared expertly by Hawai’i chefs. Enjoy familiar cuts like sirloin tip and ribs, plus beef cheek and the infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles. All beef is aged for 21 days and 100 percent finished on grass.
While tasting, “grazing” attendees can visit Hawa’i’s food producers at gaily decorated vendor booths and talk story with island residents who make a living growing our food. Taste also affords local food producers the opportunity to hookup with isle chefs and wholesale buyers. The event sprawls both inside and out—last year’s Taste boasted 80-some stations offering your choice of tastes and ag-related information.
Students from Hawaii Community College in Kona and Hilo assist chefs and local food producers at their culinary stations and booths. The future chefs also attend pre-Taste seminars on using grass-fed beef.
Pre-Taste hoopla geared to the public and local culinary students is the informative Grass-Fed Beef Cooking 101 class. This year’s guest presenter is James Babian, executive chef at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. The class includes sampling and Chef Babian will share how his resort best uses grass-fed beef on its award-winning menu.
Tickets prices for the evening Taste and Cooking 101 demo will be conveniently sold at Taste Of The Hawaiian Range starting June 1. Taste tickets remain priced at $40 presale and $60 at the door, while the fee for the cooking demo is $10.
Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should contact Jeri Moniz at 808-960-8411 as soon as possible and no later than Sept. 14.
Watch for event updates and ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range. See you Friday, Sept. 21 and come hungry! Stetsons, boots and cowgirl duds are welcome—but not required.