The 18th Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival is set for Friday, Oct. 4. Sprawling inside and out at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, the event from 6 to 8 p.m. 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.
Thirty-five of the state’s top chefs have already confirmed their participation to prepare delectable dishes using grass-fed 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 Hawaii chefs. Enjoy familiar cuts like sirloin tip and ribs, plus beef cheek and rocky mountain oysters, aka bull testicles.
While tasting, attendees can meet Hawaii’s food producers at gaily decorated vendor booths and talk story with the ranchers and farmers who make a living growing our food. “Taste” also affords local food producers the opportunity to hook up with isle chefs and consumers.
Learn how to use and prepare 100 percent pasture-raised beef at a 3 p.m. informative culinary activity: “Grass-Fed Beef Cooking 101.” This year’s guest presenter is Hubert Des Marais, executive chef of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. The presentation includes sampling.
Tickets will be sold online starting July 1 at 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 on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI. For general event information, phone 969-8228.
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 960-8411 no later than Sept. 20.
Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The premiere ag-tourism event is a partnership between the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, UH-Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Management; County of Hawaii Department of Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Department of Research and Development, Hawaii Community College Food Service & Culinary Program and KTA SuperStores. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations.