Join us for Hawai'i's premier food-grazing event—the 20th Annual Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agricultural Festival.
Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island of Hawai'i
Marking 20 years of celebrating Hawai'i's local products and the people who produce them, Mealani's Taste of the Hawaiian Range is Friday, October 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Attendees will enjoy 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.
While confirmations are still coming in for the nearly 40 invited restaurants and their chefs, the culinary lineup already reads like a who's who of good eats. Headliners for the Taste evening gala to date include Bravo's “Top Chef” Fan Favorite Sheldon Simeona of Maui's Migrant Restaurant; Kevin Hanney of Oahu's 12th Avenue Grill, the 2015 Hale Aina Best Restaurant of the Year; and the host of TV's “Family Ingredients,” Ed Kenny of Honolulu's Town Restaurant.
Time for this year's evening Taste is 6-8 p.m. and the annual agricultural showcase will again sprawl both inside and out of the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Culinary adventure seekers can taste and enjoy all the cuts of pasture-raised 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.
Exhibits, Ranchers, Farmers and More
While “tasting,” attendees can meet Hawai'i's food producers at booths and talk story with the ranchers and farmers who make a living growing our food. They can also enjoy exhibits presenting topics related to local agriculture and food sustainability, including the University of Hawai'i's Mealani Research Station-where Taste began!
20th Anniversary Celebration
Anniversary festivities will include honoring the event's 20-year participants and others who have been major Taste supporters.
“We had 16 participating restaurants at the first Taste,” shares Dr. Russell Nagata, event chairperson and administrator of Hawai'i County Extension Services for the University of Hawai'i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR). “We invited all of them, who are still in operation, to participate at our anniversary event.”
Tickets Available Starting July
Pre-sale tickets for Taste are $45 and $60 at the door. Entry to Cooking 101 is $10 while the 1:30 p.m. class is free. Tickets go on sale in July at island-wide locations and online. Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI.
Pre-Gala Educational Offerings
Hawaii Regional Cuisine founders Roy Yamaguchi and Peter Merriman will lead the pre-gala's educational offerings, which are open to the public. Chef Yamaguchi of Roy's instructs the 2015 edition of Cooking Pasture-Raised Beef 101 at 3:00 p.m. while Peter Merriman of Merriman's Restaurants offers an informative presentation geared for college culinary students at 1:30 p.m.
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 CTAHR, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County 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.