Attendees to the 2015 Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range enjoyed activities old and new to mark Tasteʻs 20th anniversary. The event boasted a lineup of over 30 chefs from three islands and featured two founding members of Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine as educational presenters: Peter Merriman of Merriman’s and Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s.
Remembering the Old
Ten culinary participants of the 1996 inaugural taste were awarded plaques to display at this year’s event. The Araki family of Hilo’s Kuhio Grille was gifted with a special Big Island-shaped plaque for 20 years of continuous participation.
Recipes by long-time event chefs, ranchers and committee members were featured in the 20th Anniversary Mealaniʻs A Taste of the Hawaiian Range Cookbook, which was complimentary to every attending family. Compiled by Chef Sandy Barr Rivera and rancher/committee volunteer Jeri Moniz, the 28-page cookbooklet offered 20 recipes for pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb and goat.
Download Discounts on New Exhibitor Pages
Exhibitors had the option to have a Taste website landing page to share special offers and info at the event. Attendees could access the pages using their smartphone via a QR code. For the list of nearly 20 landing pages, which offer ongoing special offers and discounts that can be downloaded, visit http://www.tasteofthehawaiianrange.com/exhibitor-offers/index.html.
In addition, there were 38 product/educational displays. Some booths shared tastings of products, like Turnip Wagonʻs micro-vegetables, while others offered compelling agricultural displays. A popular educational attraction was the Hawaii Cattlemen Council’s interactive display featuring a large drawing of a steer. Attendees could win an oven mitt by correctly matching a beef cut illustration to the area it comes from on the steer.
Scavenger Hunt Awards Overnighter, Many Prizes
Over 80 attendees participated in Taste’s inaugural digital scavenger hunt, which tasked gamers to complete tasks and find answers at participant booths or in the event program. A sample question: What tastes good prepared as a curry or a kraut…clue: booth B56? The answer was squash as B56 was the location for Squash & Awe’s booth.
Scavenger hunt winners were randomly drawn at event’s end and the grand prize was an overnight stay at Hilton Waikoloa Village. Mahalo to Redwater Café, The Food Basket, Inc.-Hawai‘i Island’s Food Bank, Village Burger, Big Island Bees, MacFarms of Hawaii, Buddha’s Cup Coffee, Sugai Products, Inc., Atebara Taro Chips, Royal Hawaiian Coffee, Squash and Awe Farm, King Laulau Brand Poi, Sustainable Island Products LLC and Honolulu Coffee Company for donating prizes.
Mahalo to the many others who helped make Taste a success! With a mission to provide a diverse educational venue to encourage and support sustainable agriculture and support of locally produced agricultural products, Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is rooted in business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. Find a list of the 2015 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.