Paniolo Lingo


grey color; also forage belonging to the Filaree group

Celebrate Big Island Agriculture At
Mealani's A Taste Of The Hawaiian Range


From: Fern Gavelek Communications, 808-329-0833
High res digital photos available from

Contact: Jeri Moniz

KOHALA COAST— Hawai'i's premiere agricultural showcase marks its 15th year on Friday, Sept. 10. Mealani's Taste of the Hawaiian Range is where you can enjoy the freshest of our Big Island bounty prepared by top Hawai'i chefs while meeting the people who are growing our food.

Tantalizing cuisine will be prepared at numerous chef stations using locally raised lamb, mutton, goat, pork and beef—plus a cornucopia of fresh, island-grown veggies, fruits and herbs.

The onolicious fun is at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. The day-long ag celebration features Hawai'i Island products and culminates with the 6-8 p.m. Taste extravaganza.  Over 30 of the state's premiere chefs rely on their culinary expertise to prepare delectable dishes using a variety of meat cuts—everything from beef tongue to oxtail.

While "grazing the range," attendees can get acquainted with Hawai'i's food producers at gaily-decorated vendor booths and talk story with farmers and ranchers. Also on display will be compelling educational exhibits relating to agriculture and sustainability. Taste will again have its elaborate and colorful display of locally grown produce, which will be donated to the Hawai'i Island Food Bank's Food Basket.

Tickets are $40 presale at and $60 at the door; children age 6 and under are free; kindly refrain from bringing strollers.

Cooking Demo by Chef Mavro

Prior to the evening Taste, learn how to prepare local, 100 percent grass-fed beef at a 12:30 p.m. culinary demonstration: "How to Cook Grass-Fed Beef 101" by Chef George Mavrothalassitis.  A co-founder of Hawaii Regional Cuisine and recipient of the prestigious James Beard Foundation award, Chef Mavro will show how to prepare Beef Thai Salad and Short Ribs with Puree of Celery Root. Tickets are $10 for the informative, hour-long cooking demo that includes takeaway recipes.

Ag Expo for Food Industry

Following the cooking demo is the 2:30-4:30 p.m. Agriculture Festival, a trade show to hook up chefs and wholesale buyers with farmers and ranchers. While the event is closed to the public, vendors are invited to continue their displays at Taste. Many vendors are Taste volunteers who make the event possible through their generous donation of time and products.

Going Green for Anniversary Year

In its 15 year, Mealani's Taste of the Hawaiian Range takes on a "green" focus, sharing agricultural educational info with a new, 40-page website, and a new weekly blog, "Taste It." Event info, updates and compelling ag-related issues are also shared via facebook. On July 1, Taste tickets debuted online for both Taste and the Cooking 101 demo.

New this year is a 10:30 a.m. seminar for local high school and college culinary students. Youth will learn about Hawai'i's ranching industry from pasture to table.

Event Retains Original Vision

While Mealani's A Taste of the Hawaiian Range has evolved through the years to feature a wide range of ag products, the event was founded in 1996 to jump start the Big Isle's grass-finished beef industry.

According to Milton Yamasaki, manager of the University of Hawai'i's Mealani Research Station in Waimea, the event began as a three-phase educational program with two parts: an on-site Forage Field Day, followed by A Taste of the Hawaiian Range at the then Kahilu Town Hall.

"First, the goal was to educate and promote grass-finished beef to ranchers so they would produce a consistent, quality product," explains Yamasaki. "Second, the evening Taste event was designed to educate the food service industry that grass-finished beef can be good and of high quality. In addition, we also wanted to promote the value of the product by using the entire animal."

Yamasaki adds the third educational goal of the event was, and continues to be, to show consumers that grass-fed beef is a good, healthy product that supports our Big Isle economy.

Ticket Sale Locations  

In addition to buying tickets online, they can also be purchased islandwide. Get them in East Hawai'i at Blue Kalo, Hilo Bay Café, Kuhio Grille and Puna's Black Rock Cafe; in Hamakua/Waimea at JJ's Country Market, Kamuela Liquor Store and Parker Ranch Store; and in West Hawai'i at Kona Wine Market, Island Naturals Market Mauka and Hilton Waikoloa Village's Kohala Essence Shop. For info, phone Talaite Petrowski at 808-959-2744.

The Hilton Waikoloa Village has room packages that include two tickets to the 6-8 p.m. Taste starting at $209. For details, visit
Mealani's A Taste of the Hawaiian Range 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 and community volunteers. Sponsorship also includes the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the Hawaii County Research and Development, Big Island Resource Conservation & Development, Kamehameha Schools, Hafner Creative Communications and KTA SuperStores. The quality and growth of this event are rooted in small business participation, sponsorship and in-kind donations. For more information, visit