Mealani's Taste of the Hawaiian Range at the Hilton Waikoloa Village was a locavores food fest last Friday the 4th. The annual event showcased the Big Island's grass-fed beef industry while bringing together local ranchers, farmers, restaurateurs and eager eaters to celebrate a bounty of locally produced food.
This popular event seems to be getting bigger every year and support for locally grown produce, providers, markets and restaurants is clearly becoming more attractive to island lifestyle. Over 35 of the state’s top chefs dazzled diners with 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 were available for sampling.
When there are so many amazing restaurants supporting island growers, it’s a magnificent way of keeping the local economy thriving. The chefs delivered some delicious bites on Friday, tasty sample bites included: smoked lamb ravioli with sage butter and kabocha pumpkin, beef skirt steak with chimichurri sauce and golden beets, and beef oxtail gnocchi in a Parmiano Reggiano wheel. Every bite from the 35 participating chefs were so creative and oh so good to taste!
Education was a key component of this event and various sustainability and agricultural groups offered diners samples of locally grown produce and finished products that are distributed throughout the islands. These included: refreshing teas, jams and condiments, desserts, candies and a variety of freshly grown produce.
This year's Taste of the Hawaiian Range was a very successful food extravaganza and raised public awareness of locally grown and produced. Supporting locally grown and finished products, including Hawaiian businesses is the key to the islands efforts at being self-sufficient in the future.
For more photo images of the event, visit Noel Morata's Flickr page here.