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Avocado activities abound this weekend on the Big Island’s Kona Coast
February 17, 2012 - Carla Tracy
Former President George H.W. Bush hated broccoli. But I’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t love avocados. Cool and creamy, rich and texturally divine, this native American fruit is a perfect ingredient in, say, a California roll sushi, layered in a sandwich, and mashed into a spicy guacamole to be served with crunchy chips.
I also love to scoop out the buttery meat, slice into eye-appealing thick pieces, and sprinkle with a little cayenne, sea salt and a drizzle of lemon. Perfecto!
Those heading to the Big Island of Hawaii this weekend will find the sixth annual Hawai‘i Avocado Festival celebrating the versatile fruit.
Today, the festival fun will be centered around Kealakekua Bay Bed and Breakfast for a Farm-to-Fork Hawaii Dinner, according to publicist Fern Gavelek.
”The menu of the five-course, avocado-inspired meal is by Chef Devin Lowder of When Pigs Fly Island Charcuterie. Dessert Chef Hector Wong of My Yellow Kitchen in Honolulu will prepare a seven-layer avo dessert. Seating is limited and a portion of the $85 price benefits the festival. For reservations, phone 328-8150.”
”The celebration culminates Saturday, Feb. 18 with the family-friendly 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Hawai‘i Avocado Festival at the Keauhou Beach Resort. The free, community event offers a wealth of activities for attendees of all ages sprawling throughout the resort’s grounds.”
”Get tips on growing and grafting avocado trees, plus trees will be on sale for the home orchard. Leading the educational botanical sessions is a team of University of Hawai‘i staff: Dr. Ted Radovich, assistant specialist, Sustainable and Organic Farming Systems Laboratory; Dr. Mark Nickum, assistant professor, Sustainable Farming Systems, Tropical Fruit and Nut Crops; and Andrea Kawabata, assistant agent, coffee and orchards with UH Manoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Continuing the discussion from last year’s festival, Dr. Radovich will again lead a panel in deliberating the topic, “Bringing the Culture Back to Agriculture.”
”Enjoy free avocado sushi rollups—while they last—by West Hawai‘i Community College culinary students and an avocado recipe contest. Chef Matt Dulin, Denver sushi guru at Elways Restaurant, is overseeing the contest with competition for Best Guacamole, Best Entrée, Best Dessert and People’s Choice. Find entry and prize details at www.avocadofestival.org.”
”Chef Hector Wong will demonstrate how to make a seven-tier Chocolate Oblivion Cake while using organic Hawaii Island avocado and Keauhou’s Original Hawaiian Chocolate—which is totally grown and made on the Big Isle.”
”Also on tap are over 80 artisan and food booths, a farmer’s market, a variety of healing arts, alterative energy demonstrations and a full lineup of performing arts headlined by Bolo, Maka and Nahko of Medicine for the People. Volunteers with Kona Pacific Public Charter School are coordinating keiki activities.”
This year’s original festival art is by Antoinette Sharfin, “Illuminature.” The art will be sold on organic cotton T-shirts and Sharfin will be available to sign the official commemorative festival poster that will be available for purchase. For information, contact Randyl Rupar at 808-936-5233.”
About Hawai‘i Avocado Festival:
The 2012 Hawai‘i Avocado Festival is sponsored by Sanctuary of Mana Ke‘a Gardens, Hawai‘i Tropical Fruit Growers-West Hawai‘i, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Keauhou Beach Resort, Hawai‘i Health Guide, Farm to Fork, recyclehawaii.org, Divine Goods, Kona Brewing Company, Island Naturals, Kona Pacific Public Charter School and UH’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.
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Avocado spiral entices — photo by Randy Mangus