Three-dozen Hawaii restaurants and their chefs will get to the meat of the matter at the 17th Mealani's Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival on Sept. 21 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island.
Attendees will enjoy innovative cuisine using healthy, forage-fed meats and a cornucopia of locally grown fruits, vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, honeys and beverages. Meats on the menu include 22 cuts of dry-aged, grass-fed beef-everything from tongue to tail.
Plus, you may sink your teeth into lamb, mutton, goat, pork and wild and domestic boar. Each chef station will receive a whopping 100 pounds of meat to create the dish of their choice. Simply stroll the event from 6 to 8 p.m. that sprawls all the way from the Hilton's Grand Ballroom to the Lagoon Lanai.
The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i’s new Executive Chef Hubert Des Marias will be among 36 chefs using local meats. He’ll do a meat dish called, “Tongue and Cheek” for the festival.
THE FAIRMONT ORCHID, HAWAI‘I photo
Seven of the participants are first timers, including The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai'i and its new Executive Chef Hubert Des Marias, who recently came to the Kohala Coast from Kenya. Using grass-fed beef is nothing new for the award-winning chef as The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai'i, serves grass-fed beef throughout the resort.
"I like grass-fed beef for its flavor profile and healthful benefits," says Des Marias, who was named one of "America's Ten Best New Chefs" by Food & Wine Magazine. For Taste, the chef will prepare the "Tongue and Cheek" of tamarind-glazed beef cheek and serve it with sweet potato laulau.
In addition to "grazing" at a host of culinary stations, festivalgoers can enjoy samples from a variety of Hawaii's local food producers offering tastes of a bevy of products such as savory red veal, tempting chocolate, vine-ripe tomatoes and more.
Pre-Taste activities include a culinary demo at 3 p.m. with guest presenter Executive Chef James Babian of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, who will make Grilled Tri-Tip with Kiawe-Smoked Kabocha Pumpkin and Braciole de Manzo, or "Italian beef roll."
Tickets for the evening's Taste event and the 3 p.m. cooking demo are $40 in advance or $60 at the door. Visit www.tasteofthehawaiianrange.com.
The Hilton Waikoloa Village is also offering event and room packages. Call (808) 886-1234.