The event presents the opportunity to talk story with the people who grow our food and their industry allies, to learn more about what agriculture means to our communities and ‘aina, and to taste fresh flavors and have fun!
“The festival serves to show agriculture’s vital role in the economy, environment and lifestyle of Maui,” said Maui County Farm Bureau Executive Director Warren Watanabe. “It provides the one-stop venue to experience the positive impacts of agriculture in day-to-day life.”
In conjunction with the festival, the Maui County Farm Bureau, Maui Visitors Bureau, and county Office of Economic Development present “Localicious, Dine Out Maui,” a promotion designed to invite residents and visitors to dine in Maui restaurants on farm-and-pasture-to-table menus.
The third annual Maui County Agricultural Festival will take place at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapū on Saturday, April 3, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Localicious, Dine Out Maui,” runs through April 9; participating restaurants are listed on www.mauicountyfarmbureau.org. Localicious coupons, which are available in Maui print media, must be presented. Reservations are recommended.
A festival highlight is Taste Education, presented in partnership with Slow Food Maui. On a theater-style stage, celebrated Maui chefs team up with Maui farmers and ranchers to present how skillful, yet simple techniques or a bit of know-how can enhance the myriad qualities inherent in Maui-grown produce.
Taste Education will be held in two sessions: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. (See sidebar for schedule.)
Tickets for Taste Education are on sale at www.mauicountyfarmbureau.org. Advance tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for keiki 12 and under. Tickets purchased at the event are $5 more. A limited number of tickets are available.
Coordinator and emcee Chris Speere will set the tone for Taste Education’s six demonstrations. Mark Ellman of Mala’s Ocean Tavern joins Moloka‘i Sweet Potato for a “canoe crop 101” presentation. Ryan Luckey of the Pineapple Grill explores vegetables and sustainable fish with WeFarm@Kapalua. Justin Pardo of Market Fresh Bistro takes on another set of produce with Kupa‘a Farm. Bobby Santos of the Maui Culinary Academy enlightens us about perfect eggs and free-range chickens with The Neighborhood Farm. A separate demo provides an insider’s guide to Maui fruits with David Paul Johnson and Olowalu Tomato Farm. And, last but not least, Peter Merriman, a locavore since 1988, joins Alex Franco of the Maui Cattle Company to show us cool ways to think about and cook local beef. This all-natural beef, an important but often overlooked component of agriculture, is raised on more than 60,000 acres of prime Maui grazing land.
The event also includes healthy cooking demonstrations, a Victory Farm, livestock animal information, food booths, an Ask the Farm Doctor presentation, entertainment and a Keiki Zone.
The Third Maui County Agricultural Festival, supported by surrounding promotions, is slated to make a difference. Keep the calendars open for April 3, because food and farms matter for Maui.
Admission and parking are free.
For more information and a schedule of events, visit www.mauiweekly.com
More highlights include:
Demonstrations by Susan “Chef Teton” Campbell will be held in the Wellness Tent. She will conduct three demonstrations that focus on ways to prepare foods we love in a healthy way. The demonstrations are scheduled for 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., when participants will learn how to make Tahini Tamari Dressing, MacNut Cream Sorbet and Chocolate Mousse.
In the Victory Farm, visitors can learn about Maui’s crops and youth garden programs.
Livestock Animals presented by Maui Cattle Company demonstrates how animals aid in farm management, provide high-quality protein and keep managed lands green.
Grown on Maui, a farmers market with fresh produce and value-added products vital to Maui’s sustainability, is sponsored by The Alexander & Baldwin Foundation and funded by HC&S, which grows Maui Brand sugar.
A spectrum of food booths will feature Maui Taro Burgers, Maui Cattle Company all-natural hamburgers and jerky, stew, lū‘au, smoked meat plate, chow fun, poi mochi, Roselani ice cream and more.
Informational cooking demonstrations will be held in the Wellness Tent, as well as interactive health displays presented by Kaiser Permanente to help you to eat well after the festival.
At Ask the Farm Doctor, representatives from agricultural colleges and other agricultural allies provide hands-on answers. Attendees have the opportunity to learn about composting at home, and stock up on agriculture books at the onsite bookstore courtesy of Barnes & Noble. The book seller will donate 10 percent of profits to Maui County Farm Bureau’s Ag Foundation, a 501(c)3 established to operate educational programs for Maui’s youth.
KPOA Radio Morning Mana‘o host Luana Kawa‘a will teach Hawaiian agriculture words and phrases, and Maui?s “Morning Goddes”s Alaka?i Paleka will emcee a dynamic lineup of entertainment, including Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner Weldon Kekauoha.
In celebration of spring and Easter weekend, an Easter egg hunt is scheduled at noon (for keiki under 5 years of age) and at 12:45 p.m. (ages 6 to10) in the Keiki Zone.
The Keiki Zone will be sponsored by Maui Thing. Throughout the day, complementary activities organized by the creative staff of the Wailuku clothing store will be offered for the keiki. Children of all ages will enjoy hands-on projects: Making Reuseable Bag Art from 9 a.m. to 1p.m., and Plant Your Own Garden from 1 to 4 p.m.
There’s also a chance to win a $100 gift certificate at Maui Thing.
Keiki will also have fun at the Burlap Sack and Egg on the Spoon races.
Taste Education Chefs & Restaurants
Mark Ellman of Mala’s Ocean Tavern Lahaina
Corey Waite of Mala Wailea
Ryan Urig of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
Joey Macadangdang of Roy’s Kahana
Scott McGill of Hula Grill in Kā‘anapali
Todd Carlos of Duke’s Beach House Maui
Jennifer Nguyen of A Saigon Café
Jennah Haugaard of Flatbread Company
Ryan Luckey of Pineapple Grill at Kapalua Resort
Neil Murphy of Merriman’s Kapalua
Justin Pardo of Market Fresh Bistro
Ben Marquez of Maui Culinary Academy
David Paul Johnson of David Paul’s Island Grill
Ivan Pahk of Sansei Restaurant & Seafood Bar Kapalua & Kihei
Chef Tyler Conarroe of Whole Foods Market
Farmer/Rancher & Chef Presentation Schedule
11 – 11:30 a.m.
Theo Morrison of The Neighborhood Farm with Bobby Santos of Maui Culinary Academy · Eggs
11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Alex Franco of Maui Cattle Company with Peter Merriman of Merriman’s Kapalua · Beef/lamb
12:30 – 1 p.m.
Gerry Ross of Kupa‘a Farm with Justin Pardo of Market Fresh Bistro · Vegetables
1:30 – 2 p.m.
Lynn DeCoite of L&R Farm, Moloka‘i with Mark Ellman · Sweet potato
2:15 – 2:45 p.m.
Daniel Rudoy of WeFarm@Kapalua with Ryan Luckey · Sustainable fish and vegetables
3 – 3:30 p.m.
Ken Vachter and John Applegate of Olowalu Farms with David Paul’s Island Grill · Fruits
9 – 9:30 a.m.
Opening announcements by Mayor Charmaine Tavares, Warren Watanabe, Maui County Farm Bureau and Sandra Kunimoto of the state Department of Agriculture
Na Kamali‘i O Ke Akua
Halau Hula Ke Kua O Kala‘au ‘Ala ‘Iliahi