Maui Ag Fest celebrates 10 Years

Maui Ag Fest raises awareness and invigorates local agriculture.
Each year it’s bigger and better then the last, the Maui County Agricultural Festival, held last Saturday (April 1st) at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu, did not disappoint. Hosted by the Maui County Farm Bureau, in partnership with the state Office of Economic Development, #MauiAg gleefully celebrated its 10th anniversary. The annual event is aimed at bringing together all elements of the local agriculture industry including: local farmers, live music, educational booths, chef battles, lei making, coffee roasting and an abundance of locally sourced, grown and harvested produce/treats available to all. There are endless amounts of food, fresh flowers, produce, seasonal and specialty items at great prices.

Here’s a look at some of the unique offerings:

Some of Maui County’s most notable farmers were on hand to chat about their fresh produce and cultivation techniques.
Locally made caramel and fresh goat’s milk ice cream from Haleakala Creamery.
Ulu and Kalo Hummus, steamed kalo using Lehua, Makoko and Mana varieties from Ho Aloha Farms.
Doggy treats made with peanut butter and Maui fresh eggs.
Homemade play dough for the keiki.
Hands-on instruction and demonstrations for the family.
Interactive and informative agricultural booths for the entire ‘ohana.

Earlier in the day the event hosted a “Maui Legacy Pancake Breakfast” honoring Maui farmers: Peter Baldwin, Piiholo Ranch, Richard “Dick” Cameron, HC&S, Doug MacCluer, Maui Pineapple Company and Maui Gold Pineapple Company, and Golden Glow Manoes’ Dr. Wilbert Yee.

Around noon, a Live Chef Challenge (organized by Edible Hawaiian Islands) cooking competition partnered local chefs on 4 teams. Each were challenged to create an entirely local dish using Maui Ag ingredients and another showcasing a local protein.

Live Chef Challenge competitors: (not in order) Eric Morrissette – Fleetwoods; Zach Sato – Hotel Wailea; Gary Johnson – Hana Ranch; Alvin Savella – Ritz Carlton Kapalua; Gevin Utrillo – Hyatt Maui; Jake Belmonte – UoHMC Culinary; Rose Ha – The Mill House; MiJin Kang – Andaz Wailea; Betty MacDonald – B3 Beach Bunny Bakery; Travis Morrin – Fork & Salad/Three’s; Krista Garcia – UoHMC Culinary; Noel Cleary UoHMC Culinary. Winners were team “No Apron” – Zach Sato, Noel Cleary and Alvin Savella who created a tasty cabbage dish and a pork belly loco moco dish.
In the late afternoon, the public culinary event of the day was held. The Grand Taste exhibited the local talents of 14 Maui chefs who created locally sourced dishes from farmers for guests to enjoy. Tickets in advance were $30 and $40 at the door.

Take a look at the dishes and find out who won here:

I was extremely honored to serve as a judge for both the Live Chef Challenge and the Grand Taste. The flavors, sounds, sights and entire experience at Maui Ag Fest is a memorable and grand one! I hope to see you there next year! (For additional videos visit our Instagram @MauiWatch808).

Promotional Considerations:
Inter-Island Travel for Olena is brought to you by Island Air.
Travel Accommodations provided by Maui Coast Hotel.

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About Olena Heu

Olena is Executive Editor, Food & Lifestyle at MAUIWatch. The founder of Olena Heu Communications, a social media, digital marketing, consulting and freelance writing company, Olena holds a BA and MA in Communication and Speech from Hawaii Pacific University. An adjunct professor, lecturer and motivational speaker Olena is also an award winning journalist, writer, photographer and avid traveler.

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