A Grand Time at the Grand Taste

The 11th annual Maui County Ag Festival wrapped-up yesterday under cloudy skies and intermittent downpours. But despite the wet weather, guests from around the globe frolicked over to the event held at Maui Tropical Plantation. The soggy green grass and abundance of agriculture-related booths created a memorable day filled with fresh garden vegetables, local crafts, brilliantly beautiful flora and deliciously prepared cuisine by Maui’s most sought-after chefs.

14 of the valley isle’s “top locavore” chefs (with the assistance of Maui culinary students) assembled to create dishes focused on highlighting a premier Maui ingredient. Tickets to the Grand Taste 2018 were only $30 in advance, $40 at the door, and offered guests the chance to taste expertly crafted servings featuring local vegetables, proteins and produce.

I was honored to once again serve as a judge (amongst some of Maui’s most notable media and culinary experts) for the Grand Taste, and was tasked with determining the Best Protein, Best Vegetable and Best Overall Award winners.

Best Vegetable: Chef Lyndon Honda of Sheraton Kaanapali Maui Resort & Spa.
Best Protein: Chef Jeff Scheer from The Mill house Restaurant and Chef Charlie Owen from Hula Grill Kaanapali (tie).
Fan-Favorite: Chef Alvin Savella from The Banyan Tree at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua.
Best Overall Grand Taste 2018: Chef Charlie Owen & Chef Jeff Scheer (tie).

Here’s a look at the dishes:

My favorite dishes of the day were: Travis Morrin’s Maui Cattle Beef Tartare with 64 degree sous vide yolk, pickled pohole and Molokai purple potato chip + Jef Scheer’s Maui Cattle striploin with Hawaiian chili, citrus mint, lemongrass and ginger.

Promotional Considerations for Olena:

Accommodations provided by Maui Coast Hotel.
Car Rental provided by Advantage Rent A Car Kahului

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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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