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Taste of the Hawaiian Range: One of the Best Food Festivals on the Big Island

One of the island’s most well known, and yummy, culinary events takes place September 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort. The Big Island is often called the breadbasket of Hawaii with North Kohala and Waimea in particular known for their ranches and farms.

**mealani-sign 

Grand Entrance

The annual Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range is where you get to sample all that delicious goodness! This agricultural festival showcases more than 30 top chefs who will prepare and offer mouth-watering dishes featuring local pasture-raised beef, lamb, beef, pork, goat, mutton, and wild boar — plus a cornucopia of fresh island fruit, veggies, honey, spices, and beverages.

honey vendor at Taste

Honey Vendor / Photography by Denise Laitinen

Cooking & Food Demonstrations

There are cooking and food demonstrations during the day with the big crowd pleaser being the agricultural showcase from 6 to 8 p.m. Culinary adventure seekers can taste and enjoy all the cuts of pasture-raised beef – everything from tongue to tail – prepared expertly by Hawaii chefs. Enjoy familiar cuts like sirloin tip and ribs, plus beef cheek and the infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles. (I dare you to eat them!)

crowds at 2015 Taste

Crowds at 2015 “Taste of the Range” / Photography by Denise Laitinen

The Premier Food Event

Now in its 21st year, Taste of the Hawaiian Range, or “Taste” as locals refer to it, has become the premier food event of the year in North Kohala. Come hungry because there is an amazing array of food to sample! You’ll also want to wear comfortable shoes for all that walking between the different food booths. (Hint: while some folks do dress to the nines for this event, many more dress resort casual – you’ll appreciate wearing loose fitting clothing as you fill up on all the delicious food!)

Chef Ippy Aiona at 2015 Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Speaking of delicious food…Here’s Chef Ippy Aiona of The Three Fat Pigs at 2015 “Taste” / Photography by Denise Laitinen

Talk Story with the Ranchers & Farmers

What I like is that while “tasting” all the great food you get to talk story with the ranchers and farmers who make a living growing food for Big Island residents. A lot of business also gets done at the event with local food producers meeting and networking with isle chefs, wholesale buyers, and consumers, thus increasing business prospects for local ranchers and farmers. (If you’re thinking of buying a ranch or farm property, this is an excellent opportunity to meet and talk with those involved in the local agricultural industry.)

2015 Hilton Waikoloa Chef at Taste of the Hawaiian Range

2015 Hilton Waikoloa Chef at “Taste” / Photography by Denise Laitinen

Pre-sale tickets for Taste are $45 and $60 at the door. In North Kohala you can buy tickets at Kamuela Liquor Store and Parker Ranch Store in Waimea and Kona Wine Market in Kailua-Kona or buy tickets online. For more information on the Taste of the Hawaiian Range visit their website or call 808-322-4892.

See you there!

Julie Keller, RB
Direct: 808.987.7931
Email: Julie@HawaiiLife.com

 

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Beth Thoma Robinson

September 3, 2016

I have my tickets! I go every year, wouldnʻt miss it. The best tip I ever got there was to blend green papaya to a mash and put the paste on grass-fed local beef overnight as a tenderizer. Works like a charm!

Julie keller

September 3, 2016

Nice! Thanks for the tip, Beth. See you there.

Beth Thoma Robinson

September 3, 2016

I have my tickets! I go every year, wouldnʻt miss it. The best tip I ever got there was to blend green papaya to a mash and put the paste on grass-fed local beef overnight as a tenderizer. Works like a charm!

Julie keller

September 3, 2016

Nice! Thanks for the tip, Beth. See you there.

Coleopter

September 4, 2016

“… infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles (I dare you to eat them).”

Wow, I bet they’ll put hair on your vagina!
Enough testicle jokes. Equal time!

Coleopter

September 4, 2016

“… infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles (I dare you to eat them).”

Wow, I bet they’ll put hair on your vagina!
Enough testicle jokes. Equal time!

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