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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2014
FROM PLANTING TO PLATING: CULINARY EXPERIENCES ON HAWAII ISLAND
Farm tours, festivals and innovative chefs provide visitors with unique opportunities.
Travelers to Hawaii, the Big Island are in for a sumptuous treat, with a growing range of opportunities to taste island-inspired cuisine featuring the freshest locally grown produce, participate in educational and interactive farm tours, and experience exceptional culinary events. Below are some tempting ways for your palate to explore what’s new and on the horizon in Hawaii Island’s culinary scene.
Now offering free tours of beehives in West Hawaii at Big Island Bees, the premier producer of pure and organic Hawaiian honey, visitors are buzzing about the opportunity to observe bee colonies safely behind a screened fence, and learn more about beekeeping and honey production from an experienced beekeeper.
Home to all but two of the world’s main climate zones, Hawaii Island has the perfect weather and conditions for farmers to grow almost anything year-round. At Hamakua Mushrooms, Bob and Janice Stanga host farm tours that showcase how four different varieties of gourmet specialty mushrooms – Alii, gray oyster, pioppini and abalone mushrooms – are cultivated and packed. Grown in a wood mixture, the mushrooms are clean (do not require washing), gluten free and cholesterol free.
In Keauhou, the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory offers a one-hour walking tour of the orchard and factory with information on the growing and processing of cacao. The tour includes a tasting of single-origin and artisan milk, dark and crillo chocolates.
Hotel chefs are stepping out of the kitchen and into the sunshine, growing their own produce and tending to flourishing gardens right on property. At Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Executive Chef Peter Abarcar and Coast Grille Chef de Cuisine Vincent Logan tend to the resort’s new garden of tomatoes and eggplant, a variety of lettuces and greens, cooking papayas, chili peppers, pak choi, okra, Thai basil, oregano, mint, and squash. Executive Chef Jayson Kanekoa at Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa has been growing a hydroponic herb garden of sweet basil, opal basil, Thai basil, lemon basil, and lime basil. He plans to also grow and harvest rosemary, shiso, mint, sweet potato and kalo (taro) to be used at the resort’s Hawaii Calls Restaurant & Lounge.
At The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, Executive Chef Hubert Des Marais recently concocted Chocolate Oncidium Orchid Sea Salt, made with dried oncidium orchids, cocoa nibs and Hawaiian sea salt. Used for curing meats such as wild boar, the salt also serves as a topping for sweet concoctions such as caramel and white chocolate ice cream, or garnished atop apple bananas and pineapple.
Johnny Loua has just joined Mauna Kea Beach Hotel as chef de cuisine of the resort’s Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar, which will soon unveil a new menu bringing exciting taste sensations to every dinner plate and elevating an already superb dining experience.
The following culinary festivals and events will be held this summer and fall:
- Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu will host La Dolce Vita, a resort-wide celebration of the “sweet life” featuring Palmina and Brewer-Clifton wines during a series of culinary adventures, spectacular dinners and more from June 9 to 15.
- Hawaii Food & Wine Festival will kick off the fourth annual Festival on Hawaii Island for the first time on Friday, August 24 with a sit-down gala at the Waikoloa Resort in partnership with Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa and Hilton Waikoloa Village.
- Volcano Winery, Hawaii Island’s only winery and vineyard, is hosting its second annual Harvest Festival on September 14. The festival includes owner-guided vineyard tours, and wines inspired by volcanic fire and the tropical bounty of the island.
- Held September 21 to 28, the fourth annual Puna Culinary Festival features tours of innovative, eco-friendly farms and farmers markets augment the festival schedule, along with dinners and cooking classes at Kalani, Hawaii's largest retreat center.
- Showcasing the use of pasture-raised, local beef, the 19th annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range will be held on September 26 at Hilton Waikoloa Village. This year, the festival is expanding to offer three hours of tasting.
- The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival, Hawaii’s oldest food festival, returns for its 44th annual celebration of Kona’s world-famous coffee from November 7 to 16.
The Big Island Visitors Bureau (BIVB) is a chapter of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Hawaii’s tourism marketing agency for North America. For more information about Hawaii, the Big Island, visit gohawaii.com/hawaii-island
or call 1-800-GOHAWAII.