This year, Maui agriculture, education, and hospitality come together in unprecedented ways to present the edibles that are Grown on Maui. Maui’s farmers, ranchers, and fishermen pair with chefs and presenters to cook up a series of full- flavor programs. Because menus matter. Because we want to know exactly why they matter.
At the root of who we are, each one of us wants food that is clean, healthful, kind, and good. At the Grand Taste Education, we taste food that is Grown on Maui, because it can provide all that. The event will awaken your senses. Taste is a sense. Good taste is common sense and grows a sustainable Maui.
So the twelve chef/farmer volunteer teams at this year’s Grand Taste Education invite you to capture the flavors of menus that are local and fresh. Let’s tempt you: Jojo Vasquez, Chef de Cuisine for Banyan Tree at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua partners with Alika Atay of Maui Sweet Potato Company for ube macapuno ice cream made with purple Okinawan sweet potatoes. It’s eggplant parmigiani for Hoʻo Pono Farm and Chef Wesley Holder of Westin Kā’anapali Ocean Resort Villas. Private chef Riko Bartolome works with Ian Cole of the Breadfruit Institute to whip up pan-fried smoked salmon-‘ulu cakes.
Cole will also talk about breadfruit on stage. The Institute, where he serves as curator and collection manager, promotes the conservation and use of breadfruit for food and reforestation, and manages the largest collection of breadfruit in the world, conserving over 120 varieties from throughout the Pacific.
Think sustainability is an elusive and overused concept? We’re proud to welcome James Beard award-winning chef Alan Wong, who will explore with his audience what a sustainable Maui really means.
One company can make a difference for Maui ag. Garrett W. Marrero of award-winning Maui Brewing Co. in Lahaina joins us to talk about his experiences concerning the potential for agricultural growth through responsible business practices and collaboration. Beers that are 100 percent locally made: Now, that’s easy to relate to on a Saturday!
A grand mahalo to our Grand Taste Education partner, Slow Food Maui, a local chapter of Slow Food USA, which envisions a world in which all people can eat food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it, and good for the planet. We are honored that Peter Merriman has generously agreed to be our advisor. Mahalo also to our emcee, Chris Speere, and to his students of Maui Culinary Academy, who are donating time and talent to assist. Finally, to chefs Ryan Luckey, Isaac Bancaco and Riko Bartolome for their time and guidance with this yearʻs Grand Taste. See you there!
Don’t miss the Grand Taste Education at the Maui County Ag Festival on Saturday, April 7, from 10 am – 2 pm! Tickets available online now thru April 5. Tickets: $25 online, $30 at the door. Purchase online here or slowfoodmaui.org.
10am – 11 am Introduction of national and local food and travel writer judges and introduction and judging of 12 farmer/chef teams
11 am – 2 pm Grand Taste Education
11:15 am Grand Taste Education Session: Breadfruit by Ian Cole and Chef Riko Bartolome
12:15 pm Grand Taste Education Session: Sustainability by Chef Alan Wong
1:15 pm Grand Taste Education Session: Garret Marrero, Maui Brewing Company
2:15 pm Awards presentation at Main Stage