Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hawaii Farmers United Hosts It's First Locavore Cook-Off Contest

The Maui Chapter of the Hawaii Farmers Union hosted a Locavore Cook-Off Contest on the evening of March 22, 2011. With Chef Justin Pardo of Market Fresh Bistro in Makawao and Melissa Panzarini, they had the tough job of sorting through ten food entries that had the hungry audience, salivating and wishing they had signed up to be one of the judges, at least that's how it was for me...

Chef Justin as a regular to our meetings, always has some inspiring and taste bud tantalizing ideas on cooking to share.

Since this was the one year anniversary meeting since this group formed and falling on the Summer Equinox, it was decided to add some special events. So with the generous donations of Mana Foods with two great hand picked food baskets, some Bags of Feather Meal from Crop Protection
, and even some Bio-Char made by Ricky Apana, there was a donation raffle that everyone seemed very pleased to win.

The winners in three places were:

3rd place winner--Angelika Hofmann, who received a $45.00 gift certificate from Whole Foods.
2nd place winner with 52 points went to Evan Ryan, along with a $60.00 gift certificate from Down To Earth.
1st place winner with 56 points went to Keith Ranney. As 1st place winner, Keith received a $75.00 gift certificate from Hawaiian Moons, as well as a two year subscription from Edible Hawaiian Islands magazine.

The winners seemed to be overjoyed at the recognition for their cooking skills, but of particular note was that Evan Ryan's Green Papaya Salad that took 2nd place was literally picked off his trees and prepared right before he came to the meeting, just showing good food can be fast food.

The 3rd place winner Keith Ranney said after winning that "I never cooked nothing before."

Along with the popular Chef's Corner, the various great speakers, the community updates, the very popular pot luck meal, it seem that the Locavore Cook-Off was especially popular and may become a regular event. I sure hope so. Anyone wanting to see it continue can always help out by soliciting some great prizes and donations from friends, families and business.

I can't wait for April's meeting. I stay hungry already!

Jim Hall