(Honolulu,HI) Things were heating up at the Flats at Puʻunui as the annual Hawaiʻi Food and Wine Festival kicked off its first event. On November 1, Our Kakaʻako presented “Raw and Wild in the Tank,” a unique culinary experience that featured raw and wild ingredients found in our islands. Attendees explored innovative food that showcased ingredients foraged, fished, and found from the mountain to the ocean. Attendees enjoyed dishes created by O‘ahu chefs Lee Anne Wong (Koko Head Café), Nico Chaize (Nico’s at Pier 38), Shaymus Alwin (Azure Restaurant) and James Aptakin (Turtle Bay Resort), along with chefs from the Big Island, California and Washington.
The Hawaiʻi Food and Wine Festival also partnered with Kamehameha Schools to feature the finalists of KS’ Mahiʻai Scale-Up program — an agricultural business plan contest dedicated to increasing food production for the local market to create a sustainable Hawai‘i. Three Mahiʻai finalists participated in an agriculture shark tank pitch session, pitching their business concepts in a one-minute quick pitch presentation to a panel of judges as well as the public.
Māla Kalu‘ulu received the $20,000 grand prize for their work in cultivating ‘ulu (breadfruit) and ‘ōlena (turmeric) via principles developed by Hawaiians applied to contemporary agriculture. Kaunāmano Farm won the People’s Choice Award worth $10,000 and voted on by the attendees for their work on using a holistic approach predicated on pasture management and rotational open-air grazing.
“Raw and Wild in the Tank” highlighted the chefs, farmers, and entrepreneurs who utilize the ‘āina to promote sustainability.