Food, Farmers and Fun at Maui County Ag Festival
This year’s Maui County Agricultural Festival, known as Ag Fest, will be filled with games, animals, education and food. The event is satisfying appetites earlier than ever on Saturday, April 2 with something new: a Legacy Farmer’s Breakfast.
The festive pancake breakfast will honor three island farmers whose positive impact spans generations: C. Pardee Erdman of ‘Ulupalakua Ranch; David “Buddy” Nobriga of Maui Soda & Ice Works and Nobriga’s Cattle; and Hanako Hashimoto of Hashimoto Persimmon Farm.
“This is the first year we have named Legacy Farmers as part of Ag Festival,” says Warren Watanabe, Executive Director of Maui County Farm Bureau. “These three individuals and their families have made huge contributions to agriculture on our island over the years. We are thrilled to have a chance to honor them in some small way for what they have done for us and for Maui Nui.”
Maui County Farm Bureau puts on the annual event, along with local farmers, ranchers and agricultural allies, to share agriculture’s vital role in the economy, environment and lifestyle of Maui.
The breakfast is from 8 to 9:30 a.m. in an open-air tent on the lū‘au grounds, and features a buffet of pancakes with syrup, breakfast meat, eggs, fruits, juice and hot coffee. Breakfast entertainment includes bingo and a raffle, both offering big prizes.
The grand prize for bingo is a two-night stay-cation at Kā’anapali Beach Hotel and Sunday Brunch for two (black out dates apply). Grand prize for the raffle is dinner for four at Roy’s Kā’anapali. Other prizes feature gift certificates to Maui’s top locavore restaurants, where chefs are known to be top supporters of local agriculture. Dining experiences are available at Star Noodle, Hula Grill Kā’anapali, Duke’s Beach House, and Leilani’s on the Beach. The giveaways will also include Grown on Maui produce boxes.
Senior citizens who need transportation assistance can call MEO at (808) 249-2990.
Tickets for the Maui Legacy Pancake Breakfast are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for children age 5 and up.
Later in the day, the fine dining event known as Grand Taste will be happening at Ag Fest from 3 to 5 p.m. on the lawn at Maui Tropical Plantation.
12 Maui locavore chefs showcase our island’s favorite agricultural offerings, from Surfing Goat Dairy goat cheese to Hāna Fresh tomatoes and Maui Cattle Company beef.
Grand Taste tickets are $30 in advance or $40 on the event day, and cover admission to Maui County Agricultural Festival. Tickets include all 12 tastings, along with Liquid Garden with no host bar by MauiWine, Maui Brewing Company, Ocean Vodka and Hali’imaile Distillery.
Participating Grand Taste chefs include:
1. Sheldon Simeon, executive chef, MiGRANT at Wailea Beach Resort & Spa.
2. Jeff Scheer, executive chef, The Mill House at Maui Tropical Plantation.
3. Ritchard Cariaga, Chef de Cuisine, Ka’ana Kitchen at Andaz Maui at Wailea. Dish: Kauai shrimp + “palabok” sauce + calamansi + chives.
4. Michael Lofaro, Chef de Cuisine, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a at Grand Wailea. Dish: Local He’e, limu, shiso, smoked ponzu.
5. Tylun Pang, executive chef, Ko at The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, Dish: Seared Maui Cattle Co. skirt steak with Kula strawberry, sweet onion and shaved jalapeno.
6. Gevin S. Utrillo, Japengo, at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa. Dish: Moringa shortbread lilikoi butter | vanilla bean gelato.
7. Joey Macadangdang, Joey’s Kitchen at Whalers Village.
8. Travis Morrin, Three’s Bar & Grill. Dish: Grilled Kaua’i prawn, wok fried kale stems, raw corn, chard, pork belly, kabocha, scallion-mint emulsion.
9. Charlie Owen, Hula Grill Ka’anapali. Dish: Kiawe-roasted pork shoulder with Maui onion gastrique, Hawaiian chili sriracha, local veggies, cheese grits and Malama Farms tasso bits.
10. Zach Sato, Merriman’s Kapalua. Dish: Ulu fritters, castelvetrano olive & fire roasted pepper jam, coriander crème fraiche
11. Chris Schobel, Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse BBQ.
12. Ryan Luckey, executive chef, Hula Grill Ka’anapali. Dish: Ulu & corn fritter, herb pesto, Hāna cucumber gazpacho, hari covert & Maui macadamia nuts and cherry tomato & Surfing Goat cheese cones.
Prior to April 2, there will be a special Grown on Maui Chefs Collaboration Dinner on Thursday, March 31 at Maui Culinary Academy.
Top-notch chefs include Kyle Kawakami, chef/owner of Maui Fresh Streatery food truck; Ritchard Cariaga, Chef de Cuisine for Ka‘ana Kitchen at Andaz Maui; Jojo Vasquez, executive chef of The Plantation House Restaurant; John Tesar, executive chef/owner of The Knife in Dallas, Texas; Jimmy Bannos, executive chef at Purple Pig in Chicago, Illinois; Sheldon Simeon, executive chef at MiGRANT Wailea; and Michael Lofaro, Chef de Cuisine with Humuhumunukunukuapua’a at Grand Wailea.
The dinner will run from 6 to 9 p.m. in the Pa’ina Room Building. Tickets cost $75 per person, or $600 for table of eight. This is an adults-only event. Order via email here.
The menu includes:
• Kyle Kawakami, chef/owner, Maui Fresh Streatery
• Ritchard Cariaga, Chef de Cuisine, Ka’ana Kitchen at Andaz Maui at Wailea
o Kalua Pork Rillette + truffled brioche + pineapple-poha jam
o Kabocha Arancini + dried ebi + fresno-pepper harrisa
• Jojo Vasquez, executive chef, The Plantation House Restaurant Kapalua
o Spanish Octopus a la Plancha. Simplifresh Maui onion soubise, longganisa sausage, Kealoha tomato, lemon gel, Napiliflo micro herbs
• John Tesar, executive chef/owner, The Knife (Dallas, Texas)
o Crab and herb-crusted Hawaiian swordfish squid ink emulsion, lemon essence and lobster coral
• Jimmy Bannos, executive chef, Purple Pig (Chicago, Illinois)
o Pork Belly with Glaze, Apple Sauce Terrine, Squash and Mint
• Sheldon Simeon, executive chef, MiGRANT Wailea
• Michael Lofaro, Chef de Cuisine, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, Grand Wailea
o Maui Gold Pineapple Creameaux, Spiced Yogurt Sorbet, Lauhala
• Coffee by MauiGrown / Kā’anapali Estate Coffee
No Host Bar