Da Taste of Keokea Features Savory Food and Songs
Culinarians and crafters are invited to register for a limited number of booths available for Da Taste of Keokea, happening on Sunday, April 17. A star-studded musical lineup is also on the menu for the second annual food fest, which will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Keokea Marketplace.
Lehua Kalima of Na Leo Pilimehana & Shawn Pimental, John Cruz, Ernie Cruz and Sistah Robi Kahakalau headline daylong entertainment at Da Taste in upcountry Maui. Also appearing are Mike Ka‘awa, Haumea Warrington, Maui firefighter/musician Jarret Roback and emcee Sista Val of radio KPOA.
Returning to the event is Lāhainā farmer/chef Kimo Simpliciano. His ‘ulu cakes won the inaugural Ka Mea ‘Ai No Ka ‘Oi grand prize for use of fresh Maui produce.
With a garden-to-table theme, Da Taste of Keokea seeks culinarians ranging from professional chefs and restaurateurs to amateur cooks, along with craft vendors. For information and chef/vendor application forms, contact event chairwoman Tina Kekoolani via email or phone at (808) 357-1927, or call Kalena Park at (808) 870-3220.
Meanwhile, Simpliciano continues to plant ‘ulu, or breadfruit, trees in his quest to revive Lāhainā’s historic role as a place lush with ‘ulu. The Culinary Institute of the Pacific graduate leases 20 West Maui acres. There he grows “canoe crops” of kalo, ‘uala (sweet potato), mai‘a (banana) and ‘olena (turmeric ginger); plus heritage tomatoes, lettuces, beans, radishes, marungay, and cover crops of ganduli beans and sorghum.
Admission to Da Taste is $5, offering a spectrum of song and savories. An ‘ohana discount is available, and proceeds benefit the host nonprofit, Keokea Homestead Farm Lots Association. The Keokea Marketplace is at the 17 Mile Marker of Kula Highway at Ka‘amana Street, a quarter-mile past Grandma’s Coffee House.
Keokea Homestead Farm Lots Association represents Maui’s only agricultural Hawaiian homestead, encompassing 66 two-acre lots dedicated to sustainable, subsistence farming since 1986.