Mahi Pono Potatoes to Debut at Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival on Maui

October 17, 2019, 12:27 PM HST · Updated October 17, 12:27 PM
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Mahi Pono, LLC on Maui will pre-harvest about 90 pounds of heirloom potato crops for the upcoming Hawaiʻi Food & Wine Festival, taking place this weekend on Maui. The red and yellow Maui potatoes will be featured in dishes served up by three of the event’s celebrity chefs.

Organizers of the Hawaiʻi Food & Wine Festival say the heart of the event is its strong support for local agriculture.

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    Mahi Pono, LLC, a new local farming company, announced the planting of their potato crops on approximately 40-acres of land in August. Guests of the HFWF events on Maui will have the first chance to taste the Maui crop.

    “We are excited that these esteemed chefs will have the first opportunity to cook, taste and work with our potatoes,” said Shan Tsutsui, senior vice president of operations from Mahi Pono. “Our team has been working hard to transition former sugarcane land into diversified agriculture in Central Maui that will increase local food production and help achieve food security on Maui, and our state.”

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    Guests at Saturday’s Wicked Cocktails, Wicked Plates grand tasting event on Oct. 19 at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa will be the first to taste Mahi Pono’s Maui-grown potatoes prepared by Chef Spike Mendelsohn, of Vim & Victor in Springfield, Virginia, and The Mill House’s executive chef, Taylor Ponte, from Wailuku.

    On Sunday, Oct. 20, attendees at the six-course Pasta La Vista dinner at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa will also preview the Mahi Pono potatoes prepared by the famed Italian chef, Celestino Drago, of Drago Centro in Los Angeles, California.

    “Agriculture and sustainability have always been priorities for Hawaiʻi Food & Wine Festival,” said Roy Yamaguchi, chef and co-chair of HFWF. “Now in our ninth year, the festival continues to encourage local and visiting chefs to use Hawai‘i products sourced by farmers, fishermen and purveyors to gain an understanding of our land and resources. We want to continue to cultivate the love for our land and its products through partnerships like this one with Mahi Pono.”

    Mahi Pono has returned active agriculture back to Central Maui, with the goal of increasing local food production. The first 40-acres of potatoes are scheduled to be harvested in November 2019, followed by a planting and harvesting rotation of approximately 10-acres at a time.

    Mahi Pono held a formal blessing ceremony, marking the start of its first row crop planting. (8.23.19) Photo by Mahi Pono

    Mahi Pono held a formal blessing ceremony, marking the start of its first row crop planting. (8.23.19) Photo by Mahi Pono

    Mahi Pono held a formal blessing ceremony, marking the start of its first row crop planting. (8.23.19) Photo by Mahi Pono

    Mahi Pono held a formal blessing ceremony, marking the start of its first row crop planting. (8.23.19) Photo by Wendy Osher.

    Shan Tsutsui, senior Vice President of operations. Mahi Pono held a formal blessing ceremony, marking the start of its first row crop planting. (8.23.19) Photo by Mahi Pono

    Mahi Pono held a formal blessing ceremony, marking the start of its first row crop planting. (8.23.19) Photo by Wendy Osher.

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