Grand Taste and Inaugural Grand Dessert at Maui AgFest & 4-H Livestock Fair
The Grand Taste event at Maui AgFest & 4-H Livestock Fair just got sweeter, as presenter Maui County Farm Bureau adds on the final course: Grand Desserts. Both culinary events will take place during AgFest on Saturday, June 3, at War Memorial Special Events Field.
Event organizers say, “Maui’s best chefs know that nothing tastes better than locally grown produce, island-raised meat and fresh-caught seafood.”
In this year’s Grand Taste, sponsored by ʻUlupono Initiative, 11 Maui chefs will utilize specific ingredients to highlight in the competition to see who can create the best main dish or “potluck” dish.
Maui’s top locavore chefs participating in Grand Taste 2023 include:
- Marc McDowell, SixtyTwo MarcKet
- Matt Dela Cruz, Humble Market Kitchin’
- Alvin Savella, Duckine
- Ryan Luckey, Leilani’s on the Beach
- Joey Macadangdang, Maca Dang Dang
- Kalei Ducheneau, Mala Ocean Tavern
- Damian Rubio, Merriman’s Kapalua
- Ryu Ibuos, Umi Seafood & Sushi
- Jessie Anacieto, Roy’s Kā’anapali
- Rhoderick Bulosan, Kaʻana Kitchen at Andaz Maui Wailea Resort & Spa
- Brian Etheredge, Tails Up!
Returning winners include Chefs Dela Cruz, Luckey, Macadangdang, Savella, and McDowell. New young chefs showing their talents include Chefs Bulosan, Ibuos and Ducheneau. Chefs also return from two of the island’s most notable and earliest supporters of Grown on Maui: Roy’s and Merriman’s Kapalua.
Participating for the first time, Chef Etheredge is an active champion of the Grown on Maui movement. Owner of Fresh Fish Maui, Tail’s Up and Cutting Edge Catering, Etheredge took action last year to encourage Maui residents and visitors to dine out at local restaurants rather than eating at fast food chains. Together with Dania Novack, publisher of edible Hawaiian Islands magazine, Etheredge founded #MauiEatLocal to reinforce how supporting locally owned food helps both the local economy and residents’ health. Two dozen Maui food businesses are now on board.
The chefs will compete for the Grand Taste judges’ nod for “Best Protein,” “Best Vegetarian,” “Best Overall,” and the coveted Tylun Pang “Fan Favorite” award. That honor—created last year as a legacy of beloved late Maui Chef Tylun Pang—is decided by the public, with ticket holders trying all 11 dishes and casting a vote for their favorite.
Grand Taste will be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are available online $30 in advance, or $40 day of.
This year, MCFB launches Grand Desserts, featuring Maui Gold Pineapple as the local ingredient. Each chef will make two entries: one with the Contest ingredient and one with an ingredient of their Choice.
The four Grand Dessert chefs are:
- Amber-Lynn Ching, The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
- Terry Menegdeg, Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort & Spa
- Charlie Owen, The Bakery Lahaina
- Madame Donut, Donut Dynamite
Plans are already in the works to expand the Grand Desserts event next year, with up to 12 participants from Maui resorts and independent businesses.
Grand Desserts will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Tickets are available online $25 in advance, or $30 day off.
This year marks the 14th celebration of AgFest, celebrating the essential role that agriculture plays in Maui’s economy, environment and lifestyle. In addition to Grand Taste and Grand Desserts, signature events include the Maui Legacy Farmers Pancake Breakfast, Maui 4-H Livestock Show & Auction, Keiki Zone, Grown on Maui Farmers’ Market and Ag Education. Tickets are available online or at the door (cash only): $5 for adults; free for 18 & under with student ID. Parking is free.
AgFest is hosted by MCFB and Maui 4-H Livestock Association in partnership with the County of Maui, Maui County Council and the Office of Economic Development, along with support from Gold sponsors: Ulupono Initiative (Grand Taste), Pukalani Superette (4-H Livestock), Bayer (Grown on Maui Farmers Market), Maui Hotel & Lodging Association (Maui Legacy Farmers Pancake Breakfast), and Pacific Media Group (Entertainment). Thanks was also extended to Silver sponsors: Hawthorne/Ness and Mahi Pono; and Bronze sponsors Hawaiian Electric and VIP Grocery.
Volunteers are needed to help. Anyone interested can email [email protected].
For a final schedule of events and to purchase tickets for Grand Taste, Grand Desserts and Maui Legacy Farmers Pancake Breakfast, visit www.MauiAgFest.org.