Maui Activities

‘Taste Education’ Series returns as a highlight of Maui AgFest & 4-Livestock Fair 2024

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Maui AgFest & 4-H Livestock Fair is getting ready to kick off its 15thyear—and presenter Maui County Farm Bureau (MCFB) is celebrating by bringing back “Taste Education.” This special series features Grown on Maui guests and was part of AgFest’s beginnings back in 2010, and will once again delight ticket holders at this year’s AgFest on Saturday, June 1, at War Memorial Special Events and Baseball Fields.

Along with the Taste Education Series will be everyone’s favorite signature attractions, like the 4-H Youth Livestock Show and Auction, Keiki Zone, Maui Legacy Farmers Pancake Breakfast, Grand Taste, and Grand Desserts. 

Sponsored by Fresh Help Maui, Taste Education offers attendees the chance to get up close and personal with one of four Maui specialties in four different sessions: Coffee, Cacao, Fish and Taro. Each session runs one hour and costs $5. Seating is limited at these select events, so advance reservations are recommended at

Presented by the Maui Coffee Association, AgFest hosts a special coffee cupping as part of its Taser Education Series at AgFest 2024. Meet growers who are leaders in the highest standards of coffee production in the world. As a group of growers, service providers, merchants and enthusiasts, we enjoy and promote coffee grown in Maui County, Hawaii. 10 – 11 am / $5 per person. Limited to 25 people.

Coffee lovers, you will not want to miss this session! Makiko Nikki, Coffee Quality Institute, and Jo Wing, general manager, O’o Farm, two members of Maui Coffee Association (MCA), will lead a delicious tasting of four different roasts of Maui-grown coffees from Light to Dark. Attendees will gain an understanding of the sensory evaluation of coffee and discerning flavor profiles and what you prefer and why.

While not native to the Hawaiian Islands, coffee has flourished over the last two centuries in the climate, topography and ideal growing conditions, today producing some of the best coffee in the world.

MCA members are leaders in the highest standards of coffee production. As growers, service providers, merchants and enthusiasts, these coffee connoisseurs enjoy and promote coffee grown in Maui County through community events, farm tours, cupping workshops and other opportunities. Formed in 2005 with just a few farms, membership has grown to over 100 members, representing more than 30 farms.


Due to the current short supply of Maui-grown coffee, this special experience is capped at 25 people. 

Taste Education – Fish

“Iʻa! (Fish)” 
Chef Brian Etheredge, Tails Up! and Captain Chimo Shipp, Fresh Help Maui
10 to 11 a.m.

What are your plans for AgFest 2024? Be sure to join Captain Chimo Shipp, executive director, Fresh Help Maui, and Chef Brian Etheredge of Tails Up in Paukulalo for Taste Education – Fish. Learn to how to clean and cut whole fish and enjoy fresh fish samples. Also, talk story with presenters about all things fish at this special event scheduled from 10 – 11 am / $5 per person. Limited to 100 people. Advanced reservations/ticket purchase highly recommended.

Join this exciting exploration into the world of Hawaiian fishing and culinary delights with Chef Brian Etheredge of Tails Up! and Captain Chimo Shipp, executive director, Fresh Help Maui. As advocates for sustainable fishing practices and proponents of locally sourced ingredients, Chef Brian and Captain Chimo will showcase the versatility and freshness of fish through a captivating cooking demonstration, highlighting the unique flavors and textures of fish caught in Maui’s waters. From ahi (yellowfin tuna) to uhu (parrotfish), each fish offers a unique taste of Hawai‘i’s rich seafood heritage.

The pristine waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands provide an ideal environment for fish to thrive, resulting in fish that are incredibly flavorful and free from pollutants. However, the fires exacerbated fishing challenges by impacting the coastal areas where many fishing communities, boats and restaurants were based, disrupting their livelihoods.  

“As a community, there are many ways we can support a thriving fishing industry in
Hawai‘i,” Chef Brian says. “Most importantly, know your fishermen, and purchase locally caught fish from those who use sustainable practices.”


This experience can accommodate up to 100 people. 

Taste Education – Cacao 

“Sustainable Chocolate” Gunars Valkirs, Maui Kuʻia Estate Chocolate 
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 pm. 

Gunars Valkirs brings the companyʻs popular chocolate tasting to AgFest. Sign up for a isix-piece chocolate tasting and a presentation about farming cacao in West Maui and the making of award winning Maui Kuʻia Estate Chocolate. 11:30 – 12:30 pm / $5 per person. Limited to 100 people.

Gunars Valkirs, founder and CEO of Maui Ku‘ia Estate Chocolate (MKEC), will lead participants through a tasting of six chocolates made by the company. Three of them will be chocolates created with 100% Maui-grown cacao from MKEC’s farm in Lahaina. Three others will be chosen to illustrate a range of flavors that are present in single-origin chocolates or can be added to chocolate. The presentation will be supplemented with video of farm and factory operations.

Cacao trees need a tropical environment to thrive, making Hawai‘i the only state in the U.S. where cacao can be grown outside of a greenhouse. Founded in 2015, MKEC is the largest farm-to-bar chocolate factory on Maui and offers tours of its unique chocolate-making process.

“The mission of Maui Ku‘ia Estate Chocolate Inc. has always been to give 100 percent of net profits to Maui nonprofit organizations,” Gunars says. “We look forward to sharing our philosophy and our world-class chocolate—made right here in West Maui—with everyone at AgFest.”


This experience can accommodate up to 100 people. 

Taste Education – Taro

“Essential Kalo”
Executive Chef Perry Bateman, Mama’s Fish House
Bobby Pahia, Hawaiʻi Taro Farm, LLC
11:30 am to 12:30 pm

AgFest welcomes back Chef Perry Bateman of Mauiʻs Iconic Mamaʻs Fish House and Farmer Bobby Pahiʻa of Hawaiʻi Taro Farm, LLC for a Taste Education session on all things taro!! Scheduled from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm, this is one of four Taste Ed sessions. Advanced tickets highly recommended at / $5 per person. Taro session includes samples of Lehua poi, kalo chips, fish luʻau, poke and kulolo. Limited to 100 people.

Executive Chef Perry Bateman of Mama’s Fish House and kalo farmer Bobby Pahia of Hawaiʻi Taro Farm LLC will provide tastings of fresh Maui Lehua, fish luau, kalo chips, poke, and kulolo. 

“Taro is the most important plant,” Bobby says. “It represents the ‘ohana, the family unit.” Hawaiians revered the kalo plant for its mana, or life force. Bobby comes to Taste Education from a career of taro farming. He will discuss several varieties of kalo plants.

Chef Perry will share his mana’o on how to prepare kalo and fish. He will explain the nutritional value of the kalo which is an intrinsic part of native Hawaiian culture. Brought to Hawai‘i by canoe from Polynesia, kalo was a fundamental food of the ancient Hawaiian diet. It’s easy to digest, being low in fat and high in vitamin A and complex carbohydrates.

“We are honored to present this elemental plant at our Maui AgFest and to help our community understand why it’s so important to continue to cultivate kalo on our island,” Chef Perry says.

This experience can accommodate up to 100 people. 

In addition to admission fee of $5 per person, tickets are required for the sessions that are part of the Taste Education Series. Tickets are available online in advance for $5 per person at Online reservations may also be purchased for Maui Legacy Farmers Pancake Breakfast, Grand Taste and Grand Desserts.

Admission to AgFest is $5 at the gate (cash only) for adults, free for keiki under 18 (with student ID). Parking is free. The event runs 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with the Pancake Breakfast beginning at 8:30 a.m. 

Maui AgFest & 4-H Livestock Fair is Maui’s signature agricultural festival. This 15th year of AgFest celebrates the vibrant and essential role of agriculture within Maui’s economy, environment and lifestyle. AgFest is presented by the Maui County Farm Bureau and Maui 4-H Livestock Association in partnership with the County of Maui and the College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources. This year’s sponsors are Bayer, Fresh Help Maui, Mahi Pono, Maui Hotel and Lodging Association, Pacific Media Group, Pukalani Superette, and Ulupono Initiative. 

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