Taste of Puna 10th Annual Cook-Off Keaau Shopping Center, March 18, 2006
Taste of Puna 10th Annual Cook-Off – Winners Announced
Keaau, Hawaii – Kalapana resident Kate Chadwick won the grand prize and was the overall winner at the 10th Annual Taste of Puna – Cook Off, held at Puna Fresh Foods at the Keaau Shopping Center. Chadwick’s entrée Puna Mahi-Mahi Grilled in Banana Leaves served with Puna Style Green Papaya Salad won her $1,500 in cash. Due to this year’s increase in community sponsorship support the contest’s total purse was $4,000.
Chadwick’s winning spirit won her more than this year’s cook off. Over the past year she lost over 100 pounds dropping from 230 pounds to 130 pounds; she also had two total knee replacements and has battled Ostio-Arthritis. Her parents, also have triumphed over adversity, they rebuilt their home they lost in the 1990 lava flow. Once called “House at Left Point” their home used to be located at the famous Kalapana Black Sand Beach. Lava rock from their property was used to accent Chadwick’s winning entry. Like the Taste of Puna’s mission to bring out the best of Puna; the Chadwick’s courage represents the new spirit, talent, and enthusiasm of Puna.
The “Taste of Puna” is a series of events promoting Puna’s unique talents and products. The well attended event gave the community the opportunity to share the creative tastes from Puna. The major criteria judges were looking for were products grown or made in Puna, to bring out the best from Puna’s diversified agricultural industry and Puna’s evolving culture.
Best of Show category winners included: Pupu: Rosie Colon – Chicken with Green Papaya and Williams Bananas; Salad: Margaret Strubel – Eggplant Puna via Morocco; Entrée: Luzviminda Durkan – Pinakbet with Hawaiian Taro, Dessert: Donna Williams-Crane – Banana Lilikoi Wonton Tarts, Beverage: Elijah Reed – Papaya and Banana Smoothie. Each winner won $250 in cash prize.
Best of Show – Runners Up were: Jenny Lee – Haupia Moon Delight, Anthony Mau – Puna Watercress Soup, Kathy Walker – Kona Coffee Chocolate Mac Nut Cheesecake, Kara Adanalian – Puna Pulled Pork with Tropical Salsa, Jonathan Speetiens – Corn and Herb Stuffed Steak, Michal Villa Fuente – Avocado Malasadas, Momi Tong – Puna Poi Pudding, Cathy Stehman – Puna Veggies Lasagna, Jessica Mau – Tropical Pistachio Whip Fruit Salad, and Ellie Rubio – Menehune Cakes. $100 cash prizes went to each of these individuals.
Winning Honorable Mentions were: Marygail Oh, Mary Ryan, David Arcia, Anthony Berxon, Barbar Fahs, Makaiwa Tong, Richard Worley, Dean Krackauer, Robbin Krakauer, and Issac and Jacob Krakauer. The Krackhauer family received a loud applause for their participation as a family. Each Honorable Mention recipient received a $25.00 cash prize.
Judges for the event included: Audrey Wilson, Bill Walters, Gary Safarik, James Arakaki, Pastor James “Tex” Texiera, John Politano, Margie Hanselman, Mark Nakamura, Richard Nelson, and Katherine Patton.
The success of this event was enhanced by increased support from community sponsors including: the Keaau Shopping Center, County of Hawaii – Research, Development and Tourism Department, Wiki-Wiki Mart, Cal Kona Produce, Suisan Company, Pepsi, Meadow Gold, Paradise Beverage, Better Brands, Hilo Coffee Mill, Aloha Security, THY & Associates, Hilo Fish Company, Rainbow Inventory Services, Better Brands, and W.H. Shipman, Ltd. Special community assistance was provided by the Puna Service Unit of the Girls Scouts of Hawaii and the County of Hawaii Police Department.
Coordinators of the event were, Rick Chalmers, Robert Keliihoomalu, Jr., Amy Okuyama, Imelda Castaneda, Dilla Oba, Kanani Niles, Marvin Park, Earl Kakugawa, Janna Kaaua, Debra Rabang, Jenny Hamada, Alex Fernandez, Lorraine Kobayashi, Glenn Arakawa, Dawn Leffingwell, Sharon Raniada, Danielle Jerves, and Wes Pereira. Carl Okuyama and Valerie Ferrari were co-chairpersons of the project.
“Taste of Puna” is a registered trade name of Sure Save Super Market, Ltd.
Definition: Puna 1. n. Spring (of water)
Source: Hawaiian Dictionary by Mary Kawena Pukui and Samuel H. Elbert
University Of Hawaii Press, Honolulu
Copyright 1986, 5th Edition