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7th Annual Cook-off

Winner - Best of Show
Debra Borges and Gayle Enriquez “Puna Delites”
Keaau, Hawaii – “Puna Delites” created by Debra Borges and Gayle Enriquez won top honors in Sure Save’s Puna Fresh Foods 7th Annual "Taste of Puna" Cook Off. Their dessert was judged Best of Show. The event took place at the Keaau Shopping Center on Saturday, March 8, 2003.

“Puna Delites” captured the judge’s eyes, imagination, and taste. These petite puff pastry delights were filled with cream cheese and garnished with special toppings including, papaya, mango, poha, lilikoi, guava, coconut, pineapple, ohelo, Hawaiian orange, Waimea strawberries and blueberries. Their entry won them a cash prize of $500.00

Second prize of $250 went to Nympha-Grace Armstrong, third prize $125 - to Margie Hanselman, fourth prize $75 won by Jeffery Saylor, and fifth prize $50 by Victor Beardsley.

There was a special celebrity cook off between radio station personalities Yisa from B-97, and G-Cruz from KWXX, the contest resulted in a tie with no bragging rights earned.

Other contestants sharing their recipes included: Earline Pagan, John Cort, Mildred Cort, Wyatt Lotz, Nick Panazroza, Nikkoele Leilani Penaroza, Sharon Murphy, Nakoa Penaroza, Juanita Holder, and Josh Corbin.

According to project chairperson Carl Okuyama, “Taste of Puna” is a series of events promoting Puna’s unique talents and products . In addition to the Cook Off, future “Taste of Puna” events will include Spring Floral Affair and New Spirit of Puna. "We're pleased to be a part of Puna and want to promote this special district’s products, people, and talents," said Okuyama.

Big Island judges were Darin “DC” Carlson from KWXX Radio and “Pohai” from KHBC Radio. Professional judges representing Puna companies are Albert Yeite, of Kilauea Lodge; Lee Harlow, of Volcano House; Earl Kakugawa, of Sure Save Puna Fresh Foods; John Politano, of Charley’s Bar and Grill; Paolo Bucchioni, of Paolo’s Bistro, and Kimo Rabang, of Luquin’s Mexican Restaurant.

Business sponsors, exhibitors, and associates included "Cal the Tortoise" (Vikki Boening), Keaau Shopping Center, Suisan Company, Pepsi-Cola, Meadow Gold Dairies, THY Company, Volcano Winery, Hilo Fish Company, Frank's Foods, Pint Size Company, Hawaiian Spring Water, Hilo Coffee Mill, Holly's Hawaiian Dressing, Tyson Chicken, Sombat's Thai Sauce Company, Eight Point Distributors, Hawaiian Herbal Teas, Editorial Outsource, and the Puna Girl Scouts.

Coordinators of the event were, Mark Nakamura, Rick Chalmers, Theresa Oshiro, Malcolm Ono, “JR” Keliihoomalu, Marvin Park, Earl Kakugawa, Mike Phillips, Lynn Onishi, Janna Kaaua, Alex Fernandez, Andera Cuba, Valerie Ferrari, Wes Perreira, and Jay Chalmers.   Branch manager Rick Chalmers said the program was "great and the community enjoyed the event".

"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