Maui Ag fest highlights Grand Taste Education area

Everybody’s talking about Maui County Agricultural Festival that will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu.

While admission is free and there will be free continuous shuttles from Waikapu to War Memorial Stadium in Wailuku, one of the main highlights is the Taste Education area for $30, per person.

Basically, farmers are paired with chefs, and you get to sample tastes from 12 booths of creative cuisine and watch demos and presentations.

“All of the farmer-chef pairings are just great,” says Charlene Ka’uhane, publicist of the sixth annual event.

“First timers Chef Isaac Bancaco of Pineapple Grill will pair with Napili-Flow Acquaponics; Chef Eric Faivre of Grand Wailea will team with Walter Evonuk of Evonuk Farm and returning David Finch of Malama Farm; Chris Kulis of Capische? will partner with Grow Some Good; and Jeff Scheer of Maui Executive Catering will team with Kupa’a Farm.”

Come hungry, as there will be plenty of food to eat at this bold dining experience from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Also in the Grand Taste Education area, Chef Perry Bateman of Mama’s Fish House will do the Fish & Poi presentation at noon. And, John Cadman, food service manager at Kamehameha Schools Maui, will do an ulu or breadfruit presentation at 1 p.m. Cadman teams with The Breadfruit Institute of Hana.

At 2 p.m. the Live Chefs’ Challenge on the Main Stage will pit chefs and farmers in a contest, emceed by Bateman as well as Sheldon Simeon, “Top Chef” recent finalist and head of the kitchen at Star Noodle in Lahaina.

Also visit free areas such as the Value Added Tent, the Grown on Maui Farmers Market, Localicious Food Booths,Keiki Fun Zone and Keiki in the Kitchen areas, the Livestock tent, coffee booths, farm rides, food trucks and flower booths. For Grand Taste tickets, visit