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Something ‘niu’ is brewing in Wailea for amateur chefs

June 18, 2012 - Carla Tracy

Maybe you make a mean fresh crab luau with coconut juice as the gravy. Or perhaps you like to Thai one on with green curry, seafood and coconut milk. Either way, your secret coconut recipe may just be your ticket to a relaxing weekend getaway for two at Grand Wailea. That’s right. Amateur chefs are now being invited to enter the Coconut Cookoff at the Waldorf Astoria brand property at 11:30 am on Saturday, July 21as part of its first Niu Festival.

For the uninitiated, “niu” means “coconut” in Hawaiian.

”Eligible contestants are asked to prepare an original recipe that uses coconut (or a byproduct such as coconut oil, milk, syrup, etc,) as a key ingredient in either the entree or dessert category,” says event coordinator Kainoa Horcajo. “Entries will be tasted and judged by a prestigious panel that includes KITV’s Emmy Award-winning news anchor Pamela Young; celebrity Chef Alan Wong, who just opened Alan Wong’s Amasia in the resort; and Grand Wailea’s Executive Chef Eric Faivre.”

”Three prizes will be awarded in each category,” the press release goes on to say. “The first prize includes Royal Niu Treatment for Two at Spa Grande, weekend accommodations for two at Grand Wailea, and dinner for two at Humuhumunukunukuapua‘a restaurant. The second prize is overnight accommodations at Grand Wailea plus dinner for two at Humuhumu. Third prize also gets dinner for two at the popular restaurant.”

”The Coconut Cookoff is open to amateur chefs (ages 18 and older) who are Hawaii residents. Besides hosting the Coconut Cookoff the inaugural Niu Festival will celebrate the world’s most useful plant from a Hawaiian cultural perspective, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the resort’s Molokini Lawn.” “Admission is free,” continues Horcajo. “Festival proceeds will benefit the nonprofit Hui O Wa‘a Kaulua, Maui’s only organization with a traditional double hull voyaging canoe.”

The festival launches the preceding evening with the documentary, “Papa Mau: The Wayfinder” about legendary navigator Mau Piailug. The day of the cookoff there will also be non-stop entertainment, coconut marketplace, canoe rides, educational workshops and coconut-themed food booths galore.

E Ola Pono, LLC is the event producer. Deadline to enter is July 17. For more details, visit Niu Festival Website to download an application or call Horcajo at (808) 283-9419.


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Maui's "coconut wireless" says to enter the contest!