Winners announced for video cooking contest

The first-prize winner for 2018 is Starshine Eareheart, who is in the 8th grade at Haleakala Waldorf School in Kula. Her recipe for taro squash soup showcased local vegetables from Oko‘a Farms in Kula.

To engage students 12-18 years old, a countywide Grow, Eat, and Think Local Video Cooking Contest was launched by the University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service in fall 2018. In partnership with Mill House Executive Chef Taylor Ponte, the competition promoted the farm-to-table concept for young students.

After the videos were reviewed, a panel of judges tasted the recipes from the top candidates. The first-prize winner for 2018 is Starshine Eareheart, an 8th-grader at Haleakala Waldorf School in Kula.

Her recipe for taro squash soup showcased local vegetables from Oko’a Farms in Kula.

The runner-up is Tulpe Pablo, who is in the 11th grade at Lanai High School.

Honorable mentions go to Seth Robinett, John Sarmiento and Neal Maltezo, also from Lanai High School.

The winners will have the opportunity to be mentored and work alongside chefs at the Mill House restaurant, in addition to participating in a private farm tour and cooking demonstration.

“I’m really pleased with the results of our initial contest,” said Nancy Ooki, University of Hawaii Extension educator and contest creator. “The youth that participated put their passion for cooking, culture and the land into their videos. They understand the importance of using local commodities for their health and the sustainability of the community, and through their videos they are able to educate others in the community as well. I am looking forward to seeing the submissions in our next round of the contest.”

“Being born and raised in Hawaii makes it most important to me to support local farms by sourcing ingredients here in the islands,” said Chef Ponte. “It feeds us, strengthens the community of Maui, and keeps jobs alive. I have a lot of friends who are farmers and I see their passion for what they do and I know how passionate I am; it feels great to be a part of this growth.”

The November 2018 deadline marked the end of the pilot year for the GET local initiative but the contest will continue.

The GET Local Video Cooking Contest is now accepting submissions throughout 2019 with a judging deadline to be announced in the fall.

To find out more, visit go.hawaii.edu/fBZ, email get localcookingcontest@gmail.com or follow on Instagram, get_local_uh.