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Ag fest winners use farm-fresh fare

April 11, 2014 - Carla Tracy

Top island chefs and food producers competed in three various contests last Saturday at the Maui County Agricultural Festival in Waikapu.

In the Live Chefs Challenge, out of nine contenders, first place went to Jeff Scheer of Maui Executive Catering in Haiku. Second place was earmed by visiting Calgary, Alberta, chef Pierre Lamielle of; and third place went to Sheldon Simeon of Migrant at Mala Wailea.

In the Grand Taste tent in partnership with Slow Food Maui, 12 chefs threw their creativity into the ring. The Judges Choice first place winner was Isaac Bancaco of Ka‘ana Kitchen at Andaz Maui at Wailea; second place went to Tylun Pang of Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui; and third place winner was Jojo Vasquez of Plantation House.

Grand Taste’s Fan Favorite winner was Bancaco, followed by Pang (these guys must really know how to cook) and Marc McDowell of Makena Beach & Golf Resort. In both Grand Taste contests, the chefs teamed with farmers, utilizing their produce in immigrant-inspired cuisine.

For instance, Bancaco was paired with Chauncy Monden of Kula Country Farms. His main ingredient was onion. His culinary influenc was Portuguese. He made malasadas with sour cream, seeds, jam and dust that thrilled the crowd for the first place win.

In the Hawaii Food Products Recipe Contest, John Cadman won for his Maui Ulu (breadfruit) Hummus; KimAnn Magno got second with lilikoi butter; and John Kanahuna got third for chili pepper water.


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Winning ag fest winners photo by Steve Brinkman