Taste of Hawai`i Bests

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Taste of Hawai`i Bests

L-R: Puanani Carvalho, her sister, Joanna Keahi, Chef Randall Yates

Best Meat & Poultry award went to Casa di Amici. Pictured L-R: Puanani Carvalho, her sister, Joanna Keahi, Chef Randall Yates. Photo by Danny Hashimoto

The Rotary Club of Kapa`a Announces Taste of Hawai`i Voting Results

for 2012 Best Food and Beverage Contest

The Rotary Club of Kapa`a  announced the winners of the best food and beverage contest at the 24th annual Taste of Hawai`i, held , June 3. Taste of Hawaii — known as The Ultimate Sunday Brunch™ and held each year at Smith’s Tropical Paradise in Wailua — has been the main fundraising event for the Rotary Club of Kapa`a since 1988.

“Some of the finest chefs and best beverage vendors from around the state gathered to provide our guests with a tasting extravaganza second to none,” said Paula O’Very-Saylor, Taste of Hawaii chair.

After sampling the culinary offerings of 30-plus chefs, hotels and restaurants as well as 16 beverage vendors, guests voted for their favorite taste sensations in the following categories:  Seafood, Meat & Poultry, Vegetarian, Desserts and Sweets and Beverages.  Within these categories, guests voted for the People’s Choice, Best Presentation, New Discovery at Taste of Hawai`i, and Aloha Spirit Booth.
“We appreciate the strong support this year from our food and beverage participants,” said Jakki Nelson, food and beverage coordinator for Taste of Hawai`i.  “Their dedication, combined with their delicious food and drinks, make Taste a satisfying and memorable experience for everyone.”

The People’s Choice Winners

BEST SEAFOOD: Chef Leanne Kamekona of the Sheraton Kauai Resort  RumFire/Lavas on Poipu Beach won for her crab-crusted Hawaiian opah, sauteed tot soi, Chardonnay cream sauce and lomi lomi tomatoes.  A pure native Hawaiian, award-winning Executive Chef Kamekona has a passion for Hawaiian sustainability — utilizing traditional staples to create her twist within her Hawaiian-rooted cuisine.

BEST MEAT & POULTRY:  For the second year in a row, the winner is Chef Randall Yates of Casa di Amici in Poipu for his Nero Risotto made with Casa di Amici Sausage and sautéed with Grana Padano Parmesan Cheese.   At Casa di Amici since 1990, Chef Yates specializes in Mediterranean and many cross-cultural cuisines. He uses his classical training in conjunction with many locally produced products.

BEST VEGETARIAN:  Also for the second year in a row, the winner is Chef Jintana Roberts of Sukhothai Café for her Papaya Salad.  Owner of Sukhothai Café in Kapaa for the past 16 years, Chef Roberts is a native of Bangkok, Thailand. As a young chef, Chef Roberts travelled throughout the Orient preparing and sampling some of the region’s unique delicacies.

BEST DESSERTS & SWEETS:  Chef de Cuisine Casey Halpern of Café Pesto—Hilo for his Ohana Banana Farms Candy Apple Bananas with Lappert’s Vanilla Ice Cream and Dream Beans Big Island Vanilla.   Born on Oahu and raised on the Big Island, Chef Halpern’s 16-year culinary career began and continues at Café Pesto Hilo Bay.

Three Beverage Winners

BEST WINE — Nani Moon Mead serving Winter Sun Sangria. Stephanie Krieger, owner of Nani Moon Meadery, hand-crafts chemical- and sulfate-free mead exclusively from Hawaiian honey, fruit, and spices.

BEER and BEST DECORATED BOOTH — Anheuser Busch, serving a selection of beers.

NON-ALCOHOLIC — Java Kai, serving Go Green Smoothies.  East Kauai’s oldest coffee house and café located in Old Kapa‘a Town offers a full-service espresso bar, fresh roasted drip coffee, fresh-baked goods, sandwiches and salads, plus a full selection of hot and cold drinks.

BEST NEW DISCOVERY:  The Feral Pig for its Feral Burger Sliders.  Owners Scott Kessinger and Dave Power use locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. The Nawiliwili-based pub and diner features Kauaiian-grown vegetables, 100-percent Kauai ground beef and locally caught fish.

BEST ALOHA SPIRIT:  Party Sushi serving Seafood Balls — Crab, Salmon and Cream Cheese Tempura.  A Taste of Hawaii “regular,” Sushi Chef Ed “Scooby” Coloma operates a catering business for all occasions.

BEST PRESENTATION:  Aston Aloha Beach / The Palms Restaurant serving Poisson Cru — Polynesian Raw Fish Salad.   Born and raised in Micronesia, Chef Greg Stoll has worked as an executive pastry chef at numerous hotels throughout the Hawaiian islands as well as two cruise-ship lines. He has been lead chef at the Aston since 2007.
Contributing to the Community
“With help from many local organizations that provide volunteers for Taste of Hawaii, the 33 members of our club are able to raise tens of thousands of dollars, which are funneled back into our community and Rotary projects throughout the world,” said O’Very-Saylor.

On the local front, the Rotary Club of Kapa`a supports many local needs, initiatives and organizations, such as the Kauai Lifeguard Association and its Lifesaving Tube Project, Hale Ho’omalu family center, Friends of Lydgate Park, March of Dimes, Easter Seals, the Kapa`a public schools, Boys and Girls Club, Kaua`i Green Innovation Awards, statewide culinary scholarships, and many others.
The Rotary Club of Kapa`a’s mission is to support the youth and community of Kaua`i, their country and their world by combining and leveraging their expertise, volunteer services, and financial resources.

Taste of Hawaii Voting Results, 2012 Favorites:

Sheraton Kauai Resort
RumFire/Lavas on Poipu Beach
Chef Leanne Kamekona
Crab-crusted Hawaiian opah, sautéed tot soi, Chardonnay cream sauce
and lomi lomi tomatoes

Chef Jintana Roberts
Papaya salad

Casa di Amici
Chef Randall Yates
Nero Risotto with Casa de Amici sausage sautéed with Grana Padano Parmesan cheese

Café Pesto — Hilo Bay
Chef Casey Halpern
Ohana Banana Farms candy apple bananas with Lapperts vanilla ice cream
and Dream Beans Big Island vanilla

The Feral Pig
Scott Kessinger and Dave Power/Owners

Aston Aloha Beach / The Palms Restaurant
Chef Greg Stoll

Party Sushi
Chef Ed “Scooby” Coloma

Anheuser Busch

Anheuser Busch

Nani Moon Mead

Java Kai

Ballots were submitted during the event on Sunday, June 3, 2012. The voting booth and service was provided by Kaua`i Magazine, a major Taste of Hawaii sponsor.

By | 2016-11-10T05:42:45+00:00 June 23rd, 2012|0 Comments

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