Hawaii Food & Wine Festival in He’eia

Posted by Keli'i Kotubetey on September 30, 2013

Onolicious … Onoloa .. Broke da Mout … Scrumptious … Oishi … Whatever language you say it in, it all means the same. Ridiculously good food. That’s what the Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival is all about. This year the Festival along with Kamehameha School, Paepae o He’eia, and Papahana Kuaola partnered to host “Fish & Poi: Lunch at the Lo’i”. The event was centered on Papahana Kuaola’s beautiful site in Waipao, He’eia but the entire group of nearly 100 people took a 90-minute break to tour He’eia Fishpond.

While at the pond the group was treated to light pupus including mamaki tea, i’a malo’o (dried fish), and macadamia nuts. The purpose of the tour was to give the guests some insight and perspective on the ahupua’a of He’eia and the lands and seas where our Hawaiian food comes from. So often we are wrapped up in tastes, presentation, recipes, and big time chefs that we forget or discount the farmers/fishers/gatherers who are truly the heroes and champions of the plate. They are the producers of the amazing food we get to indulge on and its always important to give them their props.

The group then returned to Waipao and was treated to and absolutely delicious spread of mouth-watering items like:

  • Papio and To’au nigiri sushi (made by Hui Ku Maoli Ola’s very own Rick Barboza)
  • Samoan Crab sushi roll
  • Cajun-style Frog Legs (made by Mark Noguchi)
  • He’e Poisson Cru (made by Hi’ilei Kawelo and Paepae o He’eia)
  • MA’O Farms green salad topped with Tin Roof Ranch eggs
  • Chow Mein with Smoked Ko’olaupoko Pig and Ho’io Fern Shoot
  • Poke Kalo with inamona and pa’akai
  •  Hawai’i-island grass fed beef with heirloom tomato salsa and chocolate
  • Shinsato Farms pork loin stuffed with pancetta and herbs
  • Kalo/Uala/Kulolo fondue with chocolate sauce, haupia sauce, or local honey
  • Mamaki & Olena soda float
  • And a beautiful assortment of other sugary locally made treats


Unless otherwise mentioned, majority of the dishes were created and crafted by Kealoha Domingo and his wife Kalaunuola with the help of a talented cast of volunteer sous chefs. It truly was a team effort to pull of this wonderful event and it even featured a few well known chefs who showed up just to enjoy the bounty of He’eia. Well-known chefs Ed Kenney and Dave Caldiero of Town Restaurant in Kaimuki graced the event with their presence along with Adam Richman of the Travel Channel’s “Man Vs. Food” tv series.

A wonderful afternoon was had by all and we are very grateful and appreciative of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival’s chair persons Chef Roy Yamaguchi and Chef Alan Wong and their great team to include us in such a delicious event. If you haven’t been to this event yet, its on the “Must Eat” list for 2014!



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