Taste Of Hawaiian Range Serves Up Top Beef In October

The Annual "A Taste of the Hawaiian Range" food event will take place on the Big Island's Kohala Coast throughout the weekend of October 3rd, 2008. Hosted by the University of Hawaii at Manoa's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, the event will be held in the Grand Ballroom and Lagoon Lanai of the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Guest chefs–including Alan Wong, George Mavrothalassitis and Peter Merriman–will be joined by local and resort chefs to prepare original recipes using grass-fed animals and organic produce. Unusual cuts of meat are a theme this year, as these experienced chefs share trade secrets and present exquisite dishes to enthusiastic attendees.

The event, which began in 1996 as a way to educate consumers about the quality of Hawaiian agricultural products and bridge the production-consumer gap, has evolved in to a weekend of tastings, educational lectures, product announcements and general agricultural and culinary awareness. The end result has been the demand of higher quality product at Hawaiian restaurants and markets.

Note: This year's festival will be the kick-off of the first annual "Great Kohala Mountain Oyster Cowboy Cook-off". As the title alludes, local paniolo will compete by preparing cow testicles, which will then be tasted and judged by local television hosts and attending chefs. A delicacy rumored to originate (in the U.S., anyway) from the Rocky Mountains, the "Mountain Oyster" is said to have the consistency of an oyster or lobster, and far more flavor. Come see for yourself, if you have the balls.

For those without, Chef Mavro will prepare whole mutton; Graham Quayle of the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai will prepare a whole lamb; Maui's Beverly Gannon will prepare a beef chuck roll; while Alan Wong will focus his efforts on his favorite Oxtail preparation.

Presale tickets to Friday evening's dinner event on October 6 are $35 each, $70 the day of. Call (808) 322-4892 to order tickets via phone, or visit www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/taste/.