Written by Rebecca Pang Images courtesy of Maui County Farm Bureau
What’s the hottest agriculture event on Maui? For many, it’s the Maui Ag Fest, a community-focused showcase of farmers, food booths, local chefs and family-friendly activities. The upcoming festival takes place on Saturday, April 7 at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu, Maui.
Now in its 11th year, organizers at the Maui Ag Fest are trying something new — to move the event toward greater sustainability and zero waste.
It only seems natural for an event that highlights local agriculture and Maui-grown products to also consider diverting its waste in overall operations.
What is Zero Waste?
Simply put, it’s a goal of reducing the amount of material we put into landfills by reusing, composting or recycling items. This is a process doesn’t happen overnight, especially for an event as large as the Maui Ag Fest with over 8,000 people expected to attend to enjoy local food, shop for value added items educate themselves on the local agriculture for the one-day event in Central Maui.
To that end, edible Hawaiian Islands, Maui Huliau Green Events and Sustainable Island Products have signed on to support Maui Ag Fest’s Zero Waste efforts. They will all help with staffing, management and implementation of steps toward the Zero Waste program.
Maui Huliau’s two objectives at a Zero Waste event include:
Divert 75% or more of the event’s waste away from the landfill
Encourage lifestyle changes for people to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials become reusable
“The diversion of waste for compost is intrinsically tied to agriculture,” said Ashley O’Colmain, program assistant for Maui Huliau Green Events. “Fifty percent of the waste collected at each event is turned into healthy compost which is necessary for sustainable agriculture.”
In the past year, Maui Huliau has helped events like the La Ulu at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, The Taste of School Gardens, Waldorf Holiday Craft Faire, Kula Festival and Ho’omau move to a Zero Waste Program.
Even the Super Bowl, massive as that is, went Zero Waste.
How can you help?
Maui Ag Fest has confirmed its Grand Taste and the Maui Legacy Pancake Breakfast will be Zero Waste, and they are working on educating food vendors on the benefits of using compostable and biodegradable food containers and utensils. Some, like Maui Fresh Streatery, Three’s Bar and Grill, and Fork & Salad, have already moved to using compostables from companies like Sustainable Island Products.
Look for the Zero Waste stations at the Grand Taste and Maui Legacy Pancake Breakfast, and help volunteers by sorting your trash, recyclables, and compost into the correct bins.
You can also bring your own shopping bags and reusable utensils to the festival. Finally, as you’re enjoying Maui Ag Fest, if you see trash on the ground, pick it up and put it into the trash bin.
The board of directors, staff, faculty and parents of Montessori School of Maui have announced a brand-new culinary event, “Taste of Upcountry”, scheduled for Saturday, October 8th, 2016, 6:00-10:00 PM on the beautifully manicured grounds of their campus at 2933 Baldwin Avenue in Makawao. Individual tickets and sponsor tables are now on sale. Proceeds support this nonprofit school that was founded in 1978 and has since grown to make major impacts on the lives of Maui’s keiki.
Taste of Upcountry is designed to highlight Maui’s many talented chefs and diversity of local farmers and purveyors, who provide an abundance of food and produce on the island. The launch of this event will create a tradition of sharing and enjoying farm to table cuisine with the community.
While great food is the centerpiece of the evening, the festivities (hosted by well-known Maui emcee Kainoa Horcajo) also include a silent and live auction, and live acoustic music by Benny Uyetake and ManaBrasil. Cocktails, wine and beer will be available for purchase. The event open to the members of the public that are 21 years of age and older. As the Montessori School of Maui’s primary fundraising event for the 2016-17 school year, Taste of Upcountry event will generate proceeds to support the school’s operating budget. Each year, the school raises funds for student programs, teachers’ professional development, campus maintenance costs and tuition assistance for students.
As of press time, the following chefs, and restaurants are participating, (subject to change): Farm to Table Dinner Tastes By:
Sean Christensen, Maui Country Club Ben Diamond, The Wooden Crate at Lumeria Gary King, Oceanside Maui Cameron Lewark, Spago at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea Jennifer Nguyen, Saigon Cafe Sheldon Simeon, Tin Roof Maui Roger Stettler, Taverna Kevin Bell, Ulupalakua Ranch Store Grill Uma Dugied, Star Anise Catering Desserts by: Emily King, Oceanside Restaurant
Cocktails & Bar Service By:
Ross Steidel, Perfect Pour Maui
Featuring: Hali’imaile Distilling/Pau Vodka
Taste of Upcountry’s corporate sponsors include:
Hawaii Petroleum Pacific Rimland/Goodfellow Brothers Inc.
Hope Builders The Rice Partnership
General Admission tickets start at: $100. Seated General Admission Tickets are $125 and VIP Tables of 10 start at $2500. To purchase tickets, or to find more information and a description of VIP perks, please visit: https://momi.ejoinme.org/tasteofupcountry or call: (808) 573-0374
After working up an appetite visiting your favorite farm this Saturday May 21st, swing by Hana Ranch Provisions in Paia for their special Farm Day offering– half off all burgers! These burgers are a locavore’s dream come true with their locally-raised, grass-fed beef, island grown produce, and house made buns and condiments. Hana Ranch Provisions will also have a stand set up outside the restaurant promoting their new CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. Stop by to see sample CSA boxes, talk story about the Ranch’s sustainable growing practices, and sign up for a box of your own. Don’t forget to share pictures and stories at #EHIFarmDay16!
And the next time you’re cruising East Maui, make sure to stop by Hana Ranch’s newest culinary installment, the Hana Burger food truck! Liberated from the typical asphalt and gravel parking lots we’re accustomed to finding food trucks in, Hana Burger sits on a grassy slope near the Ranch itself just south of Hana Town. The truck’s sparkling silver exterior will catch your eye amidst the pastoral green landscape, and reel you in for delicious, locally sourced burgers, fish sandwiches, salads and more. Open Monday – Friday, 11:00am to 3:00pm.
edible Hawaiian Islands will be hosting their 3rd annual Farm Day on Saturday May 21, 2016! Simply, we encourage you to SHOP at a farmers’ market, VISIT a farm and THANK a farmer then share your experience through social media by using our hashtag #eHIFarmDay16.
Story by Sara Smith Photos by Jana Morgan Styling by Melissa Padilla of Opihi Love Florals by Christina Hartman of Wildheart
Chef Jana McMahon makes a living cooking in other people’s homes, so we grilled her on how best to cook in ours. Here are her tips for summer entertaining.
When it’s too hot to cook indoors, take the party outside. For advice on cooking an effortless and downright delicious summer barbecue, we couldn’t think of anyone better to turn to for help than a private chef. Jana McMahon, owner of Chef Jana McMahon has spent the last 10 years cooking for world leaders, movie stars, tech stars and many others. With her quick wit and vivacious humor, it’s possible she’s never met a stranger. Her approach to food, however, is decidedly more austere. She insists: simple, seasonal, approachable.
A private chef brings in raw ingredients and cooks in a home, providing an interaction that is unique (not to mention a valuable tie to the local food scene for the client.). Here at a private home, Jana prepares a fiery summer feast for friends. Her menu is shopped from local farm stands and largely inspired by what she finds, a process she calls “riffing the market.” From there, the ingredients just need to be “dressed with a light hand.”
“Start with quality, fresh local ingredients and don’t set a menu until you see what’s available,” Jana says. “I had asparagus in mind, but found gorgeous purple peas at the farmers market instead. They inspired my entire crudités platter.”
Cooking around a fire provides a main event, Jana says, because it’s “primal and molecular, it just resonates with us.” Jana fearlessly slaps her steaks directly on hot coals, a method called clinching that she tells us more about in the recipe. She serves it up with homemade mustard, of all things. Sound complicated? It’s not.
“Whipping up sauces and condiments is my forte. They define a dish, elevate it, brighten and compliment,” she tells us. It’s this extra effort with the details that sets her food apart.
Another thing that sets Jana apart is the heart she pours into her work. In addition to her business on Maui, she serves as the culinary and ag consultant for TERI (Training, Education, Research and Innovation), a North County San Diego nonprofit agency that advocates, teaches and houses people touched by autism and developmental disabilities. Jana got the job through cooking for a client on Maui, the agency’s CEO. “I was bringing down organic veggies I’d grown on the farm and I’d just happened to make cheese that day, so I looked like a real freak,” she recalls. She was a keeper, the CEO decided.
Jana spends three to four months a year in California, and in five years she’s helped blossom a seed-to-table program, install organic kitchen gardens at group homes, and turn lawns into urban farms. Under her guidance and insistence upon clean, fresh food, the client obesity rate has dropped from 85% to 15%. The TERI gardens just received USDA organic certification, no easy feat and an amazing commitment to quality for their clients.
A can-do attitude and unfussy approach to cooking infuse Jana’s entertaining style both as a chef and hostess. She shares her secrets with us in the Summer 2014 issue of the magazine.