Maui Food and Dining

Ag Fest Photos & Contest Results

April 7, 2012, 9:34 PM HST
* Updated April 10, 11:37 AM
Listen to this Article
3 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

By Susan Halas

veg basket

Roxanne Tiffin displays a basket of fresh produce from Kula Fields, a company that delivers boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables island wide. Susan Halas photo.

(Updated April 8: Contest results and video at end with photos)

Those aggies sure know how to throw a party.

The wind blew, the flags flew and the crowds came pouring in. It was bumper to bumper in both directions to get into the 5th Annual Maui County Farm Festival. The event held at the Maui Tropical Plantation on Saturday April 7th covered acres. It sprawled across the grounds  in tents, under awnings and in the open air. It was everything the organizers promised and more.

There were farmers, ranchers, flower folks, chefs and volunteers. There were foodies of every description and food made from locally sourced products to tempt them. The air was fragrant with the smell of meat on the grill and Jawaiian tunes from the bandstand floated on the breeze.


The Maui County Farm Bureau in partnership with Slow Food Maui presented “Grand Taste Education.” This edible extravaganza teamed some of the brightest Maui culinary talent with some of Hawaii’s best local products. The result was high style cuisine ‘al fresco’. The lines were long but nobody seemed to mind. After all “slow food” gone local was the theme of the day.

standing in line crowd scene

The crowds lined up patiently to taste the offering from some of Maui's top chefs. Susan Halas photo.


There were pony rides, bunny hats, big bulls and small goats. There were strawberries fresh and made into jam, mangoes, pineapple, taro and sugar cane. Mauians and visitors guzzled coffee and teas, munched on bananas covered in chocolate and rolled in coconut. They ate everything in sight.

There were mounds of fresh produce artfully displayed to entice the discriminating. Perhaps most importantly there was an appreciative audience to gobble it all up and cart it home.

Maui No Ka Oi


Maui own products lived up to their billing: impressive in their profusion,  convincing in their display and uniformly delicious.

friend of ag fest

Waikapu resident Wendy Williamson bought a Friend of the Ag Fest bag to tote her goodies home. Susan Halas photo.

People went home heavy laden, a little sunburned and dusty, and definitely in a good mood.

The many sponsors, including the County Office of Economic Development, certainly gave the community a day worth remembering.

Results Ag Fest Competitions

Judgesʻ Choice Award
1st Place: Farmer Bobby Pahia of Hoaloha Farms with Sheldon Simeon, Executive Chef, Star Noodle and Leoda’s Kitchen & Pie Shop.
2nd Place: Farmer David Fitch of Mālama Farms with Marc McDowell, Executive Chef  Makena Beach and Golf Resort.
3rd Place: Farmer Ian Cole of the Breadfruit Institute in Hāna with Riko Bartolome, Private Chef, Kapalua.
There was only one point difference between second and third place winners.

Fan Favorite Award
1st Place: David Fitch of Mālama Farms with Marc McDowell, Executive Chef  Makena Beach and Golf Resort.
2nd Place: Alika Atay of Maui Sweet Potato Company and Jojo Vasquez, Chef de Cuisine, Banyan Tree Restaurant.
3rd Place: Ian Cole of the Breadfruit Institute in Hāna with Riko Bartolome, Private Chef, Kapalua.
First Annual Maui Floral Designersʻ Competition

pony with other ideas

What's an ag fair without a pony ride, but this pony it seems had other ideas. Susan Halas photo.

Judgesʻ Choice Award
1st Place: Asa Ige of Asa’s Flowers
2nd Place:   Miki Poapuni from Maui Floral
3rd Place: Kimo Lum of  Kimo’s Floral Design
Fan Favorite Award
1st Place: Asa Ige of Asa’s Flowers
2nd Place: Jacqueline Jones of Paradise Flower Farm
3rd Place: Kimo Lum of Kimo’s Floral Designs
maui now videographer

Giel Tolentino from Maui Waena volunteered to shoot this video for Maui Now. Susan Halas photo.


A Video Too

Get another view of the festivities from this volunteer video shot by Giel Tolentino, an 8th grader at Maui Waena, for Maui Now. Here’s their link.

More Photos

If you were there you know it was good. If you missed, it here are some photos that show what made it such a special day.

mango from yee's

Mangoes were the main event at the display by Yee's Orchard of Kihei. Susan Halas photo.

chicken on the grill

Travis Raymond and Briam Cremer tend the BBQ chicken for the benefit of the Excel Soccer Club. Susan Halas photo.

choc coc banana

Danielle Ness, of Seattle, eats a chocolate-coconut banana on a stick with one hand and carries home the fresh fruit with the other. Susan Halas photo.

sugar cane

Maui's signature sugar cane finds an appreciative taster in Morgan Cairns visiting from Canada. Susan Halas photo.

chef pang ko at the fairmont

Chef Tylun Pang from the Ko Restaurant at the Fairmont Kea Lani shows his entry into the Grand Taste competition using Maui raised beef. Susan Halas photo.


Janita Pahia of Hoaloha Farms shows off locally grown taro. Susan Halas photo.

meet the bulls

Allison Reilly of Lahaina sneaks a peek at the angus bull and steers. Susan Halas photo.

grand taste

Volunteer Jana McMahon holds up the booklet that described all the participants in the Grand Taste event. Susan Halas photo.

E-Mail Newsletters Receive daily or weekly updates via e-mail. Subscribe Now
News Alerts Breaking news alerts on your mobile device. Get the App


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Maui Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments