On April 9, 2011, Ka Hana No’eau held a Ho’ike and Chili Challenge. This years’ theme was “Ka Ulu Ana: Securing Our Future.” In addition to the Chili Challenge, there was also a Salad Dressing Contest. This event was open to the public and, with a five dollar donation, community members could get one scoop rice, samplings from the Chili Challenge teams, and salad with a choice of salad dressings. Keiki twelve and under were free.
The Chili Challenge consisted of eight teams. All teams used locally grown beef to create their chili and received a gift packet for participating. The gift packet consisted of two Ka Ulu Ana aprons, a cooking spoon, and a cooking spatula. Judges were asked to taste and decide which chili fit each of five categories. Results were as follows:
The Most Aromatic Chili: Zest Kitchen’s Jason Verdun
The Most Creative Chili: Representatives Clift Tsuji and Jerry Chang
The Spiciest Chili: Lava Radio’s Eddie O. and his wife, Rose
The Most Savory Chili: Natural Farmers Kim Chang and Royanne Shiigi.
The Most Unusual Chili: Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi and David Shiigi
The people present were also asked to vote on their favorite chili. The winner of the People’s Choice chili was, again, Councilman “Fresh” Onishi and David Shiigi.
For the Salad Dressing Contest, judges had to make a decision on who they thought made first, second and third place. In third place, Aunty Lana Lewis won with her Miso Ginger Dressing. Second place went to Aunty Lani Bowman with her Creamy Balsamic Dressing. And congratulations to Debbie Choo, who won first place with her Lilikoi Vinaigrette.
Those attending the Ho’ike were not only treated to ono kine grinds (really good food), but also, entertainment and local talent that were second to none. Uncle Henry Dulan, Uncle Tony Manantan, the Sons of Kohala and Grammy-nominated Uncle Cyril Pahinui kept the crowd entertained with their melodies and story-telling. One song prompted some spontaneous hula dancing from a member of the community. The Ryukyukoku Matsuri Daiko (Taiko Drummers) also gave an exciting and riveting performance that featured performers of all ages.
The Ka Hana No’eau mentorship groups all had booths for the community members to visit, purchase goods, or participate in demonstrations. Some highlights were as follows: The Aquatic Resources Group had a delicious fish plate. The Taro Group had fantastic taro chips and demonstrated poi-pounding. The Sustainable Gardening Group had fresh vegetables, shave ice and chili pepper shoyu. The Culinary Arts Group made their infamous energy bars and butter mochi, which disappeared extremely quickly! The Animal Husbandry Group had tasty teriyaki beef sticks and locally grown beef for sale. The Small Machinery Group had yummy spam musubi and foccacia bread also for sale. The Saddle-Making Group demonstrated some leather work and made Hawaii’s own Sam Choy (who was also in attendance) a brand new belt!
Ka Hana No’eau’s Ho’ike was a wild success! It was awesome and encouraging to see the community out supporting this program and sharing in the wonderful spirit present in Kohala.
Mahalo to everyone who helped and participated!!!