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Maui AgFest Goes Big This Year

The 14th Annual Maui AgFest (& 4-H Livestock Fair) was bigger and better then ever this year. Highlights from the event included: a new date, new location at the War Memorial Complex and Special Events Lawn, expanded Keiki Zone, Farm Animals, Maui Coffee Tent, Lei-Making Classes, interactive Paiai Pounding and a strong showing of female chefs at the Grand Taste.

Hosted by the Maui County Farm Bureau and partnered with the Maui County Office of Economic Development, the purpose of the event is to bring families, visitors and farmers together to showcase locally grown produce, flora and fauna along with delicious food and live entertainment for all. This gathering also pays homage to the local Maui farmers and the next generation of agriculture experts who will provide a legacy for the ohanas to come.

With the new expanded location, 4-H participants were also able to showcase their hard work, dedication, youth development and results of positive mentorships. This also provided a hands-on in-depth look at Hawaii’s diverse animal science and agricultural industry. As a result of this partnership more insight was given into the knowledge of environment, education and healthy living.

Fresh flowers, locally harvested produce, an impressive farmer’s market, food trucks and educational booths for families to engage and enjoy the breezy Saturday afternoon was an entertaining gathering of culture, cuisine and crafts all in one place — free admission.

For the first time, an impressive line-up of female chefs dominated the annual Grand Taste culinary competition grazing event. Tickets were $30 in advance and $40 at the door. All guests also received the recipes for all the dishes created utilizing a special local ingredient.

Pastry Chef Amber-Lynn Ching, Grand Taste Winner

Coming out on top: Chef Amber-Lynn Ching, Pastry Chef at the Fairmont Kea Lani, secured both the judge’s choice for first place and the people’s choice with her Otani Farms Rainbow Carrot Macaron. 5 out of the 13 chefs featured were female this year, including the judge’s second place finisher Abbey Ferrer, Executive Chef at Star Noodle who created a Mushroom Tofu Cup with Ssamjang Sauce.

Here’s a look at the Grand Taste highlights:

Mahalo to Maui Coast Hotel for the overnight hotel accommodations.

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About Olena Heu

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Olena is Executive Editor, Food & Lifestyle at MAUIWatch. The founder of Olena Heu Communications, a social media, digital marketing, consulting and freelance writing company, Olena holds a BA and MA in Communication and Speech from Hawaii Pacific University. An adjunct professor, lecturer and motivational speaker Olena is also an award winning journalist, writer, photographer and avid traveler.

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