18th Annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is Oct. 4

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The 18th Annual Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is 6-8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 4, inside and out of the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Tickets are $40 presale and $60 at the door.

Thirty-five Hawaii chefs are assigned to prepare 100 pounds of a specific cut of beef—or locally sourced pork, lamb, mutton, goat or USDA-inspected wild boar—and the result is a festive adventure of tasting everything from tongue to tail.

The menu headlines dry-aged, grass-finished beef—sourced from local, humanely raised cattle that spend their entire life eating grass after being weaned. It is free of antibiotics and hormones. Animal science research shows grass-fed beef is low in fat and calories, contains beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and is one of the richest known sources of conjugated linoleic acid, which has anti-cancer properties.

Taste also showcases the efforts of local farmers, using a bounty of local vegetables, fruits and fungi in the chef’s culinary offerings. Attendees can talk story with local growers, ranchers and producers of value-added food products at gaily decorated booths while enjoying samples. In addition, Taste offers sustainability and agriculture-themed educational displays.

Those wanting to learn first-hand how to use and prepare 100 percent pasture-raised beef can attend the event’s annual Grass-Fed Beef Cooking 101 culinary demonstration. This year’s guest presenter is Hubert Des Marais, executive chef of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii. The 3 p.m. presentation includes sampling and is $10.

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Agriculture Festival provides a venue for sustainable agricultural education, encouragement and support of locally produced ag products. The premiere ag-tourism event is a partnership between CTAHR, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Association, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Kulana Foods, UH-Hilo CAFNRM, County of Hawaii Dept. on Environmental Management and community volunteers.

Online ticket links for both Taste and Cooking 101, plus islandwide ticket locations, can be found at www.TasteoftheHawaiianRange.com. Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI. For general event information, call 969-8228.