Monday, November 22, 2010

The Garden Island Range & Food Festival 2010

I happened to be on Kauai when the 2010 Garden Island Range & Food Festival was going on. I originally wanted to go because I saw that a high school classmate of mine was cooking. It was $35 for adults. Some friends and I made a date to go and check it out. When I got there, my chef classmate wasn't there. BOO! Another friend said that he had gotten a job and moved to Oahu.

The Range & Food Festival is a showcase of Kauai's cattlemen, farmers and chefs. This is their second year producing this festival. The food is prepared by some of the best Kauai chefs. The meats and produce come fresh from Kauai's farmers. This year it was hosted at the Kilohana Plantation in Puhi.

Here's some of the dishes I tried:

RED VEAL - Za'atar roasted veal with carrot cumin puree, honey-glazed baby carrots, starfruit-juniper salsa by 22 degrees North Restaurant and Bar (Executive Chef Andrew Althouse & Chef de Cuisine Aaron Leikam).

This was a yummy dish. I loved the carrot puree.
BEEF CROSS RIB - Szechuan-style braised short rib steamed but with arugula pecan mushroom salad by Josselin's Tapas Bar and Grill (Executive Chef & Owner Jean-Marie Josselin).

The short rib bun was good. It had a great wasabi sauce on it. The salad was a little too soggy.

BEEF SHANK - Spice-braised beef shank with ginger brown butter and ulu gnocci by Oasis On The Beach (Executive Chef Zach Sato).

The beef was okay but the gnocci was way too chewy.

KANESHIRO LAMB - Braised achiote-calamansi lamb tostada, refried borracho beans, avocado vinaigrette, chili lime crema by Sheraton Kauai Resort (Executive Chef Leanne Kamekona & Sous Chef Jr. Pascual)

This was my favorite dish of the day. The lamb was perfectly cooked. It didn't have the gamey taste at all. The tostada was crisp and held up nicely. The sauces were excellent! I want more!!!
BEEF TONGUE - Braised beef tongue, kabocha pumpkin hash, ginger-tomato jam, sriracha hollandaise by St. Regis Princeville (Executive Chef Franco Diaz)

This was my first adventure eating beef tongue. It was actually okay. It tastes like beef but with a different texture. I think I would have enjoyed this dish much more if the tongue was sliced thinner. It was too chunky and with the texture, it weirded me out. The kabocha pumpin hash was absolutely delicious though!

Chef Diaz also made dessert. The lady in line before me took 4. After I tasted it, I could see why. I'm not sure what's in it but it was heavenly. I think it was a apple banana bread topped with a creamy chocolate mousse. Two thumbs up!
BEEF NECK - Spicy cinnamon-scented braised beef in a cucumber cup by Hukilau Lanai (Executive Chef & Owner Ron Miller)

The beef neck in this dish was good. The cucumber was marinated Japanese style and was way too vinegary.
KANESHIRO PIG - Whole roasted pig served in a lettuce cup with tomato-onion relish by Brennecke's Beach Broiler (Executive Chef David Boucher & Chef de Cuisine Arnold Gabriel)

This dish was disappointing. The pig was cooked perfectly. It was soft and tender and melting in your mouth. It was missing salt though. It was very bland.

There was a vegetarian dish that I really enjoyed but forgot to take a picture of. Believe me, it was yummy!


The samosas were stuffed with a variety of Kauai potatoes (mine had a purple tinge) and Indian spices. It was good!

There were a few more stations that I didn't try. This was a great food festival with a great variety of dishes and was reasonably priced. I hope I'm on the island next year for it again!


Rowena... said...

I've been away from Kauai so long that I hadn't even heard of this. The only big gala affair I know of is the Taste of Hawaii in June and I have not been to one for years!

~Holly~ said...

Rowena, I'd never heard if this festival too. It's only in it's second year. My friends that live on Kauai said that the Taste tix are up to $75 now. I thought the $35 we paid for this one was a steal!