Puna Culinary Fest Eyes Green, Healthy Living

September 2, 2014, 10:18 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 6:40 PM
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Kalani will host this year’s Puna Culinary Festival, an eight-day event billed as “an invitation to experience the abundant harvest of Hawai`i Island and interact directly with the region’s growers, farmer’s market purveyors and food enthusiasts” in a festival release.

The festival opens Sept. 21 and attendees can expect to experience meals prepared by top chefs, cooking classes, sustainable farm tours, market visits, thought-provoking workshops and other special events.

Celebrity guests, The Green Divas, Megan McWilliams and Lynn Hasselberger, will join the festival this year, offering their trademark tips on “low-stress ways to live a deeper green.” Their talk-story will be on Thursday, Sept. 25, and they will lead a demonstration class on healthy and delicious juicing and smoothie techniques on Friday, Sept. 26.

“The Puna Culinary Festival stands out among food festivals nationwide because of its focus on green and healthy living,” said McWilliams. “The festival is a fabulous way to learn about permaculture, taste local food and celebrate nature.”

Sponsored by Suisan and Kalani, where most festival activities take place, the festival embodies the collective mission to share nature, culture, and wellness, said the release


Many festival events will raise funds for Hawai`i Island Food Bank, an island-wide, supplemental food network that collects and distributes nutritious, high-quality food to our island’s most vulnerable people, the release said.


The non-profit festival shines a light on sustainability, farm-to-fork methods, and cutting-edge permaculture practices here,” said Eric Ellenwood, steward of the modern ahupuaa permaculture series in Puna. “I am grateful for the opportunity to witness the celebration and sharing of the abundant aina.”

The Festival opens with a Hawaiian-style kalua pork dinner at Kalani on Sunday, Sept. 21, followed by a whimsical food-themed art show, “Delicious: A Feast for the Senses,” which encourages artists to play with food itself to create art in novel ways.

The festival culminates with PupuPalooza, a judged appetizer competition and public tasting on Saturday, Sept. 27.


See the Festival web site for a full list of events.

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