Taste Awards finalists announced

Apr. 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

HONOLULU PULSE STAFF / honolulupulse@staradvertiser.com

Locally made food and drinks and a Battle of the Chefs will be showcased at the Hawaii Food Manufacturers Association’s first-ever Taste Awards in June.

The association announced finalists for the nine award categories Thursday, April 24. The Taste Awards honor outstanding companies in Hawaii’s food manufacturing industry. Co-sponsored by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, “the awards will recognize individuals, companies and products that have demonstrated exceptional performance, innovation and contribution to the manufacturing industry and to the community,” according to a news release.

The Taste Awards gala will be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. June 14 at the newly renovated Pomaika`i Ballrooms at Dole Cannery. The Battle of the Chefs will feature celebrity chefs creating dishes using locally manufactured products. Attendees will be able to indulge in one-of-a-kind dishes prior to the formal dinner and awards ceremony.

“We’re very excited to launch the Taste Awards,” said Byron Goo, president of the HFMA board of directors. “It’s long overdue for our industry to recognize the best of the best. There’s a lot of hard work and so many wonderful stories to tell about the local companies that produce the great food products found throughout Hawaii’s homes, stores and restaurants.”

Awards will be presented in nine categories, including:

» Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award: Diamond Bakery, FCH Enterprises, Hawaiian Host Chocolates, KTA Superstores and Derek Kurisu, Menehune Mac and Neal Arakaki

» Innovate Hawai’i Manufacturer of the Year: Large Company — Hawaiian Sun Products, So Ono Food Products. Small Company — Aloha Tofu, Big Island Bees, Hamakua Macadamia Nut Co., Hawaii Candy Co., Mulvadi Corp.

» Start-up Manufacturer of the Year: Chic Naturals, Fresh Catch/FC Sauces, Ono Giant Shrimp Co.

» Product of the Year: Big Island Abalone, Chic Naturals, Hawaii Kai Corp., Maui’s Winery, Soul de Cuba

» Advocate of the Year: Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Innovate Hawaii/HTDC and Wayne Inouye, Maui Gold Pineapple Co., Nina Tanabe

» Supplier of the Year: Dana Labels, Inovi Technologies, Pacific Rim Packaging, Rengo Packaging, University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources

» Community Service Award: Aloha Shoyu, Glow Hawaii Inc., Hawaii Gas Company, Pacific Gateway Center, Roselani Ice Cream

» Innovative Marketing Award: Central Pacific Bank, For J’s Hawaii, Hawaiian Chip Co., KTA Superstores

According to data from the state Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism, food is the largest manufacturing sector using local products, generating over $900 million in annual revenue for the state’s economy.

HFMA’s 125 member companies represent 30 percent of food manufacturers in the state.

Tickets and sponsorships for the Taste Awards are available. To purchase tickets call 422-4362 or visit www.foodsofhawaii.com. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Kapiolani Community College Culinary Arts Program. For more information, visit www.foodsofhawaii.com.

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