|Beautiful amateur contestant poke display|
Fish and seafood of all kinds were celebrated at The Great Waikoloa Poke Contest, part of the Hawaii Island Festival, September 7, 2013. Amateurs and professionals competed for top honors in traditional, limu (seaweed), soy sauce, and cooked poke categories. Meaning “to slice,” poke can be made with any fish or seafood the cook dreams up, although this contest made a point to only include locally sourced seafood.
|Packed house for poke tasting|
Aloha was in the air as contestants gathered early Saturday morning to assemble their dramatic display tables and plate their poke entries for the blind judging. The awards were based 100% on taste, with the exception of one award for presentation, judged separately.
|Amateur presentation winner|
Hosted by the Waikoloa Beach Marriott, the event also included a poke making demonstration, an appearance by the Royal Court, and of course a tasting for the public.
The chefs from Waikoloa Beach Marriott swept the professional division, including the presentation award. Amateur winners were Jason Wood (shoyu), Anthony Carvalho (cooked), Doug Wang (traditional) and Grady (Pono) Bintliff (limu).
|My “diner” themed display for the BLT poke. Get it?|
My BLT poke entry didn’t make the cut, but it was hard not to be impressed by all of the wonderful and creative entries. Overall, this was a fun event overflowing with aloha and I’d love to compete again next year. If you’d like to try my BLT poke, the recipe is below. Mahalo to When Pigs Fly Island Charcuterie for making the awesome bacon.