The annual Maui Fair horticulture exhibit and competition offers the Maui community a great chance to see what busy farmers and gardeners around the island are growing. The growth of campus gardens at schools drew more than 1,000 entries from 10 different schools. Judging was done Thursday, Sept. 27.
In the Junior Division, Angelica Watanabe took Maui County Farm Bureau Best Junior Exhibit Trophy for her broccoli, as well as the Governor Neil Abercrombie Grand Champion Trophy. Maui County Farm Bureau runner-up Champion was Tess Monden. In the Senior division, Jennifer Nguyen received the Monsanto Best Senior Exhibit with her squash and the Maui County Farm Bureau runner-up Champion Trophy. Tomas Watanabe received the Mayor Alan Arakawa Grand Champion Trophy.
The schools received a participation award from A&B Foundation for their entries. Haiku School won first place with 255 entries, Kula School was second with 50 and third place honors went to Iao School with 35 entries.
Maui County Farm Bureau and the Master Gardeners of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources also presented the annual horticulture exhibit and competitions. Sponsors included the Maui County Farm Bureau, Governor Abercrombie, Maui Mayor Arakawa, Monsanto and A&B Foundation, but wouldn’t have been possible without the dozens of volunteers who assisted at the event.
Another popular event presented by the Farm Bureau was the Annual Chili Cook-Off. There, Maui chefs battled the county’s firefighters for the honor and title of best chili on the island. There were four categories: Freestyle, Traditional (no beans or pasta), Wild Land (veggie) and People’s Choice. Judges were Chris Speere of the Maui Culinary Academy, Warren Watanabe of the Maui County Farm Bureau, Herman Andaya Jr. of the Office of Mayor Alan Arakawa, Carla Tracy of The Maui News and a representative from Governor Abercrombie’s office.
The competition was held Sunday at the Fair. The contestants cooked their chili on site and all proceeds went to the Shriners Hospital Burn Unit. Chefs Chris Schobel and Ryan Luckey of Hula Grill took first place with their Traditional Chili entry, which won 183 points. They graciously donated their $300 prize money to the Shriners Children’s Hospital Fund.
The Grand Wailea also won twice: Don Meriales took first in the Wild Land category with 187 points and Troy Sagaya, Jeff Ishii and Michael Young of Bistro Molokini won the Freestyle with 184 points. The Lahaina Watch Team won the Peoples’ Choice Award.