Amateurs and professionals alike turned out Sunday to compete the third Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest at the Sheraton Kona Resort &Spa at Keauhou Bay convention center. The event is part of Keauhou Resort’s annual King Kamehameha III celebration commemorating Keauhou-born king, Lani Kauikeaouli.
Choy, a TV host, cookbook author and a founder of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, spearheads the contest celebrating locally sourced seafood with competition in four division. The event encourages the creative use of seaweed, seeds, herbs, nuts, marinades, tofu, fruits, vegetables and seasoning.
Proceeds benefit the Equip the Kitchens Campaign for the future Hawaii Community College-Palamanui campus. Last year’s contest donated $5,000 to the effort.
Sam Choy’s Keauhou Poke Contest Results
Traditional Poke: Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s, first; Wade Tamura of Facebook, second; Robin Ganir of Broke Da Mouth, third
Cooked: Peter Kaluna of University of Hawaii Dining Services, first; George Gomes of King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, second
Poke with Aloha Shoyu: Robin Ganir of Broke Da Mouth, first; Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s, second
Non-Seafood: Paul Muranaka of King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, first
Poke with Hamakua Mushrooms: George Gomes of King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel, first; Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s, second; Robin Ganir of Broke Da Mouth, third
Traditional Poke: Ryan Koyanagi, first; Chuck Okazaki, second; Pono Bintliff, third
Poke with Aloha Shoyu: Keauhou Canoe Club Boys No. 1, first; Shane Lee, second; Cal Haena, third
Non-Seafood: Punana Leo Team No. 2, first
Poke with Hamakua Mushrooms: Tori Koyanagi, first
HIGH SCHOOL DIVISION
Traditional: Konawaena, first
Cooked: Kealakehe, first
Poke with Aloha Shoyu: Kealakehe, first; Konawaena, both second and third
Poke Throw Down: Nakoa Pabre of Umeke’s
Celebrity Poke Contest: Barbara Meheula, florist, took first place in the event over other contestants including professional football player Max Unger, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi, West Hawaii Today Publisher Tracey Fosso, Miss Kona Coffee 2014 Jeanne Kapela and Facebook Chef Billy Desmond.