KAPAA — Mike Hough, a Kapaa Business Association board member, said he wants to heighten the shopping experience for patrons at the Coconut Festival, set for next weekend at Kapaa Beach Park.
“We want festival patrons to have a nice shopping experience,” Hough said. “To that end, we need more craft vendors. Last year, we were inundated with applicants. But they all came at the last minute and we couldn’t handle that. We need to know in advance that vendors are planning on participating so we can plan accordingly. It needs to be a pleasant experience for both vendors and shoppers.”
Chef Judy Capertina of Haole Girl Island Sweets is interested.
“I just got back from a symposium on Maui,” Capertina said. “I don’t know if they (the KBA) tried to reach me since I was out of touch. I entered the Coconut Festival cooking contest one year, and earned a gift card. I could do the cooking contest, again, but I’m interested in being a vendor. Greg Askew and his Ono Pops are going to be there, so I definitely want to be a vendor.”
Hough said cooking contest applicants need to have a favorite recipe containing something coconut because it is a festival celebrating the coconut.
The Coconut Festival will run Oct. 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and re-open Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., presented by the Kapaa Business Association and featuring entertainment, cultural displays and hands-on experiences, shopping, history, games, and, of course, contests, and food.
“Cascarone is a Filipino food,” said Jennifer Ortal, a vendor at the Kauai Culinary Market at The Shops at Kukuiula Wednesday. “But we end up calling it coconut donuts because that’s what the shoppers call them. It sells really well.”
Helaine Perel, general manager of The Shops at Kukuiula, said the office gets calls from shoppers asking for the “gluten-free, dairy-free donut.”
“You really should enter this in a contest,” a shopper said. “It’s really good, and you would win. It does have coconut in it, and if you win, you could even have a donut-eating contest by suspending each one at the end of a string and seeing who could eat it first. It’s definitely a winner.”
Hough said KBA is also accepting applications for the cooking contest, scheduled for the afternoon of Oct. 8.
Other food demonstrations by local chefs from neighboring resorts include Guy Higa of the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club, Glen Hayakawa of the Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay, Sean Smull of Oasis, Adam Phelps of Hukilau and Lucas Sautter of the Courtyard by Marriott at Coconut Beach.
For information and registration forms, contact the Kapaa Business Association at www.kbakauai.org.