30th ‘Taste’ is ‘Da Bomb’

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kimya Schryver of Harmonious Roots completes the borani kadu and borani bademjan dish Sunday during the 30th Taste of Hawaii presented by the Rotary Club of Kapaa at Smith’s Tropical Paradise in Wailua.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Felipe Mares, executive chef at the Hilton Garden Inn, left, scoops up a banana lumpia as Mark Guiang keeps an eye on the goat cheese pancakes and Jayanne Guiang, Katherine Udaundo and Lynn Balisacan work to assemble the dish Sunday during the 30th Taste of Hawaii presented by the Rotary Club of Kapaa at Smith’s Tropical Paradise in Wailua.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Tia Viluan and daughter Danika Viluan find some space in the shade of a coconut tree to enjoy one of the samplings Sunday during the 30th Taste of Hawaii presented by the Rotary Club of Kapaa at Smith’s Tropical Paradise in Wailua.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Ron Wiley, center, shows off his honorary member Rotary name tag after being announced as such by Ron Lamay, left, and Jakki Nelson of the Rotary Club of Kapaa, Sunday during the 30th Taste of Hawaii at Smith’s Tropical Paradise in Wailua.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    A pair of revelers engage in a hula hoop contest at the Rainbeau Jo’s booth Sunday during the 30th Taste of Hawaii presented by the Rotary Club of Kapaa at Smith’s Tropical Paradise in Wailua.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Nico Reese of the Tahiti Nui crew, left, serves up a mai tai to eagerly waiting patrons Sunday during the 30th Taste of Hawaii presented by the Rotary Club of Kapaa at Smith’s Tropical Paradise in Wailua.

Jennie Waiwaiole-Vega and Sheri Higa agreed on their dessert choice Sunday at the 30th Taste of Hawaii presented by Rotary Club of Kapaa with the help of about 200 volunteers from 16 nonprofit organizations around Kauai.

“One cannoli dream (with Jennifer Foster) is the bomb,” said Waiwaiole-Vega. “They have other things, but the cannoli is the best.”

Other patrons had their own ideas of favorite foods that could be voted on through a special ballot enclosed with the program guide to the event laid out at the Smith’s Tropical Paradise in Wailua.

Nora Alaiafune of Kalaheo liking the sushi, while husband Moe said the pumpkin cake offered by Da Kine Foods, now located in the Waipouli Town Center, was “soft and tasty.”

Tia Viluan found the event a perfect mother-daughter outing, bringing daughter Danika Viluan to enjoy the music and beverages along with culinary offerings from nearly 50 vendors.

Kimya Schryver of Harmonious Roots was excited about offering their Persian vegetarian dishes for the first time in the 30 times the event has taken place at Smith’s.

“The Taste of Hawaii did not happen last year in consideration of the recovery efforts taking place on Kauai and the Big Island because of natural disasters,” said Ron Wiley, the event emcee. “There was no taste following Hurricane Iniki, again in consideration of recovery efforts. But the event bounced back each time, and this year is sold out.”

Wiley was surprised by the Rotary Club of Kapaa when, in an announcement occurring while Wiley welcomed the band Revival to the garden court stage, Jakki Nelson and Ron Lamay of the club presented Wiley an honorary member badge for the community service he performs through his radio-announcer’s job.

Without skipping a beat, Wiley moved on to the next station, where he engaged in a logistics discussion with a patron who claimed that social media claimed there were at least two thousand people at the sold-out Smith’s.

The Taste of Hawaii, according to a letter by the Rotary Club of Kapaa in the program guide, is held with three goals — to raise money that enables the club to make a difference through the many projects it supports, to work hard to ensure customers have the best experience possible while having fun in the work, and to share the message and fellowship of Rotary.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.

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