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Breadfruit Festival 2012

Breadfruit Festival Goes Bananas 2012 slideshow


Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network,the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden presented Breadfruit Festival goes bananas at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in South Kona on Saturday, September 29, 2012 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. This festival had all the breadfruit-related activities of the previous two festivals, including cultural and horticultural presenters and practitioners, story telling, cooking contest and demonstrations, youth crafts, 'ulu buffet and snacks, tree sales, fine art contest, and music. Recognizing 'ulu's traditional role in mixed agroforestry, the festival also highlighted 'ulu's Pacific-wide companion, mai'a (banana), with presentations by Angela Kay Kepler and others, as well as banana plants for sale. The Festival was free and open to the public—an estimated 1,900 people attended.

                       View program

Cooking contest

BreadfruitFestUluTartlgcropped-2'Ulu tart, Best-of-Show winner from Breadfruit Festival 2011. See all the winners and read their recipes here.The public was invited to share their culinary skills and compete for prizes by entering the Breadfruit Cooking Contest with their own original recipes. Cooking Contest prizes were awarded in the categories of:

  • Appetizer
  • Main Dish/Entrée (includes Soups or Salads served as a Main Dish)
  • Dessert
  • Going Bananas (combining breadfruit & banana in one dish)
  • Youth (ages 12 to 18)

View the previous year's (2011) winning dishes here.


Breadfruit-inspired food headlined the festivities. The breadfruit cooking demonstrations featured celebrity chef Sam Choy. Dr. Angela Kay Kepler demonstrated cooking with banana and Shirley Kauhaihao showed when to pick a breadfruit and demonstrate home-style ways to prepare breadfruit. Chef Betty Saiki and the West Hawai'i Community College Culinary Arts Program served a locally sourced buffet luncheon featuring breadfruit. The public competed for prizes by entering the Breadfruit Cooking Contest with their own original recipes.

Cultural practitioners

XR0Y8085Wesley Sen, Ka‘uhane Ben Heloca and Kalani McCandless demonstrate the art of making 'ulu kapa cloth.The Breadfruit Festival Goes Bananas featured many Hawaiian and Pacific Islander cultural activities. Mahi'ai and educator Jerry Konanui, 'Anakala Isaiah Kealoha and other experts conducted hands-on workshops in the art of preparing poi 'ulu. The Kona-based 'ohana of the late Micronesian navigator Mau Piailug shared 'ulu preparation techniques from their home island of Satawal. Lima Tamasese demonstrated traditional Samoan 'ulu preparation. Tapa experts Wesley Sen and Lehun McCandless-Sen demonstrated how to make tapa from 'ulu bark. Aloha Quilters of Kailua-Kona demonstrated Hawaiian quilting, with a focus on the 'ulu motif in quilting. And much more!

Storytelling and music

Diana-Aki-imageNā Hōkū Hanohano award winner Diana Aki.New to the 2012 festival was a music and storytelling tent featuring: the "Songbird of Miloli'i," Nā Hōkū Hanohano award winner Diana Aki; Kumu Hula Auli'i Mitchell performing Hula Ki'i (Hawaiian puppetry); "Stories and Hawaiian Mythology of Mai'a" with Ryan McCormack; Music by Auntie Irma DiCenzo and her ukulele students; Hula by Beamer-Solomon Halau O Po'ohala, Kumu Hulali Solomon Covington.


The presentation tent featured talks by world-renowned experts in breadfruit, banana and agroforestry. Dr. Diane Ragone and Ian Cole of the Breadfruit Institute spoke about “The Future of Breadfruit in Hawai‘i” and “‘Ulu Tree Planting, Care and Maintenance.” Author and ethnobotanist Dr. Angela Kay Kepler gave a presentation entitled “The World of Bananas in Hawai‘i: Rediscovering Hawai‘i’s Forgotten Varieties.” Author and agroforestry expert Craig Elevitch presented “Ho'oulu ka 'Ulu.” The presentation concluded with a roundtable discussion entitled Economic Opportunities for Breadfruit and other Traditional Crops.

Fine art contest

An art exhibit featured breadfruit-inspired works from the 2012 Breadfruit Fine Art Contest. View last year's Breadfruit Festival 2011 entries and winner.

Youth art contest

A youth art contest for work inspired by breadfruit will be held prior to the festival.A youth art contest for work inspired by breadfruit will be held prior to the festival.An art contest for youth took place prior to the festival, with winning entries displayed at the festival. View this year's youth art contest entries here. The youth art contestis a part of the educational outreach associated with the festival, celebrating the beauty of the tree and fruit as well as the rich cultural heritage and future role of ‘ulu in Hawai‘i.

Taste of 'Ulu

In the week leading up to the Breadfruit Festival, the Keauhou Resort celebrated the “Taste of 'Ulu” by featuring gourmet dishes in select Keauhou Resort restaurants. 

Breadfruit tree and banana plant sales

The popular ‘Ma‘afala’ (Samoan) variety of breadfruit was available for purchase at the festival. About 20 varieties of banana were available for sale at the festival on a first-come, first-served basis.

Directions and parking

The festival took place at Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden in Captain Cook, South Kona. Click here for directions and parking information.

Breadfruit resource materials

hooulu-logo-200pxThe Breadfruit Festival is a program of Ho‘oulu ka ‘Ulu—Revitalizing Breadfruit, a project of Hawai‘i Homegrown Food Network and the Breadfruit Institute of the National Tropical Botanical Garden to revitalize ‘ulu as an attractive, delicious, nutritious, abundant, affordable, and culturally appropriate food that addresses Hawai‘i’s food security issues.

View program


Donations are needed to support the festival which is free and open to the public. The Breadfruit Festival Goes Bananas festival is non-commercial (no commercial vendors), putting education and community building at the focal point. Your donation will be used to cover the many costs associated with a large festival such as this, with dozens of presenters and many organizers involved. Please donate an amount that is appropriate to your means.

Festival Sponsors

The Breadfruit Festival is sponsored by the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority’s Kūkulu Ola—Living Hawaiian Culture Program administered by the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. Other major partners include Kamehameha Schools, Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawai'i Community Foundation—Doc Buyers Fund, Kamehameha Investment Corporation, Ke Ola Magazine, Ho‘oulu Lāhui, Kua O Ka Lā Public Charter School, West Hawai‘i Community College Culinary Arts Program, and Big Island Resource Conservation and Development.



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