Taste of the Hawaiian Range, Hawaii Community College partner for video series

  • A HawCC-Hilo culinary student readies island pork chops for stuffing during the how-to video demonstrating how to prepare island pork. (Taste of the Hawaiian Range/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • A HawCC culinary student prepares ulu cakes to accompany Stuffed Big Island Pork Chops. (Taste of the Hawaiian Range/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • Rolled Beef Roast stuffed with Hamakua Mushrooms and Greens with a Creamy Whiskey Sauce and Sautéed Rainbow Chard and Ulu Croquettes. (Taste of the Hawaiian Range/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • A HawCC culinary student plates Braised Big Island Lamb Shanks with Kabocha Squash Gnocchi and Island Goat Dairy Chèvre and Spinach Garnish. (HawCC Creative Media Student Brenton Barcelona/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • A HawCC culinary student plates Braised Big Island Lamb Shanks with Kabocha Squash Gnocchi and Island Goat Dairy Chèvre and Spinach Garnish. (HawCC Creative Media Student Brenton Barcelona/Special to West Hawaii Today)

Watch how to make mouth-watering recipes using local meats and vegetables during three new educational videos produced by Taste of the Hawaiian Range in partnership with Hawaii Community College at Hilo.

The project showcases the products of Big Island ranchers and farmers and the skills and imagination of college’s Culinary Arts and Creative Media students.


“Cooking with Taste of the Hawaiian Range” is a virtual extension of the popular Cooking 101 guest chef demonstration presented annually at the Taste of the Hawaiian Range event. Though the event was canceled in 2020 due to COVID, organizers pivoted educational efforts to a virtual format.

“It’s always a pleasure to work with today’s culinary students — tomorrow’s chefs,” said Sandy Barr Rivera, Taste of the Hawaiian Range culinary chair and retired chef and culinary instructor. “Their learning to appreciate the quality of our island products, and gain comfort with cooking them, will continue to increase the demand from island kitchens, add more sustainability to local agriculture and continue the unique cuisine built upon these products.”

Taste committee members provided the project’s ingredients and HCC media students filmed and produced the videos. The college culinarians crafted the recipes and requested ingredients that were sourced from 11 local food producers.

Participating ranchers include Azevedo and Mattos Hog Farms in Hilo, Double “D” Ranch in Hamakua and the University of Hawaii’s Mealani Research Station in Waimea. Cheese and veggies were purchased from Big Island Goat Dairy and Hawaiian B Natural Farms in Ahualoa, Tess’ Garden in Honoka‘a, J.A. Farms in Waimea, Hamakua Mushrooms in Lapahoehoe, Mother Nature’s Miracle in Pa‘auilo and the Hamakua Ag Cooperative on the Hamakua Coast.

“I believe we were very successful in introducing local products into the curriculum through this student showcase, while also offering students the opportunity to begin understanding how a local food cycle can work, and the overall benefits it can provide for our local community,” said Chef Brian Hirata, Hawaii Community College at Hilo culinary arts program coordinator and assistant professor. “These learning opportunities will hopefully stick with our students into the future, and as they become leaders and decision-makers within our food industry, my hope is that they make the right choices when purchasing ingredients, and always choosing local first and above all.”

Student Christopher Liu, of Kuristown, participated as a beef team member and used top round to prepare a rolled roast. Liu is no stranger to cooking with pasture-raised beef as he regularly buys a value package with a variety of cuts to feed his family.

“We use it to make roasts, stews, kalbi short ribs, brisket, steaks and burgers,” he said. Liu likes to braise pasture-raised beef to bring out the meat’s tenderness and flavor. Braising is a combination cooking method of first searing the meat at a high temperature and then cooking low and slow in a seasoned liquid.

Cooking demonstrations available for viewing include Rolled Beef Roast Stuffed with Hamakua Mushrooms and Greens in Whiskey Cream Sauce, Ulu Croquettes, Stuffed Big Island Pork Chops with Sherry Sauce, Ulu Cakes with Macadamia Nut Pesto, Braised Big Island Lamb Shanks, Gluten Free Kabocha Squash Gnocchi and more. Links to recipes and videos can be found at https://tasteofthehawaiianrange.com.

Recipe serves 8.

Rolled Beef Roast Stuffed with Hamakua Mushrooms and Greens and Creamy Whiskey Sauce

This dish dresses up an inexpensive cut of beef. The low and slow baking of it makes a tender and tasty roast. The sauce adds further flavor, and the accompanying ulu croquettes bring a crunch of texture and favorite local starch to the plate. The sauteed chard echoes the filling flavors. Recipes by Hawaii Community College at Hilo Culinary Arts students Ryan Ah Yee, Chris Liu, Jason Sagaysay and Ciare Salomon-Torres.


4 pounds top round roast

8 ounces Hamakua Alii Mushrooms — 1/4-inch dice

4 ounces chard, kale, or spinach

1 cup onions – 1/4-inch dice

1/2 cup whipping cream

3 Tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper


2 Tablespoons rosemary or thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Kitchen twine for tying

Prepare the Mushroom Filling (recipe below) and cool before using.

Cut the roast in half, leaving a 3/4-inch “hinge” so it opens up like a book. Lay open, cover with plastic wrap, and lightly pound out to flatten the whole piece of meat to a 1-inch thickness. This will give you a rectangular piece of meat, which you will stuff and roll to form the spiral seen in the video.

Season inside of roll with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Spread the mushroom filling over the flattened meat, leaving a 1-inch margin on the edges of the roll.

Lay washed, uncooked chard leaves over the mushrooms.

Roll the meat “jellyroll-style,” starting on the longest side. Tie in three or four places to hold the roast together.

Mix the salt, pepper, and herbs together with the oil. Rub over the outside surface of the roast.

Bake at 250 degrees for about 2 hours, or until the internal temperature is 130 degrees. (If you have a smoker, cook according to its directions to the same internal temperature.)

Tent with foil and allow the roast to rest for 15-20 minutes while preparing the Whisky Sauce (recipe follows).

To serve, slice thick rounds of the roast, and serve with the sauce.

Hamakua Alii Mushroom Stuffing

Heat butter in a 10-inch sauté pan and add onions. Cook 2-3 minutes.

Add mushrooms and sauté until tender.

Add cream and cook until it reduces and thickens. Lightly season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cool to room temperature, then incorporate into the beef roll as directed above.

Whiskey Cream Sauce


4 Tablespoons butter — divided

1/2 cup onions – 1/4-inch dice

1/3 cup Whiskey of your choice

1/2 cup beef broth

1/2 cup whipping cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Add beef broth to the roasting pan used for the roast and stir to loosen the brown bits of flavor.

In a sauté pan heat 3 Tablespoons of butter. Add onions and a pinch of salt and cook until softened.

Off heat, add the Whiskey and return to range top. Add beef broth with the tasty roast drippings.

Reduce by half.

Add the cream and reduce until it thickens.

Off heat, swirl in the last Tablespoon of butter.

Taste and adjust salt if necessary.

Sauteed Rainbow Chard


12 ounces Chard

2 cloves garlic

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

Wash chard leaves and cut stems off. Slice stems into 1-inch pieces. Hold separately from leaves.

Slice the chard leaves in 1/2-inch ribbons.

Heat butter in a 10-inch sauté pan and add stems and garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes.

Add leaves a handful at a time, adding more as they wilt, until all are in the pan.

Lightly season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ulu Croquettes


3 pounds ulu

1 onion, sliced

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup butter — divided

4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese

4 eggs, divided

Salt and pepper

Nutmeg – a pinch

1 package fine panko crumbs

1/2 cup flour

Oil for frying

Peel, core, and steam ulu.

When tender, cool and mash flesh with a potato masher or food mill.

Cook onions in 1 Tablespoon butter slowly until caramelized.

Melt remaining butter and add minced garlic. Sauté briefly.

Add to the mashed ulu: onions, melted butter, garlic, cream, parmesan cheese, and two eggs. Mix well.

Add nutmeg and salt to taste. Chill until firm and easy to handle.

When cool, divide into 16 balls and form into patties.

Set up breading station: flour in one pan (pie tins work well) the last two eggs beaten in a second, and panko crumbs in the third. Set out a rack to hold the breaded patties.


Bread the patties by first dusting with flour, then dipping in the beaten egg, then coating with panko. Set each on the rack to firm up crust before frying. This may be done ahead.

Sauté patties in 1/2-inch of hot vegetable oil until brown on each side. Place on paper towels to drain off excess fat. Serve hot.

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