judging team at the Hawaiian islands Local Wild Food Challenge Mick Fleetwood, Shannon Wianecki & Diane Haynes Woodburn..

The first Hawaiian Islands Local Wild Food Challenge

The first Hawaiian Islands Local Wild Food Challenge was something really special.

The day had such great Aloha spirit and energy.
Food from all over the islands collected and prepared with passion and reverence from this magical environment and community.

A big thank you and shout out to Douglas Drummond and Lumeria Retreat for hosting us and to our judges for the day, Diane Haynes-Woodburn, Shannon Wianecki and Mick Fleetwood. The wonderful support from the local community and also Mahalo to our tireless set-up crew, Melissa Thomas, Justin LaVigne & Taylor Gillispie and DiDi Day. Taj Day, we are so grateful for your beautiful photos too!

We really look forward to next year’s LWFC Hawaiian Islands festival, with plans for a big day of local Hawaiian wild food.

Congratulations to ALL our competitors, your food was amazing!

Results below:

Grand Prize – Jacob Evans

Surf and Turf Pot Pie

Bow hunted Venison & Thai Coconut speared Ono (Wahoo) Pies with red hibiscus, fermented palm hearts, Haole Koa plant seeds, hand pressed coconut cream, tamarind pulp, galangal and roasted garlic served with sweet Maui onion jam, & coconut, pink guava & lilikoi (yellow passionfruit) sauce.

Grand Prize Winner 2018 - Hawaiian Islands Grand Prize Winner 2018 - Hawaiian Islands


1st Runner Up – Matthew Kmak

Perfect Sunset

Octopus with dragonfruit, arugula salad with sunflower sprouts, pickled vegetables & fruit, kale, goat cheese, lilikoi (yellow passionfruit) honey vinaigrette

1st runner up 2018 - Hawaiian Islands 1st runner up 2018 - Hawaiian Islands .

2nd Runner Up – Stanley Rapahot

Steamed O’io (Bone fish) stuffed tofu pouch with Kauai prawn, lobster cream sauce, wild watercress, asparagus & sweet potato puree


2nd runner up 2018 - Hawaiian Islands

2nd runner up 2018 Hawaiian Islands challenge.

Best Effort – Koa Taylor

Shrimp Tortilla Salad

Handmade tortillas from Ulu (Breadfruit) and Kiawe seedpod flour and wood smoked macadamia nut butter.

Salad of foraged Pohole ferns, Ogo (Hawaiian seaweed), green papaya & purple daikon with a dressing of tamarind, lime & Hawaiian chili pepper.

Butter poached fresh water prawns from Peahi valley in Haiku

Best Effort 2018 - Hawaiian Islands Best Effort 2018 - Hawaiian Islands


Best from the Water – Kimi Werner

Keiki’s Catch

Fish 3 ways – Raw, Steamed, Cooked

Papio Tataki with ponzu and wild herb, Stuffed Mahi, Steamed Goat Fish with foraged nasturtium, broccoli flowers, purple mizuna & Hawaiian chili pepper


best from the ocean 2018 - Hawaiian Islands best from the ocean 2018 - Hawaiian Islands


Best from the Land – Lorraine Zane

Huli Huli Wild Boar Roast

Wild Boar marinaded in citrus, lilikoi (yellow passionfruit), juniper berries, wine, local honey and shoyu then slow roasted over kiwi, apple & avocado wood.

A sauce of sauteed local Hamakua Alii & Shitake mushrooms & Kula onions

Molokai purple potatoes & Kula red skinned sweet potatoes & fire roasted Kula corn

Best From The Land 2018 - Hawaiian Islands Challenge

Best From The Land Winner 2018 - Hawaiian Islands Challenge


Wildest Ingredient – Barrett Breit

Wild caught pan seared Onaga (Ruby Snapper) with local sweet potatoes & Hana Hearts of Palm, Pahole ferns, wild honey, pomelo & seaweed from the local reef.

Wildest Ingredient Winner 2018 - Hawaiian Islands Challenge Wildest Ingredient Winner 2018 - Hawaiian Islands Challenge

Best Story – Benjamin Zyons

Tahitian Style Uku (Blue-Green Snapper) Ceviche.

Here’s Ben’s story…
Aloha Judges!
You’re in for an experience so ride along to the back roads of Hana, an old town where the Hawaiian ideal was born – and sadly sometimes forgotten.
We’re making Ceviche which means we’re hunting for Snapper!
The depths are going to be deep & the ocean is often a storm – we’re going anyways, even if we’re low on gas.
I dive deep but don’t shoot, it’s not perfect, it has to be perfect, so I wait & wait again & again. Three minutes might not seem like much but at 100ft below the surface on a single breath of air it’s an eternity.
You don’t stress, you don’t fight, you don’t move & you don’t dare breathe, you just take what comes your way.
I’m only looking for one thing to come my way…

Best Story 2018 - Hawaiian Islands Challenge Best Story 2018 - Hawaiian Islands Challenge


Caroline Johnstone/Spirited Award – Justin B. Lee

When Worlds Collide

Maui grown lettuce wrapped Axis Venison with cilantro, green onion, lime, ginger & sticky rice

Caroline Johnstone Award 2018 - Hawaiian Islands Challenge

Caroline Johnstone Award 2018 - Hawaiian Islands Challenge .

Keiki Award – Chelsea & Tess Hill

Venison Heart Burger with ground Maui venison, Hawaiian chili peppers, rosemary & wild blackberry sauce with wildflower honey

Best Kids 2018 - Hawaiian Islands Challenge

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Thank you Martha’s Vineyard For An Amazing Local Wild Food Challenge 2017!

I think we have found our place.

After eight years of holding LWFC events on the island, this October 22nd felt like we have finally found the space, energy, partnership and style of the event we have been working for. A home for the festival if you will.
The Farm Institute as a location is beautiful and the team running it are all we could wish for in a partnership and more.
Any LWFC we hold takes countless hours and an enormous amount of support.
Without our amazing sponsors and volunteers, it simply wouldn’t be possible to put these together.

We want to thank all our nearly 50 sponsors for their generosity and perennial support for this important community event.
Our prize pool is now worth over $10k on Martha’s Vineyard alone! This is so much fun to give away to the passionate and talented locals who commit to entering a dish.
We are also blessed with a family of volunteers who, year after year, help us put on the festival for the wider vineyard community to enjoy.
You guys know who you are and we are indebted to you all for your help.

The format of the LWFC has also evolved into a much wider festival beyond just the cooking contest.
Although the culinarily adventures are still at the heart of the day, LWFC now has multiple, interactive points of interest.
We now see educational workshops and live demos, local artisans and food producers sharing their stories, food and knowledge with our spectators.
Live music also gives the day a really upbeat feel and we hope to continue this vibe.
Each year we see more local Wild ingredients showing up at our event.
This year the list was astounding and all the creations put forward were worthy of a place on the podium.
However we only have so many places for prizes.
Sarah and I always go over the entire list of entries, (over 40 for 2017) stories and photos, and are absolutely blown away by the talent and effort unleashed by all our competitors.
We are constantly saying “ oh wow look at that! Did they win anything??”
Our judges however have the last say in this matter and it is a tough decision to make on what entry wins a prize and what doesn’t.
Anonymously judged, we still do not envy this task.
Thanks to Julie, Judy & Justin for their efforts.

I am on a plane heading to the next LWFC, which will take place in the Hawaiian Islands on Nov 11th.
It is our first Oceania event and we are excited to see our festival grow across the world, as more people like those on Martha’s Vineyard come together to celebrate and show respect for their beautiful natural resources and environments.

Every time we hold a LWFC festival, we are humbled by the hospitality, commitment and talent of the communities hosting us.
We hope you will join us next year for the 2018 MV event.
Equally, this is an open invitation to anyone wanting to join us on any of our other LWFC events around the world.

Search. Cook. Happy.

Na mihi



Here are our incredibly talented wild food winners.


Grand Prize – Doug Werther

Crispy Tautog (Blackfish)

Whole crispy Tautog over Tautog broth with seared Bay Scallops, local white potatoes, smoked hedgehog mushrooms, candied spicy local cranberries, foraged watercress and finished with local herb ginger oil, seasoned with homemade sea salt.



1st Runner up – Amateur – Vicki Divoll and Mary Jo Goodrich

Wild Quince and Island wild Cranberry Skillet Upside Down Cake – made with small batch hand ground Vineyard cornmeal & served with wild thyme whipped cream


1st Runner up – Professional – Jimmy Alvarado

Along the Shore – Local winter flounder stuffed with a scallop mousse, rosehip demi glaze, roasted Queen Anne’s lace carrots, a salad made of sea beans, foraged watercress & rosa rugosa flowers


Wildest Ingredient – Matthew Hayden

BBQ Raccoon, sweet potatoes, wild chicken & hen of the woods mushrooms, homemade BBQ sauce, cooked over an open fire





Best Effort – The A Team from Germany

A Walk on the Beach – A stew of  Edgartown squid and conch, Oak Bluffs seaweed, Menemsha Little Tunny & Bonito, pumpkin and kale from MG farm, wild cranberries


Best Story (Hemingway Award) – Lisa Strachan

Beach Plum Cordial


Best from the Water – John Thurgood

Menemsha Taug – Taug with sea beans, foraged Chilmark rosehips, wild grapes, dandelion greens, purslane, clover and pickled sea heather served in a green crab broth with conch, mussels, quahogs and oysters from Menemsha

Best from the Land – Albert Lattanzi

Risotto con Funghi e Tartufi al Ignatius, Affumacato – Wild Island Porcini and Hedgehog mushroom risotto with local sheep cheese and shaved truffle

Best Dessert – Gabrielle Chronister

Raw vegan lemon and wintergreen berry ‘cheesecake’ with autumn olive and rosehip swirl with a white oak acorn flour crust, candied Irish moss, oxalis, wild mint, edible flowers and local honey drizzle

Best Drink – Caitlin Lewis

Autumn Elixir – Wintergreen leaf Billy Boy Vodka, sassafras root infused Sailor Jerry sassafras bitters, local olive, local apple and cranberry juice, agave and lemon served in an Island-blown glass



Caroline Johnstone Award (Most intriguing) – Capece Family – Joe, Heather, Lucia and Nicola

Local Venison heart wrapped in local bacon with Mermaid Farm soft cheese. Cape Cod cranberries, Island apples, baked potatoes, venison demi glaze and MV sea salt




Grand Prize – Ada Chronister

Irish Moss (Chondrus Crispus) Pudding – Seaweed from Squibnocket beach, local honey, foraged Japanese knotweed with a sauce of Autumn olive berries from Vineyard Haven and Mermaid Farm raspberries, garnished with homegrown mint

Runner up – Brooke Ward

Martha’s Vineyard Fast Food – Rabbit ‘fingers’, Farm Institute homemade potato fries and locally grown homemade tomato ketchup

Best Effort – Zeb Athearn

Surf and Turf – Bonito, watercress, wild onions, sun chokes, lobster and venison


Special mentions also go to –

Emme Carroll – Boxberry Ice-Cream

Penny Athearn – Russian Olive fruit leather