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First Lady shows off Hawaii's beauty and food at Kualoa lunch

By Susan Essoyan

POSTED:


On a lush bluff overlooking palm-fringed Kaneohe Bay, first lady Michelle Obama welcomed the spouses of Pacific leaders to a luncheon at Kualoa Ranch today, showcasing Hawaii's natural beauty as well as its bounty.

She greeted each of the first ladies and one "first man," individually, reaching out with both hands to clasp theirs, embracing and posing for pictures before joining them under a white pavilion.

In opening remarks, Obama touched on her fondness for the islands and how it is the perfect spot for a gathering focused on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

"This state has a very special place in my heart," she told her guests. "As many of you know, my husband was born and raised here... Our family has the privilege of coming here, the burden," she added with a smile, "of coming back here every year and that's really one of the reasons why I married Barack."

"He has always talked about how growing up in this place has shaped his character. He is a very calm and focused individual...Hawaii is an incredibly diverse place, it's home to people of all different cultures... There is a special spirit here, a spirit of openness and tolerance."

"In many ways, Hawaii is really the perfect place for this APEC summit."

The first lady then introduced Chef Ed Kenney of Town restaurant and two youth from MA'O Organic Farms in Waianae, Kuuleilani Samson and Manny Miles, whom he said had harvested the produce featured on the menu. He said that 90 percent of the produce  served had been grown at MA'O.

On the menu were: MA'O organic farm beets, arugula and Clementine with Naked Cow Dairy Feta & Pistachio. Fresh fish with limu vinaigrette, organic root vegetables, pa'i'ai, Meyer Lemon tart and fresh fruit from MA'O Organic Farms

Kenney said the fish had been caught the day before off Heeia, and since they didn't know what they would get, its name wasn't on the printed menu.

The Honolulu Boy Choir was set to entertain after the guests eat.

The scenery at the 4,000-acre Kualoa Ranch is a magnet for filmmakers, and the lunch was served on a hillside at the base of the Paliku Cliffs, overlooking the sparkling bay and the distinctive emerald cone of Mokoli'i Island.

The family-owned cattle ranch, bought from King Kamehameha III in 1850, has managed to thrive by offering a range of outdoor recreation and cultural activities in tune with its environment. Visitors may tour an 800-year-old Hawaiian fishpond, ride horseback and take tours of movie sites including "Jurassic Park" and "Lost." 

After the luncheon, the ranch will dedicate a garden of native and endemic Hawaiian trees to the first lady, in a ceremony closed to the press.

Asked what hosting the event meant to Kualoa Ranch, its president, John Morgan, told reporters:

"This is huge. This is really wonderful. This is a world stage. To be able to showcase Hawaii through Kualoa Ranch is mind-boggling, actually."

 

The spouses attending were: 

Mr. Tim Mathieson, significant other of the Prime Minister of Australia 

Mrs. Lauren Harper, spouse of the Prime Minister of Canada

Mrs. Selina Tsang, spouse of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong

Mrs. Kristiani Herawati, First Lady of Indonesia

Mrs. Kim Yoon-ok, First Lady of Republic of  Korea

Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor, spouse of the Prime Minister of Malaysia

Ms. Lynda May Babao, spouse of the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea

Mrs. Nadine Heredia, First Lady of Peru

Mrs. Fang-Yui Lien, spouse of the Representative of Chinese Taipei

Madam Mai Thi Hanh, First Lady of Vietnam





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First lady to visit Waianae organic farm




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kainalu wrote:
While I'm not endeared to the Summit, the Obama's display of "Aloha" has been awesome.
on November 13,2011 | 01:51PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
First lady of Peru gets the hottie award...
on November 13,2011 | 02:39PM
4COMMONSENSE wrote:
I am so extremely happy that Kualoa Ranch was the background for this luncheon. The view there at Paliku is so unbelieveably beautiful that words cannot describe it. It is one of those places that you have to see for yourself in person. I am so happy for Kualoa ranch and John Morgan.
on November 13,2011 | 03:56PM
Kalli wrote:
Why didn't she do this in Waianae at the farm she visited, is she ashamed of the poor Hawaiians?
on November 13,2011 | 04:19PM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
It's all calculated for maximum political gain. I'm surprised Barack Hussein isn't apologizing to them for something we've done to them in the past. I'm surprised the First Lady isn't saying that, for the SECOND time in her life, she's proud of this country. Having her as some kind of Ambassador for this state is not only ludicrous, it's quite ridiculous, really. I'll be glad to be rid of these two come next election. Good riddance.
on November 13,2011 | 04:51PM
Kaisei wrote:
Awesome, Kualoa Ranch representing the beauty of the North Shore and my home KAAAWA!!!
on November 13,2011 | 07:18PM
postmanx wrote:
FYI, Kualoa is the East Side...no disrespect meant.
on November 13,2011 | 08:56PM
entrkn wrote:
The President and First Lady are presenting Hawaii to the world in ways and in light never seen or experienced before. If we were waiting for the President to reveal his feelings and regards for his home, we need not wait any more... He is showing all of us and all of the world how much he loves and reveres our paradise.
on November 13,2011 | 08:06PM
silvangold wrote:
6 OUT OF 8 GREAT COMMENTS - WONDERFUL........you other two should just keep your unbecomming commetnts to yourself.
on November 14,2011 | 12:14PM
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