The Puakea Ranch Experts

Meet the amazing team that frequents Puakea Ranch

Meet Fara -

Puakea's Gardener & Farmer

Fara oversees all aspects of growing food in the Puakea Garden AKA The Earth Worm Cafe.

Fara’s young son Kalae also works  in the garden on most Wednesdays.  As our guests, we encourage you to explore and get inspired to try something new!  Make your own dressings and marinades from herbs in our garden.  Here in North Kohala we enjoy some of the best weather for growing yummy fruits and veggies year round. From Asparagas to Eggplant, Cucumbers to Kale, Fara always has something yummy growing to eat up.

Fara is also very passionate about making her own soil from all the ranch has to offer.  The Green Compost Bags from your counter top composter can be brought to the garden and put on the compost pile to be added to the soil receipt!  The green bags are biodegradable and become part of the garden soil as well.

Farmer Fara says “Eat your Veggies”!


Meet Carter -

A Favorite Local Private Chef

Chef Carter lives right here in North Kohala. Carter’s menus reflect his local upbringing in Hawaii and combine an array of unique flavors that blend beautifully with the mix of food culture that is a signature in modern gourmet fresh Hawaiian food.

In addition to being a fabulous chef, Carter enjoys teaching you his mad skills! If you would like to be a part of the meal and learn a few tricks of the trade, just let us know and we will set up a cooking class for you too! Don’t let his super laid back surfer attitude fool you, however. Carter attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY then served as Sous Chef at the famed Waldorf Astoria before becoming Executive Chef for Hilton Resorts. Now Chef is enjoying the slower pace of his island roots here in Kohala and impressing our guests with is fresh local cuisine.

Puakea Ranch is pleased to offer our guests private chef service from a local talent pool of creative, fun, inspired cooks who love to share their passion for food and delighting the senses. Whenever possible chefs will pick from our garden and always source the freshest local ingredients.

Private Chef Service is billed at $50.00 per hour. Estimates of time can be given once you and your chef discuss menu options and number of guests to be served.

Char Siu Bao Buns (Chinese Bbq pork bun, baked or steamed)  Shumai potstickers (pork and shrimp dumplings)
Ahi poke/sashimi appetizer with 2 varieties of poke (ti leaf/pickled ginger/dikon) garnish sides 
Crispy roast pork/bao buns/homemade Hoisin 
Ahi Katsu salad tomato, cucumbers  and wafu dressing (sesame-soy vinaigrette)
Spring rolls with Bbq pork and beet greens, homemade sweet chili sauce 
Smoked meat/sweet onions/oyster sauce 
Sourdough bread 
Breadfruit Curry Salad 
Grilled cheese w/smoked meat & gruyere
Crispy 5-spiced Island pork belly 
Fresh island Mahi Mahi  pan roasted, butter basted with shallots, mushrooms, tomato, lemon, garlic, scallions and garden sweet potato mash
Stir-fried black bean chicken with Puakea Ranch beet greens
Puakea Ranch garden lettuce with Hollenbeck Farm’s pink grapefruit, feta cheese, vinaigrette 
Puakea Ranch Roasted garden vegetable salad
Local Lemon Bars
Smoked Pork
Maui onions & Pan seared Shutome (Shutome is pacific swordfish (broadbill) with ginger-soy-wasabi butter/gobo (root vegetable) and kinpira (sweet soy chili pepper sauce)roasted Okinawan sweet potato, asparagus 
Mango upside down cake 
Calley-puakea-ranch copy

Meet Calley -

Conservation & Eco-Cultural Artist

Calley is a world-renowned Big Island Artist that uses her incredible talent in classrooms and beyond.  Her one on one classes are a perfect addition to your stay at the Ranch. Calley’s eco-cultural work honors the Hawaiian culture, its deep connection to nature, and the Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) we need now to create a healthy future.

Working with hundreds of students and community volunteers, Calley completed her second SFCA (State Foundation on Culture and the Arts) Art in Public Places stained glass mural, a call to restore the soil, water, and forests of Maui. The 52’ long public mural contains over 3,500 pieces of US handmade glass and the border contains over 25,000 pieces of handmade smalti.

Calley also offers classes uses Yoga principles to awaken the artist within.  Check out her website for more details.


Meet Derek -

Our Activities Concierge

“I assist the Puakea Ranch guests by offering personal concierge services to connect them with the best providers.  I also personally offer my expertise, private guiding, and massage.

I have many years of guiding experience in Hawaii and across the globe.  I’ve created kids’ adventure camps here and internationally.

I’ve worked as an adventure guide, an interpretive guide and been a massage therapist since 2000, with training in California and Hawaii. I can find you an additional massage therapist if needed and am happy to steer you in the right direction for a variety of outdoor activities here on the island.

Contact me to co-create a program for you and your family, whether you want to be directed to a couple spots or have an on-call personal family guide while in here in Hawaii.

Aloha and safe travels to Hawaii.”

Contact Derek – [email protected]

Derek is available before your trip by email and phone.

Book an Island Activity

Private hiking tours and guiding to hidden gems around the island.

Volcano, Mauna Kea, Coastal hikes, fitness hikes, Cliff jumps and waterfalls.

Historic Hawaiian Heaiu (temple) hike just 2 miles from the ranch.

Pololu 2nd Valley, Kohala fisherman’s trail coastal trail through lava field to hidden springs and salt and pepper bays. Unique! Winter whales watching.

Volcano hikes and Mauna Kea Saddle Cinder Cones and birding areas.

Half day, full day, couples, and family rates.

Hapuna Prince, Mauna Kea resort and Hilton Waikoloa Courses.

Free chip and putt. Bucket of balls – $12

Prince Resorts Hawaii

Hilton Waikoloa Village

Private Art classes with artist Calley O’Neill – $225 including supplies, up to 6 people.

Private Yoga and meditation classes on the pavilion – $100 for up to 4 people ($10 per extra persons)

Private Archery experience and lessons for the family – based on half day rates and pro rated starting at $150

En suite massage, various modalities and Couples Massage.

Table and chair massages. Relaxing, nourishing and deep.

Styles incorporated are Lomi Lomi, Swedish, Sports, ‘Thai on table’, Shiatsu and facilitated stretch.

Starting from $135 per person and $120 per person, per couple, at your accommodations.

Zipline Tree Canopy and Waterfall Experiences. 4 hour Zipline adventures – $180/Adult and $140 child

Take a scenic, historic stream like ride –  Flumin the Kohala ditch – float down a beautiful and fascinating historic waterway by inflatable kayak – $145.00/Adult and $80.00/Child (5 – 11)

All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) riding in Kohala (age 16+)

Family fun boat Catamaran boat tour – Whale Watching (Dec.-Feb) Private and semi private catamaran comfort tours.

Morning dolphin snorkel year round, in season whale watch and evening sunset cruises. (20 Minutes from ranch, meet from at 8:30am) – $795- private charter or $159/Adult and $99/Child
Private Sailing Charters ‘Maile’ up to 6 sailors, whale watching and more – $970
Puako dolphin Snorkel and lunch, exciting, fast, powered inflatable design – $140/Adults

Fun for kids – try PVC marshmallow shooter construction fun – keep the ‘guns’ and the ‘mallows.

Chef service and pre-made meal orders – please enquire for availability.

Family & Couples photography sessions. Please contact us advance of your stay if you would like to have our photographer come to the ranch or set up a beach shoot. Pricing starts at $600.00

Childcare (advanced notice required) – $20/hr with a 3 hour minimum 

Meet Alea Backus -

A Favorite Vegan Chef

Alea has been working as chef for 5 years.  Her menus are designed around what is available locally and seasonally, incorporating the melting pot of ethnic flavors available here in Hawai’i. She prepares all of her dishes to be gluten-free and vegan, unless otherwise requested, and can work around other food allergies if needed. Her focus is on whole-foods based cooking, highlighting the natural beauty and taste of fresh local ingredients. She also offers cooking classes and health consulting services.

Appetizers: Sweet potato coconut balls rolled in toasted sesame topped with avocado
Cucumber wedges with ulu (breadfruit) hummus and cherry tomato topped with garlic chives
Salad: Fresh Local Seasonal Salad with creamy tahini liliko’i (passionfruit) dressing
Soup: Luau stew: taro leaves, sweet potato or ulu, coconut and sea salt
Entrée: Buddha Bowl with steamed jasmine rice or quinoa, roasted rosemary kabocha squash, beets and maple brussel sprouts, turmeric fried tofu or tempeh, topped with green onion & toasted seasame seeds.
Dessert: Liliko’i Cashew Cheesecake or Sweet
Potato Haupia(coconut) pie,
Drink: Liliko’i (passionfruit) or pineapple and cane juice spritzer

Appetizer: edamame
Salad: Seaweed Salad
Soup: Hearty Miso
Entrée: Vegan Teriyaki Mushroom, Okinawan Purple sweet potato, avocado, carrot, daikon sushi with wasabi & pickled ginger
Dessert: Local fresh mochi
Drink: green or jasmine tea

Appetizers: summer rolls with a peanut sauce, sauté tofu & broccoli
Salad: green papaya salad
Soup:Tom Kha lemongrass soup
Entrée: Spicy Thai red curry with tofu & seasonal vegetables,
Dessert: coconut tapioca pudding with banana, mango or sweet potato
Drink: Lemongrass mint spritzer