Slew of Celebrities Headline Big Island Chocolate Festival

“Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of New York City headlines a slew of chocolate and cacao celebrities appearing at this year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival gala. Time is 6-10 p.m., Saturday, May 3 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Adding to the star power is Yisa Var and the Girls Nite Out! band.

Chef Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres

Also in the limelight are a host of chocolate savory and sweet culinary treats prepared by top Hawai’i chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners. Think Pork Mole with Tomatillo Salsa or Orange Ginger Chocolate Mac Nut Crunch Torte.

The 6-10 p.m. gala features the creation of a chocolate sculpture using 40 pounds of chocolate—bring your camera—chocolate body painting, fine wines, chocolate-infused beer and the debut of a tasty new Bacardi Mango Fusion cocktail.

Chocolate Festival

Back by popular demand, Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard chocolates returns to the festival to create a decadent, multi-colored sculpture. He recently made the news when he fashioned a massive chocolate cake to serve 15,000 revelers at the centennial celebration of Rodeo Drive. A Washington resident, Wressell was named Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2005 National Pastry Team Championships.

Food Network star Torres leads a stable of off-island chefs who will judge the evening’s culinary creations and also give pre-gala seminars May 2-3. Attendees can also vote for the People’s Choice Award from a host of categories including mouth-watering bonbons.

Torres, who became the youngest pastry chef to earn the prestigious Best Craftsman in France medal for pastry, is the first artisan chocolatier to make his own chocolate starting from cocoa beans. Joining him is celebrity judge Vincent Bourdin of Singapore, a regional chef at Valrhona Chocolate and president of the Asia Pacific Pastry Cup Board.  He is co-author of “Cooking with Chocolate,” which has been translated into five languages. Judging bean to bar “tastes” is cacao and chocolate tasting advisor Ed Seguine of Pennsylvania who has 30 years experience working with farmers and companies in developing cacaos.

Also serving as culinary station judges are Chef Heather Campbell of Kauai‘s St. Regis Resort Princeville and Chef Rhonda Ashton-Chavez of the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea.

Girl's Night Out

Girls Night Out!

Girls Nite Out! is a diverse dance band hailing from East Hawai‘i that performs rock, blues, disco, pop, R&B, Hawaiian and country music. Drummer Will Divine founded the group in 2000 with guitarist Wesley Matsuda and offers a variety of guitar, synth and keyboard sounds. The lead vocalist is local performer, actor and morning radio show personality Yisa Var. Adding to the vocal section is Sherry Fox, best known for her appearance on TV’s “Your Big Break,” and Jeff Enriques, who also plays bass.

Volcano Choy

Volcano Choy

Joining Girls Nite Out! is a talented horn section with Moon Brown on saxophone and Jr. Volcano Choy on trumpet. Choy has performed with the likes of Al Jarreau, George Benson and Nancy Wilson.

In addition, a silent auction benefits the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchen” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua. The third annual festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc.

Pre-sale gala tickets are $75 and $100 at the door. New this year is the VIP Fast Wine Pass with early event admission and personalized wine service. Seminar details and tickets for all activities are available online at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Chocolate Fest

Also available is an inclusive Chocolate Lovers package that features a two-night’s stay at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, plus all festival activities at the ocean-side Four Diamond resort; contact info@BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Attendees who want to stay at the resort during the festival can get a discounted room rate of $269 per night including daily breakfast for two and can book direct with the hotel at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. Mahalo to sponsors and community supporters: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Guittard, DeZaan, Valrohna, PreGel, The Wave-92.1, Big Island Honda and Tire Center, Bacardi, Dolphin Journeys, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Cocoa Outlet, Callebaut Chocolate, Cacao Cusina, DHX, Gourmet Foods Hawaii, Johnson Brothers of Hawaii, Ke Ola magazine, Kona Brewing Company, Kona Natural Soap Company, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory and West Hawaii Today.

The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Taste of the Hawaiian Range Adds Extra Hour to Pig Out

Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range is Friday, Sept. 26 and expanding to offer three hours of tasting from 5-8 p.m. The 19th annual agricultural festival that showcases the use of pasture-raised, local beef sprawls both inside and out of the Hilton Waikoloa Village.

Doesn't this look good?

Doesn’t this look good?

“We want our guests to be able to enjoy a more leisurely experience and so added an extra hour,” says Jeri Moniz, event chairperson.  “The additional time will also give attendees more time to talk story with our local food producers and enjoy the exhibits.”

Tickets for Taste are $45 through Thursday, Sept. 25 and $60 on event day. They will be sold online and at a dozen islandwide locations starting July 1. They will also be available at the door.

Thirty of the state’s top chefs have already confirmed their participation to prepare delectable dishes using pasture-raised beef, pork, lamb, goat, mutton and wild boar—plus a cornucopia of fresh island fruit, veggies, honey, spices and beverages.

Culinary adventure seekers can taste and enjoy all the cuts of pasture-raised beef—everything from tongue to tail—prepared expertly by Hawai‘i chefs.  Enjoy familiar cuts like sirloin tip and ribs, plus beef cheek and the infamous “rocky mountain oysters” or bull testicles.

While “tasting,” attendees can meet Hawai‘i’s food producers at booths and talk story with the ranchers and farmers who make a living growing our food. They can also enjoy exhibits presenting topics related to local agriculture and healthy foods, including the University of Hawai’i’s Mealani Research Station.

Watch for ticket giveaways on Facebook at Taste of the Hawaiian Range and Twitter #TasteHI. For general event information, phone (808) 969-8228.

Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies and procedures to participate in this event should contact Jeri Moniz at 808-960-8411 no later than August 26.

Hawai’i residents can take advantage of Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range Package—details are being finalized. Phone 808-886-1234 or visit Hilton.com.

Fun Seminars Announced for the Big Island Chocolate Festival

Taste the nuances of a variety of gourmet chocolates with one of the foremost chocolate experts in the world: Ed Seguine, a 45-year cacao veteran and consultant. Talk story with Food Network Star and New York City celeb Jacques Torres while savoring his delectable bonbons. Learn how to make a chocolate dessert sensation by Valrhona Pastry Chef Vincent Bourdin. Get the insider scoop on growing cacao—the bean needed to make chocolate.

Chef Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres

All this and more— plus a festive evening gala are on tap May 1-3 for the Big Island Chocolate Festival. Tickets and details for all are available at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheatre at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Here’s a quick rundown of activities:

Thursday, May 1

• 9-11 a.m.: On-site cacao farm and soap factory tour by Gary Colden to see how cacao is grown and used for chocolate. Kona Natural Soap Company uses the by-products of cacao to make soaps, $25.

All other activities at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i:

Friday, May 2

• 2:30-3:15 p.m. Ed Seguine of Seguine Cacao, Cocoa & Chocolate Advisors presents “Selecting Cacao Cultivar for Flavor.” Learn the segregation of agronomic and flavor traits in seed-grown cacao. Examples of breeding for flavor will be shown and tasting evaluated, plus techniques for small-scale micro-fermentation, $50.

• 3:30-4:30 p.m. “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres offers an intimate talk story about the chocolate industry while sharing his award-winning chocolate bonbons brought in from New York City, $50.

Saturday, May 3

• 10-11 a.m. Ed Seguine of Seguine Cacao, Cocoa & Chocolate Advisors presents “How to Taste Chocolate” with a guided tasting of chocolate from Guittard, Valrhona and Waialua Estates, $30.

•11:15-12:15 p.m. Greg Colden of Kona Natural Soap Factory presents “Cacao as a Value Added Product for Business,” sharing non-chocolate uses for cacao, $30.

*12:30-1:30 p.m. President of the Asia Pacific Pastry Cup Board and Valrhona Chef Vincent Bourdin from Singapore shows how to make a standout chocolate dessert, $30.

Hands-on Culinary seminar at last year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival

Hands-on Culinary seminar at last year’s Big Island Chocolate Festival

Chocolate decadence culminates 6-10 p.m. May 3 with the festival gala in the Fairmont’s Grand Ballroom. Taste sweet and savory creations by chefs, chocolatiers, confectioners and beverage purveyors, plus vote for the People’s Choice Award. Also on tap will be fine wines and handcrafted ales, chocolate sculptures, chocolate body painting, music by Yisa Var and the Girls Nite Out band and friends, dancing and a silent auction.

Culinarians interested in participating can signup at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Pre-sale gala tickets are $75 and will be $100 at the door. New this year is the VIP Fast Wine Pass with early event admission and personalized wine service. Buy tickets and find event details online at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Also available is an inclusive Chocolate Lovers package that includes a two-night’s stay at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, plus all festival activities at the ocean-side Four Diamond resort; contact info@BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Attendees who want to stay at the resort during the festival can get a discounted room rate of $269 per night including daily breakfast for two and can book direct with the hotel at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. Mahalo to sponsors and community supporters: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Guittard, DeZaan, Valrohna, PreGel, The Wave-92.1, Big Island Honda and Tire Center, Bacardi, Dolphin Journeys, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Cocoa Outlet, Callebaut Chocolate, Cacao Cusina, DHX, Gourmet Foods Hawaii, Johnson Brothers of Hawaii, Ke Ola magazine, Kona Brewing Company, Kona Natural Soap Company, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory and West Hawaii Today.

The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Official Selections: Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i

Now in its 9th year, the Big Island Film Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i (BIFF) has announced its 48 Official Selections, to be screened May 22-26, 2014. The “talk story” film festival is a celebration of narrative films and filmmaking, with free family films at The Shops at Mauna Lani, daytime movies and nightly double features for grown-ups with no-host bar and pupus, plus “meet-the-stars” celebrity social events and more at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.

BIFF Logo

On Thursday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m., BIFF’s Grand Opening at The Shops at Mauna Lani will include a free sampler of short films, and a chance to welcome filmmakers to the Island.  Celebrity guests Portia Doubleday (“Her,” “Carrie” and “Youth in Revolt”) and Jackson Rathbone (“Jasper” in the “Twilight” series) will appear in person, to give fans a chance to show their aloha.

BIFF at Mauna LaniBy special arrangement with Warner Brothers, “Sophia Grace and Rosie’s Royal Adventure” will be presented at The Shops at Mauna Lani Center Stage at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 23. The brand-new film stars British cousins, Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award Winners and frequent guests of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In the movie, to be released May 20 on DVD, the girls are Ellen’s special correspondents, sent to cover the coronation of a new queen.

Sofia Grace

Other notable BIFF Official Selections include the time-travel mystery-thriller “Time Lapse,” the intense and intimate portrait of homelessness, “3:13,” drama “Pretty Rosebud,” about an ambitious career woman whose unorthodox choices unravel her carefully constructed world, and comedy “Welcome to the Lucky Country” a laughable look at an Australian reality show.

Screenshot from "The Haumana"

Screenshot from “The Haumana”

Contenders from Hawai‘i include Keo Woolford’s acclaimed “The Haumana,” which chronicles the journey of a new Kumu Hula and his high school men’s hālau, with choreography by Robert Cazimero, Lanakila Casupang, Maelia Loebenstein-Carter and Kaipo Hale.  From the Big Island, “Bullitt and the Curse of the Blood Ring” is the next chapter of the continuing island action-adventure,  produced, acted, and directed by Kona filmmakers Richard Gonzalez and Rockwood.

The Official Selections for BIFF 2014 are:

  • 3:13
  • BULLITT and the Curse of the Blood Ring
  • Butterfly Dreams
  • Courting Chaos
  • Day For Night
  • Druid Peak
  • Great
  • Helen Alone
  • Horse for Sale
  • If We Were Adults
  • Light Me Up
  • Limit
  • Little Girl’s War Cry
  • Lost Island of the Firewalkers
  • Makua Charley
  • Meet Anna
  • Mirror
  • Missing Child
  • No More Aloha
  • One Weekend
  • Poison Apple
  • Posey
  • Pretty Rosebud
  • Prinsesa
  • Ravi & Jane
  • Rise Again
  • Rose, Mary and Time
  • Shadow
  • Sheltered Love
  • Solace
  • Sophia Grace and Rosie’s Royal Adventure
  • Suka
  • Suriname Gold
  • Take a Deep Breath
  • The Bathroom Attendant
  • The End
  • The Haumana
  • The Haunting of Heather
  • The Honey Maple Morgan
  • The Maury Island Incident
  • The New Neighbors
  • The Pimp & The Rose
  • Time Lapse
  • Tuesday Morning
  • We Are Enemies
  • Welcome to the Lucky Country
  • Wolf Summer
  • Zone 7

A limited number of ballots will be given to audience members during each screening.  Votes are tallied at the end of the festival, to determine the Audience-choice Feature and Short to be screened at Best of the Fest on Monday, May 26.  Best of the Fest also includes a silent auction to benefit Fisher House at Tripler Army Medical Center, and exciting concert by award-winning Hawaiian musical artist WILLIE K.

The Big Island “Talk Story” Film Festival is a celebration of independent narrative films and filmmaking, taking place May 22-26. Major sponsors include The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i and The Shops at Mauna Lani and Hawai‘i Tourism Authority/Hawai‘i County CPEP. For complete schedule information and tickets, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.

Hawaiian Electric Company President and CEO to Speak at Next Exceptional Energy Lecture Series at NEHLA

Friends of NELHA (FON) will host the fourth in a series of free lectures regarding energy at the NELHA Gateway Visitor Center on Monday, April 7.

NEHLA

Makai side of the NEHLA plant

Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., President and CEO Dick Rosenblum will be the featured speaker and presenting “Energy Resource Optimization:  What’s Best for  Hawaii?” The Exceptional Energy Lecture Series events start at 5:30 pm and admission is free.

Dick Rosenblum was named president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian  Electric Company, Inc. in 2009. He has 32 years of experience in all facets of the utility business at Southern  California Edison (SCE), one of the largest electric utilities in  California. He retired from SCE in June 2008 as senior vice president of generation and chief nuclear officer responsible for all power generating facilities, including nuclear and related fuel supplies.

During that tenure, Rosenblum helped initiate one of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic projects which aimed to install 250 megawatts of solar generating capacity on commercial rooftops in Southern California.

Previously, he served as senior vice president of SCE’s transmission and distribution business unit, responsible for high-voltage bulk transmission and retail  distribution of electricity in their 50,000 square mile service territory of 4.6 million customers.  He has also held the positions of vice president of engineering and technical services responsible for engineering construction, safety oversight, and other engineering support activities; and vice president of SCE’s distribution business unit, including responsibility for customer service.

Originally from New York, he has also been a part-time resident of Hawai‘i Island for more than 20 years.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree as well as a Master of Science degree in nuclear engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Rosenblum serves on the board of Aloha United Way (Board Chair); Aloha Council, Boy Scouts of America; Hawai‘i Business Roundtable and High Technology  Development  Corporation.

The Exceptional Energy Lecture Series consists of five lectures on energy issues. The series is sponsored in part by the Hawaii Energy Resource Center, a component of the County of Hawaii’s Department of Research and Development.

Call FON at 808.329.8073 for more information on the Exceptional Energy Lecture Series.

Kayakers in Distress Rescued Off the Big Island

The Hawaii Fire Department and the United States Coast Guard rescued two kayakers that were in distress off the Big Island this afternoon:

Billy Pugh Net

Billy Pugh Net

Location:

Offshore, approx. 9mm Akoni Pule Hwy

Situation found at scene:

Upon arrival on scene met with the father of kayakers and spotted them with C-2.  Winds were coming from N.E. direction approx. 20-30 mph with  heavy white caps.

Cause:

Very strong offshore trade winds and lack of good judgement of strong wind and currents.

Remarks:

Two kayakers in distress were found by C-2.  Deployed one rescue swimmer to assist with billy pugh rescue.  USCG Cutter Kiska which was in the area doing training arrived on scene and rescued 2 people who were brought to Kawaihae Pier 1and no EMS was needed.

Paniolo Cattle Company Formed by Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative

Following a successful grass-fed beef trial on Hawaii Island, Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative announced the launch of the Paniolo Cattle Company, a joint venture aimed at statewide local beef production. The pasture-to-table enterprise taps into a growing demand for high-quality, affordable, locally raised beef.

Parker Cows

Paniolo Cattle Company will begin with 1,400 head of cattle to be raised at Parker Ranch on Hawaii Island.  This represents the largest commitment of grass-fed beef by a single ranch in the state and will increase the supply of grass-fed steers to the market by nearly 35 percent.

Parker Ranch provides calves and cattle management expertise for the joint venture and Ulupono Initiative contributes the intellectual capital to develop best practices for profitability and sustainable agricultural methods.  Both entities have financial interest and will handle the commercial aspects of the business.  Parker Ranch, headquartered in Waimea on Hawaii Island, is Hawaii’s largest cattle operation, and the state’s second largest landowner.

Ranching profitability has long been impacted by fluctuating costs of oil and corn.  The price of cattle over the last decade has increased about 57 percent, while the price of feed has increased 129 percent, causing conventional ranching returns to suffer.  Paniolo Cattle Company seeks to reduce costs substantially by animal husbandry based on sound pasture management.

“This joint venture is about trying to level the cost of beef, creating an at-home thriving cattle industry that is energy-efficient and protects us against volatility in fuel and feed costs,” said Dutch Kuyper, CEO of Parker Ranch. “Restaurants, food markets and consumers want quality and consistency in beef, at reasonable prices.”

The goal is to create a more robust local beef supply chain and ensure that a quality, consistent product is available to all Hawaii consumers, not just the high-end market.  In the pre-commercial trial on Hawaii Island, conducted from September 2012 to May 2013, 80 percent of the beef was graded “choice.”

Market research conducted by Ulupono indicated that Oahu consumers would make the shift to local beef if the quality was consistent and prices were reasonable.  Ulupono has been exploring the grass-fed beef model for nearly four years.
“We view this as an equal partnership of capital and capabilities based on shared values, mutual respect, and a commitment to the future of ranching in Hawaii,” said Kyle Datta, general partner of Ulupono Initiative.  Ulupono Initiative is an impact investment firm focused on Hawaii operations that promote a self-reliant community.
Paniolo Cattle Company plans to expand statewide and has begun talks with ranchers on Oahu, Maui and Kauai to broaden the program’s reach and benefit Hawaii ranchers, processors, and consumers in every county.  The pace of expansion will be based on the market demand.

Kuyper and Datta said meetings with Gov. Neil Abercrombie and cattle ranchers were the catalyst behind pursuing a value-based brand that increases the sustainability of Hawaii’s food supply and reduces the headwinds facing the local ranching industry.  “The State understands the food security issues. We’ve gotten a lot of support and guidance from Scott Enright, State Department of Agriculture board chair,” said Datta.

Paniolo Cattle Company will be involved in the full cycle of beef production, from grazing and finishing to working with processors and distribution.

In the initial grass-fed stage, cattle are free to roam and graze pasture until they reach about 800 pounds. The finishing stage requires active management to assure consistent nutrition to grow to 1,150 pounds, which produces high-quality meat that has the tenderness consumers seek.  Paniolo Cattle Company will operate irrigated finishing forage pastures and employ rotational pasture techniques to achieve consistency and quality, an approach not widely practiced in Hawaii.

“Parker Ranch and Ulupono Initiative both share the core value of caring about our aina and we’re committed to finding solutions that allow us to be here for the long-term providing affordable, high quality food for our community,” said Datta.  “The rotational grazing approach is a regenerative agricultural method that will improve soil health and increase pasture fertility.  Converting pasture to higher yield grasses, and reinvesting in our natural capital will pay dividends for years to come.”

3.5 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Waikoloa Area of Big Island

A 3.5 magnitude earthquake shook the Waikoloa area of the Big Island today around 1:25 this afternoon.  No tsunami was generated from it:
35 Waikoloa

Human Remains Identified as Missing Man in South Kohala Homicide Case

The human remains found in South Kohala on Monday have been identified through dental records as 37-year-old Robert Keawe Lopaka Ryder of Kailua-Kona, who had been reported missing.

HPDBadgeRyder’s family reported on January 17 that they had not heard from him since Thanksgiving 2013.

During an autopsy conducted on Wednesday (March 12), the medical examiner determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and that the manner of death was homicide.

Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section are investigating the case as a murder.

Detectives located the human remains at approximately 5:30 p.m. Monday (March 10) on vacant land between Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway and Puakō Beach Drive.

Big Island Police Reclassify Coroner’s Inquest to a Murder

An autopsy was conducted Wednesday (March 12) on human remains found in South Kohala on Monday.

HPDBadgeThe medical examiner determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head and the manner of death was homicide.

Detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section have reclassified the case from a coroner’s inquest to a murder. They are attempting to identify the victim through forensics.

Detectives located the human remains at approximately 5:30 p.m. Monday (March 10) on vacant land between Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway and Puakō Beach Drive.

Big Island Police Investigating Human Remains Found in South Kohala

Hawaiʻi Island police have initiated a coroner’s inquest case in connection with human remains found in South Kohala.

HPDBadgeAt approximately 5:30 p.m. Monday (March 10) detectives from the Area II Criminal Investigations Section located human remains on vacant land between Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway and Puakō Beach Drive.

An autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death and the identity of the deceased.

Help Break 3 Guinness World Records at the Waikoloa Bowl

Something crazy to do in Kona: Break 3 Guinness World Records on March 15th at the Waikoloa Bowl.

La Quinta Inn & Suites is attempting to break three Guinness World Records during their corporate stay here on Hawai`i Island and they seek your help. They will attempt the following:

#1 – Longest Human Towel Chain – They require over 1100 individuals to stand and hold towels linking each participant to another for a 5 minute period.

Guinness Records Photo

Guinness Records Photo

#2 – Longest High Five Chain – Requires over 700 people to participate in a “wave of high five’s” down the chain.

Longest High Five Chain

#3 – Largest Towel Mosaic – Will create a 27,845 square foot mosaic of the American Flag using towels, including the 50 stars.

Flag Mosaic

This mosaic will be filmed in time lapse fashion and posted on YouTube.

La Quinta is offering to support the Kohala Chamber of Commerce by providing $15 for each person who signs up through the Chamber. Minimum age to participate is ten years old. This is a unique opportunity that will showcase our island and provide marketing exposure on a global scale.

The last Guinness World Record was achieved by La Quinta in 2011.

This was the Human Mattress Dominoes where they donated 850 mattresses to local charities in New Orleans. This event is still getting exposure today as it is getting close to 2 million viewers.

Date: March 15, 2014
Time: 08:00 AM – 12:30 PM
Website: kona-kohala.com
Location: Waikoloa Bowl at Queens Garden
Contact: Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce
Email: info@kona-kohala.com
Date/Time Details: Saturday, March 15, 2014
8 am – 12:30 pm
Fees/Admission: Free to participate!
Age 10 and up only

Big Island Chocolate Fest Seeks Culinary Participants

Organizers of the third Big Island Chocolate Festival are looking for culinary participants to share sweet and savory tastes at the event’s gala on Saturday, May 3 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i. Last year’s event sold out and 500-plus attendees are expected this year.

Big Island Chocolate FestivalParticipating chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners can also enter the free culinary competition, vying in a variety of judged categories, plus people’s choice. “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torrres, Food Network celebrity from New York City, will lead the team of celebrity judges. Other celebrity chocolatiers participating in the festival include Vincent Bourdin of Valrhona Chocolates Asia-Pacific and Donald Wressell of Guittard.

The two-day chocolate decadence opens Friday, May 2 with farm/factory tours at the Kona Soap Company in Keauhou and a culinary competition between students from Hawai’i, Maui and O’ahu. Public culinary and agriculture-themed, hands-on seminars and demonstrations are Saturday at The Fairmont Orchid. Fun culminates 6-10 p.m. May 3 with the festival gala in the Fairmont’s Grand Ballroom.

Chocolate Festival

Also on tap will be fine wines and handcrafted ales, chocolate sculptures, live entertainment, dancing and a silent auction. Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheatre at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Culinarians interested in participating can signup at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Pre-sale tickets are $75 and will be $100 at the door. New this year is the VIP Fast Wine Pass with early event admission and personalized wine service. Buy tickets and find event details online at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Chocolate Fest

Also available is an inclusive Chocolate Lovers package that includes a two-night’s stay at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, plus all festival activities at the ocean-side Four Diamond resort; contact info@BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Attendees who want to stay at the resort during the festival can get a discounted room rate of $269 per night including daily breakfast for two and can book direct with the hotel at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

14th Annual ‘Ukulele Festival at Waikoloa Beach Resort

Waikoloa Beach Resort presents the 14th Annual Great Waikoloa ‘Ukulele Festival, Saturday March 1.  A free ‘ukulele workshop with Roy and Kathy Sakuma starts off the day-long celebration—which includes nonstop entertainment and a special appearance by multiple Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award-winners “Kapena” with Kelly Boy DeLima.

Roy Sakuma and previous workshop members. PHOTO:  Courtesy Waikoloa Beach Resort

Roy Sakuma and previous workshop members. (Courtesy Waikoloa Beach Resort)

Hawaii’s “Ambassador of Aloha” Danny Kaleikini is Master of Ceremonies for the ‘Ukulele Festival,  spotlighting fourteen performances on two stages, with ‘ukulele lessons, demonstrations and giveaways offered throughout the afternoon.

Roy and wife Kathy Sakuma created the first annual ‘Ukulele Festival in 1971, while Roy was a maintenance worker for the City and County of Honolulu.  Today, their efforts have grown into a series of events on four islands, with over 20,000 participants.  The original ‘Ukulele Festival at Kapi‘olani Bandstand in Waikiki, hosts a performance by an 800-member ‘ukulele orchestra every July.  Their 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, ‘Ukulele Festival Hawaii, was established in 2004, “To bring laughter, love and hope to children and adults throughout Hawaii and the world through the music of the ‘ukulele.”

Appearing with Roy at the ‘Ukulele Festival will be his mentor for over 50 years, Herb “Ohta-San” Ohta, jazz guitarist Nando Suan, and his protégée Nelly Toyama-Baduria.  Sponsors include Waikoloa Beach Resort, Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Kings’ Shops, Queens’ MarketPlace, ‘Ukulele Festival Hawaii, Roberts Hawaii, ‘ukulele companies: KALA, Kamaka ‘Ukulele, Kanile’a ‘Ukulele, KoAloha and Ko’olau Pono Guitar & Hawaii Music Supply. For more information, call 808-886-8822 or visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.net.

Waikoloa Beach Resort is a complete destination resort that encompasses two championship golf courses and over 3,000 guest rooms in two upscale hotels, and seven luxury condominiums and vacation home properties.  The Resort also includes award-winning Queens’ MarketPlace and Kings’ Shops, offering a wide variety of shopping opportunities, services and dining experiences, plus free entertainment and cultural programs.  For more information visit www.WaikoloaBeachResort.com or call (808) 886-8822.

‘UKULELE FESTIVAL:  SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:  Saturday, March 1, 2014

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Ali`i Ballroom

10:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m.

‘Ukulele Workshop with Roy and Kathy Sakuma. BYOU (bring your own ‘ukulele). Free.

Kings’ Shops Center Stage

11:15 a.m., Kris Fuchigami

12 p.m., Kalama Intermediate ‘Ukulele Youth Ensemble

1 p.m., Hawaii Preparatory Academy

2 p.m., Roy Sakuma with Nelly Toyama-Baduria, Daniel Baduria and Nick Acosta

3 p.m., Uncle Uke

4 p.m. Ohta San and Nando Suan

Queens’ MarketPlace Coronation Pavilion

12 p.m., Waikoloa School, Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Kealakehe Intermediate School

12:45 p.m., Kahikina’s Nahenahe ‘Ohana

1:45 p.m., Kalama Intermediate ‘Ukulele Youth Ensemble

2:30 p.m., Mele ‘Ohana ‘Ukulele Group

3:30 p.m., Brad Bordessa and Anthrophony

4:30 p.m., Roy Sakuma with Nelly Toyama-Baduria, Daniel Baduria and Nick Acosta

5:30 p.m., Kapena with Kelly Boy DeLima

6:30 p.m., Ohta San and Nando Suan

Queens’ MarketPlace 1:00-5:00 p.m.

• ‘Ukulele Making Demonstration with Bob Gleason

• ‘Ukulele Lessons with Aunty Barni Fischer and Aunty Hanae Okumura

• Kala ‘Ukulele Sales

Big Island Police Searching for 34-Year-Old Man Wanted for For Abuse Cases

Hawaiʻi Island police are searching for 34-year-old Nathan AhLoo, who is wanted for four abuse cases. He is also wanted on a $2,000 bench warrant for contempt of court.

Nathan AhLoo

Nathan AhLoo

He is described as Hawaiian, 5-foot-11, 200 pounds with brown eyes and black hair, possibly shaved. He has no permanent address but frequents the South Kohala area.

Police ask anyone who knows his whereabouts not to approach him but, instead, to call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.

Culinary Arts Under the Stars – Benefit for Chef & Child Foundation

Kings’ Shops is partnering once again with the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Kona Kohala Chefs Association with the return of the Culinary Arts Under the Stars event February 22, 2014.   Last year’s event sold out and this year, 100 more tickets will be available for purchase.  Tickets are going fast! Just $45 in advance or $55 at the door and can be purchased at Maui Divers Jewelry in Kings’ Shops or at www.KingsShops.com.  Kenny C will be performing at Center Court Stage next to the wine and beer garden.  Scrip for beer and wine will be on sale for $5 during the event.  Coffee and water will be available for purchase at Kings’ Coffee.

Chef Ippy Aiona at the 2012 Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range

Chef Ippy Aiona of the Three Fat Pigs at the 2012 Mealani Taste of the Hawaiian Range

It will be an exciting evening of food tasting throughout the center presented by the top chefs from restaurants of the Kohala Coast.  Participating restaurants include Merriman’s Mediterranean Café, Roy’s Waikoloa Bar & Grill, The Three Fat Pigs, Hawaii Calls of  Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, Kamuela Provision Company of Hilton Waikoloa Village, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar, Lava Lava Beach Club and Mamane Street Bakery. Students from the Hawaii Community College-West Hawaii will create exceptional desserts and salads for two tasting stations.

“One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the ACF Chef & Child Foundation program which will benefit children right here on Hawaii Island,” said Steve Schwartz, General Manager of Kings’ Shops.  A silent auction with donations from many of the Kings’ Shops retailers and restaurants will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Schwartz continued, “Maui Divers Jewelry has donated a 14k gold Hawaiian Wave Pendant and an 18 inch 14k necklace, valued at $995.  This is just one example of the generosity shown by our tenants, which is truly admirable.”  Items for bid will be placed online to view prior to the event, visit www.KingsShops.com.

Join Kings’ Shops and the ACF Kona Kohala Chef Association on Saturday, February 22nd at 5 p.m. for an evening of fun and good food for a terrific cause, Hawai`i Island’s keiki. Tickets are on sale now.  For more information visit www.KingsShops.com

ABOUT THE CHEF AND CHILD FEDERATION:

The CCF mission statement is “To educate children and families in understanding proper nutrition through community based initiatives led by the American Culinary Federation chef members, and to be the voice of the culinary industry in its fight against childhood hunger, malnutrition and obesity.”  The Chef and Child Foundation have been developing programs to stimulate grass root efforts to be led by chefs in communities across America.

Natural Farming Learning Lab Grows Healthy Community in Kohala

On Saturday, March 1, 2014 from 9 am – 2 pm, the Palili ‘O Kohala project welcomes the Hawai‘i Island community to attend the blessing of the Natural Farming Learning Lab in Hawi, North Kohala. The program will include Hawaiian music, local food, workshops, demonstrations and a blessing of the Natural Farming Learning Lab, including the new Natural Farming Pig and Chicken House. The cost is $15 per person (children under 10 are free) and includes a Kohala grown lunch.

Chris Trump of Cho Global Natutal Farming Co-op will be one of the presenters on March 1st in North Kohala.

Chris Trump of Cho Global Natutal Farming Co-op will be one of the presenters on March 1st in North Kohala.

Afternoon workshops include: Introduction to Natural Farming with Chris Trump, from Cho Global Natural Farming Co-op; Raising pigs using Natural Farming with Mike DuPonte from the UH College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources; Taro Cultivation with Bert Kanoa and his students from Palili ‘O Kohala and Ka Hana No‘eau; Making Natural Farming inputs with Palili ‘O Kohala families and Ka Hana No‘eau students.

Hawaiian Ki Hō‘alu slack key guitar master Cyril Pahinui will be headlining the musical slate as well as teaching a mini-workshop in playing ukulele.

There will be ongoing talks and demonstrations on: poi pounding; raising chickens the Natural Farming way; Natural Farming, Hawaiian Saddle Making and more with the mentors and students of Ka Hana No‘eau; ukulele making with Guy Sasaki and his students from the Ka Hana No‘eau ukulele making class, and; learning about ‘uala (sweet potato) and the Kohala dryland field system with Ulu Mau Puanui.

 

Ten families in North Kohala are working together to grow taro, pigs and chickens using Natural Farming.

Ten families in North Kohala are working together to grow taro, pigs and chickens using Natural Farming.

The Natural Farming Learning Lab and Palili ‘O Kohala is a project of Kohala-based non-profit Kahua Pa‘a Mua, Inc. The Palili ‘O Kohala project is a ten family taro growing cooperative that addresses food self-sufficiency, food security and economic development in North Kohala. The project provides training, as well as resources for the growing, processing and distribution of taro and value added products from taro, pigs, chickens and vegetables. The Natural Farming Learning Lab has been created to demonstrate the efficacy of and teach others about Natural Farming methods of growing taro, pigs, chickens and vegetables. Natural Farming is a methodology that uses “indigenous microorganisms” to increase yields, eliminate the use of chemicals and reduce needs for water in crop management and animal husbandry.

The North Kohala community, in its County mandated Community Development Plan (CDP) is committed to 50% community food self-sufficiency by 2018. The Natural Farming Learning Lab and Palili ‘O Kohala are part of the community effort to reach that goal by cultivating traditional crops and using Natural Farming to grow chemical free food.

The Palili ‘O Kohala project has been generously supported by County of Hawai‘i County Council, County of Hawai‘i Department of Research and Development, Local Initiatives Fund of RSF Social Finance, Honsador Lumber, Dorrance Family Foundation, Hawai‘i Community Foundation Omidyar ‘Ohana Fund and Partners in Development Foundation. Community partners include Partners in Development Foundation Ka Hana No‘eau and North Kohala Eat Locally Grown.

Tickets are limited and advance purchase is required. Tickets can be bought online at foodhubkohala.org, in person at the EBT Booth at the Hawi Farmers Market or by phone at 808-224-1404. For information please visit foodhubkohala.org.

Man Identified From Yesterday’s Two-Vehicle Car Crash

A 52-year-old Kona man died Wednesday (February 5) from injuries he sustained in a two-vehicle crash on Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway.

HPDBadge

He was identified as Matthew B. Lee of Kailua-Kona.

Responding to an 11:30 a.m. call, South Kohala patrol officers determined that Lee, who was operating a 1997 Ford F-250 pickup truck loaded with several empty propane gas tanks, was traveling south on Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway between the 71- and 72-mile markers when he veered across the centerline into the north-bound traffic lane and sideswiped a 2013 Dodge Dart 4-door sedan being operated by a 62-year-old man from Alberta, Canada.  Also in the Dodge Dart were three other adults. No one in the Dodge Dart was injured. After colliding with the car, Matthew’s truck struck an embankment on the north-bound shoulder and came to a stop.

Lee was pronounced dead upon arrival at North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital.

Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway was closed to traffic at about 11:35 a.m. and reopened around 4:15 p.m.

Police do not believe that alcohol or speed contributed to this collision.

The Traffic Enforcement Unit has initiated a negligent homicide investigation and has ordered an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death.

Police ask anyone who witnessed the crash to call Officer Christopher Kapua-Allison at 326-4646, ext. 229.

This is the fourth fatality this year compared with seven at this time last year.

Man Dies in Traffic Collision on Kona Highway

Hawaiʻi Island police closed a portion of Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway Wednesday (February 5) between Puakō Beach Drive and the entrance to the Mauna Lani Resort while officers investigated a fatal traffic collision near the 71-mile marker just South of Puakō Beach Drive.

HPDBadge

At approximately 11:25 a.m., officers responded to the collision and learned that a 52-year-old man was traveling south in a 1997 Ford F-250 pickup truck when he reportedly crossed the centerline and struck a 2013 Dodge Dart traveling in the opposite direction being driven by a 62-year-old man visiting from Canada.

The driver, who was the sole occupant of the truck, was taken to North Hawaiʻi Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Neither the driver of the other vehicle nor his three passengers were injured.

At approximately 1:15 p.m., one lane of traffic was reopened on the highway. The other lane remained close.

Police have initiated a standard negligent homicide investigation, which is being continued by the Area II Traffic Enforcement Unit.

Chocolate Lover’s Paradise – The Big Island Chocolate Festival is Coming Up!

The alluring, rich taste of chocolate, in both its sweet and savory forms, is showcased at the third annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) May 2-3 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Headlining the event is “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres, Food Network celebrity from New York City, plus Derek Poirier of Valrhona USA, Donald Wressell of Guittard and Stanton Ho for Amoretti.

Big Island Chocolate FestivalThe two-day chocolate decadence opens with a student competition on Friday, followed by public culinary and agriculture-themed, hands-on seminars and demonstrations on Saturday. Fun culminates 6-10 p.m. May 3 with the festival gala in the Grand Ballroom—indulge at a host of sweet and savory culinary stations presented by top isle chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners.

Culinary stations will be vying for awards in a variety of categories judged by a panel of celebrity chefs led by Torres. Attendees can get in on the friendly voting by casting a ballot for the People’s Choice Award.

Chocolate Festival

Also on tap will be fine wines and handcrafted ales, chocolate sculptures, live entertainment, dancing and a silent auction. Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), event proceeds benefit the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheatre at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

“The Big Island Chocolate Festival is a fantasyland of chocolate,” says KCA President Farsheed Bonakdar. “It inspires our chefs, encourages our island farmers to grow cacao and shows our chocolatiers that chocolate can be a viable business.”

Early bird tickets for Hawai‘i’s premiere chocolate gala are $65 until sold out or through Feb. 28. Pre-sale tickets are $75 and will be $100 at the door. New this year is the VIP Fast Wine Pass with early event admission and personalized wine service. Buy tickets and find event details online at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Chocolate Festival

Also available is an inclusive Chocolate Lovers package that includes a two-night’s stay at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, plus all festival activities at the ocean-side Four Diamond resort; contact info@BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. Attendees who want to stay at the resort during the festival can get a discounted room rate of $269 per night including daily breakfast for two and can book direct with the hotel at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. For information, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.