Big Island Chocolate Festival Announces Winners

Culinary entries from across the state were tapped winners at last night’s Big Island Chocolate Festival. Chefs, chocolatiers and students were critiqued on taste, texture, appearance and creativity by a team of celebrity judges during the three-day festival.

Professional winners of the BICF gala were from left: Hilton Waikoloa Village Chef Dayne Tanabe, Gini Choobua of Likao Kula Farm, Nat Bletter of Madre Chocolate, Fairmont Orchid Pastry Chef Daniel Sampson and Executive Fairmont Orchid Chef Hubert Des Marais.

Professional winners of the BICF gala were from left: Hilton Waikoloa Village Chef Dayne Tanabe, Gini Choobua of Likao Kula Farm, Nat Bletter of Madre Chocolate, Fairmont Orchid Pastry Chef Daniel Sampson and Executive Fairmont Orchid Chef Hubert Des Marais.

Event host The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i was cited in three categories for best plated dessert, bean to bar and the People’s Choice award. The Hilton Waikoloa Village earned best savory while Madre Chocolate took top bonbons.

Likao Kula Farm of Holualoa bested 11 entries to win the inaugural cacao processing category.

“The processing of the cacao bean—its fermenting and drying—is an important step in the flavor and quality of chocolate and we’re happy our local growers competed in this new competition category,” said Farsheed Bonkadar, president of the Kona Cacao Association.

UH-Maui College won the morning community college culinary competition led by Chef Instructor Teresa Shurilla (with plaque). Students from left are Devin Galloway, Noelle Bender, Yi Song, Taylor McGraw and Clarissa Logsdon.

UH-Maui College won the morning community college culinary competition led by Chef Instructor Teresa Shurilla (with plaque). Students from left are Devin Galloway, Noelle Bender, Yi Song, Taylor McGraw and Clarissa Logsdon.

Culinary students from University of Hawai‘i-Maui College won the morning student competition besting second place Hawai‘i Community College-Hilo and third place Hawai‘i Community College-West Hawai‘i. Students prepared elaborate plated desserts using chocolate.

Commenting on the competitions, Bonkadar added, “The caliber of entries continues to improve and it’s rewarding to see how both student and professional culinarians use chocolate in both sweet and savory recipes.”

Heading the team of judges for the two competitions were celebrity chefs Stanton Ho, Guittard’s Donald Wressell, Valrhona Chocolate’s Derek Poirier and Sam Choy of Keauhou’s Kai Lanai restaurant. Other team judges included Elizabeth McDonald of Maui’s B3 A Beach Bunny Bakery; Ricky DeBoer of The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui; Steven Arakaki of Kukio Golf & Beach Club; Chris Speere of UH-Maui College and Daniel Sampson of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. Teresa Shurilla of UH-Maui College oversaw the judging.

The real winners of the fourth annual festival are two beneficiaries: the Equip the Kitchens campaign for the future Hawai’i Community College-Palamanui and Kona Pacific Public Charter School.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, the Big Island Chocolate Festival not only heralds Hawai’i’s growing cacao industry, but also the culinarians who masterfully create foods featuring chocolate.

In addition to last night’s gala, the three-day festival offered a full lineup of chocolate decadence from planting to plating: a Kona cacao farm tour, plus growing and processing seminars and how-to culinary demonstrations.

Visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com for updates on next year’s event.

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.

 

Big Island Chocolate Festival NEXT WEEKEND!

Show the gal in your life how much you care Mother’s Day weekend with tickets to the decadent Big Island Chocolate Festival gala 5:30-9 p.m. Saturday, May 9 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.

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Indulge in both savory and sweet chocolate creations by top chefs complemented by the harp and violin duo String Beings, fine wines and handcrafted ales, Bacardi cocktails, chocolate sculpting, chocolate body painting and dancing.

Among the culinary offerings, festival host The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i is serving savory cocoa nib-crusted beef long rib with white corn and pickled roots, plus Waialua Estate chocolate pate with caramelized pineapple for dessert.

In addition, Hawai‘i Community College students offer an all-you-can-eat cuisine bar with a Chicken Mole Rice Bowl, make-your-own spinach/strawberry salad and tasty tofu and fish poke. Big Island Candies joins this year’s festival sharing buttery shortbread cookies topped with luscious Amoretti cookie spreads.

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Fun includes voting for your favorite culinary station while chefs, chocolatiers and cacao growers also vie in a variety of contests judged by a stable of celebrity chefs: Internationally acclaimed Derek Poirier of Valrhona, Donald Wressell of Guittard. Top 10 Pastry Chef in America Stanton Ho and Kona’s own Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine founder Sam Choy.

Awards will also be presented to statewide college culinary students competing in a chocolate food competition earlier that day.

The festive gala caps three days of choc-licious fun and hands-on learning opportunities presented by the Kona Cacao Association. All activities are open to the public and benefit the “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and a capital campaign to build a community kitchen at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

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Gala admission is $75 with VIP tickets for $100. Find gala and festival seminars details, plus tix info at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Get updates on facebook and #BIChocoFest. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

Special room rates of $299 including breakfast for two are offered by The Fairmont Orchid. For accommodations, book with the hotel at 808-885-2000 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.

‘Chocolate Soirée’ Dinner a Prelude to Big Island Chocolate Festival

As a prelude to Big Island Chocolate Festival, local event planning and catering company The Feeding Leaf presents the premier “Chocolate Soirée” dinner on Thursday, May 7, 5-8 p.m. at Kokoleka Lani Farms.

Chef Scott Hiraishi, Tracey and Les Apoliona of the Feeding Leaf

Chef Scott Hiraishi, Tracey and Les Apoliona of the Feeding Leaf

The seven-course feast features Original Hawaiian Chocolate, savory and sweet, in dishes created by notable chefs like Stanton Ho (Amoretti), Clayton Arakawa (Mauna Lani Resort), Angela Smith (Sweet Eatz), and Scott Hiraishi (The Feeding Leaf), assisted by culinary students from University of Hawai‘i Center—West Hawai‘i Campus.

Also providing chocolate for the Soirée, Kokoleka Lani Farms is a working cacao farm in Keauhou, run by Greg Colden and Marty Corrigan, owner-operators of Kona Natural Soap Company. By special arrangement, the exclusive Chocolate Soirée event begins in their retail shop, with passed hors d’oeuvres prepared by the culinary students. Dinner will be served family-style in their adjacent home.

Chocolate cocktail concoctions will be provided by mixologist and general manager Keith Malini of Ray’s on the Bay, the oceanfront restaurant at Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay. Ray’s on the Bay has also selected fine wines to serve with the elegant farm-to-fork feast, and the restaurant will feature one of the signature chocolate entrees on their dinner menu in the days leading up to the event.

“The Chocolate Soirée is a fun way for us to do some education. It gives the students a chance to work with top chefs in a unique environment, and to work with the more unusual Hawai‘i Island ingredients they don’t see or use every day,” said The Feeding Leaf General Manager Les Apoliona.

“It gives our guests a chance to learn about new and different aspects of local chocolate while they enjoy a beautiful, exclusive dinner at the source,” he said. “We’re so grateful to Greg and Marty for opening their home and their cacao farm for us. And, with two more days of chocolate indulgence Friday and Saturday, we think this will be and outstanding pre-event for Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

Tickets for Chocolate Soirée are limited to 100 at $125 per person, including cocktails and wines, available at Kona Wine Market and Westside Wines, online at wew.eventbrite.com/e/chocolate-soiree-tickets-16328176014, or by calling 808-325-3803. Big Island Chocolate Festival takes place May 8-9 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, with Chocolate Gala, Seminars, Chocolate Competition and more. Part of the proceeds benefit American Culinary Federation/Kona Kohala Chefs Association scholarships.

The Feeding Leaf catering and event company specializes in Hawai‘i-raised food for quality private parties, wine events, weddings, birthdays and other happy occasions. For more information, contact Les Apoliona, (808) 325-3803, thefeedingleaf@gmail.com, visit www.thefeedingleaf.com, or Facebook.com/thefeedingleaf.

Big Island Chocolate Fest Seeks Culinary Participants

The fourth annual Big Island Chocolate Festival is looking for culinary participants to share sweet and savory tastes at the event’s gala on Saturday, May 9 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i.

Folks enjoying the 2014 Big Island Chocolate Festival

Folks enjoying the 2014 Big Island Chocolate Festival

Participating chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners can also enter the free culinary competition, vying in a variety of judged categories.

Big Island Chocolate Festival 020Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), the event benefits the “Equip the Kitchens” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and construction of a community kitchen at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

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Culinarians interested in participating can signup for free now by filling out the Culinary Participant form at www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com. Questions? Phone 808-324-6100.

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.

Big Island Chocolate Festival Begins – Supports Two Non-Profit Organizations

The Big Island Chocolate Festival has officially started at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i.
Big Island Chocolate FestivalThe event is supporting two non-profit organizations with proceeds from the silent auction this year. Both organizations, “Equip the Kitchens” campaign and Kona Pacific Public Charter School are building campus improvements that will be beneficial to the Kona community for years to come!

The Campaign Purpose:The American Culinary Federation is very pleased with progress on the long awaited Hawaii Community College – Palamanui, opening in 2014. The ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association members are industry leaders committed to culinary development and education within the membership and throughout the community. This group of food service professionals, vendors and growers comprises one of the most active chapters in the American Culinary Federation. It is their earnest desire to support the new culi-nary campus by helping to secure funds for the kitchens.

  • There will be two 1200 square foot kitchens
  • 800 square foot baking kitchen.
  • 800 sq. ft. preparation and butcher kitchen
  • The facilities will enable 65 students per semester to work toward their AAS degree in Culinary Arts. This program pre-pares students to enter the hospitality industry, including world-class restaurants.

The Campaign Goal:
A $1,000,000 goal of capital funds is being sought to equip the kitchens. The campaign is anticipated to be completed with all cash and pledges received by the end of 2014.

The Culinary Arts Program at the Hawaii Community College – West Hawaii Center is currently located in a small shopping center in Kealakekua with limited space and facilities. The ar-eas of concentration are Certificate and Degree Programs, Ad-vanced Culinary and Hospitality Training Programs. The Culinary Arts Program is fully accredited by the American Culinary Federation. It also provides direct industry placement and the development of qualified committed professionals ready to be successful leaders in the culinary field.

The Campaign Timeline:
The Culinary Arts Program plans to move into the Palamanui facility in the fall of 2014. “The Board of Regents University of Hawaii is very grateful for the commitment and support of the Kona Kohala Chef’s Association in raising funds to support the new culinary facility at the Palamanui campus.”

If you want to learn more about what the Culinary students are doing, follow them on Facebook at West Hawaii Culinary.

KPPCS logo

Kona Pacific Public Charter School

Kona Pacific is a school that is growing. Situated on 40 acres of land above the Kona Community Hospital, it resides in the middle of South Kona, an area that does not have a public community amphitheater, although there are dozens of artists and musicians in Kona who could bring live music to this space if it were built. The money the Chocolate Festival raises will go to a capital campaign to build this structure so the students at the school would have access to it during school time and the public would have access it to at nights and weekends. Still in the planning phases, we are raising funds to get this project off the ground to create a space for our vibrant island musicians and performing artists to have a space to showcase their talent and have the students have a space to create their own performances, as well!

KKPCS Upper Lawn

Kona Pacific Public Charter School’s curriculum offers a holistic, hands-on, project-based education inspired by Waldorf education, promoting student achievement in language arts, math, science, visual arts, foreign languages, musical training and movement.

Award Winning Chef to Give Demonstration at Big Island Chocolate Festival

Watch how to make two decadent chocolate dessert sensations at a fun, how-to culinary demonstration by Valrhona Pastry Chef Vincent Bourdin.

Chef Vincent Bourdin

Chef Vincent Bourdin

Time is 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 3. It’s all part of the three-day Big Island Chocolate Festival at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.

The award-winning Singapore chef will show step-by-step how to prepare a breakfast pastry, Verrine A La Coque, and a shortbread treat, Queen Bahibe. Fee is $30 and sampling is included.

Buy tickets online or at the door, www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

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, Valrhona, PreGel, The Wave-92.1, Big Island Honda and Tire Center, Bacardi, Dolphin Journeys, Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union, Cocoa Outlet, Callebaut Chocolate, Cacao Cucina, DHX, Gourmet Foods Hawaii, Johnson Brothers of Hawaii, Ke Ola magazine, Kona Brewing Company, Kona Natural Soap Company, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, West Hawaii Today and The Spoon Shop.

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

Does Chocolate Grow on Trees?

Does chocolate grow on trees? Not exactly!

Cacao Pods

Cacao Pods

Find out how to best grow the bean that makes chocolate—cacao—from an international expert and Kona farmer at seminars and activities offered during the three-day Big Island Chocolate Festival May 1-3.

Take a tour of a working cacao farm and learn how organically produced soap using cacao is made from 9-11 a.m. Thursday, May 1 with Greg Colden of Kona Natural Soap Company. Fee is $25.

Seminars move May 2-3 to the Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i. At 2:30 p.m. Friday, “Selecting Cacao Cultivar for Flavor” is presented by Ed Seguine, a 45-year cacao veteran and consultant with Seguine Cacao, Cocoa & Chocolate Advisors. 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. Fee is $50.

At 11:15 a.m. Saturday, Colden discusses “Cacao as a Value Added Product for Business.” The Kona entrepreneur shares non-chocolate uses for cacao. Fee is $30.

Buy tickets online or at the door, www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

Governor Abercrombie Declares May 3rd as “Big Island Chocolate Festival Day”

Hawai‘i Governor Neil Abercrombie has declared Saturday, May 3 as Big Island Chocolate Festival Day! The proclamation not only heralds Hawai’i’s growing cacao industry, but also the culinarians who masterfully create foods featuring chocolate.

Chocolate Festival

The three-day festival offers a full lineup of chocolate decadence from planting to plating: a Kona cacao farm tour, plus seminars, how-to culinary demonstrations, guided chocolate tastings—yum!— and an indulging festival gala at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai’i. All activities are open to the public.

Star power celebrity chocolatiers include “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of New York City, Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard chocolate, Chef Vincent Bourdin of Valrhona Chocolate and cacao consultant Ed Seguine.

Chef Jacques Torres

Chef Jacques Torres

The 6-10 p.m. Saturday gala features the Big Isle’s own celebrated contingent of culinarians for a chocolate-inspired feast of savory and sweet treats. Returning favorites include the savory mole bar staffed by West Hawai‘i culinary students, a towering chocolate fountain complete with fresh fruits and macaroons, plus an array of gaily decorated bonbons.

Gala fun showcases a chocolate sculpture using 40 pounds of chocolate, chocolate body painting, fine wines, chocolate-infused beer and the debut of a tasty new Bacardi Mango Fusion cocktail. Attendees can vote for the People’s Choice Award, dance the night away with Girls Nite Out! band and bid for activities and merchandise at a silent auction.

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

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

Festival beneficiaries are the $150,000 “Equip the Kitchen” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School. The third annual event is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc.

For tickets, visit www.BigIslandChocolateFestival.com. For accommodations, book with the hotel at 808-885-2000 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

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.

Fairmont-Orchid Sweeps Awards at Big Island Chocolate Festival

The Fairmont-Orchid, Hawaii swept the awards at the sold-out Big Island Chocolate Festival March 23. The Fairmont’s culinary team earned three “bests,” winning Best Savory and Best Sweet (plated dessert), and took the People’s Choice Award for their savory offering of a Cocoa-Dusted Spicy Ahi Cone with Orange Shiso Mayo, Truffle Orange Vinaigrette and Goat Cheese.

L to R: Fairmont Exec Pastry Chef Daniel Sampson, Dr. Nat Bletter of Madre Chocolate, Elena Garcia of Elena Chocolate, Fairmont Chef Stephen Rouelle and Fairmont Exec Chef Hubert Des Marais. Photo by Shortini Photography.

L to R: Fairmont Exec Pastry Chef Daniel Sampson, Dr. Nat Bletter of Madre Chocolate, Elena Garcia of Elena Chocolate, Fairmont Chef Stephen Rouelle and Fairmont Exec Chef Hubert Des Marais. Photo by Shortini Photography.

Other winners were Elena Chocolate for Best Bon Bon and Madre Chocolate for Best Bean to Bar. Twenty different chefs and chocolatiers vied in the festival taste-off that was critiqued by a team of eight judges. Besides indulging in tastes at the event’s culinary stations, attendees could get a chocolate “tattoo” and watch Guittard Executive Pastry Chef Donald Wressell put the finishing touches on a towering, 40-pound chocolate sculpture.

“All of the taste-off entries were spectacular and mahalo to all our culinary participants and celebrity judges,” said Farsheed Bonakdar. “We appreciate the support of the community—our attendees and volunteers—who made the evening a great success. A special mahalo to Chef Teresa (Cheech) Shurilla who created and facilitated the student competition.”

Taste-off judges included eight, off-island chefs: chocolate consultant Stanton Ho, George Mavrothalassitis of Chef Mavro restaurant, Bret Pafford of Gannon’s restaurant, Abigail Langlas of Cakeworks, Christopher Speere of the University of Hawaii Maui College, Rhonda Ashton-Chavez of Four Seasons Maui at Wailea, Orly Yadao of Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa and David Brown of Kapiolani Community College.

The sold-out event at The Fairmont-Orchid benefitted the $1 million “Equip the Kitchen” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheater at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, the gala was the culmination of three days of chocolate-inspired activities that included culinary and agriculture-related sessions and a college competition in chocolate desserts. Taking first place in the college competition, which was held earlier on Saturday, was University of Hawai‘i Maui College, followed by Hawai‘i Community College-West Hawai‘i and Hawai‘i Community College-East Hawai‘i.

The Big Island Chocolate Festival is presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc. The mission and goal of this new association 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. Mahalo to 2013 BICF sponsors The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i, Guittard Chocolate, Mahalo Broadcasting-The Wave, KKOA, LAVA 105, The Shops at Mauna Lani, Dolphin Journeys, Hawaii Coffee Connection, Johnson Brothers Distributors, West Hawaii Today, Waialua Estate Chocolate, Alex’s Westside Wines, Tinguely Development, BMW of Hawaii, Fair Wind-Big Island Ocean Guides, Barry Callebaut, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Gourmet Foods Hawaii, Cocoa Outlet and Kulana Foods. Info: www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

 

 

Prelude Event Added to Big Island Chocolate Festival

Rarely does a single word conjure such anticipation—evoking emotion, desire, comfort and a complete sensory overload. That’s the power of chocolate.

Chocolate Festival

The 2013 Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) offers triple the fun with three days of intoxicating chocolate activities culminating with the festival gala 5:30-10 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i. In addition to relishing a host of savory and sweet culinary offerings prepared by top chefs and confectioners, explore chocolate-infused wines and tantalize your taste buds at the meaty mole bar accompanied by fresh salad fare.

Headlining this second annual festival is Chef Donald Wressell of Guittard chocolates and Chef Christophe Feyt, soon-to-be executive pastry chef at the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino. Both celebrity chefs will be featured at Saturday culinary demonstrations and Chef Wressell is creating a deliciously decadent chocolate sculpture at the March 23rd gala—bring your camera.

A Washington resident, Wressell was named Pastry Chef of the Year at the 2005 National Pastry Team Championships. Feyt recently served on the U.S. team that took fourth place in the Coupe Du Monde de la Patisserie—the prestigious World Pastry Cup Festival in France.

Wressell will also appear at the Big Island Chocolate Festival Prelude 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21 at The Shops at Mauna Lani. The early-evening soiree offers pupus prepared by Monstera, Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant and Bar, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Just Tacos Mexican Grill and Cantina. Sampling Guittard chocolates and a variety of wine, along with the chance to talk story with Chef Wressell, will highlight the evening along with live entertainment by the Bill Noble Trio. Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door and available for purchase at The Shops at Mauna Lani 4D Movie Ride and the management office.

Also on the three-day chocolate adventure are cacao plantation tours at the Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory in Keauhou and a compelling lineup of seminars and demonstrations, plus a student competition at The Fairmont.

During the gala, vote for the People’s Choice Award from a host of categories including mouth-watering bonbons.  Also enjoy live entertainment by Bump City, chocolate body painting, fine wines and hand-crafted ales, including Kona Brewing Company’s Black Sand Porter made with local cacao. Also on tap is a silent auction with fun activity and dining opportunities.

“We are delighted to be the host hotel for the second annual Big Island Chocolate Festival,” shared Executive Chef Hubert Des Marais. “To be a part of such a wonderful event in partnership with the Kona Cacao Association is an honor and a privilege, not to mention the delicious culinary creations from Hawai‘i Island’s best chefs.”

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc., BICF benefits the $1 million “Equip the Kitchen” campaign for the future Hawai‘i Community College-Palamanui and efforts to build a community amphitheater at the Waldorf-inspired Kona Pacific Public Charter School in Kealakekua.

Gala presale tickets are $75 and can be conveniently purchased online, charged by phone at 808-329-2522 or purchased at Kailua Candy Company and Kona Wine Market. Tickets will be $85 at the door. New to the event are VIP tables of 10 for $1000; buy online or contact the VIP coordinator at 808-938-2243. To reserve a chocolate plantation tour, phone 808-322-2626; for details on seminars and online ticket sales, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

A special event rate of $249/night for Partial Ocean View accommodations including daily breakfast for two is offered at The Fairmont Orchid. Contact reservations for details at 808-885-2000 or 800-845-9905 and mention “Big Island Chocolate Festival.”

 

 

2013 Big Island Chocolate Festival Coming Up

It’s where you can feast on rich, creamy chocolate to your heart’s content! Satisfy all your chocolate cravings—and more—at the second annual Big Island Chocolate Festival (BICF) Saturday, March 23, 2013 at The Fairmont Orchid, Hawai‘i.

The highlight of the decidedly decadent festival is the colorful and tasty 5:30-10 p.m. gala with tempting sweet and savory chocolate creations prepared by top island chefs, chocolatiers and confectioners.  Savor a friendly culinary competition where you can vote for People’s Choice in a host of categories including mouth-watering bonbons.  Also enjoy live entertainment by LT Smooth; dancing; fine wines and hand-crafted ales; plus a silent auction.

“We are delighted to be the host hotel for the second annual Big Island Chocolate Festival,” shared Executive Chef Hubert Des Marais. “To be a part of such a wonderful event in partnership with the Kona Cacao Association is an honor and a privilege, not to mention the delicious culinary creations from Hawai‘i Island’s best chefs.”

Presented by the Kona Cacao Association, Inc., BICF benefits the $1 million “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.

Other chocolatey fun includes daytime cacao farm tours and compelling educational demonstrations by chocolatiers and cacao farmers. Learn about what it takes to grow the bean that makes chocolate—and why Hawai‘i is the only state that commercially grows cacao—plus how to turn cacao, or cocoa, into the coveted “food of the gods.”

A veritable Who’s Who in the world of chocolate—both locally and nationally— has been invited to serve as celebrity culinary judges and educational presenters. Last year’s inaugural event headlined “Mr. Chocolate” Jacques Torres of New York City as a celebrity judge.

Ticket sales for Hawai‘i’s premiere chocolate event start January 1 and early-bird gala tickets are $60 until 100 are sold.  After that, presale tickets are $75, then $85 at the door. Tickets will also be available at Kona Wine Market and Kona Pacific Public Charter School. For event details and online tickets, visit www.bigislandchocolatefestival.com.

A special event rate of $309/night for Garden View accommodations including daily breakfast for two is offered at The Fairmont Orchid. Contact reservations for details 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 this new association 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.

 

2012 Big Island Chocolate Festival – And the Winners Are

Six culinary stations took top honors at the recent Big Island Chocolate Festival at Four Seasons Resort Hualalai.

Renowned New York City chocolatier Jacques “Mr. Chocolate” Torres oversaw a team of judges who critiqued the savory and sweet creations by chefs and confectioners.

Chef Eddie Enojardo of Hilton Waikoloa Village, Judge Teresa Shurilla, Judge Jacques Torres, Chef Hubert Des Marais of The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, Judge Hasty Torres, Judge Steven Arakaki, Chefs Nick Mastrascusa and Noe Pi of Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Nat Bletter of Madre Chocolate, Cathy Smoot Barrett of Kailua Candy Company and Melanie Boudar of Sweet Paradise Chocolatier.

Winners and their entries included:

Best Savory

  • The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, Big Isle Chocolate Pork Mole w/Tomatillo Salsa over Kabocha Pumpkin Maki

Best Dessert

  • Hilton Waikoloa Village, Orange Ginger Chocolate Mac Nut Crunch Torte

Best Bonbons

  • Sweet Paradise Chocolatier, Island Bounty Assortment: Lilikoi Silk, Ka’u Cappuccino, Kula Lavender ’N Maui Honeycomb, Coconut Creme Brulee and Mango Eruption

Best Bean to Bar

  • Madre Chocolate

People’s Choice: 2 Winners

  • First Place – Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, 24-Hr Braised Wild Boar Grilled Cheese w/ Chocolate and BBQ Bourbon Sauce and Hawaiian Chili Pepper AND MacNut Crusted Chocolate Pop w/ Lilikoi Foam and Alae Salted Caramel  (2 culinary offerings)
  • Second Place – Kailua Candy Company, Cathy’s Retro Mai Tai

Three hundred attendees enjoyed the festival’s offerings, which included live and silent auctions to benefit the building of a new amphitheatre at Kona Pacific Public Charter School and the “Equip the Kitchen” Campaign for the future Hawaii Community College campus at Palamanui.