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.