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Hawaii Chocolate Festival

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HONOLULU – Chocolate-lovers will discover all things chocolate at Hawai`i's premier showcase, The Hawaii Chocolate Festival, on Saturday, February 23 from noon to 5 p.m. at Dole Cannery Shops. The Hawai‘i Chocolate Festival features nearly 30 chocolate vendors and highlights locally produced chocolate products. Presented by Special Events Hawaii in celebration of the state Legislature's declaration of February as ‘Hawai`i-Grown Cacao Month', the festival is sponsored in part by Waialua Estate, Honolulu Magazine, Lei Chic and Buy Local It Matters.

Your admission ticket not only gets you into the Festival to browse, learn about and shop for all things chocolate, but it also is your passport to 10 chocolate samplings of your choice from some of the state's top chocolatiers. Tickets are $20 in advance online and $25 at the door.  Tickets are available HERE

Among those showcasing their products are established names in the business like Waialua Estate and Malie Kai from Oahu's North Shore, Madre Chocolates and Manoa Chocolate Hawaii from Kailua. From the neighbor islands there will be Sweet Paradise Chocolates from Maui and the Big Island's Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory.

Other tasty offerings will include Hawaiian Cheesecakes featuring mini cheesecake cupcakes with double chocolate cheesecake comprised of New York-style cheesecake, on a layer of Waialua Estates dark chocolate on a macadamia nut shortbread crust, with a dark chocolate ganache.  Well-known chefs such as Ronnie Nasuti, former executive chef Roy's and now with Tiki's Grill and Bar, will feature Chocolate Bacon.  Hawaiian Crown will feature chocolate covered pineapple, apple banana, coffee and macadamia nuts.  Beverages include:  Naughty Cow Chocolate Liqueur, Whipped Twisted Shotz Chocolate, Tanteo Cocoa Tequila, Pinnacle Chocolate Vodka, Crave Chocolate Mint and Chili, 360 Double Chocolate Vodka, Kona Brewing Companies Black Sand Porter with Big Island Grown Cocoa Nibs.  Plus Johnson Brothers Chocolate Shop Chocolate Red wine, Crème de Cacao red wine, and Chocolate Strawberry red wine.                 

Between bites, one can browse vendor booths and shop for everything from chocolate pearls to artisan chocolates and visit the Chocolate Inspired Spa, a Chocolate Garden featuring cacao trees (from which chocolate is grown), chocolate mint plants, plus the Coco Café & Tea House featuring HI Tea-Shop chocolate tea.

Guest speakers will include Keynote speaker Ed Sequine with Mars Global Chocolate and Art Pollard, Founder and head chocolate maker for Amano Chocolates. Kapiolani Culinary Institute will also be doing truffle making techniques. There will also be educational displays will share information about locally grown cacao and how it is transformed into chocolate. Plus live musical entertainment by Star Kalahiki and hula performances by Halau O Na Pua Kukui.  It all adds up to one sweet way to spend an afternoon!

The festival is a benefit for Halau O Na Pua Kukui. For festival information and online ticket purchases click HERE or for questions call (808) 234-0404.

In conjunction with the Festival, Special Events Hawaii has organized the Hawai'i Chocolate Festival Roadshow, a month-long series of events to be held at various locations in celebration of Hawaii-Grown Cacao Month. Check the Festival website for the Roadshow calendar listings.

Hawai'i is the only state in the U.S. currently growing cacao. The mission of the Hawai`i Chocolate Festival is to stimulate global interest in Hawai'i's emerging chocolate industry. The festival will partner with farmers, local business, educators and government to showcase and highlight chocolate products made exclusively from Hawaii-grown cacao beans.