Chocolate—in its many tempting forms–stars at the seventh annual Big Island Chocolate Festival gala 5-9 p.m. Sat., April 28 at Hapuna Beach Resort. Indulge in both savory and sweet creations prepared by top chefs and chocolatiers, plus unlimited wine and beer pours, in the spacious ballroom and twinkle-lit courtyard.
More chocolatey fun includes a tasty mole and salad bar, chocolate body painting and specialty cocktails by Tattoo Tequila and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. Magic Strings, with versatile violinist Ursula Vietze, will serenade attendees while DJ EzE spins tunes for your dancing pleasure. A silent auction will offer a variety of local activities, art, jewelry, dining certificates and more.
The evening’s theme is “Chocolate Around the World” and culinary stations will be judged on their depiction of the mood, plus a host of “best” culinary categories: savory, plated dessert, bonbon, bean-to-bar, cacao and People’s Choice for Best Savory and Best Sweet. Prizes will be awarded at the gala, plus winners will be announced for the event’s Friday college culinary competition.
In addition to the Hapuna Beach Resort, culinary participants to date include Cafe Pesto, The Fairmont Orchid, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Guittard Chocolate Company, Hilo Sharks Chocolate, Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Madre Chocolate, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Prova, Sun Dried Specialties, Sundog Bread, Waialua Estate Coffee & Chocolate, culinary students from five Big Isle high schools and the Cocoa Outlet with its signature, four-foot-tall chocolate fountain.
A trio of celebrity chefs will present three creative chocolate demonstrations during the day on Sat., April 28. The chefs are Alicia Boada of Cacao Barry, one of few individuals accredited as an executive pastry chef, culinary administrator and culinary educator by the American Culinary Federation; Stéphane Tréand, MOF of The Pastry School; and Donald Wressell, executive pastry chef of Guittard Chocolate Company. Seminars for local cacao farmers will be presented on Fri., April 27 and are being finalized.
General admission tickets to the gala are $85 presale, $100 at the door. Also available is the Saturday I LOVE Chocolate! all-day pass for three daytime culinary demos and the evening gala priced at $145. Find gala, daytime seminars and room/event packages at https://bigislandchocolatefestival.com/tickets/.
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