Honolulu, HI – The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival (HFWF) will launch the 6th annual event with a first: a Hukilau. Eleven of Hawai‘i’s hottest chefs will put a fresh twist on local favorites like poke, roasted pig, and shave ice with a beach cookout at The Kahala Hotel & Resort on Friday, May 27 from 5:00pm – 8:00pm.
The Hukilau is a symbolic statement for Hawai‘i Regional Cusine. “We’re going to have everyone there to bring their soul and connect to do a bigger, better thing for Hawai‘i, providing a better place to live, eat, and be more sustainable” explains HFWF Co-founder Roy Yamaguchi. Chef George Mavrothalassitis adds, “Local chefs are pulling the net in the right direction and this is a chance to show that we share that same commitment to fresh and local!”
A highlight of the Hukilau will be the announcement of the world class chefs, winemakers and mixologists coming to the Islands for the sixth annual Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival, October 14-30 on O‘ahu, Maui, and Hawai‘i Island. The Hukilau is the grand finale for another new HFWF Spring event, the Inaugural Connoisseur’s Culinary Journey presented by The Kahala Hotel & Resort and Kamehameha Schools, featuring exclusive farm tours and experiences.
“Kamehameha Schools is pleased to partner with HFWF in this event that honors Hawai‘i’s food industry, supports cultural education programs, and highlights the importance of improving our food systems in Hawai‘i,” says Sydney Keli‘ipule‘ole, Kamehameha School’s senior director of Statewide Operations.
“We’re thrilled to provide our Kahala oasis as the backdrop for the first annual HFWF Spring Festival and its extraordinary Hukilau culinary event. This new addition is a testament of Hawai‘i’s remarkable culinary offerings and shows how we’ve grown to be one of the best food destinations in the world,” says Carmine Iommazzo, General Manager of The Kahala Hotel & Resort.
HFWF Co-founder Alan Wong stresses the need to keep Hawai‘i on the map as a foodie destination to “showcase and put spotlight on Hawai‘i, on our people, our culture, our food, what we grow, raise and produce, our tourism.” He adds “Anytime Hawai‘i gets attention, it’s good for the State.”
According to George Szigeti, President and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, “The Hawai‘i Food and Wine Festival has played a major role in showcasing to the world our state’s unique cultural heritage, the diversity of our agriculture industry, and the superb talent of our local chefs.”
The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival was created in 2011 as a destination-marketing event to give visitors a reason to come to the Islands in the fall when tourism naturally slows. It started as a three day festival in Waikiki and is now held over three weeks on three islands.
The festival casts a ripple effect across the Pacific as a national food trend for 2016 and natural bridge between East and West. Yamaguchi, Wong and former Halekulani Executive Chef Vikram
Garg are currently in South Korea representing HFWF at a new sister event, the Inaugural Jeju Food & Wine Festival, for a gala called “Hawai‘i Meets Jeju.”
Yamaguchi, who’s set to open 4 new restaurants this year, adds that “Hawai‘i has really come a long way through food and I think it’s something that we all strive for when we put together Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine. As we elevate our quality, we’re able to do more to showcase Hawai‘i.”
In its first five years, the non-profit has raised 1.3 million dollars for local agricultural and culinary programs including the Hawai‘i Agricultural Foundation and the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation in support of the Culinary Institute of the Pacific.
Tickets for the Hukilau are $175. Proceeds benefit Kapiʻolani Community College’s Culinary Program.
About Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival
The Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival is the premier epicurean destination event in the Pacific. The Festival features a roster of more than 100 internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, and wine and spirit producers. Co-founded by two of Hawai‘i’s own James Beard Award-winning chefs, Roy Yamaguchi and Alan Wong, the Festival will showcase wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, one-of-a-kind excursions, and exclusive dining opportunities with dishes highlighting the state’s bounty of local produce, seafood, beef and poultry. Proceeds support local beneficiaries committed to sustainability and cultural and educational programs in Hawai‘i.
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