Mystery Dine Around in Hilo June 13
The Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce will hold its third annual Mystery Dine Around on Thursday, June 13, from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at the Hilo Yacht Club and various area restaurants.
Created as a means to promote East Hawaii restaurants, the popular event draws more than 100 participants who sample food at more than a dozen restaurants.
“We start out at the Hilo Yacht Club with a wine and cheese reception,” said Spencer Oliver, a member of the HICC board of directors and chair of its social committee.
People are divided into groups of 12 and are transported by chartered bus to a surprise restaurant where they are served an appetizer course.
“Last year we had 120 people and we divided them into 10 groups of 12,” said Oliver, noting that each of the 10 groups went to a different restaurant.
After the appetizer course, each group is then transported to another surprise restaurant location for an entrée course.
At each restaurant, diners meet with the owner or chef to learn more about the dining establishment and its food.
“We ask that the owner or chef at each restaurant come out and talk to each group to create a more personal connection and more excitement for the participants,” said Oliver.
Following the entrée course, attendees are brought back to Hilo Yacht Club to sample a dessert buffet catered by up to a dozen different restaurants and bakeries from east Hawaii.
“We also have music and dancing,” said Oliver of the dessert buffet, “then we close around 10 p.m.”
With the participating groups going to upwards of 10 different restaurants for the appetizer course and another 10 restaurants for the entrée course, “there’s a great deal of restaurants involved,” said Oliver.
Oliver explained the HICC started the event three years ago at the height of the recession as a way to support local restaurants.
“We wanted to promote business and the restaurants in Hilo. This event is geared to help the local restaurants and the food and beverage industry.”
Tickets for the Mystery Dine Around are $65 per person and help cover the costs of the event, which is also a fundraiser for the Chamber.
“[HICC] doesn’t ask the restaurants to donate their services,” said Oliver. “We ask them what their cost is to do the event and pay them their costs. Any funds left over are used to support the Chamber mission.”
Early registration is recommended as tickets are limited and the event has sold out in the past.
To purchase tickets for the events or for more information, contact the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce at (808) 935-7178 or email [email protected]