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Christmas at Kamakahonu Bay–Dining with the Chefs

December 7, 2016, 1:17 PM HST
* Updated September 8, 11:15 AM
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On Saturday, Dec. 3, hundreds of enthusiastic foodies kicked off the holiday season when the American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association presented its 28th annual holiday scholarship fundraiser, Christmas at Kamakahonu Bay-Dining with the Chefs.

The historic, seaside lūʻau grounds were filled with the twinkling lights of Christmas and aroma of festive foods.

Twenty of Hawaiʻi’s best chefs gathered to prepare delicious holiday inspired dishes. Participants feasted on superb cuisine, handcrafted ales and an array of fine wine—all while enjoying live jazz music and dancing under the stars.

The fundraiser is a benefit for local culinary students attending Hawai‘i Community College in Kona and members of the Kona Kohala Chefs who want to further their culinary education.

“So many of our guests have returned year after year for over 28 years to our annual benefit, Christmas, Dining with the Chefs, presented by our ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association,” said event founder Jean Hull, CCE, AAC. “If you have not attended this premier holiday party designed to showcase the talented chefs along the Kona-Kohala coast, you might want to put Dec. 2, 2017, on your calendar.”


ACF is the largest, professional, non-profit organization for chefs and cooks in the nation. Founded in 1980, the Kona Kohala chapter is comprised of food service professionals, vendors, growers and culinary enthusiasts.


Each year, over 20 members of the American Culinary Federation Kona Kohala Chefs Association come together to delight attendees with plates of expertly prepared savory cuisine and delectable holiday treats.

“Each year, the chefs, pastry chefs, candy makers, ice cream makers delight 400 guests with an elegant sampling of their culinary talent,” said Hull. “To compliment the culinary delights, we feature fine wines, beer/ales, and Kona coffee. Music and a silent auction adds to the merriment of the evening.”

This year, participants enjoyed the sounds of The Bill Noble Trio, accompanied by vocalist Kauilani Trainer. The soft jazz group was the perfect choice for a classy evening of dancing on the beachfront of Kamakahonu Bay.


The event also hosted a silent auction, offering a variety of items, from activities, dinners, hotel stays, artwork and more.

“As the founder of this a culinary scholarship benefit for our local students, in 1989, I hope you consider spending an evening enjoying this delightful extravaganza,” said Hull. “Each year, many guests say, ‘Thank you, Jean, for continuing this benefit year after year.’”

For more information on the ACF Kona Kohala Chefs Association, go online.


Christmas at Kamakahonu Bay-Dining with the Chefs: aranchini with Hāmākua mushroom cream sauce and rosemary salt from Feeding Leaf. Karen Rose photo.


Christmas at Kamakahonu Bay-Dining with the Chefs: crab cakes. Karen Rose photo.


Christmas at Kamakahonu Bay-Dining with the Chefs: firecracker rice with blackened ahi, seared scallop and shitake mushroom from Courtyard Marriott. Karen Rose photo.


Christmas at Kamakahonu Bay-Dining with the Chefs: steamed ono, saffron rice, tanarine glaze from Lava Lava Beach Club. Karen Rose photo.


Christmas at Kamakahonu Bay-Dining with the Chefs: togarashi dusted mahi over Molokai sweet potato puree and haupia sauce from Huggo’s. Karen Rose photo.


Christmas at Kamakahonu Bay-Dining with the Chefs: wine selection. Karen Rose photo.

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