Big Island Chocolate Festival, April 28

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The Big Island Chocolate Festival announced its seventh annual gala on Saturday, April 28, 2018, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Hapuna Beach Resort. Indulge in sweet and savory creations prepared by chefs and chocolatiers, plus unlimited wine and beer pours, in the spacious ballroom and twinkle-lit courtyard on the resort.

The crowd enjoying themselves at a previous Big Island Chocolate Festival.

The gala will include 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.

A chocolate lovers dream at the Big Island Chocolate Festival.

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 Hualālai, 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 Island high schools and the Cocoa Outlet with its signature, four-foot-tall chocolate fountain.

Chocolate fountain at Big Island Chocolate Festival. PC: BIN


A trio of celebrity chefs will present three creative chocolate demonstrations during the day. 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 Friday, 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 online.

Chocolate bars at Big Island Chocolate Festival.


Presented by the Kona Cacao Association (KCA), 2018 Big Island Chocolate Festival proceeds will benefit Hawai‘i Institute of Pacific Agriculture, University of Hawai‘i Maui College’s Culinary Arts Program, Waimea Country School, and founding event organizations Kona Pacific Public Charter School and Kona Dance & Performing Arts.

The mission and goal of KCA is to promote the cacao industry on the Big Island of Hawai‘i by presenting BICF as an educational and outreach opportunity for local cacao farmers, the hospitality industry and cacao enthusiasts. Mahalo to 2018 event sponsors: Big Island Honda, Clark Realty Corporation, Cocoa Outlet, DHX, The Fairmont Orchid, Guittard Chocolate Company, Hapuna Beach Resort, Hawai‘i Coffee Connection, Hawai‘i Community Federal Credit Union, Island Asphalt Maintenance, Keauhou Veterinary Hospital, Kona Auto Center, Kona Brewing Company, Office Max, Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory, Power Self Storage, Prova, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Tattoo Tequila, The Spoon Shop, Valrhona USA, Waialua Estate Coffee & Chocolate and The Wave@92FM.

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