Hawaii Food & Wine Festival Brings Italy to Big Island

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The premier epicurean event in the Pacific returned to the Island of Hawai‘i for the sixth year when Hawaii Food and Wine Festival presented Under the Tuscan Sun at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on Oct. 6, 2018. This six-course feast transported guests to a vineyard in central Italy, where rolling hills of olive gardens seemed to come to life with authentic flavors and spirits.

Six chefs from around the country joined their culinary talents for an evening of exquisite dishes bursting with the aroma and flavors of Tuscany. Sage and rosemary wafted through the ballroom as each chef introduced their dishes, each paired with the perfect wine, compliments of Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits of Hawaii.

Guests at the VIP reception were treated to Eggs on Eggs, an appetizer of quail egg, bacon and hollandaise. This was in addition to a seared scallop with miso glaze and chicharron, Abalone Parmesan Panna Cotta and Vanilla Scented Melon Gazpacho paired with Champagne Henroit Brut.


The first course was Kona Kanpachi Alla Puttanesca, a creation of Chef Josiah Citrin of Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica, California. This was followed by Keahole Lobster Terrine with tomato zuppa di pesce squid ink tuile, by Chef Jayson Kanekoa from Waikoloa Beach Marriott.

The third course was Egg Raviolo with Maui onions, Big Island goat cheese fondue and shaved truffles, created by Chef Celestino Drago of Drago Centro in Los Angeles. Not to be outdone, Chef Alessandro Stratta from Phoenix, Arizona served the fourth course of Porchetta con Mostarda di Ananaso Zucca in Agrodolce (sweet and sour pumpkin).

It didn’t stop there. The fifth course was s tender Kunoa Cattle Filet of Beef stuffed with Maui Onion and Napa Jus by Chef Joachim Splichal of Patina Restaurant Group in Los Angeles, California. To finish off the evening, Chef Gale Gand of Gale’s Bread and Butter in Chicago, Illinois, served up a delicious dessert of Puna Chocolate Budino Cloud Forest Coffee Crema with macadamia nut Florentine.


The festival takes place on Hawai‘i Island, O‘ahu and Maui every October and features a lineup of more than 150 internationally renowned master chefs, culinary personalities, winemakers and mixologists.

The mission of Hawaii Food & Wine Festival is to attract national and international attention to the extraordinary culinary talent and the diversity of quality locally grown products to ensure Hawaii maintains its competitive edge as a world-class destination. The festival began as a three-day festival on Oahu with 30 to a three week event with over 120 chefs on three islands.

Since its inception in 2011, the festival has donated more than $2 million to community organizations that support sustainability, culinary programs and agriculture. All ticket proceeds benefit Hawaii farmers, ranchers, and fishermen, in addition to supporting local culinary educational programs.


To learn more about the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, go online.

Vanilla-scented Melon Gazpacho at Under the Tuscan Sun. PC: Karen Rose

Seared Scallop with Miso Glaze and Chicharron at Under the Tuscan Sun. PC: Karen Rose

Puna Chocolate Budino Cloud Forest Coffee Crema with Macadamia Nut Florentine at Under the Tuscan Sun. PC: Karen Rose

Porchetta Con Mstarda Do Amamaso Zicca Om Agrodolce at Under the Tuscan Sun. PC: Karen Rose

Kunoa Cattle Filet of Beef, Stuffed Maui Onion and Napa Jus at Under the Tuscan Sun. PC: Karen Rose

Kona Kampachi Alla Puttanesca at Under the Tuscan Sun. PC: Karen Rose

Keahole Lobster Terrine with Local Tomatos and Zuppa Di Pesce Squid Ink Tuile at Under the Tuscan Sun. PC: Karen Rose

Eggs on Eggs: Quail Egg, Bacon and Hollandaise Ikura at Under the Tuscan Sun. PC: Karen Rose

Egg Raviolo with Maui Onions, Arrow Big Island Goat Cheese Fondue and Shaved Truffles at Under the Tuscan Sun. PC: Karen Rose

Abalone Parmesan Panna Cotta at Under the Tuscan Sun. PC: Karen Rose

Under the Tuscan Sun. PC: Karen Rose

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